This week SpeedWorks Head Coach talks about going after the right sponsorships, and tells about one of his favorite sponsors!
Cyclists love sponsors. It’s important that if you choose to go after sponsors, you choose ones that you believe in. If you don’t believe in the products your sponsors produce, you aren’t doing either of you any good. When you find something that you really like, and you’d like to have that company as a sponsor, start by showing that company how much you enjoy their products. Post up photos of you using their products, tell others about their products, let your LBS know how great their products are. Then work on forming a relationship that helps both of you.
One of my sponsors is ProGold, (www.progoldmfr.com). ProGold has some of the best cleaning and lubrication products on the market, period! ProGold is a name that many in the cycling industry know, because they are big supporters of cycling, supporting events from coast to coast.
For the past two years ProGold has supported us at the USA Cycling Junior Mountain Bike Talent ID Camp in McHenry, MD. We have been fortunate to have their assistance; their cleaning and lubrication products have helped to keep the bikes performing all week long, in a variety of conditions. For the past two years camp has encountered it’s fair share of mud on the trails, resulting in filthy, mud caked bikes and kits. With ProGold’s products, we have been able to spend some time teaching the campers how to properly take care of their bikes, and showing them how great these products really work. This year the campers were super impressed with the cleaning power of the Degreaser + Wash, and I even heard one of them, who is sponsored by a competitor to ProGold, suggest that ProGold works even better than the other product! It made me smile!
In addition to the cleaning and polishing products that ProGold supplied us with, they also supplied us with Xtreme Chain Lube, which was perfect for the conditions we’d encounter each day.
I recently had the opportunity to really put this chain lube to the test. On May 31, 2014 I raced in the longest, hardest race I’ve ever been a part of, the Dirty Kanza 200. This is a 202.5 mile race that is 99% on rural gravel roads. This year the weather was dry, warm and windy.
I cleaned and lubed the bike, using only ProGold products, the night before the event. I have found that applying the lube the night before allows it to penetrate really well and allows you to have a perfectly silent drivetrain the following day. The Dirty Kanza was a long day in the saddle. I had set a goal of finishing before the sun set, at about 8:45pm that night, meaning that I would have to finish the race in under 14 hours and 45 minutes, or somewhere thereabouts.
I felt great most of the day and the bike performed flawlessly all day long. While I started to have cramping issues at the 161 mile mark, and hadn’t been eating well most of the day, the bike had no such problems. I never flatted, I didn’t have to change air pressure in the tires, and amazingly, I didn’t have to lube the chain all day. Through creek crossings, through muddy sections, through dusty miles, the bike just worked! I didn’t have to think about it, not at all. There was no grinding, gritty feeling coming from the chain, it was still silent.
I crossed the finish line in 14 hours and 21 minutes, beating the setting sun! I know that I have many people and products to thank for getting me there, one of those is definitely ProGold and their Xtreme Chain Lube. Following the race, before cleaning the bike, I went out on two rides, each at least 35 miles long, and still you would have thought I had just lubed the chain, it still had a smooth, silent motion.
When I finally got around to cleaning the bike, I used a combination of Blast off Degreaser to clean up the chain and cassette, Degreaser + Wash on the bike, and then finished it off with Bike Shine polish and a fresh coating of Xtreme Chain Lube. In addition to those products, I used the ProGold Helmet Cleaner to clean up my helmet and keep the funk out of the foam, straps, and pads inside.
As well as being great bike cleaning products, I have found several other uses for the Degreaser + Wash. My trainer is in my office, which has off-white carpets. Occasionally I accidentally get grease on the carpet. A few sprays of the product full strength, let it set a few minutes, then scrub with a damp towel and it comes right out. I’ve also used this product on greasy and muddy clothes. The mud here in Oklahoma is a red clay, and since my team went with white jerseys this year, ProGold has saved me from having to buy new ones by having a product like Degreaser + Wash which works great as a pre-treatment before throwing my kit in the washing machine, and getting even the toughest mud and stains out! This stuff is awesome.
I have been using ProGold products exclusively for my bike cleaning and lubing needs for the past few years, and I don’t expect that I’m going to stop anytime soon. If you don’t see ProGold in your local shop, ask them to get it! Once their customers start using it, they won’t be able to keep it on the shelves, seriously, it’s that good! Thanks ProGold!