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Daniel

Daniel

Daniel's Bio

Gravel, bikepacking, dirt riding in Salt Lake.

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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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 6, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

My only complaint on this cassette is that it's on the heavy side, the price certainly compensates for that though. Beyond that shifting performance is good, based on experiences with similar cassette durability will be good as well. The 11-40t is a great gear range for me without moving to giant jumps between gears.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on May 5, 2018

5 5

Now I know these are 105 and everybody wants Ultegra or Dura Ace but I am seriously impressed with the feel of these levers. I went with a less expensive option as I always end up riding shifters-first into trees or fences and got sick of expensive replacements. I have to say these are maybe a bit heavier but they are of similar quality to Dura-Ace shifters of a few generations ago - thank goodness for trickle-down tech! They have a reach adjustment screw and a hood shape that works well for small hands, They come with cables and housing.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on April 27, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This stand is great. Sure there are nicer truing stands for professional wheelbuilders, but for the rest of us I'd say this is the best I've used. The 2.2 fits bigger tires than the previous 2.0 so you don't have to pull tubeless tires off rims for a true. Quality is good and these stands have withstood plenty of abuse in a shop environment. I'd recommend bolting it to a workbench or if space is limited mount it to a board you can move out of the way. Park Tool sells an alignment gauge to make sure the stand is centered but in practice you don't need that often at all, especially if you have a dishing gauge. Oh - if you have thru axles, get some adapters.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on April 27, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is good stuff. Greasing your cable up with SP41 before inserting it into the housing is one of the best things you can do to keep your shifting smooth. It reduces friction and prevents corrosion way better than any fancy seals at the ends of the housing. This bottle will last you a lifetime.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on April 13, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

We are spoiled for options in multitools. However design and construction quality can vary quite a bit between brands and models. This Nove tool sits at the top of the pile.

-Materials used are top notch. No cheap parts here, this is built to last. Everything is corrosion resistant.
-The pivots are firm so the tools don't flop and rattle around and they don't look like they'll loosen up.
-All the tools you need. No chain tool which never works great on a mulitool. I worry I'll lose the 8mm bit that sits on the 5mm but it snaps into place pretty securely.
-Tolerances on the tools are great. No rounding out bolts with this. I find myself using it in my home shop, not just on the trail.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on April 5, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This bike rides like a dream. The amount of travel is perfect for those of us looking for an efficient ride but often getting in over our heads. I'm all about lightweight mountain bikes that climb well and this is certainly more bike than an XC rig but I did not once notice the weight holding me back. I rode this as a bikepacking setup (it fits a second bottle under the downtube!) and even with the extra load it still handled quite well. The spec is top notch, from the reliable X01 Eagle to the Fox 34 130 fork, from the tough carbon to the angles.

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Daniel

Danielwrote a review of on February 17, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had this tape on many bikes over the years. It's not fancy but it gets the job done. Being so affordable it's not a big deal to re-wrap it once or twice a season when it tears. It's decently cushy (the gel cork version is quite cushy), has a tape backing for easy install, and looks good on most bikes. These days I've on grippier Lizard Skins but I feel I'll find my way back to Cinelli cork one day.

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