modern society has pretty much managed to convince itself that new and modern is better than tried and trusted. i recently cycled with a fellow who admitted that, as a marketing man, he was a real sucker for believing in the next big thing. of course with continual development in many different ways, there's little doubt that modernity has contributed much to the wellbeing of the modern man and woman, but new and shiny doesn't necessarily equate to better.
as i made mention not too many posts ago, the ludwig drum company, in existence since 1909, has only recently added the slogan to its advertisements 'sometimes it's the step backwards that moves you forward.' this was reference to their eschewing the ubiquitous thick maple shelled drum for that of three ply mahogany beloved of drummers in the fifties. the equivalent in velocipedinal terms would be pinarello throwing out the carbon fibre and phoning columbus for a tonne of steel tubing.
there are those of us who might think that a somewhat spiffing idea.
but it's not just in the realm of bicycle frames that modernity might be shuffled backwards in favour of the plainly historical. present day cycle footwear has followed the path of the frameworks, with admirably stiff carbon in the soles, synthetically pliable uppers and closure systems that demand a degree in physics to comprehend. whatever was the problem with tying laces, a fastening solution that giro has shown enthusiasm for reviving with its empire and empire slx footwear to great effect? however, there is a precedent that has enjoyed pelotonic approval over a number of recent years, offered by dromarti.
however, these almost too beautiful to wear shoes have stopped well short of losing the retro vibe for which they are world renowned. featuring immaculately crafted leather uppers available in black or burgundy with a matching pair of sturdy laces, dromarti's classic race shoes (as recently worn by david millar in front of a maserati) are a welcome antidote to many of the fluorescent models beloved of the professional peloton. though the soles seem mercifully free of carbon fibre, they're more than up to the job of maintaining the stiffness we're all told is our birthright nowadays.
it causes me no end of embarrassment to admit that these dromarti road shoes ought really to have been the subject of a review several months ago. this particular pair were sent by dromarti in the early part of this year, at which point i ordered a pair of appropriate cleats to fit the pedals on the colnago c40. however, at that time, the cleats were out of stock and mrs washingmachinepost put the shoes in 'a safe place', from which they were only discovered a few weeks ago. for this state of affairs, i must apologise profusely to martin at dromarti who doubtless has been thinking negative thoughts about having sent them up here in the first place.
however, cleats back in stock, delivered and affixed, these beautiful burgundy items of cycling footwear have accompanied me on several delightful and one or two less than delightful bike rides around the principality. as mentioned in a previous dromarti review, the original made in italy versions have now been relegated with all the current production made in the far east. and to be quite honest, they're all the better for it. not only do these look subtly superior to their ancestors, but they are most definitely more comfortable, even after several hours into a galeforce headwind augmented by horizontal rain.
but what might turn out to be their unique selling point, even were you to be seen aboard one of team sky's ronde van vlaanderen suspensioned dogmas, a pair of these on your feet would never, ever look out of place. as david millar has amply demonstrated, were it not for the iniquities of sponsorship dictates, there's every likelihood that a few more in the world tour would indulge their inner style council. at a price of £223.70, they're every bit the competitor of anything else around cleated to a pedal, but with lashings of desirability.
dromarti's classic road shoes are available in sizes ranging from 42 to 47 (44 reviewed) and in black or salubrious burgundy.
monday 6 april 2015..........................................................................................................................................................................................................