You absolutely love the Sidi shoes. The pair must be 3-5 years old as the soles are starting to wear thin. You ride in them all the time, but recently you started thinking that they are not the best shoes for a proper tour. Just in the last 6 months several components of the shoes broke. The Sidi strap, made out of plastic, broke off first. Then the closing part, fell off. These are not big deal issues. In fact, all these parts are easy to replace when taking the bike on a day long ride. One returns home, orders a new part, and a few days later the part arrives. But when one is on a multi-day tour, the point is to move forward. On the road, less is more.
The operating principle for great touring shoes is KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID (KISS). One should minimize all possible breaking points such as fancy Velcros and other parts that can break. Shoelaces work extremely well and are easy to replace on the road, in any supermarket, should you manage to tear one. In addition, good ventilation is great and, probably just as important as being able to spend many hours clicked into the pedaled is being able to walk off the bike with the same shoes. Obviously, mountain bike shoes should be the preference for as touring shoes.
And with this, the search begins.
2020 is just around the corner and the amount of awesome rides in Europe are growing.
Instead of keeping a local list, here is what arrived on my desk so far.
More to come.
I miss this setup. I would love to be able to add a nice mini-rack on my Seven Mudxium, attach my Bailey Work D-Rack Bag and have my coffee kit with me on all rounds.
In essence the dream fork will be:
With the recent announcements of the Specialized Sequoia I was reminded that there isn’t really a reason not to have rack bosses on carbon forks. So I started looking for options in the market. So, what do we have on the table?
2015 was certainly a good year for different kind of bikes. The most exciting bikes for my taste were, as probably expected, the mutant bike category. Disk brakes, wider axels, geometry that’s right in between road and cyclocross and very colourful paint choices. Of course there are loads of bike “TOP” lists so there is really no point to replicate them. So I reached into my own personal resources and here they are, in no apparent order.
Interestingly to me, each one of these bikes will be a bike I’d love to have. The problem is, each of these bikes is already a bike I have, in some form or another, which is why I lust over these, but am not chasing after them. Well…other than one. Now that we have a nice collection to commemorate 2015, lets see what 2016 bring.
(All pictures by guest photographer John Braynard of Salzburg500 and VeloBeats. Text by yours truly featuring in Orange wind jacket above)
As someone whose job is to “make Internet” it is mind blowing that last Saturday, I left the house at 6AM wearing a wind jacket, gloves I know not to work under 5 degrees Celsius, and no thermo protection. It is also unexplainable how, for the first time in basically forever, I actually ate properly before a long ride, but, and I can not emphasize this enough, was dressed for a completely different day. And so, the first brevet of the season began.
“Getting it right” is really quiet simple in a brevet:
I failed miserably on the last part. Earlier in the week I spoke to one of the other riders and mentioned to him that I am going to install fenders on the Mudxium. He commented that I should not install them because if I do the rain will come and if I don’t it will be dry. My response was sadly to tempt the devil and I answered quiet tongue in cheek “I rather plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
On Friday as I was gazing outside the office window it was very obvious that spring has arrived. The weather was warm, the sun was shining and not a cloud was in the sky. I rode in the early evening wearing a light jacket and t-shirt and my brain shifted to “it’s spring time”. There was a “woohooo” and “finally!!!” somewhere in there as well. 12 hours later, winter returned with temperatures grazing the freezing and persistent drizzle that just got everywhere. About an hour into the ride, roughly when we left the city borders, it started raining. It stopped raining roughly when we returned to the city – some 212 km later. At that point I had no sensation left in my body and as I was trying to snack on a salad at the end of the ride the fork kept falling down. Sven who finished earlier and was already post shower had a fine giggle watching me shivering and dropping my fork repeatedly.
Well at least I had fenders.
There is a lesson to be learned here and it is rather simple. When drinking coffee on the morning of a brevet, do yourself a favor – call up your favorite weather app, check the weather report. Look for answers to essential questions like “how many hours of sunshine are expected today?” “What is the chances of rain and how much rain is expected?” “When is sunset and am I going to be riding in the dark?” (the last question is a little silly since after Brevet number 1, you can plan to ride in the dark in each Brevet). With the answers to these questions you decide on what to wear and do yourself a favor – bring extra gloves.
Well at least I had fenders.