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James M.

James M.

James M.'s Bio

Started out riding low-end mountain bikes simply for rehab following a torn and reconstructed ACL in 1990. Started racing Beginner races in 1991 and was hooked. As a ex-motocrosser (like so many back then) I took to the dirt easily but lacked the fitness to do well. I persisted for years and eventually started winning. Moved up to Sport, got spanked again for a couple more years. Started winning, moved up to Expert and really got spanked. Persisted for years more until I became a consistent podium finisher in the 50+ Masters group. In the early 2000s i started road TTs just for a little R&R and discovered I was quite strong at it. So now in my late 50s, this has become my primary competitive focus. No more XC but I still do a few gravel/cross, endurance events here in western NC where I have since retired.

James M.

James M.wrote a review of on September 14, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this piece for my wife, having owned several Santini jerseys and bibs for myself through the years. Anticipating a true euro race-fit sizing like my men’s pieces, I ordered the size Large for her 5’8”, 135lb frame. However, we exchanged it for a Medium, as it was a little baggie through the torso. The medium fits superbly. We did the same with the matching shorts. She loves the kit that goes with her Emonda and Top Fuel.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on June 9, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Did I really need this? Not really, but beyond the great aesthetics, this is truly a well-designed bar. The shorter reach, shallower drop, and thicker diameter of the drops, all make it comfortable and highly functional. Not sure if there is much difference over the EC70 other than a few grams and bolder graphics, but I opted to pay a few extra bucks and have no regrets.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on December 4, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I bought this piece expecting to wear it for early spring, cool TTs, as it looked like the upper half of a speed suit and was sized accordingly. The quality is top notch, but the fit was not quite as refined as other speed suits I have owned. The sleeves were just a touch long, resulting is a bit of bunching, and the fit across my lats and upper back was not smoothly contoured as needed. Though the fit was good and snug across chest and shoulders while standing, when I got down in the drops the fabric puckered out across my chest. That might be acceptable on a road ride but not a TT. Thus, I return it disappointed as the quality and aesthetics are excellent. I did keep the EXO bibs, however. Those fit and feel pretty sweet.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on December 1, 2018

4 5

Been a big fan of Castelli stuff through the years but have always had difficulty with sizing. Usually size up at least one size, sometimes two. Bought this base layer in an XL knowing I would want a snug, next-to-skin fit. That's what I got; however, the arm holes are cut high and small and thus resulted in some binding for my 41" chest. The fabric has a slight degree of stretch but not enough to overcome the discomfort. This is a high-quality piece, but like usual, if you've got a slighter, Euro-like build, it should suit you well. Us bigger guys run into the usual sizing issues with the true Euro brands. I am fearful that if I go up to an XXL, it might then be too long.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on December 27, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've always been partial to Bell products through my nearly 30 years of competitive road, TT and off-road cycling. It seems I have more of an oval-shaped "Bell head," versus other brands with more rounded shapes. I bought this helmet to replace my ten-year old Sweep that getting pretty grungy and crispy. This is a high quality helmet with a great fit and understated good looks. My only small quibble is that the visor is not adjustable and has a tendency to flop down slightly over time or when bouncing through the rough. I solved the problem by affixing a tiny patch of Velcro hook-and-loop fabric behind two of the points of the visor at the contact point with the shell. Done. It ain't moving.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on November 8, 2017

5 5

A perfect match for my new black/white/red Emonda SLR. This is probably the nicest, cleanest looking alloy stem you'll find anywhere. And at a reasonable price. Would have preferred, however, that they stuck with hex heads on the bolts instead going to torx heads. Just a convenience thing when swapping bits on my torque wrench.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on May 13, 2017

4 5

This is a follow-up to my first review. I did get the fit dialed, and with the use of a Halo Headband (which really work great, by the way) I got the helmet to remain positioned properly and prevent slipping too low on my forehead. However, there still remains the issue with wind noise. It seems to be a bit less with the use of the headband; however, if I allow my head to drop very low, and depending on wind direction and speed, the airflow whistles through the honeycomb vent in the rear, emitting what sounds like a loud high-pitched scream. The first time you hear it it is quite startling! To reiterate what my moto-racer friend said, "at least you know there is air flowing through the helmet." I guess that's more incentive to keep my head up and not break form. If I didn't experience this annoyance, I would clearly give five stars. I am eager to know if any other owners experience the same issue.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on April 13, 2017

4 5

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

Through nearly twenty years of time-trialing I have tried nearly all the brands of TT helmets from Spiuk, Rudy, Giro, Bell, and LG. On looks alone the new Podium should be worth a few seconds; however, after wearing the lid for the first time last night in competition I have a few quibbles. First off, the helmet produced an extremely loud and annoying whistle that was so loud that it startled me the first time I heard it! I suppose it's good to know that air is actually flowing through the helmet, but it was so loud that I literally thought someone was coming up behind me and yelling at me. Perhaps it is unique to the shape of my head, but if it persists it might be a problem. Secondly, despite a good, secure fit, the helmet still dropped down low on my forehead after hitting some bumps, so much so that it impeded my vision. This has been a perpetual problem with all the brands I have worn, as all helmets sit low on my head and I ride with a fairly extreme head-down position. Nevertheless, I can probably rectify that by wearing a sweatband to keep the lid from sliding down. All in all, I can say that this is an extremely well-made helmet ( which it should be for the price!), and the shield retention system is really slick. I will be racing with it again next week and hopefully can get it dialed. I will issue a follow-up report as the season progresses.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on January 11, 2017

4 5

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

This is my first CAPO product. I have owned just about every brand at some time over the last 27 years of competitive cycling. For short sleeve jerseys I am partial to Giordana, Castelli, and LG. Used to love PI but they started up-sizing things and sizing became frustratingly inconsistent. I do still like their bibs, however, and XLs are always spot-on.
Regarding this jersey, the esthetics are great, the various fabrics are high quality; however, this is not a lightweight climber's jersey. Also disappointed that at this price point it does not have flat-lock stitching. I never paid much attention until someone pointed it out to me. Then I noticed that I own several cheaper jerseys that are constructed with flat-lock stitching. It's one of those little things that just results in a refined feel and fit.
This jersey fit true for my 6'1", 182lb, 41" chest. It is a true race fit, so don't expect to hide anything! I do love the longer sleeves that are now becoming commonplace on many brands and models.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on October 3, 2016

5 5

This is a follow-up to my earlier review. This past weekend I competed in the NC Senior Games Time Trials. I smashed my previous personal and course records from last year in all three events, the one mile, 5k, and 10k. Last year I rode the events on Specialized S-works Turbos. Everything else was identical, save for my new LG P-09 helmet versus my old Rudy. So I can only conclude it was the tires! :-}

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on September 16, 2016

5 5

Having competed seriously in TTs for over ten years now, I will admit to falling prey to the marketing hype when companies are trying to sell me "free speed." However, the research and data from Michelin on these new tires was compelling. I raced these last week for the first time in the last race of the 2016 series at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Though I had a good race I was still ten seconds slower than my all-time PR from last year, which was set on a well-worn set of Bontrager XXX Time Trial tires! This year I have been running Specialized S-Works Turbo clinchers, which scored near the top in the venerable Velonews lab tests. My time on the Michelins was a mere three seconds slower than my season-best on the S-Works, which could easily be accounted for by a slight difference in wind conditions. Bottom line: Though one race is hardly conclusive, the Michelins did not magically produce a new PR for me, but the certainly felt silky smooth on the bike and no slower than the Specialized. And if your head is convinced that you have given up nothing to better equipment, then they are probably worth giving a try the next time you need a new set of race tires.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on August 17, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is a unique product. The ultra-flexible shell will conform to your shape much more than other saddles. I tend to prefer more of dished shape when riding off-road but prefer a flatter profile on my road bike. I had been riding a Ti WTB Silverado on my Trek Emonda but opted for the Scoop Pro Flat this time around, as I was betting that the flexible shell would still create a bit of a "tail" to push against when climbing. While it was not an epiphany over my prior ride, it is certainly no worse. The carbon version is crazy-light and the esthetics are excellent.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on August 5, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I own both the Elite and the PRO, as I wanted to see if the PRO was worth the premium. While the fabric and stitching of the PRO are softer and more refined, the Elite serves me well for shorter training rides. And if you can catch a sale as I did with these, they are a smoking value.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on August 5, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is indeed an aero jersey. It is essentially the upper half of a TT skin suit. So you'd better be in race shape to wear it! My only quibble is that at this price point this jersey should have flat-seam stitching. While it is not irritating in any way, I am now spoiled by the few jerseys I do have that have this construction. They just feel better. The fit is true. My 6'1" 182lb. frame took the XL perfectly for a true aero fit.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on May 9, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

As a fifteen-year veteran Masters time-trialist, I now fuss over every little nuance trying to compensate for inevitable age-related losses! I had been wearing a Rudy Wingspan for the past several years and decided it was time for an upgrade. I tried a friend's Bell Javelin, which is a very nice, high-quality helmet, but for my head-down, David Millar-type body position I felt it was not optimal. When I was in a perfect position with chin up and back flat, it felt great. However, once I got fatigued or lazy and dropped my head, I could feel and hear the tail blowing around, which then just messed with my head even more!

Hence, I decided that one of the shorter tailed brands would be more appropriate. Furthermore, it seems that recent research has concluded that on average, such designs are more efficient in the real world, as most riders don't or can't maintain that perfect

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on February 25, 2016

3 5

I bought these for my wife and I along with the Cyclone glove to compare. The materials and construction are nearly identical with the exception that the Cyclone has gel padding, whereas these have a smooth palm. I decided to return these and keep the Cyclone, as the fit was slightly better. We prefer a smooth palm for off-road riding but like gel on the road, and these were purchased with the intent to use them on the road bikes. I must emphasize, however, that while Pearl's label rates these as a 40-60 degree glove, this is NOT a 40 degree glove. It has a thin wind-block membrane on the back but virtually no insulation. Add on a 20-30mph windchill and I guarantee you will be cold. No, I would rate these more upper 40s (yeah, I know I am splitting hairs here, but there is a huge difference between 40 and a sunny 47 in my book!) and low 60s.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on January 22, 2016

3 5

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

I have the predecessor to this top that I have enjoyed for several years. I must say that I am a bit disappointed with the latest model, however, as I agree with Jacob below that the fabric is not nearly as soft as my old one. In addition. this top runs small. PI's inconsistent sizing has been driving me nuts lately. For years I wore XLs in everything. Then they started "upsizing" their jerseys and I found myself exchanging things often. In bibs, knicks, and tights, XLs still fit consistently well. However, in jerseys the PRO line race-fit stuff tends to fit well, but Elite pieces run large. My old version of this top is an XL and it fits quite snug, as it should. This latest version in Large is almost too small. I chose to keep it, but I won't buy another. I also have the regular Transfer sleeveless base layer and love that piece. It is a Large and fits perfectly. Frustrating.

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James M.

James M.wrote a review of on December 30, 2015

5 5

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

I have learned to expect a skin-suit-like fit from the true European brands, and this jersey certainly meets that criterion. Lightweight and excellent quality. I am 6'1'' and around 180-185lbs and the XL fit me well and was not too long in the torso, as is true with many other XLs I have owned. I especially like the longer sleeves of Giordana that help the jersey stay in place when on the rivet in the drops. So if you've the privilege to wear race-fit stuff, you will likely enjoy this jersey.

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