Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rebecca Rusch "Rusch to Glory"

I'm generally not a "book reader" mostly a magazine reader so for a book to keep me fixated chapter after chapter is rare. Last year I read and reviewed "Be brave be strong" by Jill Homer which is about Jill competing in a mountain bike race called the Tour Divide which is a 2740 mile race from Canada to Mexico. It travels along the Continental Divide and takes weeks to finish, that is if you do finish. I truly haven't found a book that has high jacked my attention since Jill's.

Then, this August Rebecca Rusch released her book "Rusch to Glory" which I thought might captivate my attention, and I wasn't disappointed. It's the story of a true iron willed athlete. From her earlier days rock climbing to extreme adventure racing to 24 hour mountain bike races and beyond shows her incredable psychological and physical drive that inspires you throughout the book. This is her life as a professional athlete, digging deeper than almost anyone can imagine to be at the peak of her sport. While reading this book, I kept trying to imagine myself in desperate situations that she encountered and wondered how I would react and get through them, it was truly mesmerizing. Some of the situations she faced were literally near death experiences. The end of the book I found absolutely spellbounding with Rebecca delving deeply into the process of what delivered her to this moment in time and what direction she's headed. This book is the ultimate inspiration for any athlete to push themselves to higher levels. Quite honestly, anyone from any walk of life should be truly inspired by this life changing read.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Serfas Scandium MTB shoes 1 year report

I reviewed these shoes 1 year ago when still new so I thought do an update review to see how they held up under aggressive conditions. First a little refresher:... Stiff carbon plank soles, 390 grams for size 44 (fairly light), aggressive lugs on the soles, comes with a tool to install the removable spikes, nice roomy toe box, excellent price point when compared with other brands.

Fit; Never had a hot spot, the slightly wider toe box is a plus at least for me providing no metatarsal compression. Perfect if you want to wear slightly heavier socks in the colder weather.

Strap function; At first I thought the buckle would be a weak link as it seemed a little flimsy but it's held up fine. I've struck the buckle on numerous rocks without an issue. Strap and buckle system secure well and release easily.

Wear; Lugs show no wear after many rocky hike bikes. Likewise no wear on the heel which seems to wear first on some other brands. Outside material has held up well, no cuts after rough rocky New England trails. Outside toe area has shown no wear, and all the stitching throughout the shoe is still intact. Bottom of stiff carbon sole has held up fine.

I most definitely put these shoes through hell. The trails in New England and in this part of Connecticut are loaded with sharp axe head rocks and can really do some carnage on anything related to a mountain bike. I used these shoes in the rain, mud, heat and cold and was happy with the durability and fit. The traction from the hardcore sole lugs was excellent. Over I'd say these shoes were a good buy especially at the reasonable price point (180.00 list as of a year ago. I think 190.00 presently) and you really forget you have them on which is the way a good shoe should be.
Outside material and stitching show no signs of wear.
Durability is great.

Sole and lugs show no sign of wear

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Castelli Sorpasso Wind bib tights

Another new collection to the "get me out in the cold" deep winter apparel collection is the Castelli Sorpasso Wind bib tights which is part of the Rosso Corsa line. The chamois is the Progetto X2 air, it's a multi-density padding with a soft inner layer that is positioned perfect and one of the more comfortable chamois I’ve used. It's designed for long hours in the saddle and so far I've found no discomfort at all. The bib straps are paper thin and don't slip outward and never irritated my shoulders. One thing the straps do is twist when putting them on and take a little finesse to get them right. The ankle grippers are large so the grip is exceptional and the legs never ride up, and the ankle zippers are long making getting them over your feet a snap. The interior material is brushed and very soft. The outside is Windstopper fabric and is placed in the most vulnerable parts of your legs and I never felt cold air penetrating the material. In fact at 50º F it was almost to warm. The cut in front is kind of low on your stomach and feels a little odd at first but I'm getting used to it and don't find it a major issue. The fit is snug (typical Castelli) and a little tight getting on but once they’re on the fit is exceptional with no bunching behind the knees. These are rated by Castelli from 32º to 59º F but temps approaching the high 50's and I do believe they'll be way too warm. In the dead of winter these should be the ticket.
Progetto X2 pad is designed for long hours in the saddle

Inside the ankle grippers are very large and prevent slippage upward

Fit is comfortable, snug. Long ankle zippers are a nice touch