Going into the Ruckus Boston 2010 I was hesitant to try something new, especially on race day. For those of you unfamiliar with the Ruckus, it’s a 3 mile obstacle course designed by Army torture artists. 20 obstacles and the promise of only mud and pain. The night before the race I tried the La Sportiva Raptor on and was impressed with the fit. Meant to fit snug, the Raptor molded itself around my foot. Still unsure I wore them home for the rest of the evening and jogged the neighborhood a bit. What I found is that not only were they incredibly comfortable, but for the first time in a long time I felt a shoe that matched my gait and provided the exact amount of stability to fight against my particular injuries. Still skeptical, I packed a tried and true pair of trail runners in my bag…just in case.
Upon arrival at the Ruckus I gave the Raptors a final test run and made my decision. I couldn’t have been happier. The Raptors were first treated to a low crawl under barbed wire followed by leaps over pits of mud and wading through an ice cold pool of muddy water. The outsole which extends over the toe provided me with excellent protection and the aggressive outsole gripped everything in my path. After leaving the water they drained quickly and were light again before I hit the next obstacle. Cargo nets, Normandy barriers, wall climbs, rope crawls, mud, sweat, blood…the Ruckus had it all.
Throughout the race the Raptors never let me down. They gripped, remained light and best of all allowed me to forget about them long enough to realize that at my current fitness level I can’t expect any shoe to make me competitive, but they sure are nice to have. I would recommend them to anyone seeking an extra capable trail runner, a light hiker, or just a bad-ass running shoe that looks and feels angry enough to attack anything in your path.
As for Ruckus Boston 2011? Spark Bike Run Sports in East Taunton, MA will be fielding a team next year. Anyone up for the challenge will be welcome to join us for a dirty day of mud, pain, and most importantly fun!
Here’s how La Sportiva describes their best-selling trail shoe:
Competition model for elevated performance levels during races. Ideal on all types of terrain thanks to the extra grippy FriXion XF sole.
Raptor is the new race model from the La Sportiva Mountain Running® category. The shoe offers even higher levels of performance during competition. It is the ideal choice for all types of off road terrain thanks to the exclusive FriXion XF ultra sticky sole and the Impact Brake System, developed by the R and D department at La Sportiva. Other features include a precise, high performance, lacing system which uses high frequency laces, uppers in abrasion resistant fabric with protective coating and an integrated elastic gaiter for protection from stones and mud. The TPU reinforced Heel case offers maximum stability while running and the sculptured Tacco Trail Bite Heel enhances brake capacity during the descent. Available in a choice of two linings: mesh only at the back and Gore-Tex Extended Comfort. The new reference point in the world of mountain running.
We are pleased to offer FREE Tech-Tunes (Pro-Cleans excluded) and Adjustments for LIFE with every new bike purchase! We'll also install any small accessories purchased from us such as lights, computers, bags, racks, cages and mirrors for FREE!
This is an incredible deal since most bikes are tuned-up twice a year for around $50 each time. That means buying a new bike from Spark Bike Run Sports in East Taunton, MA can save you $100 a year!
Please note that this is not an extended warranty and does not cover the replacement of damaged parts or repairs. It is strictly limited to our Tech-Tune Service which includes; wheel truing, drive train adjustments, brake adjustments, and safety checks.
UNLIMITED FLAT CHANGE
Tired of changing your own flats? We've got you covered! If you purchase our Unlimited Flat Change Service at the time of your bike purchase we will change your flats for the lifetime that you own the bike. All you have to do is pay $20 at the time of your bike purchase. You don't even need to bring the whole bike in, just the wheel.
GROW-UP = TRADE-UP KIDS BIKE PROGRAM
Kids grow up and it happens fast, sometimes unexpectedly. It's hard for parents to justify the expense of a quality bicycle knowing that their child could grow out of it only a few weeks or months later. This is the reason so many kids end up on low-end bikes from department stores. These bikes are usually heavy, can't withstand what most kids will put them through, and many times just aren't fun to ride. A quality bike promotes a lifelong love for cycling, the same love that we've dedicated our lives to.
Here's how it works:
1) Purchase any kids bike from Spark. Kids bikes are sized between 12" to 24" wheels. BMX bikes are excluded from this program. We'll store your purchase in our computer system to retrieve later. Feel free to save your receipt.
2) When your child grows out of their bike you just bring it back to us to receive 75% of what you originally paid in CREDIT towards the next size up! And the best part? You can even trade in the largest kids bike towards their first adult bike.
* Please note that if you are trading in a bicycle that requires parts; the cost of the necessary parts needed to recondition the bicycle to rideable condition will be deducted from your credit. We will treat these rare situations with the utmost integrity as we do the rest of our business.
WHEEL UPGRADE PROGRAM
At Spark we’re always looking for new ways to save you money and enhance your riding experience. That’s where our Free Service 4 Life and Unlimited Flat Change programs came from. Now we’re offering you a way to upgrade that stock wheelset that comes on your brand new bike with whatever you want! Wheels are the single biggest upgrade you can make to your bike. You’ll save weight and have a smoother ride. Plus when you buy a wheelset from Spark we’ll service them for FREE for the first year!
Here’s how it works:
1) Give us your stock wheelset from the bike that you're purchasing from us. We’ll give you 50% of MSRP as a credit for the wheels that come on your brand new bike and then sell them in the store.
2) Pick out what you want for wheels. Any wheelset from a brand we carry is yours. We may have to order them for you but that’s no big deal to us.
SADDLE TRADE-IN PROGRAM
Not happy with the saddle that comes with your new bike? We've got you covered there too. Trade in the saddle that comes with your new bicycle for a $10 CREDIT towards the new saddle of your choice. For most folks that saddle has been the Serfas RX. It seems to be the perfect balance of comfort and performance and fits nicely on most hybrids and entry level mountain bikes.
FREE VEHICLE RACK INSTALLATION
We know that vehicle racks can be intimidating, especially the roof mounted ones. It takes care and attention to detail to make sure that it's on correctly. Luckily for you we've installed plenty in our day and have gotten quite good at it. We'll install any* trunk, hitch, spare tire, or roof rack purchased from us.
*Please note that if the rack you purchase is not recommended for your vehicle by the manufacturer; we will not install it and cannot be held responsible for any damage resulting from it.