Thursday, November 14, 2013

Fall Ritual: The Ceremonial Taping of the Shoes

One of my annual rituals is "The Taping Of the Shoes". Road cycling shoes are designed for maximum ventilation, with mesh panels and vent holes maximized to help prevent complaints of "hot foot". "Hot foot" is often followed by the dreaded "stink foot", so the copious venting is a very positive attribute, and is appreciated by riders and members of their households alike. This is especially true in climates like ours where summer days on the pavement can range from "jungle hot" to "volcano hot".
The benefits of breezy shoes hit the shitter at some point in time each fall, as toe covers or shoe covers become the norm, and the constant stream of air entering through the vents in carbon soles transitions from unnoticed to painful. That is when it is time for the Taping Of The Shoes.

Totems and 3M electrical tape assure a successful taping.
Last year's taping of the shoes came late, and coincided with the winter solstice. I'm sure that in ancient times, Druids marked the occasion by adding an extra strip of the skin of a stag to their primitive foot wrappings. Here in the 21st century, 3M electrical tape works best. Duct tape is favored by an unenlightened few, but it will leave a nasty residue when removed in the spring, so is to be avoided. These are, after all, road shoes. They are not to be subjected to cyclecross or muddy mountain biking, so keep it clean.
A note to you penny-pinchers: Yes, you can buy much cheaper tape, but unless you are an electrician, a roll of tape will likely last for a couple of years of shoe tapings and bar tape finishing. Buy the good stuff, and the good stuff is 3M.
JBar Cycling recieves no compensation from 3M for this endorsement, but if a case of tape shows up at the door, we will share with our friends. Really. I promise.

No comments: