my SPD shoes were easily a thousand miles overdue for a replacement — looking, as WR so succinctly described his own shoes, "like li’l rascals shoes" — basically coming apart at the seams. and i’ve been eyeing these specialized SPDs for a few months now, so armed with a gift card i got for christmas, i finally snapped them up. some significant upgrades from my current shoes include…
+ ratchet-lock ankle strap — my old shoes had three velcro strips, where these have two velcros and then a ski-boot-like ratchet on the one closest to the ankle for really secure latch-down.
+ INCREDIBLY stiff sole — all cycling shoes have stiff soles, but of the admittedly limited number that i’ve tried over the years, these are by far the stiffest. holding them in my hands and muscling into them, i can barely bend them. yet surprisingly, walking around in them doesn’t feel too awkward.
+ technical inserts — specialized now makes their shoes with one of three technical inserts. basically, you stand in your stocking feet on a heat-sensitive board. when you step off, it shows your foot’s arch in clear relief. by comparing your arch to the little guide on there, you know which type of insert to get with the shoes. the "small" insert doesn’t really do any correction because with a "small" arch, your legs aren’t prone to buckling inward towards your top tube. the "medium" insert (which my feet necessitated) gives you a certain degree of inner arch support to push your knees outboard, away from the top tube and hopefully, perfectly vertical. (i always knew my knees tended to buckle in when riding, which is why these particular shoes and their inserts appealed to me in the first place). the "large" insert gives you even more push.
i haven’t ridden in these shoes yet, and likely won’t till sunday, but walking around in them feels incredibly comfortable, and if these inserts do the job they claim to, i think i’m going to find my knees being more comfortable and my power being increased.
either way, upgrades all around.
the current ISSUE of urbanvelo has a wonderful editor’s statement this time around which touches on the hottest topic in cycling — helmet use. i think it’s fair, relatively non-judgemental, intelligent, and well-said. i’ve translated it below…
"For the third issue in a row our cover features a helmetless rider, with plenty of other photos within of cyclists both with and without head protection. Helmets are a touchy issue; seemingly every time a photo appears of someone without one atop their head someone else condemns riding without one for any reason, many times equating the choice with a deathwish.
Everyone who has been riding for any amount of time has a tale of a helmet saving their life, or the life of a friend. Unfortunately, many of us also have stories of friends that have suffered debilitating head injuries, helmet or not. I know I have a story or two in each camp.
Even though I wear a helmet for 99% of my time on a bicycle, I certainly don’t equate not wearing one to a deathwish or outright stupidity. Everyone has their own choices to make in life, and their own judgments of risk.
Take for instance walking down the stairs or taking a shower—in terms of the numbers of folks meeting an untimely end, these are some of the top accidental killers in the country. That said, no one would advocate a helmet at the top of the stairs or hung around the showerhead, and certainly no one would consider someone without a helmet on in the shower as having a deathwish, even if the risk of head injury is very real.
It’s not the lack of helmets on heads that is killing cyclists—it’s the cars that are hitting them. While I agree that given the current state of our transportation infrastructure in the United States that helmets are a good idea as a preventative measure to help keep minor accidents minor, the fact that so many cyclists feel unsafe without one shows that helmets are a symptom of the problem, not the ultimate solution."
Fritz from Dutch Bike just invented (or re-invented, or rediscovered, whatever, a tyre mod so ingenious it makes me want to be riding in snow right now. Also makes me want to be riding right now, period.
http://www.dutchbikeco.com/_blog/Dutch_ … pocalypse/
it almost doesn’t get any better than THIS. surly offered a bike called the "travelers check" for a while, which was basically their "cross check" with pre-installed s&s couplers. but the feedback they got over time was that the 700c wheel size was problematic. not only is it problematic to fit them easily into airline-regulation hardcases (i didn’t know this), but the majority of people traveling with a bike are going touring. touring requires much stronger wheels and a size that you can get tyres for even in the most remote places on earth — 26" wheels.
so that bore the "long haul trucker deluxe," based on their true touring frame, the "long haul trucker."
a build based on this frame would be able to easily stow in a travel case, as well as be loaded down with all the panniers and other travel shit you could ever want. boom. i may have just found my cross-country bike.
Dave Scrod and co design and sell cool tee-shirts and other schwag. No nonsense, no hyped up photo shoots with carshow models who can’t actually ride (well, not that we mind either way on that front) and best of all, they have pride in their rides. Check out their Bikes section. You’ll even spot a sweet, sweet Schwinn in there. Nice work!
Best of all, among several very cool designs, I found this ode to The One Sheldon, with 50% of the proceeds going to a SB approved charity.
Check em out today!
Starting my toddler off with the proper skillset…
PROHAB 2011 Calendar now available!
Get your here:
But, you know, get a helmet, and a brain, first.
First, the signs up said ‘God kills a kitten everytime a cyclist jumps a red light’
This was the response. I LOVE IT.
And I don’t necessarily advocate jumping anything other than yer saddle…
http://trackosaurusrex.com/pblog/index. … 215-092803
When you see the graphics in the online posts around the bike blog community, it looks reasonably low-budget but still kinda fun. As above. Not too bad, right? And I for one LOVE bike-related video games. I still have Downhill Dominance or whatever the hell that PS2 game is called…
But I fear the actual gameplay on this dog is less appealing.
My daughter still mashes on it a bit. Or mashes on the phone. Whichever.
http://cityaffe.blogspot.com/2010/12/ip … eirin.html