In last week’s Embro News section we mentioned that Pedro’s was going to be coming on as our latest team sponsor. This week they made good on their promise to supply us with some of their nicest goodies, including tools, lubes and cleaning products. Pedro’s has been sponsoring racing programs for years and they know a thing or two about how to best support their athletes. To them, as with our other sponsors, it’s more than just throwing money or goods at the teams and hoping for the best. It’s a process of educating the riders about the company, the products and in Pedro’s case, how to get the best results from these products. The boys at Pedro’s invited the team to spend some time with them at their facility in Haverhill, MA to get schooled on all the various items we’d be receiving and using over the course of the year.
So, this past Friday morning, Josh, Kyle, Linnea, Jackson, Jurgen, Pierre and James arrived at Pedro’s for the morning’s activities. Joining team Embro at Pedro’s were the four Keough brothers, known in the northeast and beyond as one of the cycling dynasties. They joined us and a few Pedro’s employees for a casual hour-long ride in the rolling hillsides of northeastern Massachusetts, followed by the obligatory coffee stop. Not a bad way to begin any meeting with a new sponsor, I would say.
After our ride, we settled down into comfy seats at the Pedro’s office to get an education in all things Pedro’s. Presenting to us was Matt Bracken, a staple of the bicycle industry for many years working for Merlin Metalworks back in the day, then Independent Fabrication and finally Pedro’s in recent years. One of the things that makes Matt so well-known is his extensive knowledge and experience working within the industry and as a mechanic for quite a few prominent athletes and teams over the years. Another is his incredible zeal for products. Any time Matt presents information about products it’s hard to tell where he ends and where the product begins, so infectious is his enthusiasm for what he represents.
Thus, we learned about Pedro’s, the company’s founding in Newport, Rhode Island 20 years ago; their commitment to making and improving their products, supporting racing and riding in all forms and doing everything possible to produce and delivery their products to market in the most environmentally-friendly manner possible. Matt was a wealth of information, both historical and current. He gave us a good overview of the various Pedro’s bike care products, including their cleaning products and their various condition-specific lubricants, including information on all their ingredients and when best to use them.
With our classroom time completed, we moved outside to enjoy some more of the beautiful day and watch Matt expertly clean Jackson’s dirty, gross bike. (In Jackson’s defense he made sure to get his bike extra dirty just for this event.)
The first step of the bike wash was to apply some Pro J solvent directly to the greasy, dirty drivetrain. This highly concentrated citrus degreaser was left to work while Matt prepared a bucket of bike wash, including Green Fizz which is Pedro’s multi-use bike cleaner. Once the Pro J had done its thing, Matt scrubbed the chain with a brush and then took a low pressure hose to the drivetrain and just as promised, Jackson’s gross, black, greasy chain quickly turned silver again as the grime melted off of it.
Drivetrain clean, Matt set to work with the bucket and brush, cleaning the frame, components and removing the wheels to give them a good and thorough cleaning. Each and every part getting a scrubbing with the foamy water / Green Fizz mix. This included the bar tape, which had, over a few hard weeks of training, turned from its original white to a dingy grey.
Next, Matt moved on to treating the drivetrain with lubricant. In this case he chose to use Ice Wax 2.0, which he said was one of the more popular choices for road riders because its bee’s wax formula cleaned, and quieted the chain in nearly all conditions. What was interesting was Matt’s method for application. He applied a large quantity of Ice Wax directly to the chain and then, while rotating the crank backwards, rubbed the chain between his thumb and forefinger, massaging the Ice Wax into the chain. As he did this, all the remaining dirt lodged in the chain’s rollers seemed to come out on Matt’s hand. After a minute of this treatment, the chain was as clean as the day it came out of the package. A quick rub with a clean rag, the chain was nice and lubricated and ready for action. Jackson’s Helium was back it’s bad-ass self again.
It was a good product demo and showed us the benefits of all the Pedro’s gear and even showed a few seasoned bike racers some easy new tips for bike maintenance.
Over the next few months we’ll be getting some more Pedro’s goods. In addition to some new tricks up our sleeves we left with wide array of lubes and cleaners as well as Pedro’s monstrously awesome Master Tool Kit, a couple Domestique Pumps a work bench, and a Demi-Torque Wrench to match the Torque Wrench 2.0 we already have and love. We’ll be employing these items to good effect over the next few months, especially as cross season settles in and we’re camping out full time at the races. We’ll be packing the full arsenal of Pedro’s gear at the races, so look for it and ask our team riders for some samples or if you want their opinions on which Pedro’s product is best for what conditions.