Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sidialized or Specialidis??

Hey, wanna know how to kill two birds with one stone? Well first youve got to be in my position which I'll try to explain. Again and again I talk about the "old" days, but when I bought my Sidis (size 44.5) I was 30 lbs heavier and even then I was amazed at how much my feet had grown and flattened after so many years in the hotel and restaurant business. I used to wear 42 Time shoes. Man I loved those shoes AND my Time Mag pedals (have three sets too). But also I couldn't find new cleats and I didn't want to add adapter shims and plates even if I could find them. Anyways imagine my surprise when I tried to put them on and I couldn't even get my feet all the way in.

So I bought some Sidi Geniuses and the size that fit was 44.5. Well fast forward to this past summer and my feet wallow in them. I am sure its costing me bit of power when I need it the most. So I know I am going to buy a pair of Specialized S-Works shoes before racing season starts (size 42.5 or 43), but in the meantime its annoying how loose my Sidis are.

Oh-yeah-also in the meantime I buy some $79 Nike (I think) mountain bike (mtb) shoes when I buy my cheap Cannondale F5 mountain bike. Well-two cyclo cross races lugging these heavy shoes(and no spikes) I buy some Specialized mtb shoes (half the price of equivalent in my eyes Sidi Dominators). They have the Body Geometry (BG) foot beds. So much stiffer, lighter and the BG footbeds are amazing. I swear I am spinning better and putting big power down seems easier. The latch for the buckle? Well lets say Specialized needs to go back to the drawing board there.

So Thom Domonic has gone and got some expert knowledge about the BG footbeds. If you know Thom hes the real deal. Hes not marketing hype and he believes what HE believes. So we talk a bit about them and the advantages of the footbeds and BG shims co-designed by Andy Pruitt Ed.d Director of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. The BG footbeds bring a new meaning to arch support to cycling shoes. I cannot really explain how it works, except its odd and dramatic feeling when standing in your shoes, but feels natural when pedaling.

The shims I have NOT played with, but before I ever knew about shims for shoes I have always believed I could benefit from custom footbeds, but never wanted to spend the money. I felt this way because I have always felt some funny friction or tension n my pedal stroke (especially my left knee) and I sometimes kick out with my right knee as well.

So for less then $50 I got the BG Green (highest arch) footbeds for my Sidis. Not only does the extra arch support and thickness of the footbeds fill up the extra room in my Sidis I can (with Thom's help) play with the shims and see if we can achieve an even smoother, more efficient pedal stroke. My Specialized mtb shoes come with the equivalent of Red BG footbeds (lowest arch). Blue is medium arch, but I dont have those...yet.

In my mind I am thinking already about the benefits it will pay in Time Trialling especially the 40k ones. NO matter how small it matters. But I dont think it will be a small thing. I can also move the BG footbeds and shims from shoe to shoe as well to dial in the best feel and snuggest, but comfortable fit. From the Sidi's to the Spec. mtb to the Spec S-work road shoes and maybe even to the Nike's.

But hey-thats three birds with one stone right? Better pedal stroke, big shoes fit better and can easily move the shims and footbeds from shoe to shoe.


Feel It: The Factory Rider said...

6 seconds is everything in our sport ( new commercial )
So your buying a new Cannondale Mtb. go Ray! I've also been having a few issues with my road shoes. They are size 40 Alpinestars w/o insoles(purposely). Sometimes on the trainer my foot cramps so much I have to ride with my toe pointing down. Do you think bigger shoes or let them be looser?

Ray Huang said...

Robert-I sold the F5 to another local racer tis summer. I now have a 2004 Epic. pretty cool bike. The cramping I too curl my toes down. I dont want to speculate, but I would call Thom at Spin Willoughby and of course Mike Vanucci and Sean at Bike Authority can also help!! For me I think it happens when your arch is too flat and/or youve got too much room in your shoe and your foot flattens out with every downward push. Again I am just guessing.

Ray Huang said...

To continue my guess I would say the curling the toes down is to try and raise your arch. When your foot is on the BG footbeds your toes are actually relaxed feeling and no hot spots. If your shoes were just a tad bigger I could let you borrow my footbeds.