Entries in Sidi (12)
Next to cyclocross tires, choosing the right shoes for cross is widely known as the 'next biggest religious debate'. Well, maybe slightly behind the Seattle-vs-Boston-vs-Boulder-vs-Portland regional debates. Cyclocross is a unique and demanding discipline of cycling, requiring the pilot to be on and off the bike frequently throughout the duration of a race...well, unless the course has been Starbucked. In other words, demanding as much pedaling efficiency as running agility and efficiency.
Sidi has been an institution of cycling for eons, and when it comes to Elite-level competition, you will see an armada of the Italian shoe-maker's products outfitting the world's best on the most famous battlefields in the sport...from Koksijde to Kentucky. Their off road product range is very diverse, ranging from the price conscious, to the price unconscionable. For 2013, the new Drako (MSRP $449.95) replaces their long time elite-level shoe, the Dragon, and the Spider (MSRP $349.95) is back as their more price-conscious stalwart. I wanted to look at them both carefully for the application of cyclocross. To really get to the bottom of which shoe would perform and serve 'crossers the best in all capacities from price to performance. Here's what I found out...
Both the Drako (say 'DRAY-ko') left, and Spider, right, fit extremely well. The material used on both uppers (Lorica) is weatherproof, cleans up easy in mud, but
I asked for it MONTHS ago and the InterBike gods almost delivered. So here I am again, Sidi, at your portal fer chrissakes. make me a BLACK set of these bad boys. If you made me an ORANGE set, I'll run naked down Pearl Street for charity.
So breakaway specialist Philippe Gilbert got himself a Giro stage yesterday. And while I'm stoked for the Belgian, nothing slipped past me as the sex that donned his little piggies caught my eye more than his stylish win putting out the watts to stay ahead of Voeckler.
The grainy images on Universal Sports were not good enough for me to see until I saw Graham's photo on Velonews. Validated. Oh God. These are 'the ones'. Boing!
I guess I will need to win a couple of cycling monuments before I get my fully custom Sidis. Hmm. Sidi, you'd KILL IT like Oakley or Nike of you had a 'Customize my Italian Kicks' feature on your site. Charge an extra hundy and rich dudes would for SURE lay out $600 bucks for custom Ergos.
So, you all know I lust Sidi's and for nearly a decade, I've had virtually zero issues with them....save a buckle I broke after a yard sale crash some years ago which I replaced super easily with a buckle from an older pair (although parts are REALLY easy to get at most shops).
What makes Sidis...and the Dragon SRS in particular...so compelling is how they have been built entirely on a modular 'platform'. Last night at the New Belgium Brewery Short Track event as an example, I noticed my cleat felt a bit loose. Not enough to panic, but noticeable. This morning I investigated and low and behold, my second issue in a decade with Sidis (not a bad track record): A cracked 'base' plate...which is the internally housed mounting plate where the screws of the cleat thread into the shoe. I panicked and thought initially: holy crap: how am I going to get this thing fixed? Then I remembered: Sidi's come apart!...
I first took all the components of the sole of the shoe off. And by the way, all these are replaceable so when you wear out the sole components as an example, you can replace 'em easily. eBay has a zillion vendors selling them. Everything from ratchet straps, soles, mid sole grip pads...EVERYTHING is replaceable.
But as I dug in to try and get that base plate out I discovered...d'oh!: The carbon fiber stiffening plate when peeled away actually doesn't release or give access to the plate! Panic again. (In the picture below, I've already extracted the base plate...and it is located where you see the two parallel access holes in the ball of my foot...directly where you mount the cleat)
But the panic was short lived. I recalled in my foggy memory that if you peeled away the inner sole, you could get access to the base plate. So I took out the padded instep to get access the base sole layer. I tried to peel that mo-fo back, but it was tightly glued. So then I took a small allen key and from the outside of the show and pushed slightly on the inner base plate itself in towards the shoe and VOILA! A little trap door opened. It had been pre cut ingeniously by Sidi into the inner base sole layer just for this purpose of replacement. The plate popped right out into my hands. Check it....
I merely then flipped the plate upside down (there are 4 screw holes in the base plate...only 2 of which are ever used) allowing me to use the undamaged threaded side of the plate...the cause of the cleat slippage was that part of the base plat cracked leaving the screw loose and not able to be re-tightened. Presto! Fixed shoes!
OK, so my lust for white Sidi's runs deep. That's obvious. But I think the whiteness is going to play itself out eventually. So what's next? We've had discussions on this here blog about florescents coming back, red making it's way to the fore, even Mavic with their new shoe line and it's patented yellow making it REALLY easy to spot. Hell, I even though Orange was coming into range when Specialized launched their shoe line some time ago.
But I think I got it: The Sidi Vernice in patent leather BLACK. Retain the white appointments to that thing and ka-BLING: *the* next generation Sidi Dragon and trend setting shoe styling. C'mon Sidi! Deliver me that sexy goodness!
OK, I'm going to ride my bike and rehabilitate from this shoe fetish.
Ho-lee-crap. I didn' think Sidi woudld respond to me this quickly....kiding. BUT my Sidi aradar picked up THESE today at the Monte Pasche:
Note what our man Francesco Ginanni is sporting. The EXACT shoes I'm talking' about!
Nice Sidi. I take a 46.5.
Photo ©: Sirotti/www.sirotti.it
Those even more geek-dified than I am on the equipment tip may have already known this, but spying the photos from Erpe-Mere I believe Fidea is the first Continental pro 'cross team to make the leap to SRAM. Note Bart's SRAM Red. Oh, and his personal leap from Shimano shoes to Sidi White Sex. I knew he'd come around.
Jeff, this is why I swap out those crappy screws in my Sidis...so I can ensure on certain courses that I can take'em out and put in my spikes!
I am happy and sad at the same time. But, ultimately, I think the White gig is up after this season and every chump is gonna bling out with the white. Yeah, I know I know. You're thinking: "But Greg, you are SO COOL in that white stuff. We love you and want your autograph." I know folks. It'll be OK. Fads were made to end violently.
I'm thinking that AC/DC rules will come back in effect.
Mad style points:
- Rare 26" Dugast and Custom Ritchey Carbon Rims: Check.
- White Radars, Helmet, Gloves and White Sex: Check
A mini-Frischi protege' indeed.