2015 Silber Pro Cycling Training Camp
All photos by Brian Hodes
How do you know a lube is working? You forget that it’s there.
That’s exactly what happened earlier this winter when I started the PRO Gold Challenge. I ride my bike to work 4 days a week after “warming up” for a few hours on my computrainer. I wanted to see how long I could go without lubing my drive train. Keep in mind my daily riding is roughly an hour a day to and from. The Conditions speak for themselves, anywhere between -2 and -30, snow, slush, ice, form on paths and bridge crossings in Ottawa to form a substance that I call “Snush” which is a combination of all the above and PRO Gold lubes somehow still shifts with this mess of winter mixed in to the drive-train.
So I ride to work, hang the bike in the basement, and grab it at the end of the day for the trek back home. I’m pleased to say that the drive train test lasted so long, I forgot I was doing it. I went just under 4 weeks without having to lube the drive train. That is absolutely crazy compared to other product. I’m still on the same bottle of PRO Gold Extreme Lube. In comparison last year I went through about 4 bottles of another product, so I can say it works at least 4 times better and my shifting has stayed pretty good considering the conditions.
That’s how I know a lube works, I forget that it’s there. For me, it’s such a huge time saver. When I finish my training, I basically change shorts, bundle up and set off to the office. I don’t have the time or patience to mess around with lube in the freezing cold in between the training and the commute, after all I have to keep all my body heat as long as I can.
Sure, it’s just bike lube, it’s not the most exciting or sexy product out there, but when you’re riding in -20, you need your bike to be working because you need every watt you can get to battle the wind and the snow. Studies have shown a clean and lubed drive train can definitely save you a few watts. There’s a reason is called PRO Gold, because that’s what the Pros use.
Unless you have extra time or money to spend on lube, do yourself a favor, get PRO Gold and forget about it.
Derrick St John
LaRuta de Los Conquistadores is Hell on bikes. Primeval Jungle mud, ancient dirt roads with golf ball sized rocks caked in decades of coal dust and diesel fumes, and hot liquefied sand that’s been baking in the Caribbean sun all day just waiting to attack your bikes moving parts. And that’s just one day! My week in Costa Rica brought out the best in me and my equipment and showed me that the spirit of competition and the excitement for bicycle racing is worldwide. The Ticos (so Costa Ricans call themselves) make a BIG deal out of La Ruta, and so they should. Over 500 Athletes came from over 25 countries to “race” from the jungle forests of the Pacific over the volcanic mountains of the central valley, and on to Caribbean coast on the third and final day and I was privileged and thrilled to be one of them.
I chose my familiar Pivot LES singlespeed for the job. The Les and I have been good friends all season winning USAC XC SS Nationals, the NUE series Singlespeed title, and numerous other events along the way. After a whole season of snapping necks and cashing checks we were headed to La Ruta, where the only thing you don’t know to prepare for is everything. Bike prep and security is handled daily by the notoriously aggressive Specialized CR mechanics. These guys know what they are doing and make things shine, unfortunately they also have the distinct advantage of sending you and your bike home in whatever condition after three days under their eye. These guys clean and race prep 350 bikes each and every night of LaRuta and deliver them the following day at the start line cleaned, lubed, and ready to kick it into gear. As best I could gather from prior racers the process involves Kerosene and water for cleaning, diesel oil for chains, and im pretty sure my rear brake was bled with actual lizard blood…which comes in pretty close to mineral oil in viscosity apparently! So not only are the volcanoes, pythons, and rail bridges over croc infested rivers out to get you, but Specialized CR will blast all of those things clean into your bottom bracket!
So going into LaRuta I knew the preparation for me and my bike was key, what could I do to full proof myself and my gear against the Jungle and the Spesh Brute Squad? Easy, roll over to my cleaning bucket and select four ProGold products which I knew well and had tested all year.
1) EPX Cycle Grease- The kind folks at Blue Ridge Cyclery in Charlottesville VA and I pre packed my headset bearings and new BB with EPX knowing they would withstand a lot of force from pressure washing and also extended and repeated submersion followed by repeated cycles of low cadence high torque. EPX did its job and allowed my bearings to roll smooth for the duration. No horror stories about bearings here…pythons…that’s another matter
2) Pro Gold Pro towels. I use the big bucket of these little gold treasures at home but the TSA frowns on anything that smells like anything and comes in sizes greater than 3oz so it was singles for me and my LES. Thee little guys are good for everything! Chains-obviously. Cassettes (or ss cogs in my shoes), chainrings, and frame surfaces-check. Saddles and grips-sure! I gotta keep my custom ‘Merica ESi Grips clean and shiny after all! The pro towels do their job and you get a ton of mileage out of one or two. I keep several in my toolbox for going to races and they did overtime on shoes and apparel during LaRuta.
3) Pro Gold Helmet Cleaner and Deodorizer . This stuff is a LIFESAVER! I know, helmet schmelmet…who caaaares about how clean your helmet is?!! While let me tell you, its not so much how clean my helmet is but how clean those pads are! I use it about once a month on my shoes and on the whole surface of my helmet. I do this because I do actually like clean and shiny things but more importantly because I like to keep my skin shiny and skin cancer free, which means sunscreen. Sunscreen in skin lotion daily and especially strong ‘screen for 6 hrs of Costa Rican Sol! This sunscreen has a nasty habit of getting in the helmet pads and riding along with the sweat streaming off my ginger skin and straight into my eyes. Nothing burns like sunscreen in the eyes. Nothing! One spray of ProGold Helmet cleaner once a month or so and not only will I keep my junk skunk free but Im guaranteed free of sunscreen and other nasty stuff that likes to camp out where my pale forehead meets the helmet.
4) ProGold EXTREME!!! Because whats more extreme than LaRuta?! Not anything actually. I knew full well that Mike Sinyard’s boys would be slinging the fabled good cheer and diesel oil and while as a singlespeed rider Im not plagued by the normal ailments of poorly lubed chains but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a smooth, clean, and functional drivetrain. I usually keep a small bottle dropper of lube in a zip-up bag I refer to lovingly as my “oh-shit kit” and LaRuta was no exception. So Diesel oil or not I brought that Extreme dropper and used it more than a couple of times on stages 1 and 3 when things got extra steep and extra deep.
So that’s the chronicle of how ProGold made things faster, easier, and mo’ better down at La Ruta de Los Conquistadores. I finished my race safely, goal number one, and brought home the first place singlespeed prize for the first year they offered the category. I was also the only singlespeed rider to finish this years event…ill let that one lie right there. Overall I was third American and somewhere in the top 30 overall. Heres to LaRuta 2015, now with more Jungle!!
-Gordon W. Quadsworth-
10 years later! Still on a carbon Trek bike w/ Bontrager wheels, XTR components, and Rock Shox Suspension!
Wow – So pumped I don’t know where to begin. My goal this year was to win the Triple Crown and have a repeat performance of my 2004 season 10 years later. I was a bike length away from accomplishing that goal…
Of course I also wanted to win another Iceman and become the only 4 time winner in the mens race.
As I was preparing for Iceman I felt like everything was going against me. My dog Oscor was diagnosed with Cancer the week prior and I had to cancel my trip to Cincy, I did a local CX race instead and my pedal broke which made me really nervous about my 2nd set of pedals on my mtb bike, I crashed pretty hard and broke my race bike during my final training ride the night before I was scheduled to depart. All stressful things in there own special way. I had fleeting thoughts that I might never win Iceman again with the increasing level of competition every year and my increasing age!
Luckily I have an awesome wife who is a nurse and is giving Oscor the best care possible. Luckily I have and awesome CX mechanic who helped out with the broken bike. Luckily Matt O from Trek Factory Racing helped me with a pedal swap 30 minutes before the race started! Luckily I have done this a time or two and I knew I was fit and just had to make it to the start line.
I arrived to TC Thursday night at about 8pm and just walking in the front door of the Grand Traverse I felt more relaxed, almost at home. I still remember to this day back in 1993 walking in the front door and going up the glass elevator to my room with Dan from the Village Cyclery in Pinckney, Andy, and the Buermans for my very first Iceman. This year was no. 21! Hard to believe.
Read the rest of the story @ Brian’s blog at http://b-matter.com/iceman-returneth/
They race is pretty special. If you haven’t been or haven’t seen the
pictures check out this video. 2500 bikes rolling out together for
the start of one of the biggest and most iconic races in the US.
Again, I couldn’t go it without your support. Whether its been for
this season or since my first Chequamegon in 2003 I’m really really
thankful for this opportunity to turn my passion of racing bikes into
This weekend I raced in the Montgomery Bell Classic Tennessee State XC
The race was held during a constant downpour with trail conditions
turning to a solid sheet of mud and trail fodder.
I prepared by using ProGold Extreme Chain Lube to keep my drivetrain tight.
Even through the worst of the race when I put extreme pressure on the
drivetrain, things ran smoothly. I attribute a maintenance plan that
centers around ProGold products to maintaining a bicycle that works in
event the worst of conditions. My best effort was good enough for
third place in the State category 1 Men’s 30-39 division.
After the Race I used Blast Off Degreaser, followed by Citrus Chain
Shine, Bike Wash, Bike Shine, and another application of Extreme Lube
to top things off.
I can’t thank ProGold enough for making products that stand up to the
level of abuse I put my equipment through. Without such outstanding
products I might not have had such a great experience.
We are very thankful for Pro Gold’s support of the 2014 SRAM Gold Rusch Tour. Backing from our sponsors ensures that we are able to do the best, organized, and most fun outreach to a variety of women- and Sea Otter was a huge success!
We will be working on a followup newsletter that will go out to the ladies who joined the Tour No-Drop Ride and/or Ladies Lounge in two weeks. As a sponsor, you have the opportunity to add text and/or a promotion to the newsletter. Please email me information you’d like included. We will of course link to your website and can share any promotions you have going on. This is a great opportunity to get direct contact with the women who learned about your product at our stop.
Our on-site photographer got some great pictures of the events at Sea Otter. You can view photos specific to your company though this link:
SEA OTTER PHOTOS- PRO GOLD
You are welcome to use these pictures in all of your social media. If you would like other pictures for social media, please just email me what you’d like and I’ll see if we have one that will fit your request. If you’d like to purchase the pictures for advertisements, please let me know and I will get you in contact with the photographer.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Again, thank you for all of your support of these amazing events.
Business Manager, Rusch Relations
Check out the new website!- www.rebeccarusch.com
Wow! Worlds Cyclocross in Louisville, KY. The Blast-Off Degreaser and Xtreme Lube worked awesome together during the nasty wet, cold, icy, and muddy conditions of the Masters and Elite races.
If you haven’t had a chance to try it, get some. It is truly an amazing product. The ability to blow out all the mud and ice in your cassette with one application makes Blast-Off quick and easy. You can read Drew Hager’s Blast-Off testimonial here. Several World Champion racers prefer ProGold Lubricants products to the competitors. Just saying. All the great ProGold products are available at our online store.
As the ProGold Tour 2013 continues west, stops were made in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona! ProGold will be at Epic Rides Old Pueblo in Tucson, AZ this week week.
Ride Well, Ride Safe in 2013
Blogging about all things ProGold