Archives for the month of: August, 2010
A couple weeks ago at the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Festival I met the guys at A-Line insoles. I was intrigued because I have D2 shoes on the road that have been better than anything I’ve used previously, but wasn’t interested in throwing down for two sets of D2 cx shoes (plus they have a heavy vibram sole and seem to take a couple adjustments to get them to fit quite right).
So I went and got fitted for the A-Lines (basically they put an attachable shim to cant your foot properly once you have been measured for the overall size – I’m an R, whatever that means). Walking around for the first few hours was interesting (I put them in running shoes to try and figure out how they worked for me). They said try them for an hour and bring them back if I didn’t like them.
Well an hour was enough time that I was intrigued. I bought them.
Yesterday I got in my first shake-out ride on one of my cx bikes since re-building it. Put the A-Line soles in my mtb shoes and went for it. The long and short of things is that I’m thinking about pulling the insoles out of my D2 shoes and giving these a whirl to see if I can make the D2s feel as good as the cx shoes did. Last year I had such a hard time going from the D2 shoes on the road to my mtb shoes for cross with the stock Shimano insoles in them. Then I tried Your Sole heat moldable insoles, and Superfeet, and everything short of having Don Lamson make me some D2 insoles for them. This year, I think I’m going to have a problem going the other way.
They are not light but not inordinately heavy. I haven’t weighed my set, but they add a noticeable amount of heft to your shoe (probably a couple ounces). And the cost falls in the range of fair, but not cheap – I payed $60 for them. But in terms of making the rider-pedal interface much, much better they were a huge score.
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In Italian instead of saying good luck or break a leg you say “In bocca al lupo” – into the wolves mouth. The response is ‘Crepi la lupo,’ or bleed/kill the wolf.

Why is this relevant?

Well, on Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Bicycle Festival my two partners in Fasterisbetter Technical Consulting and Product Development (part of Applied Cycling Labs, Inc. which owns Hüdz) decided that the three of us would have to race ‘Cross Vegas together in the Wheeler/Dealer race.

Tom is fit. He’s been riding with Jake Wells and a lot of other strong guys all summer and he’s calling a top 5 finish. Eric is fit too. He’s been running and riding all summer.

I’m not fit. I’ve been working at it, but loosing 20 pounds still doesn’t get me what I’d consider fit.

This is definitely going to be charging into the wolf’s mouth. It’s gonna hurt. Like hell.

Of course the upside is that I’ll have street cred for the year with the team. I’m thinking I’ll do it on the single-speed. That way when I get shelled in the first minute I’ll be able to just cruise around and use the ‘only one gear’ excuse. Plus my sscx looks so cool that people can’t give me that much crap… At least I hope so.

So on Wednesday next week we’re going to start the weekly ‘cross tune up riders (one week before the regular ride starts). In Boulder the weekly ride is known as Wednesday Worlds. With the calibre of riders that show up, it really is. The number of National Championship jersey winners that show up to this ride is more than probably anywhere else in the country. If nothing else, this will get me used to taking my beating like a man…

See you out there.