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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKE's Passions

Road Biking
Mountain Biking
Triathlon

JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on November 10, 2014

5 5

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

Once upon a time in the O.C...I was on a random ride to Dana Point. The day turned out to be a solid 88 miles round trip. It was like any other ride, except I ran into a world of problems.

I had never broken a chain before, and never thought I would. I mean, hey, I've gone years and never had this issue, both on road and MTB.

And then the day came...

I don't know about you, but I keep all of my HERO Kit materials in a second water bottle: tube, tire levers, CO2, and these trusty parts from my HERO kit (multi-tool, extra links, cleat bolt, and manual).
I don't like saddle bags, especially after all of the dollars we put int our bikes being aerodynamic.

Anyway, back to the story. I broke a chain. No idea what to do about it. Then I dug into my water bottle and BAM! There was that handy dandy manual. Step by step, with pictures, I was able to change my first chain break. I had everything I needed!

Ofcourse, I flatted out from a stubborn goat-head. Rather than slap a new tube in...feeling inspired from my previous experience with the HERO kit...I decided this time that I was going to patch it. You see...the back of the tire levers have patches in them. Go figure...smart tools with everything needed nicely tucked away so as not to take up too much space. I thought I would give the patches a try, I already had a spare tube and an extra CO2, so why not go for it. Still haven't changed that patched tire.

Look, these guys have thought of every issue you can have out there. I mean, dude, they even include tush wipes...just in case crap happens.

For you weight wienies, they've made the kit as compact as possible, with patches integrated into tire levers. Brilliant.

I also have to give props to them for their MTB Field Repair Guide...there is ridiculous good advice in there.

All in all, I'm thoroughly impressed with the HERO Kit Folks.

Thanks guys, for thinking of it all and proving your worth with your thoughtful Field Repair Guides along with quality repair gear

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 18, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Please consider my advice, for the Sake of Your Bike,
BUY A PLATFORM RACK. The common Hanging Rack causes your bike to sway and scratch your car, and more importantly, they can really damage your Top Tube and cause scratches all throughout your bike, with other bikes dangling and smacking against your frame and components.

First, let me be upfront and address the number one complaint that others have stated about this rack. It's Weight and the potential to cause dents in your car's trunk lid and bumper. This is a real problem, BUT it's not only Thule's problem, other non-hitch mounted platform racks have the same problem and it can absolutely be avoided.
Here's how: Take four standard 12 x 12 Microfiber Cloths and fold them into fourths. Put the microfiber cloths underneath each contact point. The microfiber cloths make a solid buffer between the rack and your car.

From a design standpoint, the 9003 has some really good concepts executed. First, the rack can be adjusted to allow for use on just about any non-hatchback car. That said, I was able to get the 9003 Platform rack to fit on a Toyota Prius.

The locking mechanism on the rack itself is good, but only locks down one side of the rack. In theory, a punk thief could loosen one side then loosen the other. That said, the locking mechanism on the individual arms that drop down on top of each bike's top tube is very solid. If you tighten it good, then lock it, it would pretty tough for a thief to get your bike out, especially if it was still attached to the car.

PROS:
+ Platform rack protects your bike from unnecessary scratches dangling from the back of your car
+ Fits most non-hatchback cars (sedans)

CONS:
- Locking mechanism on the rack could use some improvement

TIPS:
+ Make sure to use thick microfiber cloths between rack and contact points on car
+ Jiggle the bike on rack while tightening the lock mechanism on the bike's top tube for tighter squeeze
+ Use the arms to hold platform rack when folded up

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 9, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The best question I can answer for you is what made me decide CamelBak over other brands?...So here it goes:

It was CamelBak's attention to detail that told me their designers actually get out on the trails themselves and that's something I can appreciate.

Each shoulder harness has cut outs for the spout that allows you to choose which side you want to drink from, making it great for lefties. The Clip that holds the spout is adjustable up or down so you can attach it higher or lower. I like having my clip lower so that it doesn't flap around. I learned this the hard way with my GoPro Chest Mount. With the clip adjusted higher, my spout kept flapping around in front of my camera. I took some awesome footage coming down San Juan Trail. Got home, and wouldn't you know, that dang spout was right out in front of the lens. Bummer.

I also like to keep the spout connected lower on the shoulder harness because it's closer to my handlebars. A quick clip in for the spout and a short reach to the handlebars means my hands are where they are suppose-to be in less time.

I really appreciate that CamelBak included an adjustable Front Chest Strap so you can move it up or down where it crosses your chest. I keep mine lower so the pack stays more centered.

CamelBak includes small Velcro straps for each harness / belt that connects via clips so that any excess slack from the straps doesn't flap around in the wind (you don't want that slack to get caught on a branch and yank you off the bike!)

TIPS:
+ FREEZE!...your bladder when not in use, put the bladder in the freezer at home (keeps germs away).

+ If you are planning on a day with long climbs (4-5 mile climbs), pack smart, but keep the essentials (A heavy backpack leads to lower back pain for most people on long climbs, both hiking and biking)

+ MUST PACK a Small First Aid Kit. Take a look at Backcountry Item #AMK0124 and consider taking the contents out of their bag and storing them in the large center pocket of the M.U.L.E

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Having been a Roadie before I discovered the tacky joy of early morning singletrack, I assumed that all of my roadie gear would work just fine for mountain biking. I had a helmet, gloves, a ton of jerseys, and bib shorts.

Sure enough, my favorite Castelli Pro Gel Gloves couldn't protect my knuckles from their first encounter with branches. I ride in a sweet part of Southern California where there's a lot of brush, thorns, and over hanging trees. It didn't take long before I figured out that I needed to have legit mountain bike gloves.

Like you, I did my research, needing to keep the cost reasonable, but still get something durable that would do me a solid when it came to protection. I read a number of reviews about the Dirtpaw gloves, pulled the trigger, and hoped for the best. Two years later, I've taken these gloves on just about every MTB ride and they're still taking a beating. (thankfully my knuckles are not!)

I almost forgot to mention, I sweat a lot, the soft-touch pad on each thumb is great for wiping sweat and the occasional booger.

PROS:
+ Great styling / design, wouldn't expect any less from FOX
+ Solid knuckle protection, even against small thorns
+ Been through 200+ washes in wash machine
+ No color fading so far
+ No tearing despite many spills
+ Soft-touch Pad on the outside of the thumb is what made me pull the trigger on these gloves over other MTB gloves

CONS:
- I have to agree with some other folks about the Velcro strap coming free from time to time. The hexagonal design on the Velcro strap looks cool, but leaves room for improvement when it comes to doing what Velcro is suppose-to do and keep things in place.
- The pointer finger has some "fuzziness" were the fabric is starting to bead (2 years later)

Tips:
+ Wash the gloves every other ride to keep dirt from building up.
+ You may want to consider another Fox glove for winter if temps get below 40 degrees, otherwise these are great for anything above 40

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 5, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm all o f 5'7" and a 30 waist. I had been searching for MTB shorts that weren't too long or awkwardly too short. I was having a problem with a few other brands that I had tried on at a local shop or two. It wasn't until I ran across these shorts that I discovered the PERFECT FIT. Not too long, not too short, just MMM...MMM Good.

I've had these shorts now going on 2 years, put them through the wash uncountable times and have had no issues with color fading or wear in the fabric.

I can't count how many spills I've had while wearing these shorts. To date, not a single tear or rip. I have had other shorts rip by hitting a branch or going OTB and catching on my light, but not the Fox Ranger shorts.

PROS:
+ Great Fitment, Thanks Fox designers!
+ No color fading
+ No wear in fabric after two years
+ No tearing after countless crashes

CONS
- None

Tips:
+ Machine wash cold and let air dry to help keep the color lasting

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 5, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For most of the Long Sleeve Jerseys from Castelli, you'll find that their products usually run small. However, for the Sella jersey, you'll find that they run Large. I ordered a Large because that's what I've done with other Castelli products, particularly Jerseys.

It's the sleeves that run long for me. I'm 5' 7" and a 32/33 sleeve length. In my other reviews you'll see that I order large and the sleeve length is just right for me. NOT for the Sella Long Sleeve Jersey.

That said, the quality is fantastic, it does it's job and keeps me warm on those cold winter mornings. We ride GMR (Glendora Mountain Road) before work, usually around 5:00am and it gets in the mid-30's...pair the Sella Jersey with the Castelli Chiro Due Gloves and you should be fine in the cold.

I've washed this jersey quite a bit and I have to tell you that I'm impressed with the fact that it is still very white in color. Lesser brands usually get dingy and slightly gray or Off-White. Not with this Sella Jersey. It's pretty dang white after a good 30-40 washes.

I did run out of cold weather gear once and took this Jersey mountain biking. Mud splattered all over the jersey, and sure enough, the mud spots came out with no problem.

PROS:
+ Cleans well after muddy rides
+ Keeps you warm in the winter

Cons:
- Larger than normal fit

Tips:
+ Wash on Cold and AIR dry to prevent mud stains

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 5, 2014

Castelli Wool came out Clean
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

While the jersey I have is not the exact same jersey that is pictured here, what I can tell you is that their Wool Jerseys can take a beating and come out SPOTLESS.

What you see here is a picture of one of my Castelli Long Sleeve wool jerseys that took the brunt of a crash into a ravine on my left shoulder. I was bummed, not because I was hurt, but because I feared my jersey was going to be permanently ruined from the mud and grass stains.

To my surprise, the Castelli Wool Jersey held up, no tears in the fabric , and more importantly the stains came completely out.

I guess this could be a review for the laundry detergent, but I want to give all of the credit to my Castelli Jersey, it took a beating and came out Clean!

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEposted an image about on July 5, 2014

Castelli Wool Jersey

Disclaimer about the above picture: ^^^^^
1) The Castelli Jersey I'm wearing is not this exact same one
2) The Jersey I have on is the previous year version of this jersey
3) I bought it on Department of Goods which is now Backcountry.com...Love them both.

TIP:
+ Castelli runs small...I normally wear a Medium with other brands. With Castelli I always choose a Large.

From the picture above you can see the sleeve length is just right for my 32/33 arm length.

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 5, 2014

5 5

We love CamelBak Products and we were stoked to find that they made bottles for our kids. Our son is about to start 2nd grade and our youngest daughter is about to start kindergarten. Now the whole family can enjoy CamelBak!

I was super stoked to find out that CamelBak included a well thought out valve for our kids like they have with their Podium Chill bottles. It's CamelBak's thoughtful design with their valve technology that has made them our favorite bottle brand. Thanks CamelBak!

Here's why you should consider these bottles for your kids: The valve allows the kids to get a mouthful of water or juice without having to send straws with them in their lunch box (straws prevent tooth decay and cavities...look it up). We can confidently pack the Eddy bottle without fear of it leaking in his Darth Vader lunch bag/box. This is a HUGE plus and the reason we started looking for a new bottle for our son. The previous bottle we were using leaked and ruined his first Darth Vader Lunch Bag/Box.

If CamelBak could just add their Chill technology to the Eddy bottles, they would be perfect!

PROS:
+ The bottle plastic does not get dingy or become faded or gray
+ Easy to handwash
+ Spill proof is an accurate claim
+ The valve comes off making it easy to clean
+ BPA Free makes my heart happy
+ Colorful graphics are cool looking and the kids dig em

CONS:
- The printed graphics on the bottle wear off after many washes in dishwasher

Tips:
+ I suggest handwashing these bottles to prevent the printed graphics from wearing off

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 5, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you're the type that says "I draw the line when it comes to buying "Cycling" socks", let me be the first one to tell you that you should give Swiftwick socks a try...If I'm wrong, then return them.

Most compression sock manufacturers focus on the heel to the knee. What I dig about Swiftwick is their love for feet and making a sock that helps blood-flow in your foot while ridin. Read more about Managed Compression on Swiftwick's website.

Here's the reason I choose these socks over others in my sock drawer: COMFORT

My foot is between two different sizes in most cycling shoes, the fact that swiftwick ASPIRE socks are designed with a number of contour focused stitching through their 200 needle construction, allows me to fit perfectly in Sidi size 44 versus a 44.5 which is slightly too big for my foot. Read the product description on this product page and you'll see what I'm talking about.

On a side note: These are definitely the first socks I reach for when I dig around my sock drawer. I, like most of you, have a drawer dedicated to my Cycling socks. My other socks from the days before I discovered Swiftwick go completely neglected.

It's come to the point where I love these socks so much, that I use them for work or any highfalutin affair. Whether I'm on a bike, in a Suit or Tux, or just sportin black socks with my Chucks, the Swiftwick Sevens are what I wear everytime! FACT.

PROS:
+ Made in America - Enough Said. I'd buy Swiftwick for this reason alone.
+ My feet can breathe and don't come out looking like prunes after a long ride
+ My entire foot gets to benefit from Compression
+ No color fading after 100+ washes
+ Socks are not stretched out after 100+ rides

CONS:
- They are a bit pricey, but so are dress socks...I get the benefit of both in just one pair w/ Swiftwick

TIPS:
+ Most cyclists wear the ASPIRE Four socks, try the Seven if you want to try them for non-cycling use
+ Start with two pairs so you won't get disappointed from not washing yesterday's pair!

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEposted an image about on July 4, 2014

The sun is setting the trails are call'n

If you haven't ventured out on your bike after the sun sets or rises, then you haven't fully grasped the joy of being on a bike! Night riding is one of the most exciting and fun activities you can do on a bike, especially a mountain bike. The most important piece to getting out there after dark is having a good light to light the path in front of you. I strongly suggest the NiteRider Lumina Series 650 and 550...buy it and try it...you'll never look back!

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JOSHONABIKE

JOSHONABIKEwrote a review of on July 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you haven't ventured out on your bike after the sun sets or rises, then you haven't fully grasped the joy of being on a bike! Night riding is one of the most exciting and fun activities you can do on a bike, especially a mountain bike. The most important piece to getting out there after dark is having a good light to light the path in front of you.

There is a lot of talk out there about Lumens, how many lumens do I need, or should I have?

Like any product, it varies by the quality of the product and how honest the manufacturers are about their products. Don't be fooled by low price points and really high lumens claims. Anything under a hundred bucks shouldn't be over 500 lumens. IMHO

For NiteRider, they don't need to overstate their lumens and aim to hit some crazy aggressive price point. The lumens they put on the box is as close to the most accurate statement of what Lumens you will actually get while out there crushing the singletrack and having a blast in the dark.

I've been using the Lumina 550 and the 650, one for my helmet and one on my handlebars. That combination is really ideal for night time single track riding. I definitely suggest buy two lights!

Pros:
+ Dropped from my handlebars numerous times - Took a lick'n and kept on tick'n
+ Has Four Light modes: High, Medium, Low, and Flashing
+ One of the Most accurate Lumens stated on the box to what you actually see on the trails
+ Very good Price-to-Performance offering for their Lumina product line
+ Lumina 650 comes with Handlebar Mount and a Helmet Mount for your preference
+ Best battery life of any light brand I've used over the years, this is a HUGE plus for NiteRider!

Cons:
On more than one occasion the handlebar mount has dropped my light

Tips:
+ Use Rubber Bands to hold down the Lumina to the Handlebar mount to prevent accidental detachment
+ Check out 3rd party handlebar mounts from ProMountBillet, K-Edge, and others
+ Buy two lights, one for your helmet and one for your handlebars

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