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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.

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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

Fit and grip great. A perfect basic low cost glove for warm weather mountain biking. They don't have any velcro closure to mess with which I especially like, just throw them on and go.

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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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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on June 2, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Get the job done, plenty of grip with gloves, and don't slip around. If you're replacing an old pair of lock-ons save the 2.5 hex bolts to use with these. These include T10 bolts which is a bit silly in my opinion. Most bike multi-tools have a 2.5 hex bit, but I've never owned one with a T10 bit. Granted, there's not a whole lot of times when you'll need to tighten or remove grips on the trail - but it happens.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on June 2, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Pretty much all modern suspension is designed to self-lubricate from the internal oil bath, so I was pretty skeptical that this would actually do anything. But, it was cheap, so I gave it a try.

Happy to say that it actually does make a difference. I had noticeably more small-bump sensitivity after giving my stanchions a quick spritz of this stuff. It's also great for keeping your dropper post sliding smoothly.

Clean your stanchions thoroughly with a soft rag before applying and use sparingly. About a 1 second spritz on each stanchion every 2-3 rides seems to do the trick. Any more will just act as a dust and gunk magnet. With how little you use at a time the can will last approximately forever and there's plenty to share with your buddies. Do make sure to be very careful and avoid getting any on your brake pads and rotors!

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I won't lie, I bought these because they were the cheapest name-brand brake pads I could find for my SLX brakes and that's how I roll.

They don't have the cool-looking heat dissipating fins that the metallic brake pads that came on my bike had, but they were easy to install and work great after breaking them in. They're shockingly quiet compared to metallic pads.

They don't seem to have quite as much brute force stopping power as metal pads mashing down steep descents, but they feel a lot more supple. There's noticeably more control and feedback when I'm just feathering the brakes to scrub a little speed on a fast section of trail.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on May 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

As my review title suggests, these leave little to the imagination. But, they are 5" split shorts, so you probably know what you're getting into if you're even considering these. Let's just say that you and the rest of the world will be acutely aware of how little sun your thighs have gotten the first time you run in these.

The pocket system is fantastic and mostly movement-free. Plenty of room for your key, some gels or chews, a pair of gloves - heck, a houdini will even fit in there, but it looks pretty goofy. For shorter warm weather runs, you can easily fit everything you need in the pockets and just carry a handheld bottle to eliminate the need for a pack.

The fabric is super light weight and dries almost instantly. I've never had shorts with an integrated liner and was a bit skeptical. I had visions of the itchy mesh liner in bathing suits I had as a kid. After the first run in these, I could tell it wasn't going to be an issue. The liner is soft and chafe-free, and keeps everything in place if you catch my drift. All in all these are extremely comfortable and so light and minimalist you'll find yourself double checking to make sure you're wearing anything at all.

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Dana Holmes

Dana Holmeswrote a review of on April 24, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

With how expensive good 10 and 11 speed chains are, it makes sense to take care of them to prolong their lifespan as much as possible. This is a good value kit that gives you everything you need to clean your drive train. The chain cleaner seems to be well made and gets the job done, the included solvent works well and you get plenty of it for several uses, and the cleaning brush really is more effective than a toothbrush.

You can clean your chain on your bike with this if it's only mildly dirty. If it's really gunked up, I'd recommend pulling it off (you have quick links installed, right?) and running it through the chain cleaner. Then give it a good rinse in warm water and let it dry thoroughly before reinstalling and lubing. I rinse mine by putting it in a gatorade bottle of warm water and giving it a good shake.

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