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Paul R

Paul R

Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on June 9, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought a 38T ring to replace the 36T ring on my Ultegra 8000 crankset. Installation was a snap, and the shifting in a 52T/38T combo is flawless. I also appreciate that Absolute Black designed these rings to fit current as well as previous generation Shimano cranksets (i.e., Ultegra 6800 and DA 9000). If you have multiple cranksets, this makes it easier to mix and match gearing.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on December 10, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought the Bolt to replace an old Garmin that wouldn't update, and was impressed with the Bolt's simplicity and ease of use. Setup over home wi-fi was a snap, and the push-button commands are more reliable/intuitive than touch-screen commands I've used on Garmin models. The Bolt paired quickly to my Pioneer power meter, and the zero-offset function just takes a few seconds at the start of each ride. [Note: unlike Garmin models, the Bolt does not prompt you to zero-offset; you gotta remember to do it yourself, which probably isn't an issue if you're uptight about power data accuracy]. Lastly, post-ride data feeds to my phone are quick and easy via Bluetooth, and the phone app tells me when I need to update the Bolt's firmware via wi-fi...Bottom line: for $250, the Bolt nails head unit fundamentals, looks sharp on the bike, and offers all the functions and data 99% of us need on a routine basis.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on September 2, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this crankset because I wanted shorter crankarms for my cyclocross bike. The rest of the drivetrain is SRAM Force or Red 10-speed, but the Ultegra 11-speed rings (46T/36T) shift perfectly.
Installation is a snap; if you're new to Shimano's Hollowtech design, don't go crazy with the preload widget, and follow the torque specs for the non-driveside crankarm bolts.
I only have a few hours of ride time on this crankset, but if it's like any other Shimano products I've owned, I expect it to provide trouble-free use for a long time.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on January 2, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this hoodie because it's cold outside and the holiday price was right. Now, I wear it constantly around the house and rocked it during a brief hospital stint. The material is soft and snuggly, and holds up well to repeated washes in mild water/dry cycle. The embroidery adds flair that's eye-catching without screaming for attention...If anyone asks, "Do you own a Yeti bike?", I'll reply, "No--but their hoodies are amazing!"

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on January 2, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Like the Mondo Evo bibtights I ordered at the same time, the Primos are cut uncomfortably slack in the waist and hips. However, my bigger disappointment is the Primo's lack of insulation from kneecap to ankles. Other companies sell bibtights with reinforced front panels to better insulate the fronts of your legs against cold air; I don't quite understand why Garneau took the opposite tack and used thin material that's mildly water resistant at best. Wearing tall ski socks is a workaround, but one shouldn't have to rely on special sock pairings to make bibtights work in the cold...Beefs aside, the materials and manufacturing are quality, and the waist zipper helps with potty breaks

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on January 2, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these bibtights in size "small" because all my other small Garneau shorts fit perfectly. However, the bibtights are cut very loose in the hips and thighs, which causes the chamois (among other things) to shift around and cause discomfort. It's tolerable for commutes or short rides, but I can't wear these bibtights for any longer than one hour on the bike. This is too bad, since the materials are solid, and insulate well on really cold days.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 22, 2016

5 5

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

This is the perfect bike for my daughter to make the step up from her 16" wheeled coaster-brake bike. With the saddle set low, she mounts, dismounts, and maneuvers the bike very easily. The brakes are snappy, and enable her to moderate her speed easily or come to a safe, controlled stop if needed. I was pleasantly surprised by the gearing, which seems well suited for a kid in the 6-9 year age range (some kids' bike are overgeared and I always wonder why manufacturers don't pay more attention to this important spec)...Lastly, I was very impressed by this bike's quality as I unboxed it. The frame looks well built, with elegant internal cable routing, and the components are much nicer than I'd expect on a kids' bike.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on September 24, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Rock n Roll trainer doesn't simulate actual bike riding like rollers do, but it's a great alternative to traditional stationary trainers. Paired with the turntable riser, the ride feel is even better and forces you to use more core and upper body strength. I'm also pleased with how quiet this runs compared to other stationary trainers I've owned. Yes, it makes noise but not at annoying levels. One caveat: the Rock n Roll's footprint is pretty wide, and the stabilizer arms add considerable weight. Find a good place in your basement or garage for it, but don't plan to schlep it for pre-race warmups.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on July 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have very thick hair, which gives me huge problems with razor burn and ingrown follicles. I tested the DZ Nutz cream on my face before my legs and was impressed at how close and smooth my shave was, with no blood in the sink or sore cheeks afterward...Next up, I did the legs to clean up a little stubble. Same result: baby smooth skin, no pain or irritation. This cream costs a little more than premium shave cream but the results are well worth the extra bucks.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on May 1, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Just to be clear, the Lugano booties are Gore Tex shells with no insulation. The fabric repels water and serves well in cool dry conditions. However, I've had trouble with road spray seeping in on longer rides, leading to very cold feet. For shorter rides in light drizzle, though, the Luganos have served their purpose...Overall quality of materials and stitching is good, so I expect these to hold up over several seasons...Regarding size, heed the advice of other reviewers here: Gore Tex does not stretch, so you might want to size up. I wear other Sportful booties in size large, but bought the Luganos in XL. They fit easily over my size 42 Fiziks with a little slack--definitely not aero, but also not a PITA to slip over my shoes.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on May 1, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a nice lightweight merino sock that insulates well in cool-to-warm conditions. There's no padding in the toe or heel, so they work well with snug-fitting shoes. The tall cuff supports my calves well with just the perfect amount of compression. The socks also hold up well in the wash if you use cold water and dry on low heat (or air dry on a hanger). For size reference, my feet are 42-42.5 EU/ 8.5-9 US and the mediums fit perfectly.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on May 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these booties at the tail end of winter and have used them on ride conditions ranging from high 20s to mid 50s. Paired with the right socks, they've kept my feet comfortable--neither warm nor cool, just perfectly in-between. The Windstopper fabric is somewhat water-repellent, so these booties can keep your feet dry in light drizzle. For size reference, I bought Large booties and they fit perfectly over my size 42 Fiziks.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 29, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I own lots of other Sportful kit (gloves, jerseys, shorts, jackets) and the Grupetto jersey is another hit from the brand. The material breathes well in hot weather, and and also pairs nicely with base layers and arm warmers for chillier days. The zipper is high quality and hasn't jammed up on me once through many uses. Rear pockets provide plenty of storage space.

The Grupetto jersey fit isn't nearly as tight as the BodyFit Pro, but it's still plenty racey--i.e., if you size appropriately, you won't have excess fabric flapping around at high speed. I also like the longer sleeves, which give a little more coverage than some other jerseys I own. For reference, I stand 5'5 with a 37" chest and the Small fits me perfectly.

The Grupetto graphics are tad busy, but overall, the design is neutral enough to blend in with other shorts.

As another reviewer points out, this jersey is a high value product. If you can buy it on sale, you're getting a great deal.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 27, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This jacket keeps me warm in low 30s to low 40s with a long sleeve base layer, and works fine on its own or with a light base layer up into the low 50's. Above that, you might start running a little hot...The Windstopper fabric provides great insulation on blustery days, and insulates well in rain, even after the material starts to absorb water (it's initially mildly water repellent, but will gradually soak up moisture in constant/heavy rain). The fit is trim in the trunk, but not restrictive in the shoulders; the jacket offers good range of motion for my arms and trunk without excess material flapping in the wind. One minor gripe for me is the small rear pockets--i.e., they provide enough space for wallet, tube, gels, but little more room if you have to strip off warmers, hats, etc. during a progressively warmer ride. Overall, this is top-notch jacket for fall, early spring, and possibly winter rides (depending on where you live). I liked my first jacket so much that I bought a second one, and I've been wearing them 2-3 days/week since early October.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 22, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've worn these gloves on ~15 rides with temps ranging from low 30s to upper 50s, sometimes in rain and brisk winds. The gloves insulate vey well without causing clammy hands, except at the upper temp range (tip: keep a pair of lighter gloves handy if you think ride conditions will go from cold to mild). They've also kept my hands dry in moderate rain up to a couple hours ride time. Lastly, the flared cuff is a must-have feature for cold weather gloves since it allows you to tuck your sleeve cuff into the glove and keep the cold air out. Regarding size, I bought "Medium" and these gloves fit comparably to "mediums" from other brands I own like Craft and Garneau...One caveat: these gloves feel a little stiff and tight fitting when brand-new. Break them in and they'll feel more supple after 5-6 rides.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 21, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Capo Roubaix cap provides great coverage from the neck and ears up to the head, and insulates well in temps ranging from low-30's to the low 50s (anything above ~55 and my scalp sweats bullets). The brim is bigger than ones on most cycling caps, which helps keep rain out of your eyes, and offers some protection from sun glare if you're riding w/o shades. The brim also has a big-lettered reflective logo on the upside, which enhances visibility to motorists in dark conditions. Lastly, the cap fits perfectly on my "Medium" 58cm head, which isn't always a given with one-size-fits-all caps...I would give this cap 5 stars if it was less bulky and took up less headspace under my helmet. Also, the big brim--which is great for shielding your face against rain--limits my field of vision when riding in the drops. Otherwise, this cap has solid construction and performs nicely in Fall and Winter weather.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 11, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've used this jacket on four rides in light to medium rain, and am impressed at how well it keeps the water out. The material is heavy synthetic and much more water resistant/repellent than a standard nylon shell. It also features velcro tabs on the cuffs to keep water from sneaking up your sleeves. The back tail has a rollup/rolldown flap that does a decent job keeping road spray off your behind. The bright yellow and reflective accents are also nice safety features. One downside to the heavy duty material is the lack of breathability. The jacket has zip-vents on the front, but these don't allow lots of air to flow through. In moderate temperatures (mid to upper 50's) you'll want to layer very lightly underneath with no more than a mesh base layer or short-sleeve performance fabric shirt. For colder temps, a long-sleeve base layer should keep your comfortably warm without overheating.

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