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Daniel

Daniel

Daniel's Bio

Gravel, bikepacking, dirt riding in Salt Lake.

Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 26, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got this computer primarily for routing on long rides. Setup is annoying but once you are following a course it is great to have on a ride. My routes typically include unfamiliar gravel road with unmarked turns so keeping a close eye on a map is essential. The Garmin does all the work for you.

With simple training and route recording this is a great option with a lot of features. However for my type of riding I find the computer fairly unintuitive with lots of menus and button presses to navigate. Getting routes onto the device my plugging it in is straightforward but paring with Bluetooth and using Garmin's apps is something I still haven't completely figured out.

Lastly battery life could be a lot better. They improved this on the new 1030 but this gets pretty low after an 8 hour ride.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After getting used to a dynamo light on my commuter I had to go back to a battery light with a new wheelset. This one has been excellent. Battery life is good where I don't need to recharge it every day (more like every week). It throws a lot of light and the status light gives a good indication of charge level. It has a bunch of modes but I only use the high, medium, low settings. My favorite part is the mount. This loaded kit includes a hard mount rather than the rubber strap (which I never trust) which is secure and easy to swap between bikes. The loaded kit also includes a helmet mount which is a bonus.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I found these bibs quite comfortable. The pad is sufficient and supportive while lacking some of the fancy antibacterial features and designs of Giordana's top tier pad. My first ride included 9 miles of in the saddle climbing where I didn't even notice the bib.

I was quite happy with the fit - the straps are long enough for taller riders unlike other brands. at 6'1", 175 lbs I went with size large which is perfect. I normally wear a medium in more "American" fit brands. The inseam is relatively long so keep that in mind if you have shorter legs but it's perfect for taller riders. The short itself has enough compression without being overbearing and the leg gripper was unobtrusive while keeping things in place. One note - these shorts don't come up higher like some in the stomach which makes them easy for nature breaks but not as supportive.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is about the only bottle I use anymore. They're a good size, the nozzle is reliable and locks when I throw it in a bag, the insulation keeps cold water cold longer and hot water hot longer in winter. The bottles are durable and don't hold flavor when using electrolyte tablets. The only downsides are the the mouthpieces get dirty easily and can be noisy when it burps air. Camelbak has great customer service and has replacement mouthpieces as needed.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 26, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was excited to try this brand as Acepac is a Czech company that is little known in the US. My first impression - quality is top notch. The construction is right up there with brands like Revelate with durable materials used. In that respect I wouldn't hesitate to take this bag on on a long trip.

Size is decent as well. I got the size large which is longer than many top tube bags. It is taller and narrower than some others with a fair bit of side space taken up my foam stiffeners. It's still rather roomy with a movable internal divider. Access is provided by 2 waterproof zippers along the top with the zipper pulls sewed together so the entire top opens backwards. Mesh side pockets and daisy chain strapping on top give some extra room to secure things.

While construction is great, this bag leaves something to be desired on the bike. The velcro straps that secure to the top tube and stem are movable to fit many frames however since they are not sewn into the bag itself, the bag tends to slide side-to-side which is quite annoying. The zippers are the other problem - since they are waterproofed they are quite stiff so opening the bag is fine but closing it takes 2 hands - not something you want to do while riding rough terrain.

I plan to give this bag another chance and maybe make some modifications - it has potential to be great but needs work.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 20, 2018

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had high hopes for this bag - it seems like a perfect idea to put my flat kit in and keep it down low on the downtube out of the way. In practice it's not so great.

Number one - it only works well with fairly flat items. Once you roll it up anything bulky (tube, little sealant bottle, bulky tire levers, etc) turns this into a giant burrito that slides around doesn't secure well. The internal divided storage is all fairly small compartments so it doesn't fit everything I want to bring.

Number two - it doesn't seal well. If you put it anywhere on the bike that gets hit with dust or road spray expect things inside the roll to be coated.

Number three - it's hard to attach. The attached Velcro straps fit many frame shapes but they are fussy to undo and redo quickly on the side of the road. The zip off wallet does not zip off or on quickly.

This kit might work for you if you want to carry flat items like a medical kit. Prepare to pack it minimally and mount it in a place that doesn't get too dirty. It doesn't work for me.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 20, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

My go-to helmet brand has always been Giro as they fit me quite well but I decided to take a chance and try the Bell Z20. Bell is known to fit a rounder head shape while Giro fits more oval but fit hasn't been a problem at all for me. The Z20 doesn't slip onto my head quite as comfortably as a Giro but once I'm out riding I find I don't notice it at all which is the sign of a good helmet. I went with a Medium which is what I wear in Giro and most brands.

I like the shape of the helmet, not so rounded and aero-looking as other popular models these days. MIPS is always a good feature to look for even though I hope to never need it. The fit adjustment dial has a good feel to it and allows quick micro adjustments. This helmet does feel a bit on the heavier side, but once again, as soon as it's on my head it disappears. The straps stay adjusted fairly well and lie flat under the ears which has been a problem in the past on other brands.

Overall I'd recommend this helmet to anyone. I find sunglasses sit just fine under the helmet and will hold them ok but not great in the vents when not in use. I flip the glasses upside down, they don't slide into the vents as easily on some glasses and depending on the tips they can dig into my head just a tiny bit, but they have not fallen out even with all my curb hopping.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 20, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been impressed by the quality of these shoes. They're not my normal style but they're comfortable enough that I find myself slipping into them whenever I need to run outside - either on bike, foot, or driving. The sole is stiff and grippy enough for riding flat pedals without being unwalkable and the upper holds my foot well despite no laces.

I normally wear a size 9-9.5 shoe depending on brand and 9 is perfect in these. My feet run slightly narrow and I'd call these a true average fit width-wise - they work for me but would fit a touch wider feet as well.

We'll see how these stand up to long term use but quality of construction looks quite good. There's nothing fancy going on here but pick these for a solid casual riding shoe.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was surprised how well this works. I've got 5800 105 shifters with an M7000 SLX rear derailleur and SLX 11-40t cassette and it shifts just like it should. This adapter can be run as pictured at the rear derailleur, it also includes a ferrule so you can run it inline up by the bars. I've got it mounted at the derailleur for a bit cleaner look. Setup was fairly straightforward if you read the directions, just be sure to use a 1.1mm shift cable and take your time. One the cable is installed a couple turns of the barrel adjuster dials it in. Thanks Wolftooth for giving me a wide range 1x drivetrain without having to move to Sram!

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 17, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I got these wheels for a gravel build and have to say I love them. They are stouter than some road/cx rims so I know they'll withstand my abuse, and the hubs are proven - I have 3 other sets of DT Swiss hubs already. Freehubs and end caps for different axle standards are readily available for these as are upgraded star ratchets to improve engagement (the stock star ratchets don't feel great in that respect). The rims are on the narrow side for mountain tires but work fantastic for gravel tires, WTB Byways in 650x47 mounted and set up tubeless beautifully. I never got around to weighing these but based on a below comment 1650g isn't too shabby.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 17, 2018

5 5

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

I've put in a few rides on these tires so far. Coming from a knobbier, wider gravel tires these are blazing fast! Not only are they fast, they are a super sticky compound. Most of my miles have been pavement so far but they have been picking up a fair bit of debris and flinging it at me so they should hook up nicely on dirt. I look forward to testing the durability as I've heard mixed reports.

I have yet to measure these but they look about 38mm wide on a narrowish rim, the sidewalls say 700x40 so on wider rim I'd expect them to come in closer to that.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 6, 2018

4 5

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

This is definitely a budget oriented dishing gauge and it shows. Will it work? Definitely. I've used Park's WAG-4 Pro dishing gauge which is higher quality and other brands that are better designed but also double, triple, or even higher in price. I'd recommend this for the home mechanic who wants to check their wheels once a year or so.

The portability/store-ability of this tool is nice. With a quick check on a new wheel it's fairly accurate. The wingnuts that hold the tool together feel like they could loosen and fall off without a lock washer added. The bracket that holds everything together is nylon so not the most durable. My biggest gripe - you have to take the tire of to check dish.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 6, 2018

5 5

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

I usually ride a aluminum body pedals for their durability but recently picked up some of the Compounds for a budget build. I have to say I'm impressed! The bearings feel good quality and are sealed, the body feels tough, and the pins are quite grippy. these are one of the biggest bangs for your buck in pedals!

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 6, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Sure you can pay more for XT or XTR but chains are something I change often and don't think about much in the meantime so this works fantastic. Durability is just fine, maybe it's a bit heavier than a nicer chain but I'm not one to notice. Having a quick link now is really nice for easy installation.

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