Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Specialized helmet and glove review

My theory on helmets is that 1.I don't like wearing them, 2. I am cheap, 3. I know I need to wear one. So in a counter intuitive stroke of genius, I have discovered that if I buy an expensive helmet I feel compelled to wear it at all times or I feel like I have wasted my money. So that is one way to trick your cheap ass into safety.
I have worn Giro helmets for the past 6 years so I was ready for a change. Of course some cool euro import (las, spiuk,catlike, etc) would have been cool, but I wasn't ready to mail order a helmet. Off to the bike shop. I have liked the looks of the new Decibel from Specialized and it was expensive so seemed like a worthy replacement.
I have been wearing it for about a month and can give it a thumbs up. The "Pro-fit2 retention system" is close in function to the Giro, but just different enough to fool you-kind of like when you jump on Shimano equipped bike if you are used to Campy. None the less it fits well. Venting seems acceptable and it is light. I expected a more dramatic breeze from the big scoop on the front called the mouthport, but I can't say my head was hot. I will report back in August.
I have also been intrigued by the "body geometry" concept Specialized has been rocking, but I am a Sidi man and having just bought new shoes was not ready for a $300 experiment. The shop did have the BG Pro glove which I decided to try out. I don't usually wear gloves except when it is cold, but figured why not. What other gloves on the market share a name with a former Hot Boy? It has been a while since I bought gloves(it might have been a pair of Santini Polti replicas??) and was surprised they didn't have a strap on the back-I must have been dazzled by all the bumps and padding and not noticed. Just like Vince Neil's spandex pants you just slip them on and they hold tight. I liked their light weight, but they have not held up well. My first complaint is the "micro-suede" thumb for "wiping away sweat", I think we all know that you wipe away as much snot as sweat with gloves and I was disappointed by the absorbent capacity of these gloves. Second complaint, durability. I have only been wearing them for a month and they are already starting to fray and get tattered at the wrist. Perhaps since this is a "minimalist glove" for "high intensity racing" they aren't meant to last, but less than 15 rides seems weak-espeically when very few of those rides could be classified as "high intensity racing" So Specialized goes 1 for 2. Thumbs up for the helmet. Thumbs down for the gloves. But thanks to some fact checking for this review I discovered this shirt on their site. This bit of bike nerd buffoonery, gets 2 thumbs up!!
As a side note Bettini crashed again today in Stage 4 and lost 5 minutes. Curse of the rainbow jersey???? He had an awesome quote about not judging his season til after the tour of lombardy-so you know the cricket will keep fighting.

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