Rule 8: It’s Gotta Be The Shoes

Rule #8 Compliance" src="http://www.velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/P1010593-620x413.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="413" srcset="https://www.velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/P1010593-620x413.jpg 620w, https://www.velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/P1010593-1024x682.jpg 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 620px) 100vw, 620px" />
Shall shoes be added?

What Gianni humbly omitted from his last article is that once he finishes ranting about sock color (actually, the lack of need for any color other than than white), he recovers quickly and we wrap up the Keepers executive board meeting with him tearing our legs off on the ride home from the bar with his magnificent stroke.  Because after all, he is Rule #72.

But I digress.  All the chit-chat Gianni’s article generated, and the timing of it with a new shoe purchase on my end, has me ruminating on Rule #8.   Matching saddle, handlebar tape, and tires is, for the Velominatus at least, quite the no-brainer as it were.  The only really poignant question I recall ever being raised is whether Vittoria Open Pave’s have an exemption because they are awesome and scream hardman tire (I think they are acceptable).

But what of shoes?  They are the one piece of kit that most often throws a rider’s coordination out of sync.  Of course this has traditionally been fine as shoes are such a personal matter that expecting one to match one’s shoes with the rest of one’s kit is hopeful at best.  That being said, I wonder if  shoes are less kit  and more equipment.  They transfer power directly from rider to bike and thus they are mechanical, they are engineered by smart people using fancy computers, and they render the machine virtually unrideable without them.  In fact, I’ve often wondered why retailers list them under “clothing” and why online review forums don’t put them under “drivetrain” instead of “clothing and accessories”.

So if you don’t accept my premise, at least humor me here.  If shoes are equipment and not kit, why would anyone buy a pair that didn’t match the rest of their bike?  Surely, with the abundance of shoe choices on the market these days I would think one could make every effort to find a pair that fits, has the features and performance characteristics sought, falls within price range, and matches the rest of the bike.

I happened upon this concept casually deliberately this week.  You see, I’ve been sporting considerable carbone over Fi’zi:k’s new shoe line ever since they were introduced (you might say I have a thing for shoes).  So when a new pair of R3’s fell into my lap for number 1 I was forced to shift the Yellow Princesses over to number 3.  The yellow decals and accents on the Serotta look awesome with the YP’s and the new R3’s are oh so sublime with the BMC. Splendid, indeed.

So I’ll put it to you, the Velominati. Does Rule #8 need amending?  Are shoes equipment and not clothing?  Do we, perhaps, need a new rule pertaining to shoe/bike matching (I think not but a suggestion might be in order).  These are the things that keep the Keepers up at night.

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211 Replies to “Rule 8: It’s Gotta Be The Shoes”

  1. @frank

    @Ali McKee
    Nothing wrong with the stem, just flip it and see how it feels. Give your self some time to adjust and see if you like being lower. You can always put the other spacers back under the stem to come back up a bit. But in all seriousness, don’t do it if its not comfortable.

    You may find, however, that you’re more flexible than you think (many people just *think* they can’t go down) and you’ll also find that with the lower position, not only are you more aero, but more stable. For me, when I finally went really low, my back pain went away – the back pain wasn’t, as I though, from reach or from bending over too much, it was from not bending over ENOUGH – with the higher center of mass, I had to stabilize the bike more with my lower back and that was causing the back pain.

    I wonder – just come home from my regular hilly ride and I’m really struggling to achieve last year’s times on a bike that’s clearly a lot faster on the flat and uphill than the set of welded scaffolding poles I was using last year. I don’t feel fantastically confident going downhill – could it be a function of steerectile dysfuntion or am I just a wuss? The roads round here are shocking too which doesn’t help – I had to buy two adjustable bidon cages (like the ones they use on the pave) to finish a ride with a bidon still attached to the bike. I’ll risk posting a picture on the morrow perhaps and see if, between the many observations of rule violations, I can get an opinion.

  2. @the Engine

    @frank

    @Ali McKee
    Nothing wrong with the stem, just flip it and see how it feels. Give your self some time to adjust and see if you like being lower. You can always put the other spacers back under the stem to come back up a bit. But in all seriousness, don’t do it if its not comfortable.

    You may find, however, that you’re more flexible than you think (many people just *think* they can’t go down) and you’ll also find that with the lower position, not only are you more aero, but more stable. For me, when I finally went really low, my back pain went away – the back pain wasn’t, as I though, from reach or from bending over too much, it was from not bending over ENOUGH – with the higher center of mass, I had to stabilize the bike more with my lower back and that was causing the back pain.

    I wonder – just come home from my regular hilly ride and I’m really struggling to achieve last year’s times on a bike that’s clearly a lot faster on the flat and uphill than the set of welded scaffolding poles I was using last year. I don’t feel fantastically confident going downhill – could it be a function of steerectile dysfuntion or am I just a wuss? The roads round here are shocking too which doesn’t help – I had to buy two adjustable bidon cages (like the ones they use on the pave) to finish a ride with a bidon still attached to the bike. I’ll risk posting a picture on the morrow perhaps and see if, between the many observations of rule violations, I can get an opinion.

    Why the fuck did I just post this on a thread about shoes? Eejit!

  3. @frank

    @wiscot

    @The Oracle
    Cheers gentlemen. So I have to

    1. Thrash myself with my non-drive side skewer
    2. Shave my guns
    3. Cut my steerer
    4. Change my stem (believe it or not that is it flipped – some crazy angle on it but it was free at the time of build)
    5. Improve my core strength

    Should I ride my bike at some stage also?

    @Nate
    I am liking those shoes!

  4. @Vin’cenza

    @Mikel Pearce

    Check these out. These should be the official shoes of the Velominati! A big fucking V right on the arch strap! http://pezcyclingnews.com/cgi/gallerypicget.asp?pic=http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/photos/tech/vittoriashoes/vslarge.jpg

    Contacted Vittoria USA and provided local dealer info. Hora! Hora! (image) http://www.vittoria-shoes.com/products-dett.php?id_art=13&cat=STRADA

    No Vittoria Hora — for now. Yes Giro Factor Easton EC90 44.5 Black — let’s go! There should be no tolerance for your shoes that just “ain’t” right. If you can feel the [slight] foot swell — it “ain’t” right. Keep riding, testing and sizing until you “amn’t” got any issue with shoes. I simply needed to go from 44 to 44.5 (Giro size), but can’t resist not trying a different or comparable shoe while I’m at it. Vittoria Hora, you’re next.

  5. @frank
    Re-reading some old posts, and stumbled on the one about getting lower to removthe back pain; very interesting.

    I have had my ‘road bike’ for two years now and have been tinkering away with set up and seem to be there but still get the lower back pain as I increase my distance.  It’s technically a cyclocross bike (Boardman CX Team) but removed the interrupters,nobblies and put a Flite on it.  The discs look good through!

    I have been perusing your site for three years now and have only left one or two comment.  Time to up my game.

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