Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hi All,

I thought I'd put the band back together again and write again.  It has been a long time since I've shared thoughts on my biking or whatever other hobby has my attention. I am not sure a reason for the hiatus other than I just got out of it.  In retrospect, I wish I'd tried harder to maintain some type of journal. I've realized that writing here helps writing elsewhere. It helps to take the jumble of thoughts that bounce back and forth and make a coherent sentence.  Helping in this case to calm down those thoughts and if anything just reason whatever I'm going around and around about.

Mountain biking is still my central focus. If anything, the emphasis has grown all encompassing. It's almost all I think about, talk about and spend money on.  With the exception of my beloved and frustrating money pit 2005 Legacy GT Wagon 5MT, cycling is and has always been my mistress.

Mountain biking is a welcome friend especially in these times. I'm very lucky to be able to say that there isn't anything really bad in my life. It is just a harder time in general. I recall a friend saying that this middle age is considered one of the hardest times because of a combination of aging parents on one side, younger to grown kids on another, and your own marriage and career in the middle. Financially, it can be straining with college expenses incurring or looming.

Combine all that with the world we are living in  and I can see why I've fallen deeper and deeper into the obsessing about something else. For those of you reading in the future or not from around here, it's 2017 and locally, nationally, and worldwide it is a time of great stress and uncertainty. Politics combined with catastrophic natural disasters and every news days is stressful. 

So cycling is my respite to provide a place to focus thoughts and energy. It's also a good/bad thing as it can be the source of much frustration when working on my bike or wishing I was in better shape. I'm slower than I used to be and don't ride as long as we did in VA.  The riding here in Central NY, especially this little pocket is different. It's hard and grinding and 1hr here is like 1.5 in VA. So doing a 7mile ride in 1.5 hr and feeling worked can be a blow to the ego when I used to do 3hr or 40mile mtb rides.

I have some friends to ride with and beers after are sometimes more the focus than riding hard or long. I am very focused on skill development and pushing my own capabilities. I imagine that is seen as showing off. The racer, even though I was never that good, has me always pushing to improve my fitness and ride harder. Though, I just can't get myself to get onto a solid training plan and do the intervals on the trainer like I used to.

I'm turning 50 next year and have been considering some kind of event like a bike trip or 80k mtb ride or racing again. We'll see. I am not sure I've got it in me to race, but do know there is nothing like fear to motivate me to train.

So I am glad to be back and share some thoughts, and welcome back.

I just got a new bike and am in thought that the journey of setting it up and growing with it would me a fun entry back to writing more formally here in a blog.  I have been keeping notes in a table in one note of almost every ride for the past two years with my previous hardtail and various setup, tire pressures, and fork settings. 

This new bike and it as a platform makes for a great canvas for trying and learning some things. I see some frustration too as is always my way. No matter what I can do some things wrong. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Notes on snowboard boots setup/tie (32 Lashed)

Anyone who snowboards understands how important boots are to your over all riding experience. I would go as far as to say they are the most important piece of the kit trumping everything else, including board, bindings, base layers, or outerwear.  The more experienced I get, the more I realize that subtle fine grain movements of the foot ranging from ankle flexion to pedaling are key to success.  All this places incredible hellish strain on the feet and increase the importance of boot set up. The problem is most don't consider the technicalities of something as taken for granted as tying boots, or sock selection or how tight is tight enough for the ankle harness. I analyze everything and think about these things a lot and have only now come to some realizations.  This post will discuss some thoughts and strategies I have on boots and is skewed towards the 32 Lashed boot which is indicative of many traditional laced boots.  While speed lacing systems are popular and BOA is growing, the majority of boots are still laced.

The first thing to consider is ditching the sock liner that comes with the boot. In almost all cases, the sock liner is nothing but a piece of cheap cardboard or foam that does nothing.  I suffer from fallen arches which makes snowboarding even more aggravating on my feet and completely unbearable with stock sock liners.  I finally ended up getting some custom inserts made by a ski boot fitter. At the very least a good aftermarket insert like Superfeet or Sole is recommended.

The next thing to consider before we get to lacing is socks and thinking about moisture management. I've realized that one of the key contributors to getting cold feet is perspiration. No matter what I've tried my feet perspire, leading to damp socks and very cold feet.  I also have other issues like chilblains which are all interrelated back to the core concept that snowboarding is hell on the feet.  I've recently been experimenting with the concept of vapor barriers. The concept is to not try and mitigate the perspiration through a wicking liner sock.  But rather, to accept it and trap it with a non-breathable membrane and keep the moisture at the feet minimizing the sock or boot insides getting damp. 

They make things caller vapor barrier socks, but I have been experimenting with good old saran wrap. I wrap some around the upper part of my feet/toes and put my thin snowboard sock over it. The problem with the whole concept of vapor barriers is that your force your foot towards trench foot. But I realized that my feet are going to sweat no matter what and lead to trench foot anyway. I used to have to change socks every 2-3 hours.  One trick to help keep the moisture from being force directly next to skin, is to first put a very thin liner sock on, then the vapor barrier, then your regular sock.  The only problem with this is that it begins to push into too thick.  I much prefer one thin wool sock as opposed to multiple layers or thicker socks. So far, I have been able to extend riding to 3-4 hours without any sock issues and my toes stay warmer.  The rest of foot does sweat and cool down though.

This approach isn't for everyone, and it can just feel bad on the feet.  I do this with my hands too and wear nitrile gloves sometimes.  I again extends the time before my hands get cold, but it really tears my hands apart and they are sensitive. Regardless, consider carrying extra socks to change into every few hours.

Ok, so now that we have a good insole in, and have considered moisture management, now we move to putting the boot on and the inner harness. Put your foot into the liner, and liner into the boot if it isn't already in the outer boot. I find that my sock gets pushed around a lot when I put my foot into the liner that is already in the boot, Ideally, I'd put my foot into the liner then liner in the boot. The problem is that it is pretty difficult to get the liner into the boot and sometimes takes more effort then I want.  Regardless, with foot in boot, slam your heel on the ground, stomp your foot. This helps seat your heel in the liner and seat the liner in the boot. Note that the liner is on the higher end, I believe an can be heat molded. There are recipes on the internet for DIY, but a good fitter can help you. They can put some toe caps on your feet to help get a few mm space in there which can help a ton with keeping toes warm by giving enough room for you to wiggle them.

Now the inner ankle harness.  The Lashed is on the higher end of a laced boot and has an inner ankle harness that is part of the outer boot as opposed to part of the liner.  This seems more secure and I've realized also makes it easy to tighten the ankle harness too much.  Early on, I was a zealot for the no heel lift mantra.  I used to wrench as tight a I could inner harnesses.  The problem, is that there are many nerves and blood vessels that run near the ankle. The blood vessels feed your toes.  Cold feet means that you've constricted blood flow to your toes.  The other downside of a wrenched down inner harness is ankle flexibility.

I've only recently understood how important ankle flexion is to snowboarding.  You often here the 'bend your knees' mantra.  But really, it should be flex your ankle.  I vividly remember on day riding at Winterplace, where my ankles were just on fire. I finally couldn't stand it anymore and had to loosen my boot.  I then had a few of the better toe side turns I've ever had.  It still took me years since that day to understand that there is a sweet spot to tightening your inner harness to that strikes a balance between stiffness and responsiveness and ankle flexibility.

One suggestion for the Lashed is to snug down the inner harness, then walk around or do other things with your gear to let the laces stabilize a bit and even out tension, then re-tension the pull and lock it down.  The lace locks on these things never totally last long, so you may have to recheck it later. Again, learn to find that sweet spot, and don't automatically wrench it unless you know that this works for you.

Now to lacing. One thing I try and do, is tie my boots on inside. Once my hand get cold I sometimes never recover. It takes me a long time to tie my boots, so I'd freeze trying to do it outside.  It can be difficult to get laces tight, especially down at the lower laces.  Some people like to keep them a little loose to minimize pressure on the foot and still keep responsiveness by keeping the boot tighter elsewhere. It can be painful on the fingers to get the laces tight on the lower foot. I use a hockey lace puller that I got from a local sporting goods shop. It makes it easy to get it as tight as I need to.
Next, we get into the real issue that has been eating at me for awhile. And that is lacing/tying the boot.  There are two main issues here.  One is tying the boot tight in the places you want it tight and the second is tying it so it stays tight and doesn't work its way loose every run.  Recall the flex your ankle soap Box from earlier?  Well every toe side turn you are pressing into the tongue and pressing against your shoelace.  So it is no wonder that you can work your boot loose.  I find this vague feeling and delayed reaction in turning edge-to edge when my boot tops are even the slightest loose
 
So there are entire web pages devoted to shoe lacing. This guy is amazing, but we'll get to his shoe lace knot in a minute. We still need a few more tricks for tightening.  When lacing and tying the upper part of the boot, it can be hard to pull hard enough, and you want to keep them from loosening.  This you tube video shows a trick for helping with that.  One thing that isn't highlighted in it though is that incredible leverage that doing it this way gives you for pulling the lace tight.  You basically create a mini pulley.  Right at 1:19 you can see that he's clipped one lace on a loop and is getting ready to do the other lace. There is that twist in the lace that he is pulling against. You can pull really tight here and wrench down and it's much easier to get it tight then if you didn't do this.  I do this twit thing all the way up the boot.
There is also another technique in this article about strategies to help keep the boot from loosening.
Ok, now the part I have struggled with and am still not sure I've completely mastered. Tying a shoelace that doesn't come loose.  I tried regular shoe lace knots, and double shoelace knots to no success.  I tried this surgeon's shoe lace knot, and could get the knot tied ok, but had trouble keeping tension onto the lace around my shin. So while the knot would stay tight, there was already some slack from not keeping the lace tight on the shin when the knot was made.
 
Right now I am experimenting with this Ian's Secure knot. It seems to be the best one for being able to keep tension on the lace against the shin and then creating a knot that does not come loose and is easy to undo. 
Oh, I also like to do a wrap all the way around my shin before doing the knot, but am not sure I've got enough to do this knot with and do that.  I really need new laces, I've got two different ones on there, and neither are very good.  I think there are some better aftermarket laces out there that I would benefit from trying.
 
So, the goal I am striving for is keeping my feet drier, setting the foot correctly in the boot, getting the ankle harness JUST right, tiring the boot tight, and keeping it tight.  I struggle with all of these components, and constantly had been re-tying the boot, or loosening or tightening he ankle strap. I am annoying to ride with because I always have to make Minor adjustments. I am not there yet, but am hopeful that this new Ian's secure knot will help me get to where I want to be.
 
Of course, I think about a triple BOA boot all the time. But they are very expensive. I have broken plenty of parts on the mountain before from laces to bindings, know that it is not impossible to have problems. I think a triple is the only BOA I would get to ensure that the ankle tightness is completely independent from the upper or lower. But until then, with hope these strategies here will help my riding and maintain consistency through the day.
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Winter Tires

As someone who grew up in California and lived a large part of their life in Virginia, driving in snow is not something I am comfortable with.  In two weeks, I'll be moving to central New York right on the edge of the Lake Effect snow-belt.  As with all things in life, the love of new gear will get me through this.

There has been a revolution in tire technology over the last decade.  Rubber compounds combined with tread designs have spawned dedicated tires designed for both cold weather and snow/slush/ice.  I am determined not to let my tires limit me getting to the ski resorts.  Once reason for my franticness, is that my current tires, Yokohama Avid ENVigors are downright scary on snow, slush and ice.  My tires spin at the slightest movement and the anti-locks kick in every stop.  Having a Scooby Legacy GT wagon, there is an expectation that it will excel in poor weather.  It was disconcerting that my old Legacy wagon was so much more sure footed in the snow.  Part of its prowess comes from its sway bars and its cheap all seasons, which out perform theses ENVs in poor weather.
 
One of the interesting by products of the internet age is the abundance reviews. Tire Rack is one of the leaders in this space and there are many European reviews.  Snow tires are a popular for discussion.  The keys to new snow tires are the rubber compounds and tread design.  When the temperature drops below 40s, it is beneficial to use a tire designed for this. 
 
In the continuum of tires there are All Season tires that most everyone gets. The tires that is supposed to do well in summer, fall, rain and snow.  A lot of people have two full sets of rims and opt for dedicated tires for summer and winter. With regards to winter tires, there are studded tires, - used for only the worst conditions and often illegal on most roads, studless and studdable winter tires, and performance winter tires.
 
The performance winter tires are for those that want to maintain their sports car nature and still do well in the snow. They are also expensive.  These would be nice to have, but were a little expensive. I would go for a Dunlop Winter Sport 4d if I could.
 
I decided to focus on the studdless(meaning you could get studs if you want) winter tires to prepare me for snow country for the next few months.  I'd change to other wheels with summer/spring tires in late April.
 
 
Bridgestone Blizzaks have the most history as the best snow tires.  Michelin X-ice 3 hold the best ranking at Tire rack.  And the General Altimax Arctic is known as one of the bestbang for the bucks.  It is an exact replica of a famous Euro tire.  The problem right now is the time of year.
 
I talked with several local shops and no one could get winter tires. It seems that only a limited supply are made and by mid February we are beyond the season.  So the General's were sold out almost across the country.  Many suggest to size to a narrower tire for a snow tire. This allows the tire to cut through the snow.  Online, I was able to find some X-ice 3 in my stock size.  But they were very expensive. 
 
I then looked for 205/50R17 and found some Altima Arctic and some Continental Extreme Winter contacts.  The outfit selling the Arctic was a little suspect , so just went with the leader in the field, Tire Rack. I'm getting them delivered to a local tire installer and will have them on in a few days. 
 
I'm also getting my sway bars installed in next week.  That will help a lot to smooth out the body roll that is so heavy in these wagons.  More discussion to follow.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Core and other cycling specific workouts

good article on strength training for mtb. Some nice selection of specific exercises:
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Ultimate sandbag routine for Hip Hinge


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A circuit using the sand bag. I'm getting ready to order the Power package which looks to be their medium size. They are sized as core, power, strength, and burly. With the power it looks like you can put two filler bags and get up to 40 lbs in it which will be plenty for me to learn on.

I'm a big fan of the sandbag. Adding in a rotational component to exercises makes it an awesome tool for athletes needing greater stability in all planes of motion.
The cool thing about the sandbag is that it offers so many different options for holding it. While the barbell offers very little in the way of changing grips, with the sandbag we can shoulder it, hug it, crossbody hug it, and Zercher hold it. The possibilities are many, and each different grip or hold offers a different set of challenges.
Here's an example:
Order Exercise Reps
A Split Clean 5*
B Rotational Lunge 4*
C Push Press 8
D Zercher Good Morning 8
E Shouldered Get-Up 2*
In the video below my athlete is using an 80-pound bag and he's getting crushed by the end.

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Sandbag combo drill
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sandbag for hip hinge progression


a dumbell exercise.  I do something similar with a barbell braced against a corner, where I squat, stand up and then drive the bar up.

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A random compendium of exercises with cycling specific development in mind.

working 3 planes




stagger stance kettle bell push press


12minute routine for lower back/posture from the Foundation book:


wrist work with kettlebell


Lance's strength training:


AntiRotational with a band. I use resistance tubing


4 more core exercises one with sandbag
lateral sand bag pull
renegade row
inchworm

pinkbike video on single leg squats progression (not pistol squat)

http://www.sportsciencelab.com/exercises/hip-twistHip twists on Ball

 The founder:

Sandbag rotational lunge:

Kettlebells for wrist-


Lance's foundation program - core - posterior chain:
http://www.menshealth.com/celebrity-fitness/lance-armstrong-workout


Rotational Deadlifts (ideally with sandbag)






Core workout from Bicycling - do in order: http://www.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/training-fitness/core?page=0,3

1:

2:
3: 4: 6:
 5: This looks really interesting for training hip rotations:



another one. I did these one day at a demo at the gym, it really targeted the same hip muscles needed for cornering



I want one of these 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The "Back Mouse" or Back Mice

I've started my yearly ritual of strength training ala the Morris way. Currently, the transition lifting is proceeding fairly well. This is the phase where I gradually introduce weights starting with extremely light weights and 8-10 reps. Typically, I start with 2 sets the first week, then 3, then up to 4 sets of 12 reps with increasing weight week to week. The goal is to enter into the Hypertrophy phase with connective tissue that is strong enough to take on the new load from the weight lifting. The problem of just jumping into Hypertrophy isn't the muscles as they could probably take the load except with some pretty tender soreness the next few days. However, it is the connective tissue that would probably be the weak link in the chain. My strength training focuses on quads, hips, hamstrings. Squats are a core aspect as is stiff legged dead lift. One thing I've noticed over the years as I increase weight are these small nodules in my lower back. At first they might seem like a typical trigger point. Trigger points live inside my shoulders, upper back, mid back, piriformis, hip flexors like they are bad house guests. I've experienced some relief using trigger point massage balls which allow you to get deep into the belly of the muscle to break up the knot. It is considered a hurts so good technology and can literally take my breath away, however the relief is noticeable. However, these 'knots' in the lower back are different. They are much smaller, and more raised like a nodule. Their shape is more defined and are almost round about 1-2cm and hard. They move slightly yet, deep palpitation or pressure does not dissipate them. I've been searching for information about them and thought that it might be because lower back muscles wrap around the waist as opposed to being longer like a typical mid back or upper back muscle. The ever ending googling has identified a phenomena known as the "Back Mouse". Reading this was fascinating, as it described these nodules that I experience very well. I had upped my squat and dead lift weight recently, and noticed these. They are interesting in that deep massage don't have much affect on them, nor does stretching and they typical cat-back, arching or bird-dog lower back work affect them. This leads me to agree with the supposition that they are these are episacroiliac lipoma or lumbar fascia fat herniation. They seem to go away slowly and don't cause me too much pain. Deep pressure does not provide relief as is the case with other trigger points and usually increase pain focal to the area of the nodule. Other experience pain that is speculated to be the nodule impinging on nerve endings. If it is causing pain, a diagnostic to determine whether this is the root is to inject it with an anesthetic. This targeted injection isolates the treatment to that tiny region. I have also heard of Dry Needling as an alternative to an injection of pain reliever. Dry needling is where they push an acupuncture needle into the trigger point and then move it up and down. You might also come across the drama around dry needling between certified acupuncturists and chiropractors. Supposedly, dry needling is a trendy term and a certificate can be obtained from weekend courses. However a certified acupuncturist requires years of training and oversight from the health department. They have been doing this technique as part of their typical toolset however it wasn't tagged with a hot up and coming name. I've been interested in dry needling for trigger point therapy as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review: Ropix jump rope shoes

*Draft * 11-22-11
P1010002

This review looks at some jump rope specific footwear called Ropix. The first question one has to ask themselves is am I willing and is it worth it to pay $XX for a jump rope specific shoe? Don't go by my answer as I am a true gear head. Whether is is bike parts, snowboard parts, rainwear, watches, or tools. If there is a product that will improve any part of my experience that is a good value for the money and designed well, it is a no-brainer for me.

My perspective is that the connection between my hobbies and the rest of my life is closer than you think. A good day on the bike, or the gym translates over in small was into the rest of the day. I've been doing certain activities for years and years, so a high upfront expense for a product that will see continuous long term use will amortize itself across many years. I spend a long long time researching a specific item, balancing out the value for the money, and magic bullet potential. Sometimes the product works out great, other times it was a bust.

So with this product, my answer is yes, it is worth it.

Why jump rope specific shoes? I've been jumping rope off and one since college. Every winter when the bikes goes away and my weight lifting routine starts (all hail the Morris plan), I also pull out the rope. I hate to run. treadmills, outdoors anywhere except when playing soccer. For whatever reason my connective tissue just cannot get over that initial pain when starting to run. I've tried at least half a dozen times over the years and never make it past a few weeks. Jumping rope on the other hand is an insane workout and the bang for buck in terms of work performed compared to time is high. All with minimal impact compared to running

I love the mechanics of jumping rope and footwork and crossovers. Combined with some good music and it is the closest to dancing that I get. Just jumping up and down on two feet can be inherently boring. However when you start getting efficient and realize that the rope is only a 1/4 thick and learning the timing between your jumping rhythm and the rope it can get really really fun. It's all about timing and knowing when, and how high off the ground you need to be in association with when the rope is going to be underfoot. I do this a lot. Take a simple concept and complicate it. You should see me work with my 13 year old on algebra!

Most people think it's all about the calves and jumping high. It's really a lot more of some of your smaller muscles like this Tibialis Anterior


I also have a good rope. Same question as earlier. Why spend a $30+ on a jump rope? when a $5 special at Dicks will work? no question here. I'd rather jump well than whip myself every time with a crappy rope. Buddy Lee is lord king buddah in this area. I've had a Rope Master for more than 10 years. Replaced the bearings and the rope once.

Anyway, back to the shoes. What makes these shoes a application specific design, and what is wrong with regular alternatives like running shoes or cross training shoes? Two major things: 1) running and crosstraining shoes are designed for heel impacts. there is very little major heel impact in this activity. 2) Running and cross training shoes are also designed with wide forefoot sections. This is a pain in jumping rope as the widest part of the shoe catches on the rope.

The designer of Ropix wanted something that wasn't a compromise. Narrow cross section combined with the specific loading of jumping rope as opposed to adapting a running shoe. This is what he came up with. I think they created some technospeak that wasn't really necessary. Why get caught up in the hype of marketing speak when there is no other shoe that is competing with you in this space. Leave that to Nike and Asics. Plain and simple, it's designed with jump-roping in mind.

I ended up ordering the Sonic White/Black leather lace up. If I were doing it again, I'd go for the mesh style with the velcro as I'll talk about in a bit.

On first glance they seemed really narrow and long. Part of that is the comparison with my other shoes and most running shoes. They just have a real narrow profile which is awesome when doing cross overs. I can really tell that I am catching the rope on the shoe much less. This gives an extra margin for error when tired and sloppy.

Sizing seems a tad big. Meaning a tad long in the toe. I typically wear 8M. I've got a bit more gap at my toe, and wonder if going a 1/2 size small might be good sort of like climbing shoes or snowboard boots. Not a big deal.

The laces on the lace up model are too long. I have to stuff them into the shoe to keep the rope from catching on them. Hence why I'd suggest the velcro model. The leather is pretty nice. Looks tough and able to stand up to anything. But it also makes the shoes warm. My feet sweat a lot anyway, so would have been better with a mesh style. I don't think they offer a mesh/velcro model. It looks like the velcro is in a nubuck material

The sole material is where this shoe is really different. Super tough material, Minimalist everywhere except the ball of the foot.
P1010003
P1010004

It is really weird at first. And I must say, you have to give these shoes at least 2-3 weeks to get used to. It feels like you've got a big wad of gum on your shoes. Or like you are standing uphill. If you look close, the section also has a rounded profile as opposed to a flat profile. This forces you to use extra stabilizing muscles that you don't normally use. So at first it feels awkward and unstable. When jumping with both feet on the ground it isn't as much of an issue, but as soon as you start doing some foot work and alternating between one foot and the other, you notice real quick, that you have to stabilize yourself a little more. My muscles in the front of my shin were pretty soar for a two weeks as I got used to it.

The shoes come with a sock liner that has some gel in the heel
P1010001

If you've read any of my previous blogs you know of my universal hatred for sock liners on almost all shoes. They are worthless in my opinion. I have flat feet and have to use an orthotic insert of some kind and took these out and put in some Superfeet Blues. I'm a special case I'd say. One thing is if you are just going to use them for jumping rope, then there really is no need for any arch support. But I like them better with aftermarket insoles, and the designer said that was their approach. Replace them if you want, otherwise you might be fine with them.

I weighed them (w/o sock liners) and they are decently light. I didn't weigh my other shoes, but can immediately tell they are lighter on the feet.
P1010006

Performance wise, it has taken a good 2.5-3 weeks to get used to the shoes. The feeling of the extra padding on the forefoot and the rounded profile has taken a while. My muscles, especially on the front of the shin needed some time to grow stronger, and were burning a lot during the first week. I love the low profile and the rope catches on my foot a lot less.

I would say that this design works very well. I am jumping better than I have in years. As some of these minor stabilizing muscles got used to the extra work, lifting off the ground is effortless. Double jumps are easier, footwork is easier. What is really weird, is swapping back to my other shoes to jump rope. It feels so crazy. Like I'm almost jumping in a little decline because that extra padding in the sole isn't there. That lasted all of about 5 seconds and changed back to the ropix immediately.

The lighter weight is noticeable. It's is like cycling which is a repetitive activity. Thousands of RPM over the course of a ride, so a small difference in weight at the pedal or shoe creates a cumulative impact. So while these shoes might be just a bit lighter than other shoes it adds up over the course of the routine.

Changes I'd suggest would be making a mesh/velcro model available, shorter laces on the lace model. Sizing down by half a size possibly. Buyers might want to swap the sock liner for an aftermarket model.

Yes, a significant investment for a piece of equipment that will get used for 20mins 2-3x week between November and February. With the few hotel gym travel days thrown in throughout the year. But for any gear head who cares about sport specific improvements, well worth it. I also just appreciate someone with entrepreneurial spirit to take the initiative to see a gap, and fill it with a specific design. That takes a lot of guts, work, and money I'm sure. Whadda-country I say, where if you want you can find jump rope specific shoe or an aftermarket lever for your Juicy 7.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Awesome Manitou service tutorial

I'm a big fan of Manitou Forks. I have been on them since the Manitou 2 back in the early 90s. They may not be the best forks, and have had their share of mistakes, and creating frustrations for me. But I love 1) the customer service and 2) the ease in performing basic maintenance, and the tune-ability. Most people hated SPV, but I sort of like it, and all the forum posts on how to devolve it made for some fun.

Working on them is messy for sure and you can poke your eye out or shoot oil across the garge, but for me it's one of those therapeutic flow activities like scraping a snowboard.

Here is a great tutorial I found on working on the forks. The guy really goes into details that I never knew.