That Cinderella Moment: Finding The Perfect Cycling Shoe

shoes-stuff

1. FIT

-Generally speaking, your cycling shoes should be the tightest fitting shoes you own.

-You don’t want your foot crammed in there with your toes all curled up, or painful pressure points, but they should feel closer fitting than your normal shoes.

-If you need aftermarket insoles, you may want to go a half size up to account for the extra volume they’ll take up.

-Cycling shoes come in European sizes, which means you need to pay careful attention to the sizing charts. While a 44 might equate to a size 10 for most brands, some run larger and some smaller—just like with U.S. sized shoes.

-Most European brands (Northwave, Gaerne, etc…) will have a more narrow, low volume fit. Most American and Japanese brands (Shimano, Giro)  with have a wider, more high volume fit.

Getting the fit right is very important for cycling shoes

Getting the fit right is very important for cycling shoes

2. TRYING THEM ON

-When trying on your shoes, you don’t need to stand up like with regular shoes—sitting down is fine.

-Wear the socks you plan on riding in. You might want to try them on with several different socks of varying thickness.

-A good rule of thumb for fit is to have about a thumbnail worth of length between the end of your big toe and the end of the shoe. This will give your feet some room to swell on a ride.

Since cycling socks are much thinner than casual socks, make sure you're wearing them when you try your shoes on

Since cycling socks are much thinner than casual socks, make sure you’re wearing them when you try your shoes on

 

3. FEEL

-Cycling shoes should feel a little tighter than your everyday shoes, but still comfortable. Not overly constrictive, and not overly loose.

-If you really have to crank down on the closure to get a good fit, or if the shoes are wrinkling when you tighten them up, the shoes are either too big, or you may need to add an extra insole to take up more volume.

-Conversely, if you can barely get them to close, then the shoes are either too small, or you may need strap extenders (for shoes with a ratcheting buckle).

-Areas to pay attention to: your toes, the outsides of your feet, and the ball joints on the big and little toes. These are common areas where hotspots and discomfort can rear their ugly head.

-Remember: no matter how good the shoes look, if they hurt just sitting down, they will be agonizing while riding. The best shoes for you are the ones that fit.

Some shoes with velcro, like these Pogliaghi's, can offer a more forgiving fit for people with very high or very low volume feet

Some shoes with velcro, like these Pogliaghi’s, can offer a more forgiving fit for people with very high or very low volume feet

 

4. ROUGH GUIDE TO FOOT TYPES AND BRANDS

-Standard Feet: Congrats! You have feet that are about average, which means they closely mirror the shape of most people, and so will fit shoes made from a standard last. You can take full advantage of pretty much any shoe brand out there, including:

-Northwave, Shimano, Gaerne, Pearl Izumi, Louis Garneau, Giro, Carnac,  Nashbar, Lake, Diadora, and more

For those who swear by white cycling footwear, the Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono road shoe also has you covered

Our new selection of Gaerne cycling shoes offer a European style fit, but with plenty of room for adjustment

-Narrow Feet: You can tell if you have narrow feet if your feet have a lot of side to side wiggle room, or if the sides of the shoes pucker when you tighten them. Some brands, like Sidi actually make a narrow shape shoe for those with exceptionally narrow feet. Otherwise, you might find the following brands give you a good fit:

-Northwave, GaernePogliaghi

Northwave shoes an an excellent option for those with narrower or lower volume feet

Northwave shoes are an excellent option for those with narrower or lower volume feet

-Low Volume Feet: Not be confused with narrow feet, low volume feet are vertically thin, and often require aftermarket insoles to help fill out a shoe. You can tell you have low volume feet if the width and length feel good, but you run out of strap before shoes fully tighten. Shoes from these companies have a little lower volume for a better fit

-Gaerne, Pearl Izumi (some models), Diadora

-Wide Feet/High Volume Feet: Wide and high volume feet are easily distinguished because shoes will feel very constricting. You may be unable to tighten the straps, feel your foot pressing uncomfortably against the sides of the shoes, or the shoes may have a bulging appearance. Most brands come with “wide” or “mega” models for those with very wide feet, or feet with a lot of vertical volume. If you find those a little too big, but still need some extra room to operate, check out shoes from these brands:

-Shimano, Giro, Lake, Louis Garneau

Lake shoes are an excellent fit for high volume and wide feet, thanks to a more forgiving last shape

Lake shoes are an excellent fit for high volume and wide feet, thanks to a more forgiving last shape

Posted in Bike Nashbar, Learn About Gear, Product Reviews Tagged with: , ,

Confessions of a Campagnolo Lover

campa_logo Hi, my name is Thomas and I love Campagnolo, which probably makes this the most biased article you’ll ever read about the subject of drivetrains. We just got a brand-new closeout of some choice Italian parts that are about to drop on our website shortly (so keep an eye out),  and I got to thinking how few brands in cycling inspire such a devoted following in cycling as Campy.

I have ridden Campy on my personal bikes for years and could probably spend hours waxing philosophic about the heritage, the soul of cycling, the fact that it’s handmade in Italy, why Tullio Campagnolo deserves sainthood, etc… But at the end of the day none of that is really a reason to love a product the way so many love Campagnolo. The reason to love Campagnolo is because it performs like nothing else out there. The first time you ride a bike hung with Campagnolo (preferably something Italian, like our Ciocc San Cristobal), it’s like a revelation in how a bike can shift. And, thanks to our new Campagnolo Close Out on Bike Nashbar, you too can share in the joy on Campy ownership.

 Shop for Campagnolo on Bike Nashbar

 

1. Shifting

I’m going to come right out and say it: Campy has engineered the mechanical shift gruppo into an art form. No joke. The shifters themselves are immaculately designed, and the feel of the hoods in your hands makes the bike feel like it was custom made for you. Not to mention that the ErgoShift levers give you the ability to shift up 3 cogs or slam down 5 cogs in a single shift. That means that when the hill hits a super steep pitch, you can tailor your shift to get the optimum cadence. Then when you get to the top, you can dump almost half the cassette in one go to get your descent off to a great start.

The feel of the lever, the shape of the hoods...all is engineered to perfection

The feel of the lever, the shape of the hoods…all is engineered to perfection

2. Shift Feel

You might think that all bikes shift the same, and to some degree you’d be right. But there’s something special about the way that a Campagnolo shifter feels when you press the lever. The engagement is instantaneous: you push the lever, within a few millimeters of lever movement there is a “click”, and the gear shifts. And that click is oh so satisfying. Solid, distinct, and it lets you know in no uncertain terms that that chain is about to move. And as a bonus, you get a distinctive “click” for each cog. So when you go to dump half the cassette in a single shift, as we discussed above, you get 5 distinct clicks to let you know exactly how many cogs you’ll be moving across.

Shifting is about as flawless as a mechanical group can get

Shifting is about as flawless as a mechanical group can get

 

3. Noise

Ride a Campy bike, and the only noise you’ll ever hear when you shift is the sound of your friends’ labored breathing as you leave them behind. Because of the precision of the cable movement engineered into the Campagnolo shift action, there are no thunks, clanks, grinds, or stutters when you shift. You just push the lever, and feel more or less resistance in the pedals without any fuss. It’s that easy.

Everything from derailleurs, to shifters, to cassettes is designed to maximize performance and minimize noise and clutter

Everything from derailleurs, to shifters, to cassettes is designed to maximize performance and minimize noise and clutter

 

4. The Crank

The crank is a thing of beauty, and is one of the easiest to install I’ve ever used. The hirth joint design, and the novel idea of placing the bearings on the crank arms instead of the BB cups makes them very easy to service, and incredibly stiff when pedaling.

The crank is stiff, light, and easy to install

The crank is stiff, light, and easy to install

 

5. Aesthetics

I promised myself I wouldn’t do this, but I can’t help myself. Few things will elevate a bike from a tool into a work of art like a full Campy group. The graceful flowing lines, the carefully sculpted attention to detail, and excessive doses of carbon fiber can turn almost any bike into an object of envy and desire.

Supreme attention to detail and an eye for beauty sets Campagnolo components apart from all others

Supreme attention to detail and an eye for beauty sets Campagnolo components apart from all others

 Shop for Campagnolo on Bike Nashbar

Posted in Bike Nashbar, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , ,

Viva Italia! Introducing Gaerne Carbon G. Chrono road shoes

Recently added to our mix, Nashbar is now your source for Gaerne cycling shoes. Italy – the spiritual home of professional cycling – is synonymous with exquisite cycling footwear and if you’re not yet familiar with Italy’s Gaerne brand then prepare to be wowed.

One gem in particular is their flagship Carbon G.Chrono road shoe at the pinnacle of their impressive range.

Stop and drool

While not entirely scientific in its metrics and method, our office’s “stop and drool” test consists of placing a cycling product prominently at the end of said copywriter’s desk, in an area of the building relatively highly trafficked, and watching the effect on passersby. The result? Gaerne’s Carbon G.Chrono road shoe never failed to stop even the most jaded of our building’s cycling aficionados and cognoscenti in their tracks for a moment (often protracted) of admiration and, dare we say, unadulterated lust. (Thoughts of installing a clear plastic buffet sneeze guard for shoe viewing purposes were bandied about to keep said shoes in pristine condition).

Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono shoes  - the ultimate in sleek, stylish, high-performance Italian footwear

Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono shoes – the ultimate in sleek, stylish, high-performance Italian footwear

But the Carbon G.Chrono’s features even trump its considerable aesthetic appeal. Its foundation is Gaerne’s premier EPS lightweight full carbon sole – a rock solid, ultra-thin and unquestionably stiff platform. Dual BOA L5s take care of the closure system providing uniform fastening, no pressure points and exemplary air circulation in the absence of straps and buckle systems. Laser perforations and mesh panels in the microfiber uppers plus a perforated tongue provide even more ventilation.

For those who swear by white cycling footwear, the Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono road shoe also has you covered

For those who swear by white cycling footwear, the Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono road shoe also has you covered

Taken as a whole this shoe fits like a glove, propels your bike like a rocket, and is built to last for the long haul.

Just ask Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF), a stage winner in this year’s Giro d’Italia with Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono shoes on his feet.

Stefano Pirazzi and his Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono  shoes prevail in stage 17 at the 2014 Giro d'Italia

Stefano Pirazzi and his Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono shoes prevail in stage 17 at the 2014 Giro d’Italia

And if the Gaerne Carbon G.Chrono road shoe isn’t quite your cup of tea, don’t fret! Nashbar still has you covered with a wide assortment of other Gaerne shoes, both road and mountain, over a range of price points. Viva Italia!

Gaerne lowdown

Tucked away in the north-eastern part of Italy, and located just around the corner in the town of Maser from shoe rival Sidi, Gaerne has been producing world class cycling shoes (as well as boots worn by the stars of the motorsport realm) since its inception in 1962.

The word Gaerne itself is rooted in the name of the company’s founder, Ernesto Gazzola. In formal settings in Italy, it’s the norm to have the family name precede the first name, hence Gaerne comes from GAzzola ERNEsto.

“Whoever wears my shoes, should be proud every day as the Gaerne name stands for quality without compromise,” said Gazzola, and we couldn’t agree more.

Posted in Bike Nashbar, Culture, Learn About Gear, Product Reviews

Video Recap – On-board Cameras at Le Tour de France

One of the coolest aspect of this year’s Tour de France was the fact that the UCI allowed a limited use of on-board cameras during the racing. While we only got to see the results at the end of each day’s racing, it still provided a whole new insight into how the dynamics of a pro tour race play out inside the peloton. High speeds, joviality, yelling, bumping, crazy fans – it’s all there for us to see what it’s really like from the inside of the race. We’ve rounded up all of the footage that we could find for your enjoyment – it might make for a great trainer supercut when the weather keeps you inside!

First up is the most unusual video of this year’s race – Kevin Reza of Team Europcar picked up a spectator’s sports camera, while riding at 30 miles an hour, after it was knocked out of the fan’s grip and it clattered across the road! Reza then proceeded to take a quick tour of the peloton,  before enventually handing it off to his team car (and eventually finding its way to its owner):

The Tour de France organizers did a great job of rounding up footage from multiple riders after most of the stages – while we can’t embed the videos here on the blog, check out these links to see all of the action: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3Stage 4, Stage 5:

tour_de_france_on_board_camera_crash

 Stage 8, Stage 9, Stage 11, Stage 12, Stage 13:

tour_de_france_on_board_camera

Stage 15Stage 16, Stage 18, Stage 19:

tour_de_france_on_board_climb

Plus don’t forget that pro women cyclists were a part of this year’s Tour, tackling La Course by Le Tour de France on the Champs Elysees just hours before the men finished up. Here’s great on-board footage from Marianne Vos as took the sprint win:

And finally, just for fun, here’s one more look at the guy popping a wheelie next to Vincenzo Nibali and Team Astana during the final stage:

 

Posted in Bike Nashbar, Culture Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

SRAM Red 2013 – A Perfect 10

Sure, 11-speed drivetrains are all the rage these days in the world of high-end road components, but for Nashbar that means the cream of the 10-speed crop is ripe for the picking at stunning price reductions.

And what a ridiculously sweet deal we have for you regarding a groundbreaking and utterly awesome gruppo in SRAM Red 2013: the lightest 10-speed group out there, chock full of carbon goodness, ingenious Yaw front derailleur shifting, superb ergonomics, and stunning aesthetics.

SRAM stated that in their flagship 10-speed group “each part was engineered with the twin goals of eliminating the superfluous while focusing on an overall synergy”. Translation: Each component will blow your mind.

SRAM Red 2013 Rear Derailleur

SRAM Red 2013 Rear Derailleur

Behold the SRAM Red Aeroglide Rear Derailleur, gracing the cover of our most recent catalog. If you like smooth, quiet, precise and efficient shifts – all in a svelte 151 gram package – then the time is now for an upgrade.

And if running lower gears in a compact drivetrain is more your cup of tea, then the SRAM Red Aeroglide Medium Cage Rear Derailleur is just the ticket. With its extended cage, an 11-32T cassette can be utilized to scale any mountain.

SRAM Red 2013 Shift/Brake Lever

SRAM Red 2013 Shift/Brake Lever

We’ve also got ripping deals on the 2013 SRAM Red 10-Speed Shift/Brake Lever Set – re-engineered for better ergonomics and lighter weight from the original 10-speed Red – plus the game-changing 2013 SRAM Red Front Derailleur with its YAW technology which eliminates the need to trim the front derailleur.

SRAM Red 2013 Yaw Front Derailleur

SRAM Red 2013 Yaw Front Derailleur

And who doesn’t want exquisitely crafted stopping power at one’s fingertips? The 2013 SRAM Red Caliper Brake (sold individually for front/rear) – light, sleek, and aerodynamic – will drop you down out of warp drive with precision modulation.

SRAM Red 2013 Brake Caliper

SRAM Red 2013 Brake Caliper

Posted in Bike Nashbar

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