We occasionally run into products that we just plain love. Every product from the Sock Guy that we’ve tried thus far has been fantastic. Here, we wanted to give you a quickie Sock Guy SGX socks review.
According to the Sock Guy website:
“SGX socks are designed with the elite athlete in mind and feature our exclusive Elite Performance Formula. The new SGX sock line provides a compression fit, performance ribbing, enhanced ventilation and a reduced friction profile. These socks feel great, look great, and with SockGuy’s signature Stretch-to-Fit sizing and reinforced toe & heel, SGX socks perform like no other. Guaranteed to be the most comfortable performance socks you’ll ever wear.”
While we’re not sure what they mean by “elite athlete”, we can honestly say that these socks are great for the non-elite among us, as well.
First and foremost, the material is thin without feeling flimsy. Since many cyclists do not like thick, bulky socks, this is a good thing. The second thing you notice about the fit of these socks is the compression fit. They don’t feel constricting, just a bit of compression. They simply feel great on your foot. You can feel the nice, even compression over your entire foot.
Though the effects of compression on your foot might be debatable, the one effect that it has here is that it gives these socks an exceptionally close fit to the foot. There’s not much chance that this sock will bunch up and create hot spots during exercise. Additionally, the toe seams lie flat and don’t irritate or rub like some socks can. This is especially important for me as a scar on the top of my foot seems to get irritated easily for poorly placed toe seams.
Sock Guy indicates that these socks have enhanced ventilation and reduced friction profiles. This does seem to be the case. I wear these socks on a daily basis while riding, running, coaching soccer, running errands, you name it. I have done a lot while wearing these socks and have yet to develop a blister while wearing them or have my foot be clammy upon removal of the sock. They do everything that the company has indicated and more!
While just making a sock that has all these characteristics would be quite the feat (no pun intended!), Sock Guy offers their socks in a number of different flavors. They have an incredible array of designs and offer their socks in a broad range of cuff lengths, from no cuff to 3″ to 5″ and all the way up to knee high. So, if these socks become your favorites, you’ll have plenty to choose from!
We offer these socks in our online shop (http://synaptic-cycles-shop.myshopify.com/collections/cycling-clothing) so you may think we’re a bit biased, but that’s not the case. If you see us out and about, we will generally be wearing these socks (except with flip flops, not a good look!). We love them or we wouldn’t sell them. Give them a try. We think they’ll become your favorites, too. If you’d like to see other options made available, let us know and we’ll see if we can get some in stock. If you’re not interested in socks, and just want to hop onto a bike in OC/San Diego or Los Angeles, please contact us ASAP!
This is a follow-up to the earlier bike tire review where I gave my initial impressions of the Grand Bois Cerf tire.
Okay, I wasn’t sure about the switch to these tires. I am a bit of a fuddy duddy when it comes to tires. I tend to ultimately stick to tires I’ve used in the past even though I occasionally try (waste my money on) other tires. Most often, I end up on Continental Grand Prix 4000s or Ultra Races or Vredestein Fortezza Tri-Comps. Everything else that I’ve tried up to now feels slower or doesn’t corner well. There was the time where some Avocet FastGrips took me down on a slick road at 35 mph. Then there’s the sluggish ride of the Specialized Roubaix tires (unless you pump them up to ungodly pressures, but then what’s the point in riding a higher volume tire?). Anyway, you get the point.
Now, I’ve come to the Grand Bois Cerf Green Label (28C width). They are puffy, measuring slight wider than it’s stated size of 28C (28.2mm on my DT Swiss RR 1.1s), pumped up to about 95 psi. They roll quietly and comfortably, absorbing quite a bit of the road shock. They take the edge off expansion gaps and roads that have small rises in the pavement due to underground roots. This is great, but there’s always a trade-off in speed, right? Wrong.
On three separate rides when I first got them, they have proven to be faster. On my first commute on them, I easily managed a bit over 17mph round trip when I had been working pretty hard to go 16mph round trip. On a 32 mile ride over the weekend, I rode 18mph over a 32 mile course that I usually have to work hard to stay over 17.5mph. Then, this morning I just flew in to work, getting here about 5 minutes faster than average. Granted this is a small sample, but it indicates why I may have found a new “go-to” tire.
I now have completed a few years of riding on these tires. Lately, I have been mounting them up the HED Jet 4 rims or the HED Ardennes wheels. These rims are the newer 23mm width rims. When these tires are mounted on these rims, the wider rim allows the tire to “round out” , providing a nice round profile. Shown on the right is the GB Cerf mounted on the HED Jet 4. It’s difficult to see, but the tire is nice and round when mounted on this rim (See the picture on the right). The Ardennes imparts the same profile to the tire. I have completed multiple double centuries on these tires and have found them to perform well. Fast and comfortable!
For those who want to know about the actual width of these tires, you can see in the next picture, that the tire measures just over 29mm when mounted on the HED wheels.
It should be noted that most newer bikes will not accept tires this width unless specifically built to accept larger tires. For example, one of my racing bikes has an Easton EC90 fork. The Cerf Green Label does not fit into this fork, Fortunately, the Grand Bois Cerf Blue Label (26C) tire measures out at ~27mm wide on the HED rims and fits just fine, giving a nice round profile as well.
So, if you’ve read this far, you’re likely wondering why you’d want to try these. First, my experience with these tires indicates that they are actually faster than most other tires that I have tried. Second, they are higher volume tires. This means that tire pressures can be lowered without giving up speed. I weigh 185lbs and I typically ride mine at 85psi rear/80psi front, and this provides a very comfortable ride without any reduction in speed. Third, their nice, round profile when mounted seems to make them much more predictable in corners. This is a subjective thing, but I feel much more confident during hard cornering on these tires than I do on most other tires.
Okay, negatives? Well, some claim that these tires are prone to flats. While I have flatted on them, I have not noticed them to be especially flat-prone. Though, if you tend to ride on glass-strewn or thorn-covered roads, these might not be the tires for you. If you tend to be careful about what you ride over and check your tires for debris after ride, you will probably do fine on this tire.
You can buy them here on(http://www.compasscycle.com/tires.html). Please, note that I have no skin in this game. I don’t sell these tires and don’t get any money or freebies from Jan Heine or Compass Cycle.
This is bike tire review that I pulled off another blog I write. I was reminded of it when out for a ride on these tires and was telling another rider about how well they rode.
When I walked in the door last night, there was a package waiting for me containing two brand new Grand Bois Cerf tires. I had been trying to decide between the Challenge Paris-Roubaix (700X27C) and the Grand Bois Cerf (700X28C). A survey of some people who had tried both seemed to indicate that the GB Cerf might be a little less susceptible to flats resulting from glass, which was what tipped me toward the GB Cerf. Given that there has been a lot of interest in the tire lately, I thought I’d write up a small bike tire review.
Jan Heine (of Vintage Bicycle Quarterly and the importer of the Grand Bois tires) was kind enough to answer some of my questions and gave me a brief rundown on widths of some of the tires (measured on a Mavic MA-2 Rim):
Grand Bois Cerf 28 mm: 28.5 mm actual
Challenge Paris-Roubaix 27 mm: 29 mm actual
Grand Bois Hetre 30 mm: 31.5 mm actual
This was helpful as the bike they’d be going on was built to accept up to 30C tires and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t purchase a tire that I could not use. As it turns out, there was plenty of room:
The rubber on the GBs seemed quite sticky coming out of the package and the beads were tight. It took a bit of hand strength to get the GBs onto my DT Swiss RR 1.1 rims. I was able to get them mounted without the use of tools but it took a little bit of grunting and cursing. Okay, maybe a lot of grunting and cursing. I think this was due to the “stickiness” of the tire. It seemed to really grab the rim sidewall as I was trying to muscle the bead into place. Much different from the other tires I normally use.
Once mounted, I pumped them up to around 95 psi and then went looking for my calipers. At first measure, they were 27mm wide. I went and measured my Jack Brown Green labels from Rivendell (33.3mm on a Mavic Open Pro-how did Grant do that?!!!) and my 25C Conti GP4000s (25mm on an Open Pro). I waited a bit and then re-measured the GBs and found that they had plumped a bit over time (to around 28.2mm).
I was pleased to find that they had a nice round profile once mounted as well. The Grand Bois were replacing some Specialized Roubaix Pro II tires (the ones with the 25C casing and the 23C tread; measure 26mm wide on the DT Swiss rim), which seemed squarish when mounted. I hoped that the rounder profile would provide a bit of a nicer transition when cornering and might give the ride a bit more plushness as well.
The first ride came this morning on my commute. It’s hard to say from one cold morning commute, but the tires were definitely more compliant than the Specialized tires they replaced, making the ride much more comfortable, in general. They felt faster and seemed to hold in corners nicely, as well. I find that the Specialized tires seem to feel sluggish at lower pressures and only feel fast around 115 psi. This seems to correlate with my commute times as well. Unlike the Specialized tires, the GBs felt fast at 95 psi while still taking the edge off the imperfections of the road surface. I’ll have to ride them more and play with tire pressure a bit to dial them in, but I’m really impressed so far with the ride of the GB tires. After I’ve ridden them a bit more, I’ll report more on my impressions.
You can purchase these through Jan Heine’s online shop: http://www.compasscycle.com/tires.html