Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In The Pits

With cross already here and ABRA ‘cross season starting this Saturday; I was going to go over a couple of staples that I like to have in the pits at a cross race, and explain why I prefer these certain items.

Kenda 29’er Wheel Bag.
This was something I discovered last year. It’s an awesome wheel storage and transportation means. As you can see here, the wheel bag can hold 2 29er' wheels with Kenda honey badgers that measures 2.4". It also includes a storage area for skewers, a cassette, and brake pads (if you go from carbon to
aluminum rims). The big advantage of these bags over most is that they can hold 2 wheels. Carrying is made simple with either the handle or longer strap, which will make it easier to carry multiple wheelsets over to the pit.

Craftsman Cordless Pump.
This has been a staple in a lot of ‘cross racers' bags. This is a relatively small pump that should last almost a full day of airing up cross tires. People complain that you have to keep it charged, which is a down side; but with electronic drivetrains becoming more popular it’s not that it’s really much more of a pain. Even when there isn’t enough juice to run the pump, you can still use it as a really accurate gauge (with testing it, it would read within 1% of a certified accurate gauge.)

ProGold Cleaning products
When Cyclocross Masters Worlds came to the US, they let the pressure washers freeze overnight. The go-to product in helping to keep the riders moving as their bikes became coated completely in mud was no other than the ProGold "Blast Off." This degreaser spray provides a much more powerful blast than other products I have tried. This is particularly useful in the pits where you may have only minutes to have a rider’s bike ready to go back out on course, just to receive another mud-clogged bike to repeat the process. ProGold also makes a lot of products that work awesome during cross season, from the degreaser bike wash to their extreme lube. And the ProGold towels make cleaning up your bike quick and easy.

Cleaning and tool bag
Of course, a bag of cleaning brushes helps make getting most of the mud off the bike a breeze. A tool bag with the basics to make small adjustments is necessary for things such as straightening bars after a spill or adjusting for wider rims after a wheel change.

And finally the most important..
Team Mates.
Of course having people in the pit for you can make life as a racer a bit more relaxed. For example; having teammates in the pit to hand off your bike, on hot days offer water to you (when permitted), make adjustments to a bike you toss to them in the pit, or just giving you encouragement to dig a little deeper.

PS. If you are in the pit, remember to keep an eye out and pay attention to what’s going on around you. Don't get caught in the middle of a bike exchange.