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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmes

Salt Lake City

Dana Holmes's Bio

"Go West, young man." I'm not actually sure who said this (maybe you can tell me?) but I took the advice anyways. Left Maine after college and went to Wyoming, then Alaska, then California, then... you get the picture. Currently calling Salt Lake City home and working on exploring the Wasatch.

I believe in getting into the mountains and moving through them. With friends. Alone. When it's sunny. When it's raining. In the dark. Before Work. After Work. I prefer skis in the winter and a pair of running shoes when there's no snow on the ground, but sometimes I also roll through the hills on two wheels. My climbing friends take me along when they need to feel better about themselves.

Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 18, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a basic bike tool that has all the bits you need for quick-maintenance and repairs on most modern bikes, as well as integrated tire levers that don't suck. Unlike the other reviewer, I haven't had any issues with rusting, although I do live in Utah where we don't really have such problems.

My favorite thing about this tool is that the bits are very high quality hardened steel - no issues with them deforming or rounding when trying to unscrew a stubborn bolt like you'll get on cheap multi tools. I also like that you get a full size allen wrench, which makes it much easier to get into tight places and get enough torque for the job. The obvious negative is that the bits are not attached, so there's a lot of small pieces to lose when doing trail side repairs.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 15, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I haven't used this extensively but it seems like a great little light. It's quite bright and the flash pattern seems well thought out to get drivers' attention. It fits into the mount on your bike like a key, so it's quick and easy to pull off if you live in a high theft area where people will steal your bike lights outside the grocery store... not that I have any experience with that. I also like that it doesn't need a charge cable and you can just plug it right in to any USB port to charge.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 7, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These don't work as well as the vulcanized rubber patches that you glue on with rubber cement, but they will take care of small holes and get you rolling quickly so you can get back to the house or the car. The whole kit is about the size and weight of a quarter, so they're a nice emergency fix to have on hand. I always carry a spare tube on longer rides, but I like having these in my pocket as well in case I have REALLY terrible luck and get two flats on the same ride.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 7, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After the tubes on your commuter bike get turned in to swiss cheese by a nasty patch of goat heads, don't toss them - save them and patch them up with this kit. Take your time and make sure you rough the surface up and let the glue partially cure before applying the patch. If you do it right, the patch will be permanently bonded to the rubber and the tube is good as new, saving you a few bucks and the landfill some unneeded waste. I'd recommend carrying a good tube to get rolling again quickly when you get a flat and saving the patching for the couch at home - it's not difficult, but not something I want to be doing in the shoulder of the road either.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 7, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Ride quality seems good so far; they feel glued to the road and they corner well. They aren't particularly thick and the rubber is soft, but they do have some sort of puncture resistant strip and I haven't had any flats so far. I mostly use my road bike for commuting and zipping around town, which tends to involve a lot of rough roads, sidewalks, alleys, train track crossings, and other surfaces that are hell on tires. I find the ride quality on thick puncture-proof tires to be pretty awful, so I prefer to use cheap training tires like this and just replace them when they get torn up. I don't expect these to be a particularly long lasting tire but they were cheap enough that I won't be upset if they're shredded after a few months of city riding.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on April 30, 2018

Heavy and hard to install, but solid
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Cargo racks and panniers are great for serious long-distance touring, but are often overkill for quick neighborhood trips and can be difficult to load evenly. This cargo rack is an excellent, easy-carrying solution for your run-around town bike. It's generously sized, easy to load and secure with the included cargo net, and perfect for carrying oddly shaped items like takeout food containers or a six pack of beer. I love that it can be mounted front or rear - throwing it on the front is excellent for quick around town trips and allows you to keep an eye on any precious cargo, like the aforementioned six pack.

The welds are all of excellent quality on mine which is reassuring as cheaper racks often fail due to poor welding. The rack seems somewhat over engineered which bodes well for long-term durability carrying heavy loads, but does make it quite heavy - even unloaded, you'll notice the extra weight on your rig.

Once installed this the rack is reassuringly solid, but the installation is surprisingly tricky and not aided by the vague, poorly written directions. There are a myriad of different options to mount and this should be compatible with almost any frame, but figuring out how exactly it attaches and getting it adjusted may be quite frustrating depending on your mechanical aptitude. Important side note - if you do not have rack mount eyelets down by your drop outs, you'll need to purchase an extra long quick release skewer separately in order to install this rack.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on January 10, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Perfect for summer mountain runs. I have pockets in all my running shorts that I throw my keys and nutrition in so all I need is a good bottle with a strap - this fits the bill. The bottle is ergonomic and the strap holds it to your hand securely with no rubbing or chafing.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on January 10, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Not the fastest rolling tire out there, but these are a tried and true tread design with fantastic grip in most conditions you'll encounter mountain biking in the rockies or the desert - they particularly shine when things get loose and sketchy. I can't speak to their performance in wet conditions as we don't ride in those out in Utah! The skinwall variant is unusual to find in a performance MTB tire and is a fun way to give your bike a little extra bling.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on January 9, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These shoes look great, are made out of a super durable fabric, and have good grip for their intended purpose of bike commuting on flat pedals. Unfortunately, they haven't held up very well overall. After wearing them a few months, the sole started coming unglued in the back on both shoes and I've had to use Shoe Goo to re-glue it a couple of times. The lace eyelets are also sharp and keep slicing my shoelaces in half. A strange problem. Finally, I'm not sure what it is, but these shoes make my feet sweat and stink more than just about anything I've owned. All small problems on their own - but altogether, they sort of limit my stoke on these shoes.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 4, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These are basically a racing flat with a bit more padding. Great for shorter, faster training runs or speed work, but a bit too minimal for a long-distance high mile training shoe. The mesh uppers are comfortable and dump heat and sweat well. Fit is snug throughout the heel and mid foot with just enough room in the forefoot not to crunch your toes. The soles are thin but the boost material makes them a little less punishing.

Construction quality is great, soles grip well to wet pavement, and they look pretty darn fly. Seriously though... looks are usually the last thing I think about buying a running shoe, but these things look GOOD - casual understated old-school cool. You'll be the fliest guy at the starting line of the weekly 5k.

Great choice for a race day shoe for almost anyone for 5-10k distances, and more competitive runners would probably do well using them for half marathon and up distances as well.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on January 1, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm not going to lie and tell you this stuff tastes great because energy gel is a gross substance and it can be pretty hard to choke down even in the best of circumstances. HOWEVER, as far as gels go this stuff is pretty good. It's thinner than most brands and the flavoring isn't as strong, so it's easy to choke down even when your stomach isn't feeling so hot.

I usually put about 4oz of this in a 7oz Nathan flask and top it off with a little water to thin it down even more. Goes down easy and provides a quick easy energy boost.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on October 3, 2016

5 5

I have pretty low expectations every time I try a new coffee brewing device - especially one that purports to make espresso, as I used to work in a coffee shop and drank enough espresso shots on a daily basis to give an elephant heart palpitations. Suffice to say, I'm familiar with the stuff and a bit picky.

I'm happy to report that this little device is more than a gimmick. It's well built, well designed and produces a real shot of espresso. There's a lot of metal in it and it's got a satisfying heft. It's a bit of a process to pull a shot, but anyone that will really appreciate the espresso this produces will enjoy the brewing process as well. It also takes some experimenting to dial in all the variables. The first half dozen shots I pulled were utter garbage, but once I figured out the right grind, dose, and tamp pressure I started pulling tasty shots with beautiful crema almost every time.

I'd highly recommend pairing this with a manual crank-powered burr grinder and grinding up good, fresh, locally roasted beans right before you brew. It's honestly not worth the effort if you're going to use pods or pre-ground espresso, as they'll always produce sub-par results.

The average coffee drinker will probably find the Handpresso to be too much work and hassle, but anyone that really enjoys espresso and especially anyone that works/has worked in the specialty coffee industry will absolutely love it.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on July 28, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is the second pair of Topo Athletic shoes I've owned this summer. Very impressed with what this new and relatively unknown shoe company is putting out.

Love the fit on these; snug in the mid foot but roomy and anatomically correct in the toe box. Plenty of room for toe splay but without the sloppy imprecise fit that a certain zero drop brand (cough cough, Altra...) is known for.

These have one of the best all-around treads I've ever used. It works pretty damn well on anything from slippery rock scrambling to steep loose dirt to pavement. There's no rock plate, but I've found that the mid sole is sufficiently firm and thick enough to provide plenty of protection even on rough trails.



For how light they are construction seems very solid. I would expect these to have the same lifespan as the last pair of Topo shoes I had which was respectable but not exceptional (probably around 250 miles).

I think the name is perfect on these - MT stands for "Mountain Trainer." These are a great general purpose shoe for running around in the mountains. They're also a great option if some of your runs involve a little (or a lot) of pavement. The fit is probably a bit too clunky for short fast races but they're an awesome training shoe and with the ample padding I think they'll be great for ultra distances too.

As always if you're used to a shoe with a traditional amount of drop (8-10mm+) I'd transition into running in these or any other neutral shoe slowly to avoid pain and possible injury.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on July 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Excellent and very economical degreaser. I usually dilute around 5:1 with water as the product description suggests and it works great in my chain scrubber and for general use at this dilution.

It's also excellent for getting grease out of clothes, be it a big nasty chainring stamp on your shorts or some cooking oil you spilled on your shirt while cooking.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on July 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This big ol' jug of mineral oil is a great value compared to the price of the smaller bottles. Buy this if you have a couple bikes in the house. Or if you just have one bike, buy it anyways and offer to bleed all your friend's brakes for a six pack - you'll make out like a bandit!

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on July 15, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been riding clipless this season but decided to grab some flats to throw on every once in a while to make sure I wasn't picking up too many bad habits. I didn't want to spend a boatlad and these fit the bill perfectly.

Paired with some trusty 5.10s they're plenty grippy. Not as good as the best flats I've ever ridden, but they're also about a third of the price. The pin pattern isn't perfect - they're a bit spread out. Not much of an issue for me with a men's size 9, but riders with small feet may find that not all the pins grab the soles of their shoes.

These are a great buy for any level of biker. They'd be a nice upgrade for the stock pedals that come on many low-end hardtails, but they're a quality component that isn't out of place on a brand new high end trail bike either. Even though they're an inexpensive component, they're fully rebuildable and seem quite durable. And they come in a full rainbow of colors to match whatever color scheme you're running!

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