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John Hart

John Hart

Pullman, WA AKA The Palouse!!

John Hart's Passions

Road Biking
Mountain Biking

John Hart's Bio

Lawyer by profession, cyclist by passion. As a kid, I rode BMX...I found mountain biking in college and road biking about 10 years ago. Like many avid cyclists, I am serially monogamous with my bikes...and have a small fleet of two-wheeled friends in the garage. Work and family obligations result in several 1-3 hour rides and too few trips and adventures out of the area. Still, we are at a base altitude of 2500' and have challenging road and mountain rides in our area.

John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on March 2, 2017

4 5

PREFACE: this mount works ONLY WITH AN ENVE STEM.

The Good: The mount provides an "Enve" seamless integration, it is directly mounted and positions your Garmin device directly in front of your stem.

The Bad: Much of my experience has already been documented by other reviewers.
I was an (extremely) early adopter and did suffer from the "rotating disc" issue. ENVE warranted both of my units with a 2.0 version that solved this issue. It is my understanding, CC now carries this updated version.

I too am a little bummed that this mount forces you to swap Ti bolts for lesser quality quality hardware.

Finally, use with the Garmin 1000 (especially with the silicon case) pretty much requires that you place the mount in the highest configuration. I would like to attach it to the lower bolts but not possible with the 1000.

Overall: best product out there for your ENVE stem but NOT ENVE's best product.

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on April 3, 2015

YET ANOTHER PERFECT PRODUCT FROM ENVE
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

ENVE has long since become my favorite bike company. American designed, manufactured and sold (in UTAH), by cyclists, for cyclists. Obviously, ENVE is best known for their wheels but don't nap on their quality carbon components. I have owned several road bars...everything from aluminum to carbon and the ENVE bars are THE BEST I have touched, ridden and/or owned. It starts with the bend. Obviously, this is personal preference but I prefer the short and shallow. Next, the integrated bar ends are a nice touch that makes your bar tape disappear. Finally and most important the ride! They are LIGHT, STIFF but yet compliant. They mellow out the rough stuff but remain firm on tough, out-of-the-saddle efforts. I am 5'11" and 170lbs and run a 42" and after approx 4000 miles on them, I feel it is the perfect width. I love these so much on my BMC Mike Nelson (ext 4076) helped me build that I insisted we included the same bars on my recent Niner BSB. These are not cheap but like I always say about ENVE products: if you can afford ENVE, you can't afford to not ride ENVE!!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on April 1, 2015

THE BEST WHEELSET EVER
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

**I am republishing my review I wrote several months ago for the M60Forty wheelset that I original posted for the DT Swiss hub-equiped wheels. The wheels I own are equipped with Chris KING hubs but at the time I ordered, KING hubs were a custom build and not stocked by Comp Cyclist.**

I now have several 100 more miles on the M60Forty wheels than I had when I originally reviewed them and I can say they continue to impress me every time I ride them. I routinely go to my hardtail equipped with Stan's Crest and occasionally ride a bike with Stan's Arch rims. While the Stan's rims are solid wheels and I like them, I LOVE the ENVE wheels!! The Stan's are like driving a nice Honda and then, The ENVEs are like THE BATMOBILE!! The ENVE wheels are so fast, so strong and just inspire confidence. I can rail anything without any noticeable flex or give. Perfect.
Why do I insist on KING hubs? They are about 100 grams (of rolling weight) heavier after all. If you have ever ridden KING hubs, you know it is worth a 100 gram weight penalty for the fastest engaging, most durable hubs in the industry. Keep in mind, they do require adjusting from time to time.

My preface: this review is my opinion and not objective fact.
I bought my first mountain bike in 1992...and I have owned several since. This is my first 650b/27.5" wheeled bike but that doesn't make me hesitate when I declare these wheels to be the BEST ever made! I have ridden some fairly high-end mt wheels (Stan's Arch and Crest, Shimano XT, just about everything offered from Mavic) and maybe it is that these are my first carbon rims and/or maybe it is the change in wheel size from 29er to 650b but I suspect it is much more than that...these are ENVE carbon rims. I never knew wheels could ride so nice! Obviously, rolling mass is an area where an upgrade will make a larger impact but the difference between the M60Forty wheels and anything else I have ridden is HUGE! These wheels are SO SO stiff and inspire confidence I have never felt before in over 20 years of riding the mountain. They were easily set up tubeless and roll up to and maintain speed nicely via the Chris King hubs (I had Mike Nelson, ext 4076, special order these. As with all Comp Cyclist reps, Mike is AWESOME!!). I am sure there are plenty of other lightweight options but these are NO compromise wheels! You plunk down the $$ and ENVE WILL deliver the goods!!
If I had to complain about anything, the decals are dinged and scratched easily (signs you are riding right, my friend!) and they are très $$$$. BUT if you can afford them, you can't afford not to ride them! You will not be disappointed!
My quick plug for 650b/27.5": I went from 26" to 29" and now, 27.5" and each have there +s and -s. I agree with many that state 650b is the best of both worlds. Still, I think/hope this size will grow and settle in as the trail/All Moutain standard...and I am sure that my incredible experiences on these wheels (and my Santa Cruz Solo/5010) have a lot to do with the 650b standard. Still, I keep more than one 29er in my fleet and feel it is the best size for racing. For what it is worth...

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on March 31, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Let's start here: I LOVE Castelli products!! I would estimate that 2/3-3/4 of my vast cycling wardrobe are Castelli branded items. I recognize they aren't the cheapest but the reason is bc they are the best.
I only own two sets of arm warmers, both are Castelli Nanoflex. For me, if the weather demands an arm warmer, these will do the job, whether it is wet or dry, nippy or cold. They are lightly insulated but still breathe nicely. Obviously, the most impressive feature is the Nanoflex technology. I don't need to tell you that, albeit not water proof, it repeals water in a fascinating way. This allows the material to continue to breathe. SO, you get the best of both worlds...breathable yet incredibly water repellant.
Why do I own two pairs? Well, I owed my first pair for over 3 years without issue. Eventually, the water repellency faded. I may have dried them (I would recommend cold/hand wash and do NOT dry in the drier) or maybe they just wore out. No worries, I go my $$-worth and now onto a new pair.
Castelli durability: with as many Castelli products I have owned over the years, I have had rare occasions where I had a bad seam or failure. Although it is irritating, I do not feel it is any different from other companies. Plus, Comp Cyclist ALWAYS takes care of their customers so I never worry.
Bottom line: Castelli. Buy them, you WILL LOVE them!!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on March 31, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was excited to try GU's energy chews bc I am a big fan of their gels and have been using them for years.

I recognize the difficulty in reviewing an "energy" product. Obviously, everyone's tastes differ. In addition, you add the many additional factors (i.e.: how an individual feels day-to-day on the bike, what works, what doesn't etc) and it makes for a heavy emphasis on subjectivity. Here is my take: I have tried the Black Cherry variety and can report that they are tasty and keep me pedaling for another approx 1.5 hours (they package advertises that a pack is good for 1.5-2hrs of sustained effort)...beyond that, I cannot tell you much more...the Chomps did not make me fitter or faster...not that I know of.
I can tell you that I prefer the Honey Stinger Chews for two reasons: better taste and the Stinger do not stick to your teeth at all. The Black Cherry Chomps have a slight mediciney taste to them (only slight) and slightly stick to your teeth. On the other hand, these Chomps do not stick to your teeth anywhere near as bad as Clif Bloks!! Man, my dentist couldn't extract residual Bloks from my teeth!!
Ironically, I do not like Honey Stinger's Gels at all. Go figure.
Solid product, check it out for yourself!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on March 25, 2015

SC Fast and Fun
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought the SLX equipped version of the HighBall from Comp Cyclist for an amazing deal and rebuilt with XT parts I had on hand with Stan's Crest/KING hub wheels, a Fox TALALS/Terralogic fork and slapped on an ENVE carbon bar (cut down 20mm). The build was intended to replace an outgoing 29er (Gary Fisher SuperFly HT) as my

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on March 22, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My main concern about winter riding is my hands and feet. I literally have over 10 pairs of gloves and multiple bootie/sock/shoe combinations to combat the frozen finger and/or toe experience that ruins a winter ride. I try to have an overlap and choose my gear based on anticipated weather. Of course, this requires a lot of "guesstimation" and only succeeds about 50% of the time.
Prefaced with that, the Estremos are the the best winter glove I have come across. For me, they are solid from 25-40 degrees (close to what Castelli would tell you). The good news is this eliminates at least two other pairs in my closet. They are both have the dexterity and durability to ride them on the mountain (although I would expect that this shortens their lifespan significantly).
The only concession to their warmth is that is comes at the expense of some breathability you would like in a cycling glove. This is to be expected but once you overheat these gloves, it becomes hot and wet!
Again, best, wide range winter gloves I have worn...and I have worn many!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I live and ride in Eastern WA/Northern Idaho...our trails are hardpack, tacky and smooth in the spring and loomy, loose over hard in the summer...very little mud but I look for an "all-around" tire.
I have ridden just about every company's tires (Specialized, Maxxis, Schwalbe, WTB...).
I LOVE WTB tires and saddles (specifically, the Silverado)!! I came to the Bronsons after a bad experience with Schwalbe's Racing Ralph (rear) and Nobby Nic (front). I felt the Schwables has a small window of acceptable tire pressure and I was crashing on them...a lot....maybe my fault, maybe not...but I was losing all confidence and needed a change. I conducted A LOT of research before deciding to roll with the Bronson. Perfect for my needs.
It is perfect compromise for all of my riding conditions. It feels bigger than 2.2, it hooks up well in any situation, has a fairly low rolling resistance and big, siped side knobs that dig into just about anything. They cut right through the loose stuff and grip into the hard surfaces underneath.
I have both race them, ridden them on my xc hardtail and on my 5" travel full suspension trail bike and they have tackled everything I have thrown at them. They may not be the most durable but that depends a lot on the conditions you ride them in. Buy them, you won't be disappointed!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love the ergonomics of these grips. They feel like an over-the-counter custom grip, where the grip is molded to your hands. However, they are not very durable. I found the outer portion of the grip was almost completely worn down within one season. The question for you is: do you want a superior grip at the cost of paying $25 per season for that benefit. Probably so.

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

WIDE!!!! Both the bar and my SMILE!!!!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

What is not to love about ENVE products? Well, maybe the price (although their bars seem to be cheaper than most of their products)..but I will gladly fork over the $$ for one of the, if not THE best brand in cycling...made in the in Utah, in the USA, light, strong, high-tech and one of the best warranty policies in the business.
I love the ergonomics of this bar. It just feels right. The sweep and rise is great. It is light and has just the right amount of natural dampening. For me, there was a serious acclimation as this is, by far the widest bar I have ever ridden. I have experienced multiple bar strikes on trees and rocks on our local trails. I watched ENVE's video on trimming it and may chop off 5-10mm on each side.
ENVE is the best! If you can afford it, you can't afford not to ride ENVE products.

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Assos Chamois Creme is the best of all worlds...it is not too thick, not too thin and just the right amount of "medicated" feel. I have tried DZ Nuts and I really liked it but it is SO expensive. I also tried Mad Alchemy but it is very goopy (it feels like mayonaise or yogurt). Assos is almost as good as DZ without the HUGE price tag...even with that said, it is still a little pricy...but riding without chamois creme is NOT an option. Try it, you will like it and learn that you can't live without it.

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It is my understanding that the Skratch Exercise Hydration Mix is more popular than the Daily Electrolyte Mix. Well, the Daily Mix should be just as popular, if not more...in fact, if I had to choose one, I would go with the Daily Mix. I make it a post-ride ritual and it seems to re-hydrate me much better than water alone. I have tried all the flavors but prefer the Lemon-lime..it is light and refreshing. Try it, you WILL like it!!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Divide the world into two groups of "Sports Drinks," those full of syrup and artificial flavoring and those without. For us smart people (cyclists!), we don't fall for the (mainstream) hype and want something "real." Skratch Labs is not the only option but it is my favorite. Use the Exercise Hydration Mix when you ride and the Daily Electrolyte Mix for post-ride re-hydration. Both are GREAT! All I can tell you is that I have used the Exercise Hydration Mix for a number of seasons and have never bonked...is that thanks to Skratch Labs? Maybe, maybe not...but it certainly has not hurt!
Flovors: I have tried them all...none are overwhelming but all come with a slight after-taste. No big whoop. Make sure to shake, shake and shake your bottle some more in order to get the mix to completely dissolve.
Try it, you will like it!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I am fairly new to tubulars but see no need to search for anything but the Vittoria Corsa Exo CX tires. This is my third set but the first set to have glued myself. I had a failed attempt with some Conti GP4000s (so tight that one was ruined in the mounting process). Do your homework if you are installing yourself! Mounting is a process and takes attention to detail and patience. BIG thanks to Comp Cyclist rep Adam DeWitt (ext 5630) for his advice and expertise on the mounting process!!
Tubulars, in general, deliver a much smoother, more compliant ride and also a light lighter...but if you are the fence between clinchers and tubulars, tubs will only win if you are willing to take the time to install OR are willing to pay (& trust) someone to install for you. I have run both the 23s and 25s and appreciate them both for what they are...23s are a little racier and 25s are a little more comfortable.
The GOOD: smooth, supple and fast! Can't beat 320TPI!!
Easy to install (Contis almost broke my thumb but Vittorias slide on like butter!)
Durable! I have been able to get minimum of 2000 miles on a set but probably could have squeezed a little more (I do run a small amount of sealant for insurance on flats).
The NOT SO GOOD: they are a little expensive but worth the price.
You could ask for them to be more durable but that may come at the cost of the comfort.
Bottom line: get these tires and you won't be disappointed!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 5, 2014

The Best Wheelset EVER
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My preface: this review is my opinion and not objective fact.
I bought my first mountain bike in 1992...and I have owned several since. This is my first 650b/27.5" wheeled bike but that doesn't make me hesitate when I declare these wheels to be the BEST ever made! I have ridden some fairly high-end mt wheels (Stan's Arch and Crest, Shimano XT, just about everything offered from Mavic) and maybe it is that these are my first carbon rims and/or maybe it is the change in wheel size from 29er to 650b but I suspect it is much more than that...these are ENVE carbon rims. I never knew wheels could ride so nice! Obviously, rolling mass is an area where an upgrade will make a larger impact but the difference between the M60Forty wheels and anything else I have ridden is HUGE! These wheels are SO SO stiff and inspire confidence I have never felt before in over 20 years of riding the mountain. They were easily set up tubeless and roll up to and maintain speed nicely via the Chris King hubs (I had Mike Nelson, ext 4076, special order these. As with all Comp Cyclist reps, Mike is AWESOME!!). I am sure there are plenty of other lightweight options but these are NO compromise wheels! You plunk down the $$ and ENVE WILL deliver the goods!!
If I had to complain about anything, the decals are dinged and scratched easily (signs you are riding right, my friend!) and they are très $$$$. BUT if you can afford them, you can't afford not to ride them! You will not be disappointed!
My quick plug for 650b/27.5": I went from 26" to 29" and now, 27.5" and each have there +s and -s. I agree with many that state 650b is the best of both worlds. Still, I think/hope this size will grow and settle in as the trail/All Moutain standard...and I am sure that my incredible experiences on these wheels (and my Santa Cruz Solo/5010) have a lot to do with the 650b standard. Still, I keep more than one 29er in my fleet and feel it is the best size for racing. For what it is worth...

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 4, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My preface: this is my opinion, not objective fact.
I have used Assos for years and also have tried D-Z Nuts. Assos is my go-to but bought the MA when I picked up some of their embro creme. This is good stuff and if you are looking for something different from the others, MA is a nice option. Specifically, I find it less medicated/minty/tingly than Assos and much less than DZ. Also, it has a different viscosity...instead of pasty (Assos) or like lotion (DZ), it is kind of like gel. It feels a little like mayonnaise or yogurt. Once you get past the thought of spreading a condiment on your junk, it works well. It goes on thick but smells pleasant and seems to be more natural than its competitors. I still prefer Assos (or DZ if I can find it on sale) but the MA will do you just fine.

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 3, 2014

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I preface this review as I always do, this is only my opinion and not objective fact.
Also, I worked in a shop for 2 years & have wrenched on my own bikes for 20+ years.
I am in my second full season of tubulars and, after two sets of Vittoria Corsa Evo Cx, I researched alternatives. I really really liked the Vittorias but wanted to try something different. 2 of my top 3 choices were out of stock (Veloflex Carbons & the Vittorias) so I went with the Conti GP4000s. This would be my first experience gluing up tubis on my own so I researched, asked advice & watched videos. I followed the Conti directions to the letter...I even stretched the tire on the rim for a whopping 72 hours! After gluing up the rim and tire properly, I was ready to mount. OR maybe not! What was slightly difficult to mount dry for stretching purposes was now next to impossible glued. Still, I did it! However, all the pressure I used to mount it resulted in multiple spots where the tube was compromised, resulting in several constrictions (much like a balloon animal looks like after the twisting has been untwisted). I called Comp Cyclist and even after I explained that my force mounting the tire seemed to cause the problem, I was told I must have had a bad tire and they were happy to issue a RMA so I could return it. The Vittorias were back in stock so I decided to return both. Long story short, the Vittorias went on smooth, easy & predictably.
I have heard nothing but good things about these tires (usually the clinchers) & I obviously did not ride them AND I recognize, despite following the directions EXACTLY, many of you would proclaim this is my error. Still, the seemingly universal conclusion that these are so difficult to mount required I feel I need to ding them some on my rating. If I could abstain from a rating, I would & AGAIN, MY rating is for me and based solely on the difficulty to mount, issues upon mounting (compared to EASE of mounting Vittorias). May work for some but not for me.

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 2, 2014

The Most FUN Bike I Have Ever Owned!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I preface this review as I always do, this is my opinion, not objective fact. Also, this review is for the 2014 model.
However, here is a FACT for you...this bike ROCKS! In my 30+ years of cycling (back to my BMX years as a kid), this is my favorite bike...EVER! I have owned aluminum and carbon, hard tail and full suspension, geared and single-speed and this bike stands alone...not because it is the fastest and not because it has the longest, plushest suspension...this is the best bc it does everything so well.
First, some history...I had a SC Tallboy C (the original). I liked it but did not love it. It was an older version of VPP and had the pre-CTD shock. As a shorter travel 29er, I expected it to climb very well and capably descend. I was left a little disappointed bc it wallowed/bobbed a little too much climbing. I was intrigued by the 650b and heard great things about the latest version of VPP...that combined with new valving of the CTD shock made all the difference (I think I would enjoy the current TB2 MUCH more than the original). With the SOLO/5010, I can climb as a HT in Climb mode and nearly bob free but soaking up every bump in Trail mode. Open up to the Descend mode and you are railing DH with anyone! The rear thru axel greatly improves stability. I have it built up with XTR and Enve M60Forty wheels (AMAZING!) and couldn't ask for a better FUN, do-it-all bike!
I have ridden all season long and feel bad for my other bikes as they have become neglected.
HUGE shout out to Mike Nelson!! EVERYONE at Comp Cyclist is awesome and Mike is one of THE best!! He takes all the time needed to make sure you are on the best bike for YOU!! THANKS MIKE!!

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John Hart

John Hartwrote a review of on September 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I preface this review as I do all of my reviews...this is my opinion, not objective fact.
The Stinger Waffle stands above all as my favorite "energy" food! I have tried the Honey, Vanilla and Chocolate and love them all! They are easy to pack in a hydration pack or in a jersey pocket and, especially on a long ride, provide a nice alternative to gels. Obviously, they will not provide the (more) immediate boost a gel does but it is a net push as they taste so much better. Did I mention that they taste great? SO good. I have Belgian and Dutch friends that proclaim these are almost as good as the stroop waffles they find at home. Try them, I expect you will like them!

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