Yesterday’s post left me cooked. Going from righteous indignation to worry to bafflement to relief was just too much of a rollercoaster ride for me.
Today, I think, I need to write something that is pure and simple. Something good. Something about which, if at all possible, I can full-on gloat.
Oh, I’ve got it.
Remember when I wrote that open letter to Specialized, complaining about how fast their mountain bike shoes fell apart for me? Well, toward the end of that post, I said:
I’ve been riding for fifteen years, and the shoe is the one piece of equipment I don’t feel like I’ve ever been perfectly happy with. I’d love to have a bike shoe that changes that. If you think you’ve got that bike shoe, email me.
And you know what? Specialized e-mailed me. In fact, they e-mailed me right away. And then they sent these:
Yes, I am the proud owner of a new set of Specialized BG Pro Carbon MTB shoes. And you know what? They look great, instantly felt comfortable (as I have mentioned, the Specialized Body Geometry fit has always been a strong point with their gloves and shoes), and the product manager told me I talked with said they’ve really been working on their material and construction quality. So I have high hopes for these.
And these shoes are mine to keep — not just test — so I guarantee you I will be checking in from time to time with how these are holding up.
Oh, but that’s not all they sent. Noting that the Specialized BG Ridge gloves I like so much are actually from a season or two ago, Specialized sent me their latest version of the glove:
Specialized points out that for this year, the palm padding isn’t as thick, which is true, and also an excellent call. Especially when riding a singlespeed, the thinner pad feels great, while still doing its job.
Something that is also new with this glove that I love is that it doesn’t have any kind of wristband. The glove just ends at your hand. Although it has a perfectly-placed little tab — look at the “bg” logo in the photo above — that makes it very easy to pull these gloves on.
I tell you: you never notice how restrictive a glove’s wristband is until it’s not there anymore. Losing the band was a huge improvement.
These are, seriously, the best gloves I’ve ever had. I wear them for both road and mountain biking.
The Real Surprise
I kinda sorta expected Specialized to get in touch with me. But I didn’t know if anyone else would. Based on the wild enthusiasm shown for Sidi shoes in the comments of my shoe rant, however, I was pretty excited when Sidi did in fact contact me.
Sidi talked with me for about forty-five minutes about what I wanted from a shoe, how shoes fit, and the kind of riding I like to do, and then sent me these:
Sidi Dominator 5s. In Mega width, thankyouverymuch. I’m pretty certain these are the second most beautiful shoes I have ever owned. And, so far, they fit comfortably — though the real test will be once I’ve broken them in and taken them out for a five-hour ride.
“But Fatty,” I hear you ask, “If these are the second most beautiful shoes you have ever owned, what — pray tell — are the very most beautiful shoes you have owned?”
Oh, well, that’s an easy question. See, Sidi sent me two pairs of shoes:
That’s right, I’ve got a pair of Dragon 2 Carbon SRSs. These shoes adjust to fit in a near-infinite number of ways, including how they fit your heels. They came with replaceable toe-guards, so I don’t destroy the shoes when hike-a-biking.
And they smell just like the inside of a brand new Ferrari. Or at least they did when I first got them. I haven’t checked again since taking them out.
Of course, how beautiful they are is not really the most important thing to me, since soon these shoes — even the Dragons — will be permanently covered in dust and mud. Expect to hear more about how each of these shoes fit and hold together over the long term.
Meanwhile, let’s summarize my mountain biking shoe situation as it stands today:
I told you I was going to gloat, didn’t I?
PS: I managed to lose all but the first 8 or so of the comments to this post. Some nights, it is not good to be the Fat Cyclist.
PPS: For those of you who are curious about how I managed to lose all those comments (>50), here’s what happened. Late Friday night I spent about 45 minutes trying to find a way to be able to watch the Giro, without success. It occurred to me that I was kind of like a junkie trying to get find someone to get me a fix, making increasingly desperate calls to get hooked up. So I started writing a post using that premise, then decided it was a one-line joke, not worth a whole post. So I went to delete the in-progress post. But — remember, this is late at night — I clicked the wrong post (ie, the shoe post) in my blog editing tool (Ecto, for those of you who care) without noticing it was the wrong post. pressed Delete, and answered Yes to the question “Delete both online and local versions?” without thinking about why it would ask me to delete the online version of something I hadn’t yet put online. And so then it was gone, comments and everything. Luckily I had an instance of a browser up with my blog entry and a few comments still showing. Using copy and paste, I replicated the post and those comments, and then promised myself I would never post or delete that late at night again.