All summer we’ve seen so many of you chomping at the bit, craving just one more ride off the beaten path, adventuring off road and into the trees. We know plenty of you have the undeniable urge to explore, to push the limits, and discover where your bike can take you.
It’s no surprise more and more people are drawn to the sport of cyclocross. The sport is imbued with excitement and experiencing the unknown. Cross isn’t coming. Cross is finally here.
What better way to ring in the cyclocross season than by partnering with the man, the myth, the legend Jeremy Powers, a.k.a. JPOW. The Rapha-Focus/Aspire Racing rider embodies the sport, not just with his upbeat demeanor and unquenchable thirst for adventure, but the man simply rides like a boss.
JPOW is the top American cross racer in the world, with three U.S. National Cyclocross Championship titles under his belt and countless victories in the UCI European cross circuit.
We couldn’t be more stoked to work with Jeremy to create the ultimate cyclocross mudguard - the JPOW Ass Saver.
We invite you to join us in the world of mud, cowbells and suffering.
Team TIBCO-SVB’s Jo Kiesanowski fearlessly rails a corner at the very wet US Pro Challenge last month with U.S. National Crit Champ and teammate Kendall Ryan on her wheel. Photo Credit: Tour of Utah
We are super stoked to partner up with UCI Pro Women’s squad Team TIBCO-SVB and do our part to support bad ass women in this awesome sport!
We had the opportunity to chat women’s cycling and rain rides with Team TIBCO-SVB veteran and 3-time Olympian Jo Kiesanowski.
The Kiwi has been racing in the pro peloton for over a decade and is still racking up wins in addition to her 8 National Championship titles on the road and track, plus her representation in the Commonwealth Games and Olympics three times each. Kiesanowski has just been selected to represent New Zealand at the World Championships road race this month.
AS: When did you turn pro and how has your cycling career evolved over the years? What disciplines have you raced; do you have a favorite?
JK: My first year as a pro was 2001 here in the USA. I also raced in Europe for pro teams for a few seasons before coming back to the USA to race for TIBCO-SVB in 2008 till now! I have raced both on the track and road internationally and enjoy both, however track is my first love as I started at age 16 and I love going and racing on the track whenever I can.
AS: Where do you currently live and train?
JK: I’m from Christchurch, New Zealand but when I’m in the U.S. I split my time between Seattle and Colorado Springs.
AS: Seattle is known for its constant drizzle. What are your wet-weather essentials?
JK: First of all, it’s not as bad at everyone thinks, but if there’s any sort of dampness it’s key if my ass stays dry (thanks Ass Savers)! I also have my favorite rain jacket, gloves and Velotoze booties that I have to use.
AS: You have a talent for the one-day European Classics which are notorious for inclement weather conditions. In the days and weeks leading up to these races what makes the difference? Is it the psychological preparation, training to have peak form, or equipment selection that makes the difference on the day?
JK: It’s hugely important is to know the course, the type of terrain and pavement/cobbles and looking at a detailed weather forecast to know where the wind is going to come from and if it will rain out there! Information is your friend over there! That way you can decide what pressure will be best in your tyres, what undershirts/vests/gloves/booties are best for today and where the key sections in the race could be so you can make sure you are very far forward in that huge peloton!
Jo Kiesanowski powers up the infamous Mur de Huy at the Belgian Lotto Belisol Classic. Photo by Anton Vos.
AS: What does it take to finish, let alone podium, at a race with wet roads and harsh weather conditions?
JK: A lot of mental toughness - when it’s miserable out there it’s miserable for everyone, it’s how tough you are mentally to keep pushing through the harsh conditions and being confident in the hard training you have done and in your bike handling skills.
AS: Ass Savers is super excited to partner with Team TIBCO-SVB and support women’s cycling. How do you believe sponsors can contribute to the growth of women’s cycling?
JK: Sponsors can recognise that a large part of the cycling demographic is female and supporting women’s teams is a very effective way of reaching that market segment. The women have great stories and we are every bit as intriguing as the men - our sport has a lot of momentum behind it at the moment so hopefully sponsors will see this and want to be a part of it all.
Team TIBCO-SVB riders show off their custom team-edition Ass Savers during a wet training day in Sweden after racing the Vargarda World Cup.
That’s right everyone. We can’t wait to see your beautiful faces (and asses) at Eurobike this coming week from 26 - 29 August in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
We will be unveiling our blinged-out Ass Saving Station where you can #MakeYourOwn custom Ass Savers on the spot and hand crank them out of our fancy machine!
Best of all, we will be running a Design Contest on Instagram! We’ll select the coolest Ass Saver design of the fair and produce it as a limited-edition run of Ass Savers to be sold on ass-savers.com. All you have to do is upload a photo of your custom Ass Saver and tag @asssavers & #makeyourown. You could save asses too!
Visit us at booth FG-B3/2 and remember, Public Day is Saturday 29 August. Check out the Eurobike website for more details.
If you want to make custom Ass Savers for your team, race or company, let us know! We offer special discounts to teams and clubs. Contact: email@example.com to get started on your custom order.
We called on the Los Angeles-based duo of Sean Talkington and Jesse Carmody. The creative masterminds have been working together for the last several years, with Talkington most known for his work bringing to life inspired products for Team Dream, and Carmody making his mark with captivating videos and professional photography.
We had to ask, how did these two get started in the cycling world and what inspired the concept for the video?
AS: Tell us more about your respective backgrounds and work in the cycling scene.
Jesse: I found cycling through growing up with a father who was super passionate about cycling. I chose the creative visual arts and became a photographer. I wanted to photograph things I was passionate about. Getting license to see the little nooks and crannies of cycling was awesome. Cycling was a passion of mine before photography was and they melded together. Working with Sean on Team Dream projects helped me sink my teeth into that on an ongoing basis.
Sean: I had a grown-up job and realized I didn’t want to do that anymore. I started over and started working at a bike shop for $9 an hour. What drew me to cycling was the classic aesthetic of the old kits. I had so many ideas. Team Dream was a way for me to implement those ideas.
AS: Let’s talk about the video. In 40 seconds you manage to capture the epic character of cycling that many of us revere about the sport, and within the same space quickly deconstruct it down to this funny, honest scene in a front yard. Can you tell us a bit more about how the idea for this short came about and what inspired it?
Jesse: The video was inspired by the original photoshoot with LA Sweat [then Ritte Women’s Team] we did last year. This common thread Sean and I had been working on was Perception vs. Reality. How could we make this over-the-top gritty image and juxtapose it with something really silly to completely deflate it.
Sean: Kelli [Samuelson, Team Manager/Rider LA SWEAT] was involved with that original concept too. Kelly approached me. She wanted to do this thing with Ass Savers where she was completely covered in mud on the front and spotless on the back.
We really like the perception of Kelli playing a character who’s in this European cobblestone thunderstorm, jamming through it. The humorous aspect is that she’s in her front yard training.
Jesse: With the video, we wanted to build on that concept used in last year’s photo shoot. Anything we do, we want to take a step back and ask: “Is this cool?” “Is this funny?”
AS: How did the video shoot go?
Jesse: I’m really happy with how this came out. I feel like we crushed it.
Sean: There’s no hierarchy. With a shoot, some friends will come and contribute. It’s a free-for-all creative environment. It was just one of those things where you go into it knowing what you’re going to do, but you get these additional half-baked ideas to insert at the last minute.
Jesse: We used that track “O Fortuna” and it worked perfectly. I love the reveal. The reveal is funny. Some of the slow-mo drips coming off her helmet are so cheesey, I love it. Probably my favorite shot in the whole sequence is the over-the-top shot of her pain face. There’s also a little reality peppered in there with Kelli’s husband in the video, too.
AS: How do you like to set yourself apart from others? Is there an element of non-conformity in there?
Sean: Before we do anything, there’s usually some kind of conversation where we’ll touch on the question “Has this been done in the cycling world.” From a starting point, our goal is to reference outside of cycling in everything we do.
AS: Why did you want to do a project with Ass Savers?
Jesse: First of all, the name. You guys take things as lightheartedly as we do. You’re not gonna think we’re weird and we can get kind of wild with it.
Sean: In the past, companies never approached me when I worked at a bike shop. I would cold call companies with ideas for them. Now, some of those same people I cold called have emailed me interested in collaborations, not knowing that I contacted them years ago.
When Ass Savers comes to us and says, “We like exactly what you do. Do it exactly how you want to do it...” Not too many people have the opportunity to do exactly what they want to do.
Did you hear? We’re officially saving red, white, and blue asses with the USA Cycling National Team for the remainder of the 2015 season.
With the World Championships coming to America for the first time in nearly three decades, we are looking forward to supporting Team USAC as they prepare for one of the toughest races of the year.
We sat down for a chit-chat with USA Cycling Women’s Program Manager Jack Seehafer, who offered us an inside look at the US national women’s teams, sharing thoughts on development, bad weather, and the quest for gold.
AS: Can you tell us a little about your role as Women’s Program Manager at USA Cycling?
JS: My primary role as the Women's Program Manager is National Team Director. This role means helping navigate teams and riders to optimal schedules of performance, setting National Team schedules and logistics, management of staff, and budget controls. In essence I end up becoming a boss for about 100+ people on the women's side of the sport.
This is my third year in the position after working for various men's and women's trade teams. I have always had a special place set aside for women's cycling as I met my wife in the early stages of her professional career in cycling and witnessed her rise to the top.
AS: We know that riding at a high level domestically is important for development, but what about international experience?
JS: The emphasis is huge in getting riders to Europe. The racing itself is a whole notch up, roads are narrow and the peloton is usually always maxed out.
They need to be there to understand the style of racing if they wish to race at Worlds or the Olympics, as these will be the women they'll be racing against.
AS: What developments would you like to see in women’s cycling over the next 5-10 years?
JS: More racing and harder races. The women are a great show when the racing is hard and if given the venues they'll bring the athleticism.
"Cycling is like life, and life is hard."
AS: What would you say is the biggest obstacle facing women’s cycling right now?
JS: Lack of financial stability and pay.
AS: We’re super excited to see the World Championships coming to the U.S. this year, what are you and the riders most looking forward to? Are there any perks to staying on home soil?
JS: We are most looking forward to racing in front of a home crowd. We'll have the advantage too as we already understand the day-to-day workings of America. Plus, the fact that the Euros will have to travel with all their equipment for a change.
AS: Lastly, since we are fans of gnarly weather, we'd like to know what are the worst weather conditions you've witnessed riders race/train in?
JS: Hail, sleet, snow, rain and winds, especially in Belgium... At one point or another I have witnessed it all. As I like to say, when the weather goes to pot, characters shine on through.
For more information on the USA Cycling Team, visit: https://www.usacycling.org/team.php