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J Bond

J Bond

san Jose, ca

J Bond's Passions

Road Biking

J Bond's Bio

I've ridden 235,000 miles over 35 years. I remember wearing wool shorts with a leather chamois and riding with a cotton cap and no helmet. Ah, the bad old days. I don't miss them at all.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on January 31, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have three of these now, and have ridden over 35,000 miles on them over the last 3 years (roughly 20k miles on one, 15k miles on the second, and the third is in a box, awaiting a new bike.)

During this time, I have adjusted my rear derailleur exactly once, after bending the derailleur hanger when the bike fell over. One mechanical adjustment, and that's only because of a fall. That's saying something.

Anyone who says this stuff is too expensive needs to consider how much time and money they spend on maintenance. Mechanical stuff goes out of adjustment with cable slip, housing compression, and cable stretch. Adjustments cost money (or time, if you do it yourself.) Di2 requires no maintenance unless you crash.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on January 12, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love the Edge1030. I upgraded from a 1000 and it is better in all ways but one -- it simply doesn't work with heavy gloves, no matter how you adjust the sensitivity. I get around this with a remote. It is possible this is a firmware issue that can be fixed, but I suspect this is a limitation of the (otherwise brilliant) display.

I like many of the new features, including sharp turn warnings and live Strava segments that compare you to your most recent best, your personal best, and if you're going really slow, your last time. Of course if you are above the pace for your personal best, it shows your friends and, if you're faster than all of them, it shows the KOM. I get to see that I'm a whole 55 minutes slower up Mt. Hamilton than Phil Gaimon. Considering my bike weighs almost 3x as much as his and that he's 29 years my junior, I think I'm doing pretty well.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on January 7, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The FUGUSPEER_S7 'socks' are what I would call 'warmers', worn over socks but still inside the shoe. Unlike most warmers, these are thin and supportive, but they still have seams in places that would make them uncomfortable if worn against bare skin. Thus, they really aren't $60 socks. Consider them a hard shell for your feet.

Having said that, the 'socks' are wonderful. I wear them over thin wool socks in the spring and thick wool socks in the winter. They work well for me into the 20s -- in Sidi winter shoes mind you, not ventilated road shoes.

I wear size 42 shoes and I purchased the size 'I', and they fit perfectly Highly recommended.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on December 27, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these for the comfort, but they are not like the protectors which have SPF 50+. I emailed Assos directly and they said these had an SPF rating of 15, so wear sunscreen.

Size-wise, I am utterly scrawny (like a guy who doesn't do any exercise other than cycling), and I wear an XS in jerseys (5'8" 145lbs, with a 5'8" wingspan). I purchased these in a size 0 and they fit perfectly.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on December 25, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

(note that the Bonka glove is NOT the warmest glove you can get from Assos -- that's the Fugu glove. If you live in a place where the temperature drops below zero, get those, not these.) https://www.competitivecyclist.com/assos-fugu-glove-mens?s=a

I live in a fairly warm climate, but ride up Mt. Hamilton, which is at 4300 ft., and where temperatures can drop into the 20s. I have very nice gloves from Gore (lousy in the rain), Rapha (super expensive, and amazingly bad at keeping my hands warm), and Specialized (like a sweatbox as they are waterproof). Interestingly, these gloves are significantly warmer than the others, but without the clamminess that you get when you sweat into other fleece lined gloves. I am now using the Bonka gloves exclusively, and when the temperatures drop into the 30s or below, I add a wool liner from Ibex and hand warmers from Hot Hands.

Highly recommended.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on December 14, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This saddle is sublimely comfortable for bikes that have a more upright seating position. If your stem is slammed, this thing will be far too wide, but on a touring bike it should be fine. I use it on my 'all-road' Rawland Ravn, and it is wonderful on gravel and dirt roads. It is VERY heavy, but I honestly never cared about weight (as an aside, why is it that, in the gym, the person who can lift the most is to be admired while, on a bike, the person with the lightest bike is king?)

Note that this is a B17 with springs. If you like the way the B17 feels, then this saddle will be even better. Note that you will have to oil the springs periodically, or it will sqeak.

Highly recommended.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on December 12, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It's a pair of socks. Made of wool. Have left and right markings, and putting them on the wrong foot feels like putting your shoes on wrong... that's serious sock tailoring.

The socks are a bit stretchy (can't be all wool.) I've used them in the low 40s (~5-10C), under Sidi winter shoes, and was very comfortable.

I have a lot of wool socks. Some of them are old enough to be in grad school (seriously, I have some Defeet wool socks that date from the early 90s and are still wearable.) These feel better as they have a bit of compression. I doubt they will last 25 years, but they are really nice on the feet. They are so nice that, unlike the rest of my kit, I don't take them off when I get home (until I take a shower.) They are warm even when damp and they dry very fast .

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on December 3, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

(Or, 'why did Assos make a vest that is not a gilet'?)

Other reviewers have noted that this vest doesn't block the wind. This would be a design flaw if it weren't for the fact that Assos designs 'outfits'. In Assos-land (admittedly, only Assos fanboys live here), this jersey is an insulating layer, to be worn over a wind-stopping jersey like the iJ.Intermediate_s7, or a wind-stopping baselayer like the LS.Skinfoil_Winter_S7 body insulator. If you wear this vest with either of those, you won't be disappointed.

Also, these things are *SMALL*. I wear an XS in Assos jerseys, but I had to get a M in the FalkenZahn.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on December 2, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Skin tight, supportive, soft, warm, breathable. This is easily the most comfortable piece of clothing I've ever worn, full stop. I purchased extras for non-cycling use (under other clothing, as anyone with more than 10% body fat would look like a stuffed sausage if worn as an outer layer.) I wear it with Assos jerseys and jackets. Once you start to sweat, it passes moisture away from you so fast that you don't even get damp. It is highly stretchy -- I buy size 0 and it's perfect on my 173cm, 68kg frame. Amazing. Magical. Really.

Disclaimer: I define 'perfect' in this case as difficult to put on, but great once it's in place. If this were a normal shirt, I would say that the fit was 'way too tight'.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on November 30, 2017

5 5

It's a wool scarf (60" x 12"), of high quality. Not at all scratchy, and very warm. I live in a climate that doesn't see a lot of cold days (the temperature rarely drops much below freezing), but I've lived in far colder and know a good scarf when I see it.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on November 30, 2017

A good bad weather 'hood'
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

(picture... how not to wear this.)

If you look at CompetitiveCyclist's picture, you can see that this covers the head and neck up to the chin. The neck covering is not stretchy and will not cover your nose properly. Thus, this is a hood and *NOT* a balaklava. I cannot complain, as the picture is quite clear, but consider this a caveat. I have attached a picture showing me using the hood improperly, with the face pulled up to cover the nose (which causes the brim to want to stick up and opens gaps that expose your ears.) If you wear the hood with only the chin covered (as suggested by the product image) these problems do not occur.

I've used this extensively in light drizzle and temperatures into the 40s. I like it a lot, and it works well with a wool collar into the high 20s.

** recommended, with caveats **

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on November 30, 2017

5 5

Unlike most overshoes, these are loose fitting (I think intentionally), so that the insulation can function. They are extremely warm, and are better than thick socks as they don't make your shoes feel tight.

I've worn them at the top of Mt. Hamilton in California, where the temperatures can drop into the 20s, and realized that my feet felt normal, not even slightly cold. Quite amazing

A medium fits perfectly on a size 42 Sidi Genius 5

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on October 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I get cold easily, but ride year round. I have all manner of balaclavas, from white for summer use (I'm allergic to sunscreen), to a heavy wool balaclava for the coldest of days. The Garneau Matrix Balaclava is lightweight and good for temperatures into the high 40s. I've also used it as a base layer under a scarf.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on October 19, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I tend to be an Assos Snob, but Assos isn't really for commuting, especially their jackets, which have next to no abrasion resistance (messenger bag straps kill Assos, fair warning.)

Thus, I tend to look at other brands for my commuting gear, and the Castelli Perfetto works well for me.

This is a jersey more than it is a jacket in my opinion, and really shines when you take into account that you can remove the sleeves. Where I live in Northern California, it is in the high 40s when I ride to work (at 5AM), and in the low 80s when I ride home. Rather than carry a lot of clothing, I bring a baselayer and arm warmers. In the morning I wear the warmers under the jacket, and in the afternoon, I take the sleeves off of the Perfetto and ride home in comfort.

Note that I spent my childhood in Guam, so my idea of cold is nothing like that of someone from a colder climate, so keep that in mind when considering your temperature ranges.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on August 29, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm always amazed when I see someone using a 5mm hex key that they got from an Ikia furniture build kit on a $6000 bike.

Here's what you get when you use a cheaply made tool:

1) Poor tolerances. For example, your 5mm hex key could be 4.95 mm, which is not good.
2) Poor quality steel. For example, your 5mm key will very soon be a 5mm round thing, similar in form to a 5mm key but prone to ruining bolts.

So, you want 'high quality' tools -- high quality steel and tight tolerances. In general that means made in Germany, Japan, Italy, or the US. This is not to say that you can't buy high quality tools made in China, but a $20 set is probably not a good bet. I'd say $10-20 *each* is more like it (a good 10mm hex key can be $35, while a good 2mm key might be $10). Don't believe me? Look up Beta tools.

Simply put, to avoid damaging your very expensive stuff, you buy the best tools you can afford. Any mechanic will tell you this.

These are excellent quality, and not particularly expensive for what they are, especially considering the extras.

Bottom line: These are very nice tools, at a moderate price point. You could buy some cheaper, but as a rule, if a set of 8 hex keys doesn't retail for $75+, then it's probably not high quality. If you want really nice stuff, this is the entry level.

Note that a smart shopper doesn't pay retail, but then these retail for $125. In my estimation the current asking price of $98 is a steal.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on August 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wear things out, riding around 15-22K km per year. These Assos gloves tend to last me around six to nine months before wearing out at the top of the palm where friction is highest. I find them far and away the most comfortable gloves I own, if not the longest wearing. Other reviewers have commented that the gloves don't last long, but Assos strives for comfort and performance over longevity. If you want long lasting gloves, buy leather and knit gloves, which will last forever and will be quite comfortable. If you want gloves that feel incredibly good for long days on a bike, buy these.

I disagree that sizing is tricky on these gloves. I wear a medium in every glove I've ever tried, and these are no exception. Maybe I'm just average.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on August 6, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As other reviewers have stated, it seems like every bit of Assos I buy makes me want more (I have a lot of it, and it's worth every penny).

Honestly, my favorite Assos pieces are the base layers. This one is strange, since it is a summer base layer that has long sleeves, but not as weird as you might think, if you wear arm "coolers" like I do.

In comparison, if you wear the Assos SS.skinFoil_summer (short sleeve) Base Layer with the Armfoil_evo8 arm coolers, you will get the same effect as if you just wear this long sleeve summer base layer. I have tried both the short sleeve base layer + coolers and this long sleeve base layer. I prefer the single piece option (this one), since I never take the coolers off anyway, and since the coolers have to stay up, they are tighter, making this long sleeve base layer more comfortable.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on July 9, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wrote a review of the Zegho Amplify (yellow lens) Sunglasses, and it applies to these as well. I'm basically copy/pasting the review below, removing references to the yellow lens (see my review here: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/assos-zegho-amplify-sunglasses#review-atg669460)

I've been wearing 'premium' sunglasses for a long time, from a variety of brands, and long ago learned about the benefits of non-polarized lenses. I purchased a pair of Zegho Amplifys and I loved the way they disappeared from my awareness once I put them on.

So, what makes the Zegho sunglasses better?

1) The lack of interchangeable lenses mean that these glasses do one thing perfectly, as opposed to a wide variety of things not quite as well.

2) They are lighter, so I hardly notice that I'm wearing them (3, 4, 6, and 7 contribute to this feeling as well).

3) They are extremely flexible so the ear pieces wrap around my head without being tight. The lack of pressure behind the ears is a huge deal for me as excessively tight glasses cause headaches.

4) No blind spots. The hinges are beyond the edges of my peripheral vision so I don't feel like I'm wearing glasses. This seems like a subtle thing, but it's a game-changer for me.

5) Flat temples. A plus if you use a Garmin Varia Vision like me or if you wear your glasses under your helmet straps.

6) Full coverage. These things have the same coverage as ski goggles (minus the padding), so I can't see the edges of the lenses. Again, this contributes to the sense that I'm not wearing glasses.

7) No optical distortion. I never even knew that I wanted this, but subtle optical distortions are now noticeable on my 'cheaper' glasses.

8) In spite of the price, not overpriced. Go look at Smith/Rudy Project/Revo/Oakley. Look at their 'best' cycling glasses. Try them on. Note the price... most are about 10-15% cheaper than this and nowhere near as good.

Summary: Where's that 6th star? I need another star for this review.

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J Bond

J Bondwrote a review of on January 27, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Unlike Eric H, I haven't had any issues with grip with these, but my bike has extremely grippy bar tape -- I would recommend that you go with an elastomer type bar tape like Lizard Skinz in the winter regardless, as most bar tapes are pretty bad in the wet. If you use these with a smooth bar tape, you will probably have grip issues when you use these gloves. I also agree that there should be a tab to help pull the gloves on and off, which is why I'm not giving these a five-star review.

I am really impressed by how well these things pack -- you could probably fit two pairs in a sandwich bag. The gloves keep heat in and wind out, which is impressive given the weight.

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