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Mark Travers

Mark Travers

Park City, New England, Virginia/ Southeast

Mark Travers's Bio

Grew up outside of Boston, hiking and skiing in the White Mtns and sailing and kayaking on the Cape and the coast of Maine. Did a stint in central Virginia (where I picked up whitewater paddling) before moving to Utah in the spring of 2012. Moved for the skiing, but love getting out on my bike or backpacking in the mountains when it isn't so white and fluffy

Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 3, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a nice upgrade from the standard helmet mount (flat/curved surface mount) that comes with most GoPro packages. I used this on my ski helmet (Giro Seam) and it gives you a good bit of flexibility to get the angle, height, and front/back location of the camera just right on your helmet. This would be especially helpful if you have a helmet with a lot of vents in the front that you need to work around.

So far no complaints on the durability. This mount held up just fine over a trip to Alaska and a couple other trips last season, including a pretty nasty headfirst wreck I had in flat light conditions. My helmet (and the GoPro mount) took the brunt of the impact and everything survived.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I got this and played around with it a bit before ultimately returning it and going for a Garmin 510 instead. It seemed to be a good computer with all of the basic features, but I'm happy that I ultimately chose to upgrade to a Garmin. The display on this unit is ok - not my favorite as it seems rather small and has limited customization options but it covers the basics. The instructions walked through the install and set up in pretty good detail as well.

I ultimately chose to go for a GPS unit for a couple of key reasons:
- Garmin accessories (HRM, cadence, power meter, etc) are pretty easy to find and offer a wide range of upgrade options
- Having a unit that syncs to app / online training programs seamlessly is really really nice
- Running a GPS unit means no wheel magnets or sensors cluttering up your bike (the speed / cadence sensor in this kit is pretty bulky and didn't fit on my bike's chain stay very well)
- Having a GPS unit gives you a certain degree of multi-sport functionality (hiking, running, etc)

If you're looking for a low-frills computer that covers the basics (speed, cadence, HRM (w/ add on strap)) this computer is a pretty good choice. That being said, there are a lot of nice features that Garmin and other GPS computers provide that aren't available at this level

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Great option for skiing and mountain biking shots. The video is much less choppy than being on your helmet. That being said, you tend to get less of the surroundings in your shot and more of just what's straight ahead. The straps are easy to adjust and very secure once you sinch them down a bit. Comfy over a ski jacket, although it can feel a bit bulky if you've got several layers on underneath

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As most other reviewers have mentioned, the upgrade to a dropper post is AWESOME. Definitely the best upgrade I've ever made to a bike. This post is easy to install and you probably won't have to re-bleed the hydraulic line as part of the install as long as you're careful. I'm about a 4/10 in terms of mechanical savvy when it comes to my bike and I was able to install this in about 15 minutes with no hiccups. One thing to watch out for is the torque spec on the seat collar. If you over tighten the collar you can cause the dropper post to jam up a bit and get choppy on the rebound. Backing off the torque on the seat collar a little bit clears up the issue.

As far as the function of the post is concerned, I've been pretty happy. I've had the post on my bike all summer and I haven't had any major issues. The rebound speed is easy to adjust and the post still locks in solid without any up/down or rotational play. The one thing that I have noticed is that if I leave my bike sitting for a while between rides, the dropper can get somewhat stuck in the 'full up' position. I've never had it totally stuck, but have had to push extra hard the first time to make sure the post drops correctly and smoothly. Not a deal breaker yet, but does give me a little bit of pause about how long it will be before I need to get it serviced.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This collar works well and is super low profile so you won't even notice it once you've got it installed. I have a dropper post on my Bronson so no need for a quick release collar once I got my post height dialed in.

One word of caution - if you're using this with a dropper post make sure you find the torque spec for the dropper post and don't over-tighten the collar.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've got a couple of these for mountain biking and they're very comfortable. The fabric is soft on the inside and tough enough on the outside that I don't worry about bashing through tree branches or low brush. I've been surprised with how breathable the fabric is and how quickly it dries when I get sweaty. The sizing is pretty true to size for t-shirts, so you may want to jump up a size for a looser fit, especially if you ride with any sort of padding or armor. I usually wear either a large or XL in t shirts and went with an XL for this jersey. That being said, I don't ride with any kind of pads or armor and I would be hard pressed to fit a chest or back protector under this.

There is a small pocket on the left seam just above the hip that is ok for a credit card and car key, but starts to tug a bit if you load it up with something heavy or bulky. No pockets across the back, so don't plan on carrying all your tools, snacks, etc in this jersey.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have two of these and use them on both my road and mountain bikes. The valve is easy to use - just give the bottle a good squeeze and you've got water. The squeeze valve also does a pretty good job of shedding dirt if you're riding in wet/muddy conditions. You don't actually have to put the valve in your mouth (as long as your aim doesn't suck) so I haven't had issues with sucking down dirt. The valve also locks up pretty securely so you don't have to worry about spills in the car. The insulation won't keep things cold all day unless you have a ton of ice in your bottle, but it is plenty to keep things cool for a couple hours on a hot day. The bottles are easy to clean and I've never had any issues with plastic or rubber taste, even after leaving the bottle filled for a couple days by accident.

I pair these with the Elite Cannibal Water Bottle Cage and it makes for a very secure fit. I haven't had any issues with the bottle popping out, even on rowdier mountain rides. The bottle is compact enough to easily fit on my mountain bike (Santa Cruz Bronson, large frame). I've found that the 21oz size is perfect for an hour or so on a hot day. I take two with me if I'm taking my road bike out for a longer trip.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had the unfortunate joy of putting this to the test on my road bike a couple of weeks ago. The inflator worked really well and was easy to use - screwing the C02 cartridge into the head pierces the seal, but C02 doesn't start flowing until you put this on the valve and press down. The grip itself is pretty small so it helps to have something to wrap around the C02 cylinder to keep your fingers from freezing.

This head is compact enough to easily fit in a small saddle bag with a tube and a couple of cylinders. It's ergonomic enough to make attaching to a valve stem easy without losing half of your C02 along the way

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using this for most of the summer and I'm really happy with it. The computer allows you to set up multiple profiles so you can keep mountain vs. road rides separate. You can customize the profiles as well so if you want to track training vs. racing vs. casual riding separately it's easy to do. I've paired this with Garmin HR monitor straps, a cadence sensor, and my iPhone. The cadence and HR sensors pair easily. I often get pretty wonky/unreliable data from the HRM, but I suspect that it's a bad sensor rather than a problem with the computer itself. Pairing with my iPhone (via Bluetooth) is easy enough, although it occasionally takes a little fenageling to get the Garmin Connect app to update and sync.

The computer itself is really nice for riding - each data screen is very customizable and there are tons of data points to choose from. While not as smooth as playing around with an iPhone, the touch screen on this computer makes it easy enough to switch between screens while riding.

Overall I'm very happy with the computer itself. The only issues that I've had are with the accessories and iPhone app, but these don't really impact the functionality while I'm riding.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have this on my road bike and it's a nice upgrade from the mount that comes with Garmins that straps on to your stem/bars. This provides a cleaner look and makes the computer easier to see. You can customize the angle and exact location of your computer. Installation is easy - just need an alan wrench to tighten up the one mounting screw. So far this has been very secure and I haven't had any issues with my computer trying to make a break for it.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Good for mountain biking on busy trails. As others have mentioned, this isn't the loudest bell in the world, but I've found that it does a pretty good job on the trails. It's easy to attach to your handlebar or stem and can be attached in a couple different configurations. The bell itself turns on the plastic strap so once you get it on your handlebars you can turn it to get the striker on the right side. The strap seems solid and makes for an extremely fast tool-free setup. Also easy to take this off and on if you need to de-clutter or transfer it to another bike.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have this paired with a Garmin Edge 510 on my road bike and it's worked great for me. Paired right out of the box and has connected reliably ever since. The data seems accurate and I really like how low profile it is on my bike. The pod straps onto the left crank arm with a couple high strength rubber bands that are included in the box. The sensor is well hidden which is a nice touch if you've already got a GPS computer on your bike - no wires, wheel magnets, etc to clutter up your bike.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I recently replaced the Shimano Deore pads on my Santa Cruz Bronson with the ice tech pads and I'm pretty happy with the upgrade. My pads were due for a replacement so I decided to bite the bullet and go with these. My bike came stocked with the Shimano Deore M615 brake set and these pads work just fine. I have noticed slightly better performance on long downhills vs. the non-Ice Tech pads that were stocked on the bike. They tend to fade less and keep more consistent, especially near the end of the descent. I wouldn't say that it's such a night and day difference that you should scrap your non-Ice Tech pads if they're in good shape, but when it comes time to replace worn out pads, these give a pretty decent performance boost.

I ride mostly in Park City so we get mostly dry and dusty conditions. I've been happy with the metallic pads - I originally had organic pads and recently replaced my pads and rotors. The metallic pads haven't been any noisier than the organic ones, and have given me a slight improvement in braking power and modulation

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I recently replaced the Shimano Deore rotors on my Santa Cruz Bronson with the ice tech rotors and I'm pretty happy with the upgrade. My rotors were due for a replacement so I decided to bite the bullet and go with these. My bike came stocked with the Shimano Deore M615 brake set and these rotors work just fine. I have noticed slightly better performance on long downhills vs. the non-Ice Tech rotors that were stocked on the bike. They tend to fade less and keep more consistent, especially near the end of the descent. I wouldn't say that it's such a night and day difference that you should scrap your non-Ice Tech rotors if they're in good shape, but when it comes time to replace worn out rotors, these give a pretty decent performance boost.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these bars - tasty, filling, and ingredients you can pronounce, but they are DENSE! I'm always taken a bit by surprise at how filling they are for a 3oz bar. Great for snacking on the trail but I find that I need to be rather hungry to crush a full bar by myself.

One huge plus is that these bars don't have a tendency to freeze in cold weather - no more worrying about chipping a tooth on a rock solid energy bar with these ones!

I've sampled all of the Kate's bars (Tram, Tiki, Stash, and Handle Bars). Apart from the Tiki bars, they all taste somewhat similar - if you like one, you'll probably like all of them, and they have just enough variety to keep your trail snacks interesting for a couple days

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on September 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Picked up a couple of these to replace the aging bite valves on reservoirs that my wife and I use pretty regularly. I'm happy with how long these last before starting to get funky or leak - we had one that started to leak after about 4 years and another that fell victim to an over-zealous rodent on a recent backpacking trip. These are easy enough to clean - I usually just rinse with hot water, only occasionally use soap, and make sure to take them off the hose to fully dry. I've gotten mildew in them on occasion, but a quick flush with soapy water takes care of it. They have a bit of a rubber taste when brand new but I've found that it wears off after a couple uses.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on June 18, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got a size small for my road bike and I'm really happy with it. Unlike most other saddle bags, there's no Velcro on this one. There's a bit of shock cord and a small clip that wraps around your seat post and a bit of nylon strap with two buckles that wrap around he seat rails. I'm pretty stoked that there isn't any velcro to worry about he ends/corners creeping out and scratching up my legs. The shape of the bag is longer and narrower than most other ones I looked at. It can be a little weird depending on what you're trying to cram in there but it does a really good job of staying right under your seat and not sticking out beyond the saddle at all.

The size small is great for my road bike - fits one tube, C02, and an inflator head. There's (barely) space to shove a key in as well. If you're looking to carry your phone or use this on a mountain bike I'd suggest sizing up. I've had this for about a month so can't say too much for long term durability, but it seems like it is built well and should be able to hold up just fine

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on May 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got this bike a couple weeks ago and I've had a hard time sitting at my desk rather than riding ever since. This bike is stupid fun to ride - it climbs great, tracks well, and really jumps when you decide it's time to sprint. The frame is very stiff and a relatively short wheelbase keeps the steering very lively and responsive. It's got a racy feel to it, but the geometry and construction are not so brutal that it's painful to take out on longer rides. You could easily have this as a racing bike, but it's also comfortable for an everyday ride.

As Kyle mentioned below, the value on this bike is pretty incredible - full Ultegra groupset without skimping on brakes, cassette, etc, DT Swiss aero wheelset, carbon everything, and the list goes on.

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Mark Travers

Mark Traverswrote a review of on May 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've got these cages on both my mountain bike and road bike and I'm really happy with them. I use them with CamelBak Podium Chill bottles (21 oz) and they fit in these cages just fine. The cage can expand a bit and the colored tab at the top of the cage is made out of relatively tacky rubber so it grips onto plastic bottles really nicely, even on my mountain bike. The design also lets you shove a bottle in from odd angles which is really nice for the confined space in my mountain bike's frame.

These are light enough, cheap enough, and come in a nice variety of colors so you can match to your frame (or not). Not much more I could ask for

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