Thanks to Trek

Monday, 28 April 2014


Every site sponsor gets thank-you note and Trek are the sponsor for April. It’s an auspicious month given the focus on the classics for the Trek Factory Racing team. The ad is there to show Fabian Cancellara’s cobble-eating Trek Domane. Within days of the ad appearing on here the Swiss won the Tour of Flanders.

As well as the thank-you note since we’re talking site sponsorship there’s a quick housekeeping note where the elusive INRNG t-shirt gets an airing.

Thanks to Trek
It wasn’t just the Domane that got a good outing this month, yesterday saw Julián Arredondo in action on the Madone. As I learned from the comments yesterday the Colombian’s from the same small town as Carlos Betancur and is surely going to win something big soon.

As ever sponsorship matters here. This site is an amateur effort but these days there are costs from photo accounts, mobile-friendly versions of the site to chunky amounts of bandwidth used so the ad support the equivalent of a tailwind. You might see “just” a square box with an ad but it keeps the wheels turning here. Thanks to Trek and their UK office for the support, they’ve been sponsors last year too.

T-Shirt
Time for a housekeeping note. There are regular requests for an INRNG t-shirt. It’s a complicated project because readers come from all over the world so the logistics are awkward, eg what currency to bill in, shipping rates and more. And that’s all before thoughts of a good shirt and the design.

Also there are occasional requests to make donations. Cycling social media and donation requests don’t always work out but one option I’m considering is a small “tip jar” facility where people can donate and if you put in over a certain amount you’ll get a t-shirt back. But all this is being worked on and finding time for the blog itself is the priority in part because it’s more fun and much easier. We’ll see what May brings.

Advertise here
Finally if you’d like to advertise here there’s more info on the offer plus a gallery of past ads at:
inrng.com/advertise/

Rob Macfarlane April 28, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Regarding t-shirts… Have you considered cafepress? They take care of making and selling, you just have to design.

The Inner Ring April 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Yes, they’ve had some mixed reviews online. If anyone has any views they’d be welcome.

Plus I’m exploring the donation side so if people want to give one Euro, Dollar, Pound or even a Yen they can but can instead of ordering a shirt via a third party.

TheEcho April 29, 2014 at 8:12 am

The quality a while ago (~5yrs) was horrible. I can’t comment on their current product quality, maybe they’ve drastically improved…

Ankush April 28, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Why don’t you talk to Klaus of Cycling Inquisition? He manages it quite well. Please, I want INRNG t-shirt!

Ankush April 28, 2014 at 8:09 pm

I mean to say that you can talk to him how he manages it because his operation seems smooth.

Alex April 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

T-shirt or Jersey? Could try what the Velocast guys do and set up a pre-order/minimum order system so you’re not out of pocket at any point.

Stephen April 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Partner up with http://www.twinsix.com/gear/collaborations. It’s my local gear creator company (Minneapolis, USA). I love their stuff so in collaboration with Inrng I would clearly have to loosen my 3 items per month limit rule.

Andrew April 28, 2014 at 9:31 pm

You might also talk to David McQuillen at the Sufferfest. They do a good job with their merch. I’ve been pleased with the Tshirt and jersey quality.

Gingerflash April 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I disagree, from a UK perespective anyway. Sufferfest stuff is bought via a 3rd party and the delivery costs and time to UK is ridiculous. I really like their stuff but it’s just not practical here.

Richard EASTHAM April 28, 2014 at 10:27 pm

T-Shirts? Not so sure. A bit rock band, isn’t it? How about cotton casquettes. That’d be cool. Chapeau!

The Inner Ring April 28, 2014 at 10:29 pm

The majority of correspondence from readers has suggested t-shirts. Nothing against caps, in fact I like them, but it’s the first or second mention.

Chris James April 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

I like caps too!

AK April 28, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Jerseys! A bit higher threshold because they are much more expensive but sooo much cooler.

And thanks to Trek. It doesn’t yet make up for the LA years but at least that marketing department is putting some money in the right places for a change. They have some of my goodwill back.

RooBay April 29, 2014 at 6:05 am

+1, although it will take a long time (forever?) to forgive them for their treatment of Greg LeMond. Shame because I love the look of the new Madones.

@Al__S April 28, 2014 at 11:00 pm

Have you looked into the Patreon funding system?

Kelly's Bidon April 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm

CAP’S are cool…but tee’s show an allegiance, dear INRG. I’m still riding, tho’ not very fast or far, my retirement present to myself from 2005: a (now) much modified Madone – or as I originally christened the beast, Mad One, 5.6…still as smooth as Wiggo’s (the bike, not me) pedalling action, to mix a(n)(almost) metaphor. And yes! Arredondo!
Back in my racing days I used to wear a Café Colombia woollen jersey with pride for training and club-man showboating. Tho’ at 6′ 3″ & 75k I was most definitely of the rouleur type, I always hankered after those Colombian climbing patterns rather than my own spin-spin-puff-puff-heave-heave-spi… oh sod it!.
Whatever cash-cow course you decide upon, rest assured that that your constant and consistent quality of product in the blogosphere guarantees you much,and my, support. Thank you and well done Trek for backing your efforts…

othersteve April 29, 2014 at 2:26 am

Although you probably will have already considered it, trademark or copyright your logo and products!

We all want the real deal, no knockoffs! soon you may be posting pictures of fans at races with your products instead of the guy with the RV rental Co. signs!

Daniel Banks April 29, 2014 at 2:29 am

I’m surprised someone like Castelli or Strava isn’t chomping at the bit to partner with you to create an Inrng jersey and handle the logistics side of it on your behalf. Seems like an ideal brand partnership.

timojhen April 29, 2014 at 3:26 am

Would go for any of the above (tip, jersey, t-shirt, cap). Would like to chip in somehow/somewhere.

John Liu April 29, 2014 at 4:22 am

I agree with the above. I’d like to get a cycling cap, but above all I’d like a donation mechanism.

PT April 29, 2014 at 5:02 am

I’ve used Cafe Press and they were great. It was a couple of years ago but the whole process was easy and worthwhile.

Andy Storey April 29, 2014 at 7:31 am

Prendas Ciclismo would happily offer a selection of inrng t shirts caps and jerseys. Just find that email and we will get on with it!!!! :-)

Tom April 29, 2014 at 8:11 am

I think Trek is taking the right direction. Its been almlost a decade since LA scam and yungsters i ride with 18-22, while thy know who LA was, they do not associate Trek with him. Thus it is a great move by the brand to present themselvs to a new generation and link their bikes to no other an Spartacus. And while I will probably not be the first one in line for a new Domane, I will smile a and have a good word to anyone riding Trek, knowing that they are moving in the right direction and supporting you Mr. Inrng.
On the other note I will be the first one in line for a donation box or a purchase ability of Inrng line merchandize. :)

Spatz April 29, 2014 at 8:24 am

Fees always seem to be the biggest issue for these e commerce payment sites, try looking at https://www.dwolla.com who have good reviews and low/free transaction costs

+1 for T-shirt & cap….but then I’m greedy……maybe some white summer socks also :-)

bikeboyB April 29, 2014 at 10:26 am

Would be happier to donate t shirt or no, than see you go further down the advertiser route.

Trek Bikes UK April 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Thank you for the thank you note! We’re happy to support the work done by The Inner Ring to bring a fresh approach to the coverage of pro racing.

We also like t-shirts. And caps. Just sayin’.

Matt April 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Thanks Inner Ring for providing some of the best coverage of cycling. I like the tip jar idea and would gladly leave a tip. Also, thanks Trek for your sponsorship.

Gingerflash April 29, 2014 at 2:55 pm

There you go – Trek can help with the logistics of merchandise! Inner-Ring T with a tiny Trek logo on the sleeve. I think most would find that acceptable.

Seriously though, it’s incredible that you have so many people who WANT to give you money, for no extra return beyond what you’re already giving them for free. Says so much about the quality of your content and writing.

T-shirt and cap for me. Jerseys end up being too expensive if the quality’s good. A Castelli (or equivalent) jersey is unlikely to come in at less than $/£80.

Dan April 29, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Cap!

Right Knider April 29, 2014 at 5:20 pm

What about Flattr? i dont know much about it, but many bloggers seem to use it.

concerning the t-shirt question: my suggestion why dont you team up with one of those small designers, who already are doing that stuff. You are not nobody, there must be someone who really would like to work with you. you do the design with them together and all the logistic, fabrication and distribution stuff is up to them. less money for you of course, but also less extra-work to put in.

there was an article at cycling tips about some of these small companies.
http://cyclingtips.com.au/2013/08/cycling-kit-movement/

noel April 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm

a cap would be good…

noel April 29, 2014 at 5:28 pm

and well done Trek UK, a step in the right direction (while it appears that Specialized are intent in heading the wrong way…)

Dave April 29, 2014 at 7:23 pm

another +1 for the “tip jar” idea. The Bugle Podcast has a “voluntary subscription” as well as some merch which so far seems to be paying their bills, and since discovering your site I’ve been surprised there isn’t a ‘Donate’ button.

Not overally bothered about merch, whilst it’d be cool to be able to show our affiliations I can see it being a logistical nightmare, I have more event souvenir Tees than I can store (and most get relegated to garage rags) and I’d rather your time was spent on maintaining the quality and amount of content.

Elle April 29, 2014 at 8:51 pm

A big YES to a tip jar — you’re worth your weight in gold some days — and a HELL YEAH! to an INRNG laydeez jersey. T-shirts & caps not so much but that’s just my personal preference. And yup, fair play Trek!

Gavin April 29, 2014 at 10:47 pm

I’ve no idea where you are based Inrng but if you are based in the UK this small independent designer sells a lot of nice cycling stuff http://www.anthonyoram.com/ . I’m sure he could manage a teeshirt for you. Also second the tip box idea.

Joe K. April 30, 2014 at 5:54 am

How about wristbands? Just saying~~ learning from the master! :)

Beau April 30, 2014 at 7:35 am

Check out Teespring.com for t-shirts. So easy to do and ships for you.

BarryS April 30, 2014 at 7:41 am

So would the Inner Ring tshirt/cap/jersey come in several styles? “39 tooth classic”; “34 tooth compact”? Just a thought.

nick wyatt April 30, 2014 at 10:45 am

the shirt has tiosay “the moment the race was one”

RocksRootsRoad April 30, 2014 at 11:47 am

+1 for the T-shirt. Adding another cycling jersey would put me over the edge!

Richard April 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Not sure where you’re based Inrng, but British Cycling user Wiggle as their store. I think they also get a kickback from everything else that’s sold – http://wiggle.britishcycling.org.uk/ – I believe Wiggle take care of all shipping etc.

Daniel Banks April 30, 2014 at 6:06 pm

If a jersey is too expensive, high quality socks, a t-shirt and a cap would make a fine selection.

NickT May 1, 2014 at 3:48 am

As a punter who often feels bombarded by merchandise, inrng, I think the choice comes down to what *you* want or need from it. To me, a cap is like a secret handshake among the illuminati. A bit like your blog, in fact: incredibly useful, destined to be treasured, but a minority taste. A jersey will be enjoyed by riders who wear it and noticed by those who see it. And a T-shirt, I suspect, gets the widest exposure beyond riding circles and gives you the quickest return on the time, effort and cash you put into it, but will end up wiping chains while the others are still out on the road. If you need any of those, go for it. Otherwise, I bet the tip jar would work.

Gabriel Constantin May 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

Hey,

Regarding custom cycling jerseys/kit, I’d recommend http://www.cottontex.ro/despre-noi/ .
Sadly, they don’t care that much to actually have English on their site but their certainly one of the big boys if not the biggest in Europe, at least. I’m sure someone can read and write back an email in English. Radioshack managed to correspond somehow :) They are producing for a lot of the high end labels out there.

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