These socks are made here, and they honestly look a bit like DeFeet is doing them.
Let's start with the + :
They look good. Simple. Plain. Clean. I like that.
They're tall. 5 inch cuffs. I have size 46 feet, and they fit just fine.
That's about it for the pluseseses....
Now for where Hincapie fell down :
They're too damn thick. The tops/cuffs are perfect. The foot part of the sock is rather tube sock-esque. I simply cannot wear them with my road shoes.
Sure, I wear narrow Italian shoes...Diadora...cough...cough...but DAMN. One shouldn't be forced into a higher volume shoe because their socks are thick. Even loosening the straps didn't help!
Hell, even in my Nike running shoes, the socks just FEEL thick. The soles just squirm under foot.
And they don't breathe. As I'm sitting here typing this, my feet are hot. I cannot imagine trying to wear these on a 90 degree, South Carolina, July day.
OK...changed socks...much better.
If Defeet makes these, and again, I suspect they do, just order a run of Levitator Lites, and slap the "H" logo on them. Easy peasy...
I like Hincapie clothing. I know Richie. Gotta go all Grumpy Cat on this one and say...
Open note to other embro makers :
In the wise words of Ric Flair, "If you wanna be the best, you gotta beat the best...WHOOOOOO...!"
Mad Alchemy embro is the best, period, and unless you live in the frozen tundra, somewhere North of say...Tennessee, anything stronger than medium heat level isn't necessary.
Above say, 55 degrees, put on a light layer, and head out the door.
45-55, go a little heavier, and you'll be all good. No knee warmers required.
The guns are protected from the cold, the breeze, and the wet. Actually, the wet makes the embro WARMER, which is always good. Better than rolling around in wet knee warmers...
It also opens the legs a bit by drawing blood to the surface skin of the legs. Yeah, it does. It's been proven. It's science.
Now for your warning(s)/tips :
Wear surgical gloves when applying. Trust me, it just makes the job easier, cleaner, and will save you trouble down the road.
Trouble you say? Yeah...
If you choose NOT to wear gloves, wash your hands like you just handled nuclear fuel rods. I mean a 'Silkwood' scrub down.
And once you're out, be VERY aware of touching your legs.
Should you decide to rub your nose, lips, or eyes, you will experience a feeling akin to being maced. Also be aware of it when making adjustments to the privatest of areas.
The burn...THE BUUUUURRRRNNNNNN!
A simple scrub in the shower, with a soapy washcloth, will remove the embro. The heat will linger for a while, keeping you plenty warm after returning from a chilly ride.
It takes a little more time, and discipline, to rock to embro, but it's worth it.
Plus, it's just flipping SO EURO!!!
So, I've used the M.A. "pro" chamois cream for a long while. M.A. was out of it, so I ordered the La Femme. Same stuff, but with more essential oils, and antibacterial properties. Okay.
Jump forward a couple of years...
Still using the La Femme. It's thinner, lighter, and smells oh-so-good.
It's chock full of good stuff that will keep your under-carriage in top operating condition, regardless of internal, or external plumbing.
I'm a big M.A. fanboy, and use ONLY M.A. chamois creams and embros. Peter knows what he's doing, and he does it well.
Hey man, I don't know what they mean by "contoured", but the fit is more on the American side than the full-on Italian/Euro super skinny dude cut. I'm 6'1 and 180. The large fits me pretty well. Hell, the sleeves are actually a little long, and a little loose for my taste. Nothing my sewing machine can't fix...
I'd say the size chart is dead on....
If one has a multi-thousand dollar bike, that rolls on high dollar wheels, shod with tires that cost more than those on your car, why would one run a cheap-ass butyl tubes? Seriously. I never understood it. Still don't...
If you run crap tires, again...why?, then a butyl tube is largely peeing into the breeze. If you are running a high TPI, performance oriented tire (Vitt OC, Conti 4000S, Veloflex, Challenge, etc.), then there's little reason NOT to run latex.
They improve ride quality, and lower rolling resistance. Don't shake your head, it's been proven...
As for the cost, swing by your LBS, and check out how much a lightweight, long valve butyl tube is going for. Yeah...$12-15. At that point, just spend the extra couple of bucks, and get Latex. Just buy a smaller cup of coffee for a few days to make up the difference!
I run these things in my Vitt OC CX, and OC SC tires. Like butter on a bald monkey....smoooooth.
And (knocks on wood), I seem to get less punctures, as the supple tire, mated with a supple tube, inflated to the correct pressure, just seems to roll OVER road debris, instead of picking it up. Yes, this has been proven too...
Sure, have a crappy butyl tube in your saddle bag, but only to get you home.
4 CX tubes for $6 bucks. Uh, OK. They work as tubes should. They hold air, and fit inside the tire. For the money, they're unbeatable...
Glowing is a bit of an understatement for the orange. Flouro on EPO? Hi-Vis on hi-test? In all honesty, it's just as all Deda tape is...pretty good. Plenty long enough, even for double wrapped tops, and big hooks.
As appearances go, it's insane.
When I wrapped the bars, I tried to get a picture to illustrate the color to some riding friends.
I used THREE different cameras. Two point and shoot, and our digital SLR. None took a shot worth a damn. The orange just KILLED the metering.
I guess I'm an early adopter in this town, as three of my ride partners have ordered it since seeing mine. Bandwagon jumpers...
Wish there was a hi-vis red, so I could throw it on the road bike too.
Between this tape, and my hi-vis socks, armwarmers, shoe covers, and helmet, I should be ok on the night rides.
If I get hit, they were trying...
Great gloves. Not terribly heavy in weight, so they can be worn in Summer while on the CX or MTB. Hell, I'd probably race a crit in them in we didn't live in the most humid place on the damn planet.
They fit great, and are lightly padded, so one doesn't wadded up feeling when holding the bars. The little grippy silicone bits on the fingertips are a nice touch as well.
And for the $, you really cannot beat them. My last pair of Giro gloves just gave up after almost three years...myriad rides...and the construction of a pirate ship. Yes, you read that correctly!
The flouro is easily seen as well. If you point to where you are turning, cagers can damn sure your hands. If they can't, well...
Built up pretty nicely. Not as light as my old Helium, but DEFINITELY has more aero properties. Crazy tube shapes, tucked in rear wheel, and internal cable routing. Speaking of internal routing, I understand it, but what a pain in the ass. The rear brake is full housing, through the top tube, and it was pretty easy, which lulled me into a false sense of security.
The gear cables were the old 'push-pull-until-you-find-the-hole' exercise. It was cool though, as I had a lot of practice with this through high school and college...wink, wink!
It's a race bike. It's not a "comfort" road bike, a la the Roubaix, or Domane, or even the old Helium.
It's comfortable, and smooth, as long as the road is the same. On rough, pot-holed, choppy pavement, the ride is not what one would call compliant. And I'm running 25c Vittorias @ 100-ish PSI.
It's tolerable for a rider that weighs more than 170 pounds, or doesn't mind the harshness. Fortunately, I'm both.
If you want a comfy, plush, cushy ride, look elsewhere.
That being said, yesterday was the first time I put an anger to the pedals, and I can assure you, it JUMPS forward when given the whip. No wasted motion or energy, AT ALL!
Turn in is quick, yet very predictable, like all Ridley frames. No drama in a hard turn. Lean it in, and the Noah rails through.
Outputs occur quickly. There's little need for big efforts to make it change line. Small inputs are all that is needed to get around holes in the road, or drop it into a corner.
It's not twitchy...no way. I rode it no-handed without issue. Let's say...it's direct.
It's a hard-edged sports car in a World filled with Camrys.
The aero thing is truly odd too. At lower speeds, it rides like a normal, really stiff bike. Once the speeds climb into the mid-high 20s, I liken it to a speedboat getting up on plane. It smoothes out, and feels like it wants to go forward. Ridley says it's fast, and it is!
Um....nope. Two different animals. Totally different lens and frame shapes...
Really nice jersey. Great material and great fit and finish. The colors also really pop, and will be noticeable in traffic. My only issue is the sizing. The large I got is definitely somewhere between race and club cut. It's not horribly tight, but then again, most folks don't want to look like they're wrapped in sausage casing!
I may pro-dog it, and take the jersey to my seamstress to get it taken in a bit. Then again, I may just eat more cookies and fill it out!! :)
4th Ridley I've had. Started with an Excalibur, moved to a Damocles, then to a Helium. That Helium was sacrificed to the Cycling Gods after nearly 20k miles...and a pothole the size of a Smart car. Split seat-tube...sh*t happens. And here's the outstanding part about Ridley...
I did nothing more than send photos to the Ridley rep, and the frameset was covered. They even sent me the new frameset before receiving the broken one! That customer service my friends! But I digress...
My old Helium had the "archer's bow" seatstays, and to be honest, it was a bit of a jackhammer on rough roads. It rode very well, and was very lively, but was harsh-ish.
The 2011 I'm on now, which is the same as the 2012, is a completely different animal.
The headtube and fork are the same, but that's were the similarities end. The downtube is bigger, as is the BB junction, which we all know (or should know) makes the bottom end stiff.
The chainstays are a completely different shape, and much larger than the previous iteration of the Helium.
Now to the seatstays...
They are a bit flattish, and the "archer's bow" has been replaced with a more standard, triangle setup. These flat, thin stays lend themselves to much improved ride quality.
The bottom end of the bike is still uber-stiff, but the stays allow for a bit of flex on the vertical plane.
The Helium is smoooove.
As for high speed characteristics, it's like the other Ridleys I've owned before it. The harder you push it, the more alive it feels under you. I've raced all of them, and each has exhibited the same behaviors. No drama, no BS sketchiness...just rock steady and smooth carving corners.
The uploaded pic shows the bike as I have it built now. 7800 D/A, Deda Deep bars, Thomson X4 stem, Mavic SSC binders, and a boat anchor Flite Ti gel saddle. As shown, it weighs 16.2 pounds, which isn't bad considering it's a medium, and NO effort was made to build it light.
With new 7900, Di2 or Red, mid-15s will not be an issue. The dilemma is which group to buy this Spring!
Sure, it's not one of those new-fangled aero bikes, and it doesn't matter. I've ridden a Venge, and it's stiff and fast, but rides like a dumptruck. Given the choice, I'll take big, fat, round tubes and ride quality every time! And so should you!
Update: New 7900 mechanical went on about a month ago. Rotor crankset w/round FSA rings. Lost enough weight to get under 16 pounds. Saweeeet!
'11 Helium w/7800 and 404 FC clinchers.
Yet another great Capo cycling cap. Works perfectly under the helmet, and doesn't shrink after washing like many other, more expensive caps. The bill is big enough to cover your glasses in the rain, and also big enough to flip up so you can see up the road when it's go time.
Yes. You need to find an Oakley RX dealer, like Lenscrafters or Sansbury. Go in and get your eye exam and they will order the glasses for you.Oakley then custom cuts the lenses to YOUR spec.
The beauty of doing it this way is you can mix and match frame and lens colors. You can choose ANY lens tint that Oakley offers. My advice, get something that can worn in all light conditions. I have three pairs of Oakley RX sunglasses... Gold Polarized Iridium, Yellow Hi-Vis, and Brown (amber), and I find myself grabbing the Gold lens glasses more than the others.
It takes about 7-10 days to get your glasses.
I've been wearing Oakley RX sunglasses for 10 years, and Oakley RX everyday glasses for about 2 years. The optics are UNMATCHED. I know they are expensive, and people will give your myriad other options for RX sunglasses, but the quality of the Oakley RX product cannot not be beaten, period!
These are possibly the finest bib knicks I've ever had. The chamois is the same as the Riserva bibs, so no surprise there. The length of the legs is perfect (some knicks are either just shy of being tights, or barely cover your joints.), and the straps are perfect length.
Not much fault to find with these.
I will say though, 40-45 degrees is about the upper limit for wearing these. I know folks have said that the Riserva knicks can be worn up to @ 60...not for me. If I wore these @ 60, I'd either burst into flames, or come home with boiled huevos.
I rode them this morning in 45 degrees and 15mph North wind, and never felt either.
They're a deal @ RC's price. Keep your eyes on Bonktown though, 'cause BT is BLOWING them out!
If you like your socks like you like your supermodels, these are the ones for you, b/c they are TALL!
The material is a bit heavier than DeFeet, but the fit is also a bit better, they are slightly compressive, and they just feel like they are made of sturdier stuff. Will they last longer than DeFeet socks? Don't know...
I do know they looked DOPE with my yellow Zxelliums though!
And that's pretty much all one needs to do to this post! Well, that's not completely true. You can install and forget all Thomson parts. Sure, you need to take care of your stuff, but fretting over whether your Thomson bits can handle the abuse is a complete waste of gray matter.
On the rare occasion that I buy a bike in a box, the first things that get dumped are the stem and post.
Made is the US of A, by guys that know what the F they're doing. These very same guys answer the phone should an issue ever arise, and will stand behind their product, no questions asked.
If the answer to your question is Thomson, should you have asked the question?
...Should you have asked the question?
Made in the USA to exacting standards
Backed by a company that stands by their products, no questions asked
Seriously though, I have been riding X4 stems on my road and CX bikes since the DAY they were available. NEVER has an issue. No bar slippage, no steerer damage (talking to you FSA). It's an install and forget it piece.
If there's a bike in my quiver, it's wearing Thomson stems and posts...well, except the seatmast bike! :)
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