Save 25% or More on Pearl Izumi »
Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro

Salt Lake City/Park City, Utah

Vinny Mauro's Bio

I am a Group/Corporate Sales Rep here at Backcountry! If you are interested in any large/bulk/custom orders, or just have specific questions about any of the gear I have reviewed, please feel free to contact me directly. My email is vmauro@backcountry.com.

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 25, 2016

5 5

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

I just got this and haven't traveled with it, but am super excited about it. For my whole life I have only had normal sized backpacks and bigger duffel bags. Bringing a bigger duffel can be a big pain, so many trips I have crammed into smaller backpacks. Traveling light is great, but forcing too much stuff into too small of a space is just annoying and you spend your whole trip wrestling with it. VERY excited about this thing, because it is just small enough to pass as a backpack, just small enough to use as a carry on, but has TONS of room. And not only does it have lots of room, but it flips out like a suit case giving you much more organization than just jamming things down into a normal backpack.

Looking for a pack to hike with? Definitely look elsewhere. But if you're looking for something to travel with and carry on your back through the airport and out to your Uber, I would definitely recommend this one.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This thing is so sweet. I've had some more serious Garmin watches and less serious Fitbits, but this is a great compromise between the two. It is capable enough to record my mountain bike rides and other activities, but much more compact, user friendly, and wearable on a daily basis than the bigger more fully featured watches. It is just small and sleek enough that I can wear it every day as my time piece, which was important to me.

The huge thing that made purchasing this watch a no-brainer was the music functionality. That said, it's still not perfect. The music feature works exactly as described, it's easy to load up music and to play it while you're on the trail. The freedom this gives you to run, bike, etc. without a cell phone flopping around in your pocket is pretty huge. However, you have to actually download the music in order to load it up you can't just pull from your spotify/apple music playlists. This is more annoying than I expected, turns out I don't actually own much music in 2016. While I consider this a pretty big problem, it is still the only watch of its kind to allow any kind of music function at all so it gets a pass! I'm definitely looking forward to the future when I can just hit play on my streaming accounts.

Other huge advantage over the fitbit lineup is that it is waterproof, and the heart rate monitor doesn't have that obnoxious green flashing light.

Overall this watch has been super easy to set up and use, and the features you get for the price can't be beat. If these are the features you're looking for, I would highly recommend it.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I used to think the super short service intervals on suspension was a load of garbage. Then I started actually doing them, and my god it makes your bike ride incredible! The longer you put off doing it, the more you'll kick yourself once you do and see the difference it makes. Easy to do at home if you are comfortable with that, just follow instructions and take your time.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things not only give you a phenomenal amount of energy without a crash, but they taste like delicious margaritas! (or whatever flavor you choose). The only problem is sometimes I eat too many at once and run out super fast... so try to pace yourself for the best energy delivery. Or don't.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things are not only delicious they work incredibly well to get you through that slump on a long ride, run, whatever it is you do that makes you tired. I would highly recommend, already back ordering my third box. Flavors are pretty personal, I haven't come across any I didn't like yet.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 16, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It was no secret that the Pike swiftly knocked Fox out of the top spot for 140-160mm travel forks. The Pike came out and was lighter, stiffer, smoother, and had better dampening. It seems to me like it took Fox some serious R&D to mount a comeback, but based on the 30 or so rides I have on this fork I'd say they have pulled it off finally.

The 34 chassis makes for a super light fork, but they've got it plenty stiff. In a blind test there's no way I could tell you which is stiffer this or a Pike. Whatever they've changed with the air spring has definitely made the beginning stroke much more supple as well. My 2015 (maybe 2014? had the RC2 damper) 36 Float was very rough and chattery and made for numb hands on long descents, this are is greatly improved on this fork. The RC2 damper in that 36 I had was pretty decent as well, but it was unfortunate they used the CTD damper in the 34 chassis exclusive since the CTD gave you very little control over compression dampening. This Fit4 damper has the same useful on the fly adjust-ability of CTD, but with much more actual control over the dampening.

Overall this fork is light, smooth, and easy to set up (with some basic understanding of the fundamentals of suspension tuning, not as turn-key as the previous CTD). I still dig the Pike for sure, but it's nice that there is now a comparable offering from Fox to choose from based on exactly what you need. If weight is a priority then this fork is a no-brainer over the Pike. Other than that, I'd say you really can't go wrong either way. Got to love when some healthy competition in the market makes for such sweet products!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was traumatized by some bad experiences with Sram/avid brakes 5-6 years ago and didn't touch them for years. I finally made the leap back since this 4 piston design looked promising and they have been out for a couple years with solid reviews. Glad I didn't wait any longer, they are awesome. I don't plan on going back to a 2 piston brake any time soon. Compared to the 2 piston brakes I've been riding the last few years these have far more power AND modulation. I can't really comment on longevity, but I've gotten a few hundred miles of hard riding so far without having to mess with them. Even if I have to bleed them a couple times per season... that's fine my me for the extra performance, and as long as you have the Sram bleed kit it's stupid easy to do anyway.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's no mystery that Sram/Avid had some duds in their brake lineup in the lat 5-7 years and lost a lot of customers to Shimano. Myself included, many have defaulted to Shimano for their steadfast reliability and reasonable prices. These Guides were enticing enough for me to give Sram another try, and they have definitely redeemed themselves. While I still appreciate the low maintenance functionality of my XT brakes, I have put a few hundred miles on my Guide RSCs and have been very happy. I can't comment on long term reliability yet, but the extra power and control from these 4 piston calipers is HUGE. Sram has always had the actuation dialed, now that they have paired that with a super powerful 4 piston caliper I'd say these are definitely the best trail/enduro brakes I have ridden. So far I haven't even used the pad contact adjustment, but as the pads wear down I'm sure that will become useful.

At the end of the day, I would purchase these again all day.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 2, 2016

5 5

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

I just got one of these after riding a Nomad all of last year. My initial impressions were exactly what I expected based on the marketing and just looking at the bike... it feels like a quicker, more nimble Nomad. I would say climbing ability seems very comparable actually, not as much improvement there as you might expect but both are perfectly capable of climbing lots of vert. Going down is when I really noticed the difference. The Nomad is insanely stable and begs to go fast. The Bronson feels reasonable at speed, but really excels when you go to move it around. Picking up the front wheel, popping off a lip, dipping into a turn, etc. all happen with much less effort than the nomad.

Both bikes are crazy good. For all out speed I would still take the Nomad, but for general fun-having I am very excited about the Bronson.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 2, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Ok ya there isn't much special about this stem. But it works great, uses hex bolts which is nice, and looks pretty good/blends in.

If you have any doubts about the sizing of your stem, you will definitely not regret trying a different size. Do it now! Worst case scenario you go back to your old stem and can spend the rest of the season knowing that you have the correct size stem. Always worth it in my experience to get those little things dialed earlier rather than later so you can just enjoy the ride. Nothing worse than second guessing all summer, or trying your buddies bike with a different stem and realizing you've been hosing yourself.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This pad definitely has the most thought out design of all that I have seen. As noted in the comments the L/XL does not have the slots on the outside to hold your fork in place, but in that place it does still have a solid thick pad to keep your precious forks super safe. Inside it does have the slots to hold your frame, which does an incredible job keeping things still. The velcro straps are great for peace of mind on longer drives.

The fact that this pad is so similarly priced to the more simple, feature-less options is pretty impressive to me. Lot's of designing and sewing has gone into it, and my bike is grateful.

I put this on my 2016 Ram 1500. The Ram has a stupidly thick tailgate, no pad sits perfectly on it as a result (thanks Ram!)... but this worked just as well as the others I tried, so I picked it based on how well the slots hold the bikes in place. These days it seems like the average bike is a good $5k, so $130 is quite a bargain to protect up to $30k of bike per ride!

(0)

 

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This rack is awesome. Looks good, easy to load and unload your bikes, keeps your bikes super safe, and is easy to set up and install. I haven't had mine very long, but have several riding buddies who have had their Kuats for years so I am not worried about longevity.

I also have buddies with the Yakima and Thule options... I wouldn't say any of them are the end-all hitch rack they all work great, so I would recommend picking out the one you think looks best with your vehicle. I don't generally advise picking things based on looks... but I honestly feel that all of the high end tray style hitch racks are that comparable as far as performance goes. I've owned the Yakima hold up as well, and I have used the thule version on many trips with a friend.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are a classic! At first years ago they seemed like a super high end premium offering, one of the first "nice" platform pedals. Now they remain unchanged, still a great pedal, but somehow other pedals have become so insanely expensive that these are now a great "value." Anyway, the price on these is fair and they are a great pedal. There are some lighter, thinner, more sexy options out there for sure, but these pedals get the job done for half the price of those sexier options.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

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

This pad is super high quality. The price is on the higher end for sure, but you can tell by the materials and design that Evoc intended on earning your money. Most notable would be the nice metal clips where others use plastic, and the nice rubberized material that seems much more appropriate to live outside in the rain than the other heavy duty nylon offerings. It's still super soft inside to protect your truck as well!

Unfortunately I returned this for a different pad since I struggled to find the perfect fit for my 2016 Ram's tailgate... they are absurdly thick and curved making it pretty difficult. For a more regular tailgate I imagine this would be very nice.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This tire is awesome. Made for wide rims, but I mounted it to my Mercury X1s with a 26mm ID and they are great on those as well. Basically the difference compared to a traditional Minion of the same size is just that the profile is more round. Since I pedal up hill on most of my rides this is fine by me, and when cornering I haven't experienced any lack of traction it is still great.

I paired this with a DHF Minion WT 2.5 up front and it's a great combo. Just light enough to tolerate for long XC rides with zero compromises on the downhill.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've only used these for a couple rides now, but am loving them so far. In the past few years I have also used the High Roller II, Ardent 2.4s, Hans Dampf, and the normal Minions.

I bought these wide trail tires to mount on my Mercury X1 rims which are 26mm ID. So narrower than the intended audience for this tire, but the more round profile appealed to me. Thus far my theory has proven correct that the round profile means less rolling resistance and still the incredible cornering traction I would expect from a Minion. I paired this tire in 2.5 with a 2.4 DHR wide trail in the rear. I have thoroughly enjoyed the High Roller as well so it's hard to pick a favorite. For all out traction and romp-ability the Minion takes the cake for sure, but the High Roller II does offer near comparable traction with some narrower/lighter options which can be good on the uphill. I plan on using my current set up of Minions for lots of XC rides and climbing, but don't expect climbing to be as quick as last summer when I had Ardents front and back. The increased confidence (and therefore fun) on the downhill is a worthwhile trade-off to me.

(0)