After ripping my shoe in half at a reasonable recent uplift day at Revolution Bike Park and after having the same pair of short for nearly 5 years with the accompany holes in the crotch that conveniently caught my saddle every time I rode, put simply it was time get a new pair of shoes and shorts.
So what did I go for?
My previous shorts were tad above the knee and though this has no effect on performance I wanted something a little longer and the Specialized Enduro Sport Shorts are bang on the money. Just covering the knee even when worn at waist height.
With deep pockets you can get a lot into these shorts, but it never gets in the way. The pockets are placed onto the side of the short, so with your leg pumping on the pedals you’re not finding the material stretching or impeding your leg strokes. Added to that the short is made out of VaporRize™ woven fabrics, which offer plenty of stretch making this by far the most comfortable short I’ve ever worn.
At a recent freezing day at Bike Park Wales, they also brought good wind proofing and insulation to the ride. Apparently they’re as good in the summer too, but lets see.
So for the first 3 or 4 rides on these, they’re proving to be a good replacement, so onto the next kit piece.
Shoes - Specialized 2FO ClipLite MTB Shoes Acid Mint/Black.
You can’t beat being clipped in. After destroying my recent pair of Mavic shoes at Revolution Bike Park, I wanted a more protection, solid shoes, after my mainly fabric Mavic summer riding shoe.
So the Specialized 2FO, was a very appropriate replacement. It’s got a relatively stiff protected outer (good for those high speed rock hits) and a firm sole that I immediately felt the benefit of on the climbs. Specialized claims its “Body Geometry sole construction and footbeds are ergonomically designed and scientifically tested to boost power, increase efficiency, and reduce chance of injury by optimizing hip, knee, and foot alignment.” Marketing guff to one side, what this felt to me was that my knees didn’t feel the distance anymore and either I’m getting fitter or the above efficiency remark is ringing true.
The shoe is also optimised for foot-out riding, with it having quite a bit of flat, grippy sole around the cleat to allow you to ride on with a fair bit of grip and control without being specifically clipped in. The by-product of this also being you’ve got plenty of walking grip as you trek back up to hit that jump one more time!
Other than that, the shoe doesn’t have the traditional lace up system, which for me, especially when riding in winter is a big deal. My laces never kept my shoes tight, and trying to lace them up again when they’re sodden, covering in grit and mud only made it more frustrating. So the 2FO shoes come with Two independent Boa® S2-Snap dials, which do a great job of effectively tightening the whole shoe around your foot, both around the bottom but also the top. And they don’t get loose throughout the ride. #Win
So it’s time to get back on the bike, happy in the knowledge my arse I no longer on show and I’ve got a proper set of shoes on!