Sunday, March 27, 2011

ICE Ergo Mesh Seat & Headrest - Icing on the Cake

The ICE B1 is a great little ride. I was saddened by the news that ICE has decided to discontinue it. A folding recumbent that is very easily adjustable on the fly and ultra comfortable is quite rare. With the absence of the B1 from the market I don't see another easily found commercial recumbent that fits the needs of the "does it all with aplomb" category. That is really a shame. Maybe the future we will see the return of an ICE two wheeler.

Anyway, what better thing to do than make an already awesome bike even more awesome? This is exactly what happened when I swapped my "regular" ICE mesh for the new ICE "ergo mesh"design. Holy smokes it does make a difference - in looks, ride, and utility! To make the seat 100% complete I installed my spare ICE headrest.

The side padding of this new seat mesh truly adds a lot of comfort - it is easy to get centered in the seat and relax. There is a secure feeling that comes from settling into this new seat. You will also note in the image above the holes in the top of the cover - for adding flags. Since this will mainly be going on trikes from now on, that is a nice thing to have. The stress points for the cover where it attaches to the frame are very beefy - I foresee zero issues with wear on this cover.

To add to the awesomeness, the top of the seat has an incorporated pouch, with a waterproof zipper. The pouch is not big enough to swallow the likes of a Road Morph pump, but the smaller Morph pumps would fit for sure - as well as a spare tube, your keys, phone, spare cash, tins of Altoids, energy bar, or other small items. This is a real welcome addition - there are always small things around you need to carry. :)

Throwing the headrest on is a pure bonus - I have been enjoying the seat at the second recline adjustment point, so a headrest is not really necessary. However, when the seat is tipped back it is a welcome addition. Like everything else on ICE recumbents, the headrest is easily adjustable with a simple compact tool. Hard to know what I might try to add or tweak next - this is easily the most comfortable two wheeler I have been on. Full on Zen-cruising comfort - attained.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time for an American History Lesson

Not directly cycling related - other than related to our ability to buy more recumbet gear and enjoy life.

I present to you a video that I believe is just about the most history lesson you need to understand the dire state of the economy today. Truly eye opening, yet not at all surprising. Required viewing for anyone who wants to understand what the Hell is going on.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Northwave Cycling Sandals

Cycling shoes are a pretty personal thing - the fit needs to be just right, especially if you are looking at long days of riding - and especially for multiple days. For many years I have used sandals, specifically a pair of Nashbar Ragsters and recently a pair of Sette cycling sandals. (The Ragsters and the Sette's are basically the exact same sandal, with the only difference being an adjustable heel strap on the Ragsters)

I recently came across a new pair of cycling shoes on ebay. They are the Northwave "Shark" cycling sandal. I had not heard of this brand before, but had actually been on the lookout for something with a closed toe. These seemed to look OK, though I found very few decent reviews on this specific sandal.

I decided to take a gamble and order a pair. After a handful of weeks using this new footwear I am quite impressed. They have a great fit and are of decent quality. They are comfortable to walk in and are reasonably stiff. They have a bit of odd flash to their appearance but not any stranger than some sneakers out there today. I have not had any point pressure issues using Eggbeater pedals with these, either.

One note is that with the Eggbeater pedal cleats I had to use the shorter length mounting screws.

Now, these things are not meant for the criterium, so we are talking casual riding here, or possibly some decent club riding use. The best thing is that they breathe quite nicely, and as sandals with a lot of open area are nice and cool in the summer. I can see that I will be using these exclusively when that (finally) gets here. Durability will be "too be determined" but so far so good.