New Shoes

June 18, 2009

Those who know me will also know how tight I am with my cycling gear.  I totally run things down until they are worn out to the point of falling apart.  Completely stupid for someone that rides every day of the week.  This time its shoes.

My old Shimano shoes were wrecked holes in the front, cleats worn to the point of not being able to remove them as the bolts had even worn down so I couldn’t get a key in to release them.  Not good.

In comes my new purchase, Shimano RD86 road shoes.  Their a bit bright for my liking but also pretty cool at the same time.  Bought from TBE Stirling Highway for $170 including a free tube.

IMG_0014

These shoes are a SPD-SL shoe, taking the Shimano Road cleats so a system that I have been using for some time and find good for keeping your foot still during cycling.  The shoes are also well padded and offer god support in all the right places.  The three strap system also keeps your foot snugly and can easily be adjusted on the move.  The first strap is a ratchet type one and then 2 velcro straps complete the system.

What really stands out during the first week of use is the comfort level.  They are just so comfy.  Either these are the best shoes I have ever had for cycling, or my other ones were just total crap.

I have only had these around a week so about 250 km or so completed thus far and if they continue to offer this level of stiffness whilst peddalling and comfort whilst riding I made the right choice.

I will report back with updates as progress happens

interface

Having used a Crumpler messenger bag for the last 2 years I felt it time that I got something a bit more suitable for the things I carry on a daily basis.  The Crumpler (pic here)is an awesome bag, don’t get me wrong.  Its just, well, very basic.  With 1 large compartment and 3 small ones, none of which zip up I was starting to worry about things falling out, getting wet or just breaking from lack of protection.  

Although I don’t carry a laptop with me usually to work I wanted something that would hold and keep safe a few specific things.  digital camera, work notes, iPod and Blackberry.  At the moment they are just swishing about in the Crumpler, not good.

In comes a real bargain that I picked up at a local store for just a$27.50 Caribee Interface laptop backpack.  It is awesome with so many pockets and sections all suitable for the things I need (want) to carry on a daily basis.  Firstly I will start with the build quality, it really is very well put together with strong zippers and very good quality stitching.  

Being a bicycle commuter which rides all weather, even in torrential rain the quality of the fabric is also am important choice.  Luckily or unluckily however you think about it we have had a few bad rainy days here in Perth recently which proved an ideal testing ground for the bag.  The bag kept my gear dry and safe during the storms which was a big relief, also pleasing was the quick drying time the bag offered when it did get wet.

I can know keep my iPod plus sync cable, Digital Camera and Blackberry in individual pockets within the bag, meaning that they do not knock against each other causing scratches and scrapes, another big plus.  My clothes for the day also fit with no issues what so ever, as does my lunch which is usually kept in a standard ice cream container come lunchbox , this really is a big bag.  

As mentioned I do not carry a laptop at the moment relying on a desktop computer at work which is good as to keep the weight down for my commuting, however should that ever change and I need to carry a laptop I could easily fit that in along with everything else that I need for my daily routine.

I highly recommend this bag, especially at the price I paid 😉 

Pro’s

  • Lots of room
  • Great quality build
  • Cost
  • Comfort 

Cons

  • Heavy

Here are the specs of the backpack:-

  • Contoured shoulder straps
  • Padded hip belt with lumbar support
  • Main compartment padded laptop sleeve fits up to a 17″ screen laptop
  • Multiple utility pockets
  • Internal sleeve pockets for cords, discs and accessories
  • Padded CD pocket and cord port
  • Organiser panel
  • Key clip
  • Lockable zips
  • Haul loop
  • Sternum strap
  • Action Back Extreme Back System