Wednesday, January 28, 2009

option #3

Yesterday: Option #3, Urban Assault.

I was thinking of skiing, but then came home to a belated Christmas present from my brother:

Are you getting a good look? Do you see that these tires have studs? Metal studs embedded in the knobs. Nuts, man. These things are gnarly.

So how couldn't I give these things a test ride in the newly fallen snow? (These tires say let's keep the snow fallen and not the rider.)

I gave them a two-hour test ride. I want to call it two hours of urban assault. However, as there's nothing remotely "urban" about Shippensburg, I guess I'll have to call it a "rural assault." But that doesn't quite fit either. As far as the descriptive image, I think "suburban assault" would describe the ride best, as I was riding through subdivisions, vacant lots, wooded parks, construction sites, people's back yards, and the occasional farmer's field, but doesn't there have to be the urban to have the suburban? I guess we need a new word to describe the modern American small town--the town that's big enough to feel the icy grip of evil Waldamort, but small enough to count the number of stop lights on two hands.

Anyway, the tires are pretty sweet. The sidewall reads "Klondike XT," but from the Kenda website they appear to be the Kenda Klondike Wide (gotta write the whole thing out to pick up the internet searches).

They are obvious good grippers. There were several points on my ride that I was sure my other tires would have failed, both climbing and side-hilling. They ride along smoothly and quickly on the snow, but rolled onto the asphault you get the sensation that your brake calipers are rubbing the rim. So for what they are, my first impression is good, though for the extra traction you sure pay a price in weight--I weighed them, and these tires add a solid 3.5 lbs to my bike! Though I should say I didn't really notice the weight when I was riding.

The real test will be the mountain fire roads after an ice storm. I'm anxious to exeriment (though I may bring along my motorcycle helmet).

Thanks, Eldon! (Now I get why you were all in a panic about my buying new tires. You need not have worried. It takes me forever to make decisions on things like that.)


Unrelatedly (and rather randomly), a picture of the tread pattern of my winter riding shoes:

I'm so glad I bought them, by the way. One of those things that while it's initially hard to pull the trigger, you know you're not going to regret the purchase afterwards.


Finally, the other day our little hodini hampster got out...again. This is where I found her:

1 comment:

Cody said...

Well, first of all I'm jealous you could get out and have fun, I kind of wish I had a nice MTN bike to get out on... glad to see you're not like everyone I know and stayed inside lazily ALL DAY!

Next, your reference to Wal-Mart made me think. It really does have that kind of grip over the town. Where I live on the outskirts of H-Burg, there is a Target and K-Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, ex-Circut City, Boarders, 2 Giant Foods, and a Mall all literally within 3 miles of my house. I had options, and if worst came to worst, the cheapest stuff would always be at K-Mart. Here, if you need anything and live in town, it is so much easier to just hop over to Wal-Mart instead of going to Chambersburg. Crazy.