I know, it doesn’t have quite the flash of a full Alberto Contador “fingerbang.” But I immediately thought of the Spaniard when I saw the display hanger for these Specialized bike gloves. For those of you not in the know, Alberto Contador is a Spanish cyclist who won some sort of big multi-day race recently. This is his logo:
He uses this logo because he is often seen giving this salute to any photographer present:
If you look closely, you’ll note that on his hat, there is an image of a hand giving the same salute.
I bought the gloves above(s) first of all, because there is an issue with my old gloves. As you can see, they sport a nice retro-style (this style is known as “roman,” I believe.)
In addition to their stylez, these gloves also sport some nice gel padding. Bike gloves can always be sort of hit-or-miss. The gel might seem good in the store, but it could completely deteriorate on the road. These gloves held up quite well to my daily commute and occasional longer trip. The mesh backs did get a little stretched out, but that’s to be expected. What I did not expect was this:
Kinda hard to tell from this picture, but the gloves gave me an intense tan line. I had big dark ovals on the back of each hand where the gloves are open to the sun. You can kind of see the contrast with my watch tan line a little further up my wrist.
To explain the second reason I bought new gloves, I must first make a bicycle confession. I visited a bike shop and took several of their bikes on test rides when I had no intention of buying a bike there. The shop in question is in a neighboring city and it carries a brand that I could order from my LBS, but said LBS is too small to keep them in stock. So I called around and found a store that had them in my size. I set aside some time on a Saturday, reserved a Zipcar, and headed out. I did feel a little bad about it, wasting the employee’s time and all. So I bought a pair of gloves to assuage my guilt and get rid of my tan lines. I would have bought some other accessories, but they didn’t have anything else I needed right then. It turns out that the bike in question was a little too much on the retro-grouchy end of the scale than what I want right now. The new gloves are pretty sweet though. By the end of the summer, I should have lilly white mitts, dark arms, and a hard line where my jersey sleeves end.
Other stuff I did as I wrapped up my bike-purchase decision:
I even made one of these:
The gear charts were a little silly. I just wanted to see how the gearing compared to what I’m used to. Basically, the high-end of the bike I chose is a little higher than my Cannondale, and the low end is not quite as low. Pretty much what I expected. The geometry chart was a little more interesting. What I learned from that is, all other things being equal – a longer head tube makes for a more upright, relaxed ride. I guess I could have probably read that somewhere, but it was interesting to try out the different bikes, then look at their numbers.
I was intent on studying the numbers because the bike I settled on was not in stock at my LBS, nor any LBS in a reasonable driving distance. Said LBS had a bike in stock with almost identical geometry numbers that I liked the feel of, so I went off of that. Why not just get that bike? Well, I kind of wanted a step up as far as components went. I’m still not ready to reveal what I bought. I want to ride it a little more before I give my full opinion.