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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinken

San Francisco (North Bay), CA

Jonny Heinken's Passions

Snow Skiing
Road Biking
Mountain Biking

Jonny Heinken's Bio

Riding road bikes since I was 16 years old (1981). Thank you Greg Lemond & Bernard Hinault. And Greg Lemond & Laurent Fignon. And the original sweet Motorola team: Eric Heiden, Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney. And.... Peter Sagan, you, are a legend in the making

Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on January 19, 2017

5 5

The fantastic (dare I say unequalled?) $400 Elemento 2 jacket from Castelli merits a good review. The Castelli Elemento is THE benchmark winter jacket for riding at tempo in dry weather conditions.

Application: This top-of-the-line piece from Castelli was designed for hard riding and climbing in cold, dry conditions. Castelli officially rates it for use from 53° down to 32°.

Temperature sensitivity is individual, but I have found that I can use the Elemento down to around 30-28° F when riding hard and using a winter-weight baselayer (smartwool or Castelli Flanders Warm) plus a thermal jersey underneath.

Excellent insulation combined with the special Gore textile provides unsurpassed breathability. 7 x more breathable than regular Windstopper textile! This is Castelli at the top of their game.

Differences from the previous version are significant: (1) The alpha-like internal vest is signed for climbing. If you start getting too warm on a climb, you can undo the front zipper partially or fully to allow air in, as needed, while your chest will still be protected by the built-in thermal vest (and by the baselayer underneath the vest). Brilliant.
(2) Small but nice refinements to the collar, lower waist band, and the wrist -now raw cut to fit into your winter gloves. Love that.

Sizing: Usually size up +1 with Castelli jackets. However, in the Elemento your normal street size should work. It will be snug.

The Elemento is designed to fit snug and aero with the use of only a quality baselayer (and possibly a thermal jersey) underneath.

A fantastic piece of Winter kit for the serious cyclist.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on January 12, 2017

5 5

There are two independently owned companies in the USA that specialize in road and MTB lighting. They are NiteRider and Light & Motion. They're both great companies.

Both make cycling-specific, high-quality lights; "designed, assembled, and serviced" in the USA. Bravo to both. Personally, in this category, I have a slight preference for NiteRider because I prefer NiteRider's mount system and better warranty (lifetime vs. 2 year). But they both make great lights

Pros of the NR 950:
-Great light, compact, high quality.
-Quality construction and switch.
-Quality aluminum alloy housing, finned for thermal venting.
-Light detaches from the mount (unlike L&M). Advantageous for road bikes.
-Two bar mount options (unlike L&M); both strap-on and clamp-on.
-Water-resistant for riding in the rain.
-No external wires flopping around. Or heavy external battery.
-800 lumens for serious roadies is awesome! Useful for descending in the dark or extremely dark backcountry roads. But 400 lumens is plenty for the road in most circumstances.
-Lifetime defect warranty.
-Very good value.

Cons:
-Battery life is adequate but not awesome. 1.5 hours for 800 lumens. 3 hours for 400 lumens. But it's the same over at L & M.

Note: 950 or 800 lumens is *a lot* of light for the road. In fact, blinding to oncoming vehicles. Be careful.

Note 2: NiteRider also offer a detachable "clamp on" mount for $10 (from their website) if you prefer that system. That's awesome.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on January 12, 2017

5 5

NireRider is a really cool independently owned company based in San Diego, CA that specializes in road and MTB lighting. They make great, high-quality lights; designed/engineered, assembled, and serviced in the USA.

Pros of the NR 750:
-Great light: small, compact, high quality.
-Quality construction and switch.
-Quality aluminum alloy housing, finned for thermal venting.
-600 lumens is *a lot* of light for the road. Even 300 is plenty in most circumstances.
-Water-resistant for riding in the drizzle or rain.
-Lifetime defect warranty.
-Great value.

Cons:
-The battery life is adequate but not awesome. 1.5 hours for 600 lumens. 3 hours for 300 lumens. So, make a habit to charge up overnight so you are ready for your ride.

Note: I can also highly recommend NiteRider's Cherry Bomb 35 tail-light. Narrow (aero), bright, water sealed, quality, and only $20.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on January 12, 2017

5 5

There are a handful of companies that make really good bike lights, but Light & Motion is universally regarded as one of the best by bike shop employees and experienced riders. There is a reason for this.

L&M is a cool, independently owned company who specializes in bike lighting. Their lights are engineered, assembled, and serviced in the USA -near Monterey, CA. Great design, performance, experience, and quality.

Pros: For self-contained MTB lights, the Taz (great name) is one of the best looking and best performing lights available. I have found that a multi-bulb (wide throw) light is best to effectively illuminate the width of the trail and all the twists and turns involved in trail riding. This light features top-of-the-line Cree illumination and is extremely high quality all around.

Great light for the road too. You can run it at 600 or 200 lumens for road use. 600 is *a lot* of light for the road.

3 hours of light at 600 lumens will get you through most night rides; road or trail.

Cons: For road bike use, I wish the light was removable from the mounting strap. Not an issue for mtb use, where the light is easy to mount and remove on wide open mtb bars.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on January 12, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been road riding 20+ years and have invested a small fortune into my road (and Mtn) bike, upgraded wheels, components, expensive kit, etc... (never tell your partner/wife the exact amount, right?!).

This little $20 tail-light from Nightrider is one of the favorite things I own for my bike!

It works great. It is well made. It works in the rain. The mount is quality, and does not droop like some others. The blinking light is VERY bright. And if it is off, the light still works as a reflector. Brilliant.

As it turns out, Nightrider is a pretty cool, independently owned company based in San Diego, CA where for 25 years they have "designed, engineered, assembled, and serviced" their lighting products. Bravo.

Anyway... Great light. Insane value! Why pay more???

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on January 4, 2017

5 5

The Trasparente is not a jersey. It is a light jacket intended for use while riding at tempo in cool, dry weather. It is officially rated by Castelli for use from 64° down to 50°.

The Trasparente by Castelli is one of the best light jackets made for hard training/riding. Period.

But exact temp range usability is individual and influenced by several factors such as (a) your baselayer system and (b) your ride intensity. For example, if you are fit and training at max effort, and wear this jersey over a full winter baselayer (like the Castelli Flanders Warm or the Assos s7 Winter_4.4), this jacket can work great into the low 40s.

Anyway, lots of attention to detail from Castelli here: The zipper grip is designed to work well with gloved hands. The zipper itself cam-locks, and zips up and down easily on the fly (to dump heat while climbing). The textiles used in the jacket offer snug, wrap-around fit. So no annoying flapping in the wind or slowing you down.

But it is the combination of the advanced textile used in the front of the jacket (Gore Windstopper) vs. the back panels that raise this piece into the cycling kit Hall of Fame.

Gore's industry-leading Windstopper material is soft, insulating, windproof, and water-resistant; yet breathable! Used in the front panels, it blocks the cold and wind to great effect. While the special textile used in the rear panels (back of arms too) is highly permeable to allow sweat to vent away.

This combination works brilliantly. It allows you to ride and climb at tempo in cool/cold weather without overheating and without getting clammy (and eventually chilled). Instead, you stay dry, warm, and comfortable. Brilliant.

The Trasparente is one of the very best items that Castelli makes; and that is saying something.

Fit: Size up +1 from your normal street size with Castelli jackets. Always. Italian sizing is different.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on December 10, 2016

5 5

Castelli is expert at bad weather (Gabba) and Winter cycling.

The brilliance of these bibtights is the gray waterproof fabric used at the front and around the shin. This design prevents front-tire wheel spray from constantly soaking your tights around the lower leg. In conventional tights, with bottom cuffs tucked in, this water seeps down to your socks (capillary action), then soaks your feet. Riding with cold, wet feet is awful.

*These tights prevent all this if you wear the bottom cuffs OVER your winter booties.

So, if you are riding on wet roads or in the rain... remember to zip the bottom cuffs of these bibtights OVER your waterproof booties; so that the water is directed OVER your booties and away.

I can highly recommend the following winter booties for riding in wet weather: Pearl Izumi WxB, or Castelli Poggio, or Castelli Tempesta.

***Sizing:. With Castelli kit, usually size up +1 from your normal street size. Italian sizing is different. Here, size up +2. Trust me, I'm not kidding. They will still be snug in the thigh.

Best recommendation: Buy two sizes. +1 and +2. Keep the ones that fit best. Return the other (with tags on, etc, of course).

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on December 8, 2016

5 5

You know... when riding in really cold weather... even with bibtights on... a cold draft can intrude down there.

This is not good. These Craft shorts solve this problem.

PROS:
1. Gore's fantastic Windstopper material in front. 100% windproof, yet breathes. Amazing.

2. Craft is a cool company. Based in Sweden, they are experts in Winter sports and cycling. And they are baselayer specialists. Very high quality too (should be at these prices).

CONS: I'm not sure these are cycling specific because these come up an inch or two high on the waist for road cycling. Probably also for XC skiing. But they work really well.

Sizing: True to size. I'm 5'10", 185, and a 34-35 waist. The L fit perfect.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on December 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is Castelli's new glove for riding in Fall, mild Winter, and Spring conditions. Castelli officially rates the Scalda for use in temps from 60° down to 42°. But cold sensitivity in the hands is individual.

In sum: Great fit, style, protection. Yet the Scalda is still thin enough to allow for *excellent* bar grip, and control, and shifter function.

By the way, these look awesome in the hi-viz fluo yellow (and help cars see you in the typical low-light conditions of Fall and Winter). And they match the fluo yellow elsewhere in the Castelli line up (Gabba vest, etc).

Size up +1 with Castelli gloves. In gloves: Pearl Izumi = L. Specialized= L. Giro = XL. Castelli = XL.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on December 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you ride in Assos kit in warm weather, you MUST purchase these Assos socks. Several pairs.

These are my favorite Assos Summer socks by far. The cuff is higher (~9cm) and they are light, thin, very well ventilated top and leg with a reinforced bottom. And the best looking IMO.

They appear and feel like they are made of Meryl Skinlife - the super high-end, soft, wicking textile used by Castelli, Capo, Sportful, Santini, etc. for their top cycling socks.

Anyway, the quality is sublime. Made in Italy. Right/left specific fit. Great fit, function, looks.

I love the white with the thin amethyst (purple) line. It exactly matches the amethyst line on the left leg of the Equipe S7 bibshorts. But also the color (royal purple) of the trim in the T.Cento S7 bibshorts.

Sizing: The sizing chart is correct. I'm a 45.0 in Shimano (321s). And a 45.5 in Sidi. The size II here fit perfect.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on December 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Castelli is based in the Italian Alps (Dolomites). They really understand Winter cycling and design GREAT winter jackets, gloves, and booties.

Castelli designed the Narcisista 2 booties for riding in cold DRY weather. Castelli officially rates these for use from 57° down to 32° F.

Castelli makes a lot of winter booties (too many?) to cover every conceivable situation. But THESE are my favorite all-around Winter bootie from Castelli (or anyone).

Main points:
1. These look really cool; especially in yellow fluo or the all black.
2. These fit great if you get the correct size (see below).
3. The use of the neoprene component for fit and flex is brilliant.
4. These will keep your feet warm down to 38/40° with quality wool socks on. I'm not sure these support use in 32° weather. But I suppose that depends if the sun is out and how well kitted you are otherwise.
5. The fleece lined Gore Windstopper material is amazing. Soft, wrap around, insulating, windproof, and water-resistant. Yet the material is breathable!
6. These booties protect great in fog, mist, and drizzle; and along wet roads; but Windstopper material is NOT waterproof. Do not use these in full-on rain conditions.

If you need *totally* rain-proof booties (not sure they exist), try the Castelli Tempesta model at ~$80 or perhaps Velotoze (size +1) over these.

Don't forget to tape up any vent holes on the bottom of your shoes when riding on wet roads.

**Caveat about sizing: These fit small. Italian sizing is different.

For example, I wear a size 45.5 in Sidi, 45 in Shimano. I got the XL's on but the zipper was, for all practical purposes, impossible to zip up. The XXL fit much better. Still snug but much easier to get them on and zip up.

Sizing here:
36-39: SM
40-42: MD
42-43: LG
44-44.5: XL
45-48: XXL

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 29, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Pearl Izumi USA is based just outside Boulder, Co. They know winter cycling.

And gloves -especially Winter gloves - may be the best thing they make.

These light weight gloves are perfect for the shoulder seasons (Fall, early Winter, Spring). Perfect for 50°-63°.

Love the fluo yellow. These really help you be seen by cars on those typical, low-light, foggy, Fall and Winter days.

QC is top notch too. No one offers better QC in the cycling kit world than PI.

Sizing: Pearl Izumi gloves usually fit true to size. For example (for my size): Pearl Izumi = L. Specialized = L. Giro = XL. Castelli = XL.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 27, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

While there certainly are other good Windstopper thermal caps out there (by Gore, Castelli, Craft, etc.), IMHO, this is the BEST deep Winter thermal cap made. Period.

Assos offers the best fit and by far the best quality sewing and materials. Assos caps also fully cover the ears; thus keeping cold air/wind out of your ears and off your ear lobes.

In addition, this Fugu Cap features one of the greatest textiles made in cycling today ("StrataGon") along the front, wind-facing zone. StrataGon (exclusive to Assos) is soft, insulating, windproof, and waterproof; yet breathes. Protective yet thin. Truly amazing material.

Expensive, but worth it for the best.

Sizing: I'm just a size L in Giro helmets (57 cm or 23 inch head). The size I was too small. The size II fit perfect.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 26, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I think a few folks don't understand the purpose this vest. It's not a casual, recreational cycling vest. Part of Castelli's Rosso Corsa (race) collection, this vest is designed for hard riding and training; and the sweat production that is created during that kind of riding.

It isn't supposed to have rear pockets. The textile in the rear is expressly designed to vent sweat during hard riding. Your jersey has rear pockets.

Pros: 1.) The entire front of the vest is totally windproof (Gore's sublime Windstopper). While the entire back is made of a light and highly permeable textile (nanoflex) for sweat ventilation there.

This is simply brilliant design. Just the sort you expect from Castelli; a leading kit supplier to and collaborator with the pro peloton (e.g., Team Cannondale, Cervelo and soon, Team Sky).

2.) All the textiles used here are soft and form fitting and aero tight. This vest will not flap in the wind like cheap nylon vests.

So, along with general cold weather hard riding... here is an example of what this vest excels at:

Put this vest on when summitting before the start of a long descent in cool or cold weather. Just like the pros do (for a reason). The Windstopper front panel prevents your sweat (created during the climb) from chilling you to the bone during a long cold descent. And the wrap-around aero fit won't slow you down. It's brilliant.

Fit: Size up +1 from your street size; per usual with Castelli. Buy the same size as you usually do in Castelli tops. It will fit snug.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 25, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Made in Italy, these Castelli socks are a work of art. The quality is 10/10. Really, just wait till you receive them.

By the way... wool offers the best wicking material, insulates yet breathes, all with zero odor (naturally). Wool is a superfabric!

Sizing: I wear a 45.5 shoe in Sidi and Shimano. The L/XL just fit but the XXL fit better. Wool socks do shrink slightly. If you wear a 45+ shoe, definitely buy the XXL.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 23, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Giro's website *currently* states that these each of these covers feature a, "reflective, offset, locking, zipper." And the CC description above says these have zippers. Where are they?

Instead, on the back, there is a ~2" stretch zone made of neoprene and lycra. It stretches a little, but not much; especially at the top of the ankle (the entry point)!

There are zero instructions from Giro on the tag other than "superstretch pull on design."

Umm, not so much. After calling a CC rep, who explained how the Giro rep said to get these on (toes first and work them on), I finally squeezed into them. It was NOT easy and they almost ripped. And this was with a size XL (!) for my size 45.0 road shoes (Shimano R320s).

Bottom line, these aero covers in fluo yellow look GREAT... but I can't see how they are going to last 2 or 3 uses without stretching-out or tearing.

They would be perfect if they had an offset, locking, rear zipper. Like the one they are -supposed- to have.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 23, 2016

5 5

Main points:
1. Well made.
2. Fully taped.
3. The amazing eVent material really is waterproof, yet also breathes well. A rare textile that pulls this off.
4. The bill helps keep the rain out of your eyes. It is certainly much better than a cotton cap in the rain!
5. The rear neck guard helps direct rain down back of jacket.
6. Thin material, so it fits well under your helmet.
7. The rear neck guard folds up into a little built-in pocket when not raining. Very clever, well done.

Fit: My head is 59 cm (23 inches) wide. I wear a size medium/large helmet (Giro). This cap fits great (snug). But I don't think it would fit a head size much larger.

Btw... in true rain (not just fog/mist/drizzle), I also use a water-proof helmet cover (Garneau and Gore make great ones). Optional but a very effective combination!

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 18, 2016

5 5

Pearl Izumi USA is based outside Boulder, Colorado. They know Winter cycling.

Application: These are light-weight, medium-insulated, winter booties designed for keeping your feet warm while riding from 65° down to about 45/40° weather (with wool socks).

Pros: Snug, aero, great looks, and great fit.

W x B means: W = waterproof. B = breathable.

Cons: I usually prefer a rear or side zipper on booties. But the velcro opening here does allow for slightly easier mounting (and removal) of the bootie. Be careful when undoing the velcro strip, though, or it will rip.

***An important note about "rain-proof" booties: Although the material here is 100% waterproof, your feet may slowly get wet if you ride in a downpour long enough -like with ALL winter booties.

Why? (1.) In wet conditions, wheelspray from the front tire constantly shoots water up at your shoes from the bottom. So, tape any bottom vent holes in your shoes up with duct tape! This will help. (2.) In heavy rain, the rain (and road spray) will soak your bibtights throughout the lower leg. If you tuck your bibtights into your winter booties, that moisture will travel down (via capillary action) to your socks, and then soak your feet. If riding in full-on rain and/or very wet roads: wear your tights (or rain pant leg) OVER your booties to direct the rain OVER the booties and away.

Sizing: Follow the size chart. I wear a 45 euro in Sidi and Shimano. The XL is the perfect size (right in the middle).

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 18, 2016

5 5

This is a great vest for serious road cycling. And the yellow fluo is awesome for use in the low light conditions so typical of Fall and Winter.

The brilliance of this vest is that the entire front is windproof (Gore's amazing Windstopper material); while the back is made of an entirely different, highly permeable, textile to vent sweat during high-output riding.

Also, all the textiles are form fitting and aero tight. This vest will not flap in the wind like cheap nylon vests.

***Sizing: Part of Castelli's Rosso Corsa (race) collection, this vest runs small. Size up at least +1 from your regular street size. Maybe even +2.

For example: I'm 5'10" 180. My street size is Large. I almost always wear an XL in Castelli jerseys, vests, and jackets. The XL here fit *very* snug over my longsleeve jerseys and Trasparente light jacket. I would need an XXL to get this over a thicker jacket.

Perhaps buy two sizes. Keep the one that fits best. Return the other.

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Jonny Heinken

Jonny Heinkenwrote a review of on November 15, 2016

5 5

Listen, all the top cycling tire companies (Vittoria, Continental, Michelin, and a few others) make great top-of-line race tires. But all those tires have very little flat protection (if any). They are meant for timed applications on clean, smooth roads.

What about the roads most of us actually ride on most of the time??

What if you want a great, fast, training road tire with some real flat protection?

These are the best I've found. The German-engineered (and made) Continental Grand Prix 4-Season.

Conti GP 4S tires feature *two* layers of Vectran tread protection, wraparound DuraSkin sidewall protection, plus the latest German rubber compounding for optimum wet and cold weather performance. And they weigh only 241/280g for sizes 25/28. That's light for a performance tire with double tread protection.

These GP 4S tires are fast, ride beautifully (smooth & supple), grip really well, and have excellent puncture protection.

Coming from Vittorias that excel at smooth & supple (but cut and flat easier), I am really impressed by these Continentals!

Continental makes OEM tires for Porsche. The sidewalls are proudly stamped, "Handmade in Germany." These tires reek of high quality.

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