i have, currently sitting on a stand in the spare bedroom, a drum workshop 14 x 5.5 inch classic series snare drum. this differs from many modern day drums in that it features larger than normal reinforcement rings inside the shell. such rings were originally fitted to drum shells in order to reinforce the roundness, hence the name. but with modern drum manufacturing techniques, such appendages are often regarded as unnecessary or undesirable. in light of my age, i would consider myself old school; all my original drumsets back in the day featured these re-rings, so, necessary or otherwise, i still like to have them on my current percussion.
however, in addition to these wooden rings, drums manufactured prior to the 1960s often arrived with calfskin heads. the late remo belli is generally credited with having invented the plastic drum head in 1957 and by the 60s it became incumbent on drum manufacturers to build their drums capable of being fitted with these standardised heads. calfskins, by comparison, were usually manually lapped onto what is known as the flesh hoop, a process that could often take account of a shell being slightly out of round (despite the re-rings) or very slightly oversized.
currently, vintage drums such as slingerland's radio kings and gretsch round badge are very collectible, but since many of the original calfskin heads have fared considerably less well than the drums to which they were attached, proud owners of these classic musical instruments often find themselves in a bit of a quandary when trying to restore the drums to their original sonic prowess. coming to their aid, both remo and evans drumheads now offer a range of products designed to fit the iniquities of the past. while the fascination with vintage drums lasts, there should be little difficulty in bringing them to a state in which they can be confidently played in public without fear of mishap or a tuning faux pas.
though it might be true that drum manufacturers now adhere to an all but unwritten standard, the same most certainly cannot be said of human beings. and in the present climate of cycling's continued growth, there are more and more individuals plonking posteriors on saddles that do not resemble the stick-thin profile of the professional or even serious amateur. and though the reputable cycling apparel purveyors are astute enought to vary the width of the pad inside a pair of bibshorts depending on the size, there are few, if any, who offer the choice of which size pad inside your bibshort size of choice.
scotland's endura are one company that do.
previously reviewed here in a pair of their pro sl bibtights, livingston has now introduced their new pro sl bibshorts ii with not only a choice of sizes that ranges from xs to xxl and a 4cm additional leg length option, but three different pad width options. you will, no doubt, be wondering how on earth you figure out which pad size might suit your own posterior, but fear not, for authorised endura stockists have access to a saddle-based sizing kit and offering a speedy turnround on orders should they not have your specific requirements in stock.
fortunately, having already ridden the principality clad in a pair of the pro sl bibtights with the very pad most suited to my rear end (small, as it happens), it was simple enough to reiterate this to endura when ordering the review pair. lest you think this to be something of a vacuous marketing wheeze, my bottom begs to differ, having comfortably survived 150km over less than pristine road surfaces (see yesterday's post) without the need to walk like john wayne on dismounting.
of course, there's really little point in the ability to specify pad width unless the surrounding italian built lycra is up to the job. in fact, verifying my oft repeated mantra that the ideal pair of shorts ought to be all but invisible in use, these fulfil that promise most admirably. the white mesh bibs are of the ideal width to avoid any undue pressure on the shoulders, while the open back prevents heat build up on those rides filled with enthusiastic over-exertion.
i cannot deny that, in the hebrides at least, the temperature has not risen to the point where naked legs are yet the order of the day. throughout the review period, i wore a pair of endura movistar leg warmers. but the hems on the shorts' legs are of sizeable depth, yet formed of a cold-black infused lycra composition than refrains from squeezing all the blood from your thighs. the inside portion is coated with a very grippy, pro sl badged silicon gloop that even on the lycra of the leg warmers kept the legs where they were supposed remain.
should you be of longer leg than yours truly, endura offer a long leg option in an effort to prevent you appearing as a refugee from the 1960s, riding when you're not playing a vintage drumset. it has long been a complete mystery to me how it is that endura are able to offer products every bit as good, if not better, than some of their competitors at a price point that looks as if it might have been a typing error. a mere £120 for these is, if they don't mind me saying, a complete steal, especially when you consider they offer a 90-day comfort guarantee on every pair.
monday 6 march 2017..........................................................................................................................................................................................................