Earlier this month I took a trip to Corpus Christi for a mini vacation with the intention of doing some riding over there. I was feeling a little sick the week before, but I still planned on going. As part of my planning I packed a lot of my nick knack gear into one of those reusable shopping bags that they give out at cycling event. I’ve been using it to carry my helmet, gloves, sun block, etc. Long story short, the bag ended up missing. Lost or stolen doesn’t matter as I was out of some essential gear. As a result, I needed to replace the gear with new stuff. I’m just glad I didn’t have my shoes in the bag too!
Little by little I discovered just what it was that I packed into the bag. I replaced the gloves, the mirror that I use on my glasses, the drawstring that hold my glasses in place, some of the Hammer Nutrition energy mixes, the sweat band that I use for those hot days and my helmet. Everything was the same except for the helmet. I was using a Louis Garneau brand and I initially was looking to get the same model, but I remembered the Specialized helmets. I always wanted one and I really like the shape and the front air intakes for the cooling.
After looking and pricing several different models, I decided on the Specialized Propero II. Normally I would get it at Amazon, but they didn’t carry it. So, the local bike shop it is. To me, that means Bicycle World of McAllen. I already have a good relations with them so I’ll just stick with that. Besides, all the bike shops would have it at the same price with maybe a dollar difference.
The helmet itself is nice. I went with white to help repel as much heat as possible. The fit is the same as my previous helmet, but the big difference is the chin strap. The Propero is a lot better. The material is thinner and lighter and the strap tension stays the same. There is no gradual loosening of the strap as the other helmet did. With the other helmet I had to adjust the strap to where I wanted it and then staple it in place.
Just like the Louis Garneau helmet the Propero II has an adjustable dial in the back dial in the head band. Easy to adjust and stays put to where you set it. It also comes with an extra set of pads and some Specialized stickers to put on other peoples bike (just kidding, decorate your own bike). I’m happy with the purchase. I now need to get the visor but that can wait.
My other big purchase this year was a set of new pedals. I was on Facebook and noticed a post about using clipless shoes (why do they call them clipless when in fact you clip into the pedal?) and what to buy. I put in my 2 cents in about SPD pedals, but someone countered with egg beaters. I always wondered about those pedals, so I started to ask questions about it. Before you know it I was at the LBS looking to get a set of Crank Brothers Candy’s 2.
I opted for the Candy’s simply for the added platform they provide. The LBS installed them for me, so I didn’t have to mess with that. I did install the brass cleats that comes with the kit onto my shoes. I had a hard time taking out one of the screws on the SPD cleats, but once out installing the new cleats was a breeze.
The test was clipping in and out. Wow! What a difference. Clipping in and out was effortlessly. All with no adjustments. Couldn’t make any adjustments even if I wanted to. With my SPD’s, I would need to adjust the tension to get the clip out easiness that I liked and since those pedals were dual sided that means tweaking each pedal twice to get all the tensions about the same.
Pedaling is nice and smooth and I’ve never had my shoes inadvertently unclip while pedaling. The only thing that I’ve noticed is a slight grinding that I occasionally feel on the left pedal only. It hasn’t gotten any worse either and it’s just occasionally. I’ve pedaled hard and easy with no problems, I’ll live with it. The only thing I don’t do is stand up to pedal. I never do anyways. I’m a slide back in the seat for leverage kind of cyclist. I do stand up but just to stretch a little.
You may asking why I put mountain bike pedals on my road / hybrid bike? Simple, I like to be able to walk normally when I get off the bike! I really hate those (what I call) reverse heels shoes. But to each their own.
Well, that’s basically the new gear that I am now using. A lot of it was to replace the stuff that was stolen from that hopping bag. I can still kick myself for losing the gear, but oh well. What can I do other than just replace them. A new helmet and then later new pedals is what I got out of the ordeal.