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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zorn

So Cal

Groppler Zorn's Bio

on the pedals...

Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on September 29, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Racing Jackets have long been a favorite style of mine for both MTB and road riding. They're not the newest or most progressive style, but they are among the most functional and durable. I still think they are the easiest shades as far as swapping out lenses goes, and super convenient to carry a set of spare lenses for. The included soft bag even has a nice protective pocket for said spares.

The Trail Prizm lenses are in my top 3 all-time lens tints for So Cal, where the trails are often light-colored, sandy, loose, rocky, and rutted, and many times in conditions of varied light (rounding out the top 3 are VR28 Black Iridium and Jade Iridium).

The second set of lenses I got with these were Black Iridium, which are borderline useless to me because they are so dark, but I didn't even realize I was getting a second set, so no biggie.

The bolts and icons on mine are silver and not red as pictured, but that's fine, too, just be aware of that possibility. (EDIT: That pic has been fixed since I posted my review).

All told, 5-star shades for me.

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on July 27, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This pack was recommended to me by a buddy after I expressed frustration with how heavy and cumbersome most hydration packs are; he steered me towards this bag, telling me he uses it himself.

I find this bag to be perfect for mountain biking. It holds the gear I need, plus a water bottle. With a second bottle on my bike, I'm set for most rides. These don't pull on your shoulders and neck like a backpack does, and don't flop around whilst bombing the chunk. And with no pack on my back, I shed heat much more quickly. I have no problem getting the bottle out and back in using one hand, or unzipping and zipping the pouch the same way if I need to access gear. Most of my rides are 1-2 hours, so this bag is perfect for me.

The 5 liter version of this bag was more than I needed, and the stealth pack wasn't enough. This guy really hits the sweet spot!

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on June 30, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I ordered a POC Ventral Spin helmet and was totally stoked for it, but it didn't fit, it was too small. and in a weird way. The ear straps barely fit over my ears and it was more the tightness of the harness and pads along my forehead that put pressure on my head, rather than the overall shell size.

Anyway, my grape is about 58-58.5 cm for reference, and a medium in all other POC helmets fit perfectly, but this in a medium did not. I wasn't willing to go large, I just can't see the point of that.

I'm a solid POC guy and love my Octal X, so I tried on an Octal X Spin as well, and it didn't feel right either, so I'm beginning to think it's the Spin padding/configuration.

So I ordered a Raceday, because 10/10 I was certain I would love that. I was correct. It fits like my Octal X, and is actually a little bit lighter. The ventilation in the So Cal summer heat is excellent, and I got it in a color as opposed to my black Octal X, so there's an extra fun factor.

I definitely recommend this helmet as a do-it-all lid. I'm a dirt roadie, I ride pretty much everything except the insane DH stuff (too old for that now).

ALSO, a huge shoutout to my gearhead, Connor Johnson, a dude who is an invaluable asset when it comes to online shopping for gear. If you don't have a gearhead yet, or yours lags, give him a shout at cojohnson@backcountry.com. My stoke level with him is RAGING.

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on May 26, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

but it didn't fit, too small. and in a weird way. The ear straps barely fit over my ears and it was more the tightness of the harness and pads along my forehead that put pressure on my head, rather than the overall shell size.

Anyway, my grape is about 58-58.5 cm for reference, and a medium in all other POC helmets fit perfectly, but this in a medium did not. I'm not willing to go large, I just can't see the point of that.

I'm a solid POC guy and love my Octal X, so I tried on an Octal X Spin as well, and it didn't feel right either, so I'm beginning to think it's the Spin padding/configuration.

I just ordered a Raceday, because 10/10 I will love that.

And a huge shoutout to my gearhead, Connor Johnson, a dude who is an invaluable asset when it comes to online shopping for gear. If you don't have a gearhead yet, or yours lags, give him a shout at cojohnson@backcountry.com. My stoke level with him is RAGING.

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on May 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm a self-admitted sunglass ADDICT and these are my favorite shades by far.
Not a roadie, but a dirt roadie, and I don't get into bike fashion. I ride in t-shirts and Zoic shorts with bibs underneath to protect the fam. So these shades fit perfectly with my program.
As another reviewer mentioned, the Zeiss lenses are like seeing in HD, and the field of view and coverage are phenomenal. I went with the Uranium Black Translucents with the cold brown/silver mirrored lens, because I don't care for darker lenses. The VLT rating of 22% on these is described as "appropriate for a wide range of light conditions," but is primarily for urban road conditions, I think. I find them excellent for mountain biking.

If I ever pop for a second pair, I will go with the Harf Green with the gold mirrors. I recommend these highly.

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on May 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm an MTBer, but I live in a hot area and have come to accept that I prefer half-finger gloves and thinner fabrics. Bar feel is excellent without pads or gels muting it and throwing off my hand position. Not sure how long they'll last, but I got 'em on sale, so no big. How about a crisp high five?

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on May 9, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I was really excited for these after being super stoked with my Octal X helmet, but they didn't work out, so I returned them after trying them on and wearing them around the house and in the backyard for a bit.

The fit was off in several ways. The arms hit the helmet where it drops down behind my ears, and made the glasses move around on my face. POC helmets have always had sunglass conflicts for me, and that is one of the main reasons I tried the POC shades, because they are supposed to be compatible with the POC helmets. Yes, I know these are designed for the Tectal helmet, but I thought they would work on the Octal X as well. They didn't, at least not for me.

The large 70s-style frames also pushed down on the sides of my nose. And they felt a little heavier than I expected. I just couldn't get comfortable with them.

I had high hopes for the Carl Zeiss lenses, but no real wow factor there. The 58% VLT was too light as well, even though they were billed as being perfect for desert trails, which is pretty much my backyard. I would rather go with something in the 15-35% range for normal/sunny days or just get clear lenses for my morning commute and lower-light riding.

I'm still considering a set of the DO Half Blade glasses. I'm thinking they will be a better fit for the Octal X, be lighter, and I would try a darker lens (and I understand they might even come with a clear lens to swap out). But I'll probably wait a bit before trying POC shades again.

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on November 6, 2016

3 5

So BC sends me an e-mail saying, "Review your new gear!" and adds this item as a link. Well, I ordered this item almost a year ago, and it sat on backorder for months before they finally sent me an e-mail saying "we can't fulfill your order."

So I am reviewing the experience and not the item, something I never wanted to do, and something I was never thrilled when others did. Oh well. This looked like a sweet jersey, anyway, and right now the season is perfect for it...

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on August 16, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The A1 is comfortable, stylish, and feels like it would be great in a crash (seriously, you put this helmet on and think, "If I crash, THIS is the helmet I want to be wearing), but in the So Cal summers it feels a bit hot and heavy. I don't know how anyone is calling this helmet light, much less super light. Even the small weighs 320+ grams. And depending on where you live, your opinion of the ventilation will vary, but here the A1 is hot, just hot. And sweaty, like squeezing out buckets from my forehead onto my shades sweaty.

It is seeing much more action now that fall and winter are here, but has not taken over the starting spot in my helmet rotation. That honor still goes to my sleeper pick, the Catlike Leaf; it is light. well ventilated, super comfy, and holds sweat well.

I would still recommend the A1 to anyone, and there always seems to be a sale on them.

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on August 7, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

First, the 4x colder claim is vs. regular bottles, not the Podium Chill.

For me, the size (10.5" tall) is almost the same as the 25 oz Podium chill (10.75"), both of which barely fit on the bike. I'd personally rather have the extra 4 oz of juice in the Chill format. And I live and ride in So Cal, where it is hot for much of the year. I always pre-load my bottles with ice, and then my drink of choice. I have found that the Chill keeps my drink cold for several hours using this method.

The regular Chill is more than adequate for me ( significant upgrade from the regular Podium), holds more, and is much less expensive ($10 less). The 25 oz Chill is my go-to bottle.

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Groppler Zorn

Groppler Zornwrote a review of on July 23, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm on my second Xar because they are very comfortable, well-ventilated, provide good coverage, and look good. It has some significant flaws, however, that will probably keep me from ordering another one.

They may be just a problem for me, but here they are:
It doesn't hold sweat well at all. The padded liner has a break in it along the forehead, and combined with the thin padding, creates a river of sweat that runs straight down my forehead into my sunglasses. Of all the helmets I've had, the Xar is the worst for this.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the Roc-loc retention system is fragile. Mine broke way too early in its life, and I'm not going to spend $40 to replace it. I'd rather put that money towards a new helmet.

The Troy Lee A1 is heavier (I feel like I'm wearing an Igloo), but feels like (subjective, I know) it would provide more protection in a crash and holds sweat better. The Catlike Leaf is my sleeper pick; light. well ventilated, super comfy, and holds sweat well.

All told, if it works for you, go for it, but I won't be getting another one.

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