Roger Hospedales caught up with Cody to find out about his exciting news.
MSC: So why 3SIXTYCycling?
Cody Beals: 3SIXTY5 Cycling stood out in an increasingly crowded market for a few reasons. First, the wheels are built in Cambridge, just minutes from my home. I believe in supporting the local economy whenever possible and service is also convenient. The wheels are hand-built by a master wheel builder, who provides expert advice on rim, spoke and hub selection to meet any needs. This sets 3SIXTY5 apart from the countless sources of mass produced, machine-built wheels. I was specifically interested in their “FAT” line of wide-rimmed carbon clinchers. The product, service and warranty that 3SIXTY5 offers in the sub-$1000 price range is remarkable, and as a result, I can feel good about representing and recommending 3SIXTY5. Gone are the days of having to spend thousands of dollars on a competitive wheelset. Finally, the owners Chris Day and Winston Endall were obviously very competent and eager to work with me, which is even more important to me than the product line.
MSC: I know you are numbers and an attention to detail guy so I suppose you fully know that you will be faster aboard these wheels?
Cody: Aerodynamic performance is my number one priority for a racing wheelset, since seconds often determine places and paychecks at the pro level. 3SIXTY5 does not currently have test data for their wheels, which is one factor that enables such affordable prices. Any reservations I had about unquantified aerodynamic performance were put to rest by a thorough review of recent wind tunnel test data. The current generation of wide clincher rims from most companies have converged on remarkably similar designs. While there were once a small number of industry leaders, differences in drag among these similar designs have become so marginal that various tests no longer show consistent winners. Test data from small and/or open mold wheel companies such as Flo, Williams and November demonstrate that massive R&D budgets and price tags are no longer required to produce wheels that are competitive with one-time industry leaders. I am confident that I’m not giving up any significant advantage. That said, we have discussed the possibility of testing 3SIXTY5 wheels in the future.
MSC: What wheels in particular will you be riding? Why?
Cody: I will be racing on a carbon clincher FAT 88 front and a soon-to-be-released carbon clincher disc wheel. I feel confident running the deep front and disc combo under pretty much any wind conditions, especially after a torture test at Niagara Falls Barrelman in September!
MSC: How did this deal come about? What does a deal like this mean for a pro?
Cody: 3SIXTY5 was on my radar since several friends are on their wheels, including some of Ontario’s top age group athletes. They approached me and quickly reached an agreement. I will be sharing a personal coupon code that provides a $50 discount on certain wheelsets. This is an effective sponsorship model because it provides a modest financial incentive for the athlete to effectively market the brand, without any cash outlay that may be unrealistic for a small company. In-kind (product) sponsorship is much easier to come by than financial sponsorship in triathlon. Given how much time and energy I am devoting to triathlon these days, finding revenue streams besides prize money is very important going forward.
MSC: What’s your schedule look like for 2015?
Cody: I’m still sorting out my 2015 race schedule. I plan to focus entirely on Ironman 70.3 and Challenge Half triathlons. I was thrilled by the news of the Challenge/Rev3 merger, which has opened up more options for pro triathletes. I will be spending January in Texas for a training camp and plan to kick off the season around March.