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Jonathan E

Jonathan E

Jonathan E's Passions

Mountain Biking

Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 6, 2020

4 5

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

I don't always ride with flats. But when I do, I prefer ISSI Stomp XL's. I pretty much only ride clip-less these days but it's always nice to have a quality pair of flat pedals around for when you want to mess around without riding clipped in. I'll mainly be using these for wheelie practice and such.

They feel like a quality pedal and offer incredible grip under my size 11.5 feet. And the color matches my bike perfectly.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 6, 2020

Its Got Pockets!
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

3 to be exact! One mesh cargo pocket on the left leg and 2 mesh pockets on back right below your jersey pockets. If you like long days out on the bike that means you also need to carry snacks to keep you fueled. One way to do that is with pockets and these bib shorts deliver.

As gravel riding becomes ever so popular the riding gear follows. I'd say Sportful has some great options for all you gravel explorers and racers. These bibs have a very comfortable chamois and the compressive fit keeps your legs happy for those long days on the bike. My only complaint so far is the straps are a little snug on someone my height. I'm hoping they get more comfortable after some more rides and washes but we'll see. I don't think shorter riders will have this issue. The bib straps are super breathable though which is nice.

Overall, I am really liking these bib shorts and the extra storage that they provide. Pair these with the Supergiara jersey and you have 7 pockets! I know I'll be going out for some epic rides this season with this kit and I think you should too!

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 6, 2020

5 5

This jersey is great for gravel grinding but also road or XC riding. What makes it so great? I think it's the combination of super breathable fabric and storage. The pockets are nicely sized and you get 4 of them! Once zippered for more secure storage and then 3 traditional. These provide you with plenty of room for your phone, wallet, keys, and most importantly, snacks.

The fit is similar to Castelli, which usually means size up one full size than what you think you need. For reference, I am 6'2" and 168lbs and the size Large fits me perfect. The sleeves are on the longer size and are laser cut which adds to the comfort.

Pair the jersey with the Sport Supergiara Bib shorts and you'll be comfortable for a day full of gravel riding.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on April 6, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been riding with this helmet for about a month now and I've been nothing but impressed. This helmet is so light you almost forget it's on your head, but just because it's light doesn't mean it isn't safe. In fact, this one of the safest helmets you can get today. The helmet earned 5 stars in the Virginia Tech Helmet testing which means it's one of the "Best Available" according to their strenuous tests.

Before wearing the helmet I thought the Lazer’s Rollsys retention system was a bit of a gimmick but it really is more comfortable than traditional type behind the head adjustments. The helmet vents really well and you forget it's there because of how light and comfortable it is.

I find the sizing to be true to size. I went with the medium in this helmet and it's super comfy. For comparison, I also wear a medium in Bell and Giro.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on March 11, 2020

Hot like Lava
4 5

Like Shimano pedals but more colorful. What more can you say? Well, I can say a bit more. If you are familiar with Shimano SPD mountain pedals then you will be right at home clipped into these pedals. I would say the initial quality of the pedal is comparable to Shimano XT but at a better price point and more colorful. If you want to add some color to your whip then ISSI gives you plenty of color options.

Pros:
Can use Shimano cleats.
Feels similar to Shimano pedals.
Colors are sweet.
Good price.
Sheds off dirt/mud nicely.

Cons:
I felt like it was slightly more difficult to find the pedal to clip in than a Shimano XT pedal but still pretty easy.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on March 9, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you are looking for a simple to use but feature rich GPS computer then you need the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.

Setup is a breeze with the Wahoo Elemnt App. Much simpler to get going out of the box compared to it's Garmin rivals. It has all the features that you'd need out of a bike computer but if you are wanting a computer for navigation I would recommend going with the Roam.

The Wahoo syncs effortlessly with Strava and other riding apps. Same can be said for whatever senors you want to pair with the computer.

Unless you must have a color screen or advanced mapping then the Wahoo Bolt is one of the best GPS computers on the market.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on February 3, 2020

Dampen the Vibes
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This seatpost does exactly what it was designed to do and it does it very well. The eeSilk post is comparable in weight to traditional rigid alloy seatposts while offering 20mm of vertical compliance which really helps reduce fatigue on long, rough gravel adventures. I've been using this seatpost on my alloy gravel bike and it helped a ton to dampen the vibrations that get transferred into the saddle. Even on bumpier roads you can feel the benefits of that elastomer.

As far as the quality goes, this seatpost is super nice. I haven't encountered any of the issues a previous reviewer mentioned. The seatpost is as solid as a traditional post laterally with zero play. I haven't encountered an issues with the machined aluminum post or it's bushing/pivots.

Pros: Comfort when the road/gravel path gets rough.

Cons: Not the prettiest seatpost in the world but it looks better than other options on the market. With that said, you can't see it while you are riding but you sure can feel the difference.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on January 3, 2020

4 5

I use these for chilly 40-55 degree days on the mountain and gravel bike. They are DWR treated, windproof, have a Polartec wool lining, and are touch screen compatible. What more can you ask for?

You maintain great dexterity in these so shifting and braking is unaffected. That's not always the case with winter gloves.

I normally wear Large in Giro gloves and these are no different.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on January 3, 2020

Easy to Stow
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It's in the name. This jacket is easy to stow for those days on the trail with changing weather conditions. You can shove the jacket inside the velcro chest pocket for quick and compact storage. When it's stowed in the pouch it's roughly a 6-by-4-inch cube that's only 3 inches thick. I can easily fit this jacket in a jersey pocket, hip pack, or backpack.

Jacket Features: The collar has a soft material around the inside where it makes contact with your neck. There is an elastic cord at the waist that cinches down to keep the jacket snug to prevent flapping on descents. There's a DWR coating on the jacket so it keeps you dry during light rainfall but maintains its breathability. Has a velcro interior chest pocket and two open front pockets.

Fit: I am 6'2 and 170lbs and the medium fits nicely.

Final Thoughts: A great windbreaker that repels moisture and can fit into your pocket. I'm sure I'll be getting some good use out of this jacket in the spring/fall seasons.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 28, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A nice pair of gloves for those cool days when you need to keep the wind off but don't need insulation. The gloves are lightweight which makes them easy to pack into a jersey pocket for those days with changing conditions or long descents. I think that these gloves perform best in temperatures in the 50's. Or down into the high 40's if you are doing lots of climbing or mountain biking on a sunny day.

For sizing, I went with Large and they fit as most Large gloves do.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 28, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is my first Castelli jacket and it certainly won't be my last. I've worn this jacket on a number of rides this fall (gravel and XC mountain) and it's kept me warm and comfortable. Out here in Utah with proper layering, you can ride with this jacket down to the high 30's depending on your effort and hours on the bike. It really shines in temps above 40 and below 60 degrees.

The jacket doesn't have a lot of insulation, but with the full Gore Windstopper front and sleeves you’ll be able to layer it to cover most riding conditions.

For sizing, I went with the medium and it is a great fit. Even the sleeves are the perfect length.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 19, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got these this fall in order to extend my riding season and stay off the indoor trainer. So far I've worn them in temps 35°-45°F and they are great! I don't think I'll have any problems riding with them into the high 20's. As far as fit goes you do need to size up at least one full size unless you already know your "Castelli size". I wear medium in most other brands and require a large in Castelli. The larges fit great on my 6'1" 165lbs body. Like others have mentioned, if you don't have low body fat in your belly area then these could be uncomfortable for you. The Progetto X2 Air chamois is great for as long of a ride as you would want to do in the cold.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 15, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Be aware that the fit in the jersey is standard/regular and not form fitting. With jersey sizing I usually float between medium and large and was very happy with the medium in this jersey.

With that out of the way, this is a great mid-layer for winter riding or a nice warm jersey for fall or spring weather. This jersey is a 60/40 blend of wool and nylon which prevents it from stretching out like other wool jersey's. For winter riding it pairs nicely with the PI PRO Amfib Shell (Item# PLZ00T2) and Merino Short-Sleeve Baselayer (Item# PLZ00SY).

What to wear at certain temperature ranges is very subjective but here is how I use it.

60-45 degrees: jersey and baselayer.
45-30 degrees: shell, jersey, and baselayer.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 12, 2019

I'm now a believer
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I ran this Absolute Black Oval Chainring for a 1000 plus miles this season and quickly became a believer. I always thought the oval chainrings were a gimmick until I tried one for myself. After I installed it I first thought that it felt very odd but that feeling didn't last long. I quickly adapted to the feel and after my first mountain bike ride, I saw the light. My pedal stroke felt normal and the long steep climbs felt easier. The biggest advantage I found with the oval ring is climbing through technical sections. Especially if those climbs are on loose terrain. The oval provides smoother power delivery to your rear wheel which means you are able to maintain a constant cadence.

Really, you need to try it for yourself to decide if it's for you. I think that most mountain bikers would benefit from running an oval chainring. If you mainly ride flatter trails then you might not think the benefit is that great but for me out here in Utah where I can climb for miles at a time, it's noticeable.

Don't knock it till you try it!

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 10, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had about given up on Shimano but with the release of their 12-speed SLX and XT groupsets, they once again got my attention. Over the last few years my bikes have always had Shimano XT drivetrains, I've gone from a 1x10 to 1x11 and now 1x12.

They nailed it with the 1x12. Yes, it took them quite a few years longer than SRAM but the wait was worth it. I am running the 51T cassette with a 32T chainring out here in Utah and that gives me all the range that I need. Right away I was climbing more efficiently and quicker than on my old 1x11 setup.

So you might be asking, Why go with Shimano over the competition?

Well, Shimano's Hyperglide+ design is the main thing that sets them apart. With this design you can now shift whenever you want. No need to unweigh the pedals slightly during a shift to prevent the chain and cassette from making terrible noises. The chain will move up or down the cassette without any fuss. It still seems strange to not ease up on the pedals before shifting but you can and the drivetrain is happy to get you into the gear you want.

So there's that, and with Shimano you still have the ability to drop down two gears with one push. I love that feature and use it often.

I'd say if you do not care about having the absolute lightest drivetrain setup then you will be very happy with Shimano XT for the money. Shimano XT has always been a great bang for the buck groupset and that remains true with the 8100 series.

Pros: Shimano Shifters (Rapidfire Plus and I like shifting with my index finger), buttery smooth shifting up and down, quiet, easy to setup, the performance you get for the price.. There's even a mark on the inside of the pulley wheel cage to simplify setting the correct B-tension.

Cons: A little heavier than SRAM GX. A con that I will happily live with for getting a better shifting drivetrain for less money. You need a MicroSpline freehub for the cassette. It was an easy swap for me with an I9 freehub. In the future MicroSpline will be much more common on new wheelsets so this will be less of a problem.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 10, 2019

Soooo Smooth
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had about given up on Shimano but with the release of their 12-speed SLX and XT groupsets, they once again got my attention. Over the last few years my bikes have always had Shimano XT drivetrains, I've gone from a 1x10 to 1x11 and now 1x12.

They nailed it with the 1x12. Yes, it took them quite a few years longer than SRAM but the wait was worth it. I am running the 51T cassette with a 32T chainring out here in Utah and that gives me all the range that I need. Right away I was climbing more efficiently and quicker than on my old 1x11 setup.

So you might be asking, Why go with Shimano over the competition?

Well, Shimano's Hyperglide+ design is the main thing that sets them apart. With this design you can now shift whenever you want. No need to unweigh the pedals slightly during a shift to prevent the chain and cassette from making terrible noises. The chain will move up or down the cassette without any fuss. It still seems strange to not ease up on the pedals before shifting but you can and the drivetrain is happy to get you into the gear you want.

So there's that, and with Shimano you still have the ability to drop down two gears with one push. I love that feature and use it often.

I'd say if you do not care about having the absolute lightest drivetrain setup then you will be very happy with Shimano XT for the money. Shimano XT has always been a great bang for the buck groupset and that remains true with the 8100 series.

Pros: Shimano Shifters (Rapidfire Plus and I like shifting with my index finger), buttery smooth shifting up and down, quiet, easy to setup, the performance you get for the price.. There's even a mark on the inside of the pulley wheel cage to simplify setting the correct B-tension.

Cons: A little heavier than SRAM GX. A con that I will happily live with for getting a better shifting drivetrain for less money. You need a MicroSpline freehub for the cassette. It was an easy swap for me with an I9 freehub. In the future MicroSpline will be much more common on new wheelsets so this will be less of a problem.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 10, 2019

Soooo Smooth
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had about given up on Shimano but with the release of their 12-speed SLX and XT groupsets, they once again got my attention. Over the last few years my bikes have always had Shimano XT drivetrains, I've gone from a 1x10 to 1x11 and now 1x12.

They nailed it with the 1x12. Yes, it took them quite a few years longer than SRAM but the wait was worth it. I am running the 51T cassette with a 32T chainring out here in Utah and that gives me all the range that I need. Right away I was climbing more efficiently and quicker than on my old 1x11 setup.

So you might be asking, Why go with Shimano over the competition?

Well, Shimano's Hyperglide+ design is the main thing that sets them apart. With this design you can now shift whenever you want. No need to unweigh the pedals slightly during a shift to prevent the chain and cassette from making terrible noises. The chain will move up or down the cassette without any fuss. It still seems strange to not ease up on the pedals before shifting but you can and the drivetrain is happy to get you into the gear you want.

So there’s that, and with Shimano you still have the ability to drop down two gears with one push. I love that feature and use it often.

I’d say if you do not care about having the absolute lightest drivetrain setup then you will be very happy with Shimano XT for the money. Shimano XT has always been a great bang for the buck groupset and that remains true with the 8100 series.

Pros: Shimano Shifters (Rapidfire Plus and I like shifting with my index finger), buttery smooth shifting up and down, quiet, easy to setup, the performance you get for the price.. There's even a mark on the inside of the pulley wheel cage to simplify setting the correct B-tension.

Cons: A little heavier than SRAM GX. A con that I will happily live with for getting a better shifting drivetrain for less money. You need a MicroSpline freehub for the cassette. It was an easy swap for me with an I9 freehub. In the future MicroSpline will be much more common on new wheelsets so this will be less of a problem.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 10, 2019

Needed MicroSpline for Shimano 12 Speed
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you currently have a Hydra hub and need a new freehub this is the complete package. I recently upgraded to Shimano's 12-speed XT groupset and I needed to make the swap from HG to MicroSpline on my Industry Nine wheels with Hydra hubs. It works great with my XT 8100 cassette. This is the complete kit that includes everything you need to swap the freehub (shell, spacer, bearings, pawls, springs, and seal).

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on November 10, 2019

Needed for Shimano 12 Speed
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you currently have RaceFace Cinch cranks and want to use one of Shimano's 12 speed groupsets you will need this chainring. It works great with my XT 8100 chain and derailleur. Drivetrain is quiet and I am sure the chainring will be just as durable as any other Wolf Tooth chainring.

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Jonathan E

Jonathan Ewrote a review of on October 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A super quick XC bike that can take on most trails. That's what you are getting when you're behind the bars of a Blur Trail. I loved pretty much everything about this bike but in my opinion it has one flaw.

That TwistLoc remote lockout. It takes very little force to the TwistLoc to revert to locked. Once that happens you are essentially riding a rigid bike since it won't stay unlocked. Now imagine you are on a very rough trail and suddenly your suspension locks out. It's not a pleasant experience. If I were buying this bike I would send the shock to FOX to have it converted to a 3 position and/or get the FOX remote lockout lever.

With that out of the way, the bike is a blast to ride on all the trails that I enjoy riding. When the climb is over you are looking forward to the descent on this bike. That's not always the case with XC bikes. The X01 Eagle drivetrain is the best in the business for the weekend racer and FOX Performance Elite suspension smooths out the bumps nicely (as long as it stays unlocked). If you take cross country racing pretty seriously but only want one mountain bike to do it all. I'd say the Blur Trail would be a great bike for you.

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