So my MTB shoes have been getting pretty ratty and have enough “extra” ventilation these days that I end up with more dirt on the inside of my shoes than I do on the outside of the outside of the shoes. I have found that I hold out on my shoes as long as possible just because it always seem to be such a painl to pick out a pair of shoes. I used to just use the SIDI Dominators as they would last me for several years. That was until I became more skilled in riding technical terrian and spent more time exploring “Back 40” type trails. Those same shoes that were light and comfortable started lasting less than a year. The toes and outer edges of the shoes were being shredded from brushes with rocks, brush and other chunk. With the price of those shoes I was not willing to spend that kind of money that often for them. So the search for a comfortable well working shoes that did not kill the bank was in order.
My awesome girlfriend sprung for the Happy Feet effort with a nice birthday gift certificate to BikeBling. The number of different shoes available was crazy and I spent at least an hour farting around with all the different model. I ended up with getting a pair that was felt really comfortable, had a nice stiff sole and looked like it would hold up well. The shoes is a bit on the flashy side for my taste but I predict it will dull down quite nicely once I get a good dirt patina on it. I was told that much like wearing a Spongbob Squarepants jersey, (i.e. photo above) if you are going to wear shoes like that you had better bring “IT” on the trail.
I’m also going to to try out one of boot protector products out there. Either KG’s Boot Guard or Tuff Toes. If I could spend about $20 extra bucks and get a year or two more out of the shoes that would pretty cool. That also means I could delay the whole process of getting the clipless pedal cleats all dialed it. Stay tuned for photos of loud jerseys and shoes in action.
So I got my brand spanking new UZZI out for a shakedown ride recently. The orginal plan was hit up Iron Mountain and Ellie Lane but with early moring rain, the plan shifted to Anderson Truck Trail in Alpine.
The boys at BikeBling did a mighty fine job with the mechanicals as it was shifting flawless right of of the gate and even under tension. (A feat which I often miss the mark on a bit requiring lots of trailside tinkering on the first ride) I was bit leary about going to the 10 speed drivetrain as I like the idea of having only one drive train type to worry about (9 speed). Between mine and the kid’s bike it good to have some commonality on the logistics side of the house. Well it did not take long into the climb to notice the marvels of the 36-tooth cog in the back. I’m sold on it already and I did not even have to try out the 22-36 granny ring setup yet.
My last two longer legged bikes had Fox 36 TALAS (160) airsrung forks up front and I really liked being able to adjust the travel down to make long or steep climbs easier to deal with. This bike has the Fox 36 Vanilla (180) coil sprung fork without the travel adjustment. It will take a bit of getting used on some of the climbing bits with this longer slacker frontend as a bit more body positioning is going to be required a steeper bits. It was so freaking nice to have a VPP suspended bike back under the saddle. This bike climbed exceptionally well for it weight without any of the dreaded energy sapping “bob”.
When it was time to turn the bike down the hill that was when this bike really came alive. The bike is so stinking plush and it only took a few rock rolls and drops to get sold on the coil fork.
I stuck to only the small air bits while getting acquintted with how this bike handles. This bike is pretty confidence inspiring so I got a feeling I’m going to get myself into trouble with this rig at some point. It’s gonna be great!
The trail overall was in about as good as shape as it ever gets so it was an absolutely great day to be out testing a new bike.
My the time it was time to head back down the main run, I had a pretty good opening day feel for the bike and I had one heck of fun descent back down the hill. There was some hooping and hollering on the way down. A mighty fine shakedown run with the new rig.