Monday, December 31, 2007

Best cycling-related Purchases of '07

  • 1983-84 Schwinn Voyageur. Picked up frame/fork/headset for $100. Built into a touring bike for Anika enabling her to comfortably ride with me and experience a bit of RAGBRAI.
  • Lake MXZ302-X Finally available in a wide size, I was able to buy a pair of winter-oriented cycling shoes. Keeping feet warm and comfortable has been key to extending my cycling "season"
  • Busch&Müller Lumotec IQ Fly Though I have only ridden with it for over a week, the light is incredibly usable and key to riding in the dark of the morning and evening. Far surpasses the quality of light compared to the other dynamo hub lights I own: E6 and DLumotec Oval N Plus/LED.
  • IBEX clothing. Specifically my Shak jersey which I have now worn for almost 3 consecutive weeks including a Christmas party and out to dinner last night without washing ;)
  • Nokian Hakkapeliitta studded snow tires. Some would argue that studded tires are not necessary. I suspect they have saved my ass on more than one occasion. Owning them and riding them allows me to not wonder while riding if they would improve things. They are on, mounted, slow, heavy, noisy, ride like crap but making me stronger each day.

I'm sure that there have been some incidental purchases here and there. I know when my wife went through Quicken a couple of weeks ago to remind me of just how much I have spent on bicycle parts or as categorized as "Fun Money" the end figure was staggering.

I also purchased a tandem and put a deposit down on a new Goodrich He started a blog allowing people to catch a glimpse of works in progress here: http://curtgoodrich.blogspot.com/ As far as plans for '08, my only real goal will be in completing the new Goodrich touring bike should it happen to arrive this year. (I'm not really asking when it will be done.) Perhaps, if I win the lottery or come into some extra fundage: I'd really like to get together a new set of panniers for touring.

When/if the new touring frame/fork does arrive, the old Trek 520 is going up on the auction block. I have hopes of thinning the herd a bit and ridding the basement of some unused bike parts because having empty space is my best chance for getting something new :) I'd really like to sell off a couple of suspension forks and raise enough proceeds to purchase a rigid fork for my Phil Wood PISSOFF. Hoping to do more off-road riding again this summer.

Really long term I've been thinking more and more about a Surly Big Dummy. Though I have said it about 3 different frames now, it might just be the perfect use for my Rohloff Speedhub. I'd like to be a one car family, I'd like to go mountain biking more often. All of my mountain bikes are single speed, I'd like a bike that can carry another bike. Using a TrayBien accessory mount, I could take all of the equipment and a bike to a trail to ride. Certainly would not cost-justify itself, but sure would solve my whole personal issue of starting a bike ride by loading the bike in the car.

4 comments:

-d said...

been looking at the Big Dummy myself. I figure if I rode it to work everyday, work might subsudise the cost if I put a sign on it for the commute. eh?

congrats on the milage. I have used a computer once in the last three years, and you were there for it at TI. It came off right after I got home. I estimate my milage as well.

Well, happy new year. be safe.

-dan

JBIthaca said...

I have a few questions about the Lake MXZ-302-x. How much larger a shoe did you buy than your normal size? What is the longest and coldest ride you have used these for? Do you have a wider than D width foot? I am looking to purchase a pair of these but can not return them so I am trying to find out as much about fit as possible. Thanks for your time.

Jim

Reflector Collector said...

Thanks Jim for your Questions:

Size: I normally wear a size 47 Sidi Dominator shoe. Their MEGA version, which is wide. They are tight, but for summer and the normal season, I want my shoes to fit very snug with no foot movement.

I do have a wide foot, I seem to recall the official measurement being an "E" but it has been a LONG time since measuring. I find the fit of shoes is highly dependent upon the brand.

Ordering the Lake’s was a big leap of faith for me too. There was not going to be any returning them either. I figured that I would order them as large as I could, hoping for the best, okay with the idea that I would much rather have warm somewhat ill-fitting shoes than anything else.

So, I have the size 50 Wide. 3 sizes larger than my normal cycling shoes. If I could, I might go 2 additional sizes (for a total of 5) larger. It would be nice to have extra room for another pair of socks. They fit snugly with a little toe wiggle-room with a thick pair of Smartwool socks. It would be nice to have more room for multiple pairs, more insulation. I say that, but I would be nervous about them being too big and it would be an expensive experimentation.

Warmth?: So just how well do they work? Well, it depends on many variables. If just noodling along without much exertion, my feet can get cold. If I work a little harder, and exaggerate the movement of my feet while pedaling, it seems to increase circulation and makes my feet warmer. Stuffing the shoes with another pair of socks to increase insulation resulted in colder feet. Wiggle room is your friend. My commute lasts anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours. The coldest it has been is about -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Last Saturday I rode for about 4 hours at 20 degrees.

I like to ride my bike (obviously) but have very little desire to ride for prolonged periods during cold weather. Yes, I guess I am a wuss.

Anonymous said...

Ken:

I finally purchased a pair of the Lake MXZ 302-X shoes. Did a 2.5 hour ride in high teens the first day. Shoes worked great. Thanks for your advice. I went with a size 47. I wear a Specialized BG Comp Road shoe in a 46 (slightly big, but the 45's were tight). Tried a new trick which seemed to work really well.

My feet have a tendency to sweat especially in winter thus soaking my socks and then my shoes negating most if not all the insulation. To help with this:

* I rubbed extra strength antiperspirant on my feet, especially my toes to slow the sweat rate.
* Used a vapor barrier for the first time between my liner sock and my insulating wool sock.

The theory behind vapor barriers is this:

Warm moist heat is trapped between your wicking sock and your insulating sock thus protecting the insulation value of both sock and shoe. There are companies which make socks specifically for this purpose such as this one:

http://www.rbhdesigns.com or you can go the cheap way as I did and use plastic grocery bags.

Thanks again and happy & safe riding.

Jim Bondra
Ithaca, New York

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