Monday, March 28, 2011

Cold enough to....

....freeze the balls on a brass monkey.

We all know it was cold this past weekend, cold and windy. Not ideal riding weather at all, although the roads are pretty much bone dry. I got in two quickies...two short rides that is...I mean two short BIKE rides.  I'm not gonna go into detail about my rides, but talk briefly about some new equipment...BIKE equipment.

First, a new saddle. I've been using my current road saddle for about 5 seasons. It's a Selle Italia SLC Carbonio, and looking at it is enough to make you cross your legs and feign being kicked in the nuts. Over the years, I've had many people ask "Is that comfortable?!?!?!?!" But the thing is, I've ridden it for so long because it IS comfortable. Because of its design, it flexes a lot, and as a result, moves with me. BUT, in the last season and a bit, it's been getting a bit uncomfortable, right where the saddle starts to narrow (where the REAL sensitive bits sit, if you catch my drift).

 The old perch. A Selle Italia SLC Carbonio.

 For the most part, a comfortable saddle. Lately, it's been bugging me towards the nose of the saddle, near where the cut out ends. Too much pressure/weight on a small amount of material.

I started my quest for a new saddle last year, and demoed a Bontrager Inform saddle, and did not find it comfy at all. The saddle was very flat and didn't distribute pressure very well. I recently decided to give a different Bontrager saddle a go...the Affinity RL. At the beginning of my ride on Sunday, I felt it right felt much harder than my Selle Italia, despite being more cushioned. Towards the end of my ride though (a short 100 minute ride), I hardly noticed it was under me...a good sign. I'll have to see how it holds up after some longer multi hour rides, though.

 Bontrager Affinity RL...Already dirty! The middle of the saddle, where that black design is, dips down to take pressure off my "sensitive bits".

The other new component was a pair of Look Keo 2 max pedals. I wanted to replace my current Looks (Keo Sprint), because the plastic body was starting to wear out wear it contacts the cleats. I'm hoping the metal platform of the Keo 2 will have a bit more longevity. The best part about the new pedals though, were the cleats. They're "grippy". No walking around like a stiff legged old man trying not to wipe out on any semi slick surface.

 Lots of wear, especially over on the right next to the Look logo.

 The metal contact area should hold up to wear and tear.

 The old cleat. Good luck trying to walk up and down painted wood stairs (like the staircase in the old Pipolinka).

The new cleat. The dimpled areas at the base and the tip are a softer plastic/rubber that offers traction when off the bike. A welcome addition.

I don't know what else to say about the pedals...I've been using Looks for as long as I've been road biking; I like them and they work. Never have to adjust them or maintain them. That in itself is good enough for me.

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