New knees please!

Words and pictures by Clare Gamby

Scrubbers Leathers.  Hmm.  Now that is a good name.  It works.  Descriptive of what they do and capable of raising an eyebrow or two when repeating for the second time to the courier that yes, that is indeed the company name.

Being what can probably best be described as a lazy rider, I have persisted in keeping my bum firmly on the seat despite a latent desire to hang off like a monkey and scrape my knee at every possible opportunity.  As a result, my knee sliders are shiny and untouched – just like the first day I got them.  I have resisted all temptation to swap them for a set of truly worn-in sliders offered my some of my more enthusiastic colleagues here.  I have kept clear of all available brick walls and no, I don’t own an angle grinder or equivalent.

So when I bought a new 2-piece set of leathers, it was no great surprise, or indeed concern, to find that they didn’t accommodate knee sliders.  No, apparently Italian girls clearly subscribe to the same logic – or should that be laziness? – as I do (or at least Italian leathers manufacturers believe so).  Either that or they are purely pillion accessories that have no need to consider shifting from their precarious lofty perches.

They're an awkward shape, they have preformed armour and they are almost totally impervious to glue. Best call Scrubbers, then...Anyway, some time ago I thought it really was about time I addressed this lazy attitude and got myself (or at worst case) my bike gear ready for the next step in my development of becoming a knee-scraping biker.  Initially I took the DIY approach of buying stick on Velcro patches.  Yes, that was a waste of time and effort.  As the knees on my leathers have shaped armour, nothing (including the liberal use of a hot glue gun it transpired) was going to make the patches stay put.  So when I set off on a sighting lap at Mallory I soon discovered that just like a pair of ancillary booster wings, my patches were flapping handsomely in the wind and were not going to stay the course…and that was before I had even put my sliders on.  So with a gentle tug they were removed, binned and true to form I kept my bum on the seat.  Again.

This is where Scrubbers come in.  I know them well enough for the sterling work they have carried out on the editor’s gear in terms of cleaning and repairs, but I hadn’t thought of them for this task.  However, after a friendly chat with Damien at Scrubbers I felt pleasantly reassured that no matter how obstructive my leathers were going to be, he would get patches fitted for me.

The process was completely painless for me, although I’m not sure I can say the same for Damien and his miracle-working elves in Coventry!  Having packed and despatched my trousers by Double-Entendre Couriers Ltd., I received a confirmation SMS from Scrubbers the next day confirming safe receipt.  Now that’s the kind of customer service I like.  A lot.  All went quiet for a week or so while the elves worked their magic until it got to the week before Easter.  There I was in the heady chaos that precedes our regular pilgrimage to the Nordschleife going through my checklist: passport, check; Tunnel crossing booked, check; euros, get those later; newly scrubbed in tyres, check; leathers….?  Ah, they’ll still be with the elves then.  Now I must confess that I had been a little time-restrictive on Damien and his team by only giving him a couple of weeks to sort this one out for me and with hindsight it is a lesson learned.  This is not a run-of-the-mill easy adaptation for Scrubbers to do and it is worth bearing in mind that you should allow plenty of time between when you send your gear off and when you need it back.  Either that or have a spare set of leathers to hand.

They look just like they've always been there. And it doesn't get much better than that...As ever though, Damien got on the case following a quick call from me on the Friday resulting in an update call from him on Saturday morning assuring me that the elves would work through the night if required to make sure I had my trousers back before departure to Germany on the Thursday morning.  True to his word, a parcel arrived on the Tuesday with my newly patched trousers inside.  Now that is the mark of a firm that understands customer service.  Nothing is too much trouble and even if it’s bitch of a job to do (which Damien assured me it was) they will rise to the challenge resulting in a service that is second to none and a finished product that is professional to say the least.  The patches look like they were meant to be there from the start and the expert double stitching reassures me that no amount of knee scraping is going to shift these patches anytime soon.

The cost of this as a service?  Well, it’s not a price list item so it’s well worth giving Scrubbers a call for a quote on bespoke jobs like this, but as a guide they advise that fitting Velcro patches costs from only £40 up to £70 for the more complex jobs like mine (don’t forget to allow for the additional cost of return postage).  Well worth the money I reckon.

Editor's note: Whether Clare managed to take advantage of her newly extended and reinforced patellas and actually make contact with them is a matter for an entirely different article...

 

 




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