November 17, 2015
Posted by FLO Cycling at Tuesday, November 17, 2015
We received an email a short while ago that was simple and to the point. The email said...
Just completed Ironman #3 on your wheels.
This time I raised $25,000 for trafficked kids.
That’s $45,000 raised for trafficked kids running ironman for world vision, using your wheels. The attached photo is freaking awesome. Feel free to use it.
The first thing that caught my eye was completing a third Ironman. This alone is an amazing feat, but the next sentence really drew me in. This customer had raised $25,000 for a single race and $45,000 in total for trafficked kids?! To be honest, I was really impressed and I wanted to learn more. I wrote to Ken Kaczmarz - or Kaz as we will refer to him - and asked if I could interview him for our blog. I'm happy to say, he said yes. Check out the interview below.
FLO Cycling: Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you been doing triathlon, and what do you do for a living?
Kaz: I'm Ken Kaczmarz from La Grange park IL, just outside of Chicago. I've been racing triathlon since 2011. Training started in 2009 with running and I needed to expand on that as I was getting bored! I really enjoyed cycling as a kid- I had a PK Ripper in the early 80s and rode it every day. Bike riding was a huge part of my life and figured that triathlon would be the next step - especially since I swam in high school. In 2013 I decided to get serious and attempt Ironman in 2014 - so I purchased a Felt tri bike and FLO wheels. Over the past 6 years my race highlights include 3 full Ironmans, 5 halfs, 12 marathons and a Dopey challenge!
I am an engineering director when I'm not training for Ironman or fundraising with World Vision . My wife Barb and I have two children Nina and Nadia Jo. (Yes, we are Barbie and Ken)
FLO Cycling: You've been working with "Team World Vision" to help raise money for trafficked children. Who is "Team World Vision" and what do they do?
Kaz: Team World vision is a fundraising race team for World Vision- who is the 11th largest charity in America. World vision raises almost a billion dollars a year to fight poverty and famine, bring disaster relief, bring clean water to those who need it around the globe, protecting children from being trafficked - as well as dozens of other amazing activities - all centered around helping the most needy people on the planet.
Team world vision has been around for 10 years; it was founded by my friend Michael Chitwood, who felt a calling to use endurance sports as a way to help others. Our team is made up of thousands of runners and hundreds of triathletes. We run 6k races, half and full marathons, Ironman 70.3 and the Ironman. The majority of the team raises money to bring clean water to African children - where more than 1000 children die daily from contaminated water, poor sanitation and improper hygiene. Some of us run for the child protection group within World Vision. This group works to prevent trafficking, rescue those who have been trafficked and restore those who were rescued. Child protection also works to end forced child labor, child soldiers and FGM.
FLO Cycling: How long have you been raising money for trafficked children, how have you been raising the money, and how much have you raised to date?
Kaz: I joined Team World Vision in 2011- running the Chicago marathon and raising water for clean water. In 2012 I did the same. In '13 I ran Chicago and New York marathons, where I started fundraising for child protection. In 2014 and 2015 I raced with our triathlon team - racing steelhead 70.3 and Madison 140.6 both years.
In terms of funds raised, my friends and family have helped me raise over $60,000 in total. Every year has been larger than the previous- this year we raised $25,000 to help end child trafficking!
The past two years we have had a fundraising event. This year- we had 3 hard rock bands and a silent auction at a local tavern - where we raised $12,000 drinking beer and listening to KISS and ACDC tribute bands.
FLO Cycling: What is next for you in terms of raising money for Team World Vision and trafficked children?
Kaz: I just started my 2016 fundraising! I plan to race Ironman 70.3 steelhead, Ironman Madison, Chicago marathon, and perhaps the New York marathon. I have set a lofty goal of $50,000; which is achievable- but will be difficult- just like Ironman. My page is
FLO Cycling: How can other help spread awareness about your cause or get involved?
Kaz: The simple way is to donate. The better way is to join our teams and fundraise! We have many free spots available on the Madison 2016 team, where we ask our team members to raise $5000 if they accept a free bib. The top fundraiser receives a spot in KONA!
We also have a team in steelhead 70.3, where we have our own starting wave. (Wave #3!!) We run many marathons including Chicago, New York, Indy, Detroit, LA, and many others- check us out at
If you desire a spot in Madison or steelhead- email our triathlon leader, Billy Downs, at email@example.com
We hope you have enjoyed this interview. Please leave your questions and comments below.
November 10, 2015
The holidays and Order 24 are just around the corner! Order 24 will begin Thursday, November 19th at 10:00am PST. This will be our last order before the holiday season. We will be selling FLO 30s, 60s, 90s, DISCS and FLO 30 rims. There are currently 340 people signed up for the 600 wheels available during Order 24. Please know popular wheels may sell our very quickly during Order 24. Popular wheels can sell out in less than 2 minutes. We are not trying to be pushy we just want to be honest.
Every wheel purchased within the first hour will receive a FREE Silca Valve Extender (FLO 60's and 90's) or a free Continental tube (FLO 30's and DISCS). The best way to get ready for Order 24 is to read the "General Information" and FAQ below. We can't thank you enough for your support and patience. If you have any questions about Order 24 please let us know.
- Order 24 begins November 19, 2015 at 10:00am PST. Access the store here. You will need a store account to checkout. We recommend creating your account here before the order starts to save time.
- On November 19, 2015 the "Store" page will feature a countdown timer. When it hits 00:00:00:00 refresh your page to begin shopping.
- 600 wheels will be available during Order 24.
- We will have FLO 30s, 60s, 90s, DISCS and FLO 30 rims available.
- Wheels are estimated to ship by December 4th, in time for the holidays!
- There are currently 340 people signed up for Order 24.
- All sales are on a first-come-first-serve basis. We are working hard to eventually have stock. For more information, please read this blog article.
- Orders tend to sell out quickly. Popular wheels can sell out in less than five minutes. We suggest being online at 9:55am PST if you are interested in buying wheels.
- You are not guaranteed a wheel when adding it to the cart. You must check out to confirm your order.
Questions About Order 24
Q1. How and where do I place my order?
A1. The store opens at 10:00am PST. On the morning of the order, the store page will have a count down timer on it. When the count down timer hits 00:00:00:00, refresh your page to access the store and begin shopping!
Note* You will need to create an account to shop in our online store. We highly recommend creating an account before next Thursday to save time during Order 24. You can create your account here.
Q2. Do we have live up to date inventory on our site?
A2. That’s sort of a yes and no question. When you select the product you will see how many are available under the “Bearings or Bearing/Build” pull down menus (The “Sticker Color” pull down does not show how many wheels are in stock.). If there is one left and you add it to your cart it does not mean you have secured the wheel. You must make it all the way through the cart before the wheel is yours. If someone else has bought the wheel in that amount of time, you will receive an out of stock warning when you hit the confirm order button.
Q3. My page is really slow. What should I do? (We hope this doesn’t happen!)
A3. We have done all we can to beef up the server to prevent crashing. That said there are no guarantees. When you click to add a wheel to your cart it may take a second or two to load. Please do NOT hit the "Add to Cart" button multiple times. If you do you will add more then one wheel to your shopping cart. If there are any technical difficulties during the sale, please be patient, we will be working to correct them as soon as humanly possible. If you page is slow after hitting “confirm order” PLEASE DO NOT HIT REFRESH or your card may be charged twice. If you do hit refresh by mistake and are double charged, please let us know and we will be sure to refund your second order.
Q4. About the Silca Valve Extenders and Continental Tubes?
A4. A FREE Silca Valve extender will be given for each FLO 60 and 90 and a free tube will be given for each FLO 30 and FLO DISC. Please see the pictures below.
Q5. When will the wheels ship to me?
A5. Wheels are estimated to ship by December 4th, in time for the holidays.
Q6. How much are ceramic bearings?
A6. Ceramic wheels are an additional $100 per wheel. Ceramic bearings support our Bike for a Kid Program and have excellent durability. Learn more about our Bike for a Kid Program.
Q7. Do you offer Shimano 11 speed hub bodies?
A7. All of our wheels ship with 9/10/11 speed compatible hub bodies. The wheels also ship with 10 speed spacers for people running 9 or 10 speed cassettes.
Q8. What payment methods do you accept?
A8. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. We do not accept PayPal.
We hope that this answers your questions about the upcoming pre-order. If we have left anything out please let us know.
Thanks again for your patience and support.
Jon and Chris
November 4, 2015
Being in a race is not the only time wheel selection is important. While most people focus on race day wheels, most of our time is spent training. This article aims to help you with picking the best wheels for "off season or fall/winter riding".
Before we go any further, I think it makes sense to discuss what "off season or fall/winter riding" means for this article.
Off Season or Fall/Winter Riding
When someone talks about the off season, it normally means that they are a competitive cyclist or triathlete. If you aren't competing then you likely do not have an "off season", but you will likely be riding in the fall and winter, assuming you live in a climate where there is a fall/winter. For this article, let's assume an "off season" is for anyone riding during the fall and winter months.
We feel the best wheels for the off season are the front FLO 30 and the rear FLO 30. Here are the reasons why.
Wear and Tear
Every brake track on a wheel, even aluminum wheels, will eventually wear out. When you apply the brakes, you wear down the surface of the brake track. Under normal riding conditions, the wearing process is slow and normally does not become an issue unless you brake a lot when riding. When you change the riding environment by adding salt, sand and debris from the to road to your brake pads, you are no longer in normal riding conditions. When this happens, the wearings process can speed up.
If you consider adding a layer of sand or salt to your brake tracks and brake pads, braking becomes a very abrasive process. It's very similar to adding sand paper to surface of your brake pads. The pictures below show the worst case of this we've seen here at FLO. The first picture makes the wear difficult to see, but the second picture clears things up. The CO2 cartridge should lie flat on the brake track, but in this picture you can see that there is a significant void. This becomes a problem. Most of this can be prevented by keeping your brake pads clean of any sand, salt and debris. As we said, this is an extreme example.
|Brake track wear from sand and salt on roads.|
|Extreme brake wear cause by sand and salt on roads. The void shows the wear.|
While we recommend that you ride and train on your race wheels full time, if you live in a place where you are riding in an area with a lot of sand, salt and debris on the road, picking up a set of training wheels likely makes sense. By doing so, you preserve your race wheels braking surface, eliminate snow and slush from getting in your fairings, (if you have a faired wheels) and if you hit a hidden pothole, you can potentially save your race wheels rim.
A lot of off season plans call for logging base miles. While our wheels are designed to last for tens of thousands of miles, transferring some of the load to another set will preserve the life of your race wheels. In our opinion, it makes more sense to buy a set of race wheels for training and racing in the spring and summer months, and a set of off season wheels for the fall and winter months. The upfront cost may be a bit higher, but in the long run you save both your race wheels and your wallet.
While traveling is not exclusive to fall/winter riding, the holidays are one of the most popular traveling seasons. If you've been fortunate enough to escape the damage that can be done by airlines or even in the back of your truck, your are luckier than most. Having a set of off season wheels, makes traveling a bit less hectic, knowing your race wheels are safe at home.
One Final Thought
After you've ridden on an upgraded wheel, it can be challenging to go back to the stock wheels that came on your bike. In most cases, stock wheels have narrow brake tracks and cheaper components. Our FLO 30 is built with the same components used in our race wheels, and it's brake tracks are the same width as all of our racing wheels. This means you will not need to adjust your brake pads when swapping wheels. On top of all of that, it's super aero for it's 30mm depth. At $498/set, it's a very affordable way to add a great off season wheel to your garage.