I had been thinking of changing the bar and hood position on my road bike for some time but as with any relocation such as that, the bar tape needs to be rewrapped and the white tape I've had for some time would not lend itself well to reuse. Being a fan of Fizik I decided to try some of their new dual tape with a color accent. Being me, I had to go with the white with red stripe figuring it would tie in well with my white and red saddle. As it turns out, they only make the Dual tape with soft touch which is pretty much like velvet. Looks sweet out of the box and the double stitched piping adds a nice subtle layer of grip/comfort to the feel. Universally, the first comment from everyone that saw it was "well, it looks like a candy cane but it looks kinda sweet." This helped a bit but looks take a back seat if it doesn't perform (reference any mid 70s Corvette: 150HP from a V8? criminal!) As I feared with the soft touch it was filthy after one ride. After about 5 minutes per side of cleaning I gave up, and resigned the tape to be a 3 week test.
On the good side, I really dig the new bar and hood position that I rotated to a more traditional position for the classic bend bars. This integrates nicely with the new 11 speed shifters I've been rocking this year. Maybe now I will push myself to jump into a road race or two, since I have not done one yet this year. The horror!
Speaking of racing, I am getting ready to start a huge block of racing starting next weekend... pretty much every weekend through August. This is crazy because then I'll start to taper for cross season. This is cool, and as much as I am looking forward to cross races, I'm not sure I'm ready for cross weather just yet. Yes, of course there will be 4-5 races of miserable hot weather but chilly mornings are just around the corner after that. Unlike most other people, I really don't mind the abysmally hot/humid weather. Sure, it's not great and 75 with no humidity is awesome but it's not THAT bad.
Anyhoo, I finally got my wheel project done. I hit a stumbling block two days before I threw down the paint thinking it may look good to murder out the wheels. Alas, dark car with black wheels was nixed. Too trendy and I don't think I'd like them in a year, so silver it is... Surprisingly, the snow tires I ran until this past week did not shred to pieces in this heat. In fact, the tread wore rather well. The rim finish is pretty good, although it's not my best work. Not sure if that's a result of the paint I used or operator error. Either way, they look ok and I expect 97% of the people that see them will not even notice. Except for you, of course, my loyal readers that hang on my every word and will notice now that I've pointed them out.
As a final tidbit, I've somehow managed to wind up with a sweet quiver of MTB bikes that makes me feel like a PRO, even tho I may not ride like one. Pretty much the only difference between the two is the brakes, and I'm about a week away from making that happen since the new Magura SL brakes are pretty much that good. As a testament to the design, the Epic has been the hands down favorite to ride this year since it realistically rides like a hard tail until the brain lets the suspension do it's thing. It also helps that with the Epic I have power data which is all the more motivating to ride that. Too bad it's not wireless and thus easily swapable, because the HT is an awesome ride. Plus, at 20 lbs, it would floss the trails like my hygentist flosses my teef.
And with that, I'm out.