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Richard H.

Richard H.

Richard H.

Richard H.wrote a review of on August 6, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When I first got into riding gravel the added maintenance and occasional dropped chain with a double chainring and front derailleur soon convinced me that 1x must be the way to go so I bought a used carbon crank, slapped on a Wolf Tooth drop stop chain ring on it and never looked back. After a few seasons the used crank gave out. Not anxious to pay for a brand new carbon crank, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the aluminum Rival 1x crank weighs only 200 grams more than the carbon Force and costs $85 less...that's tire money folks! The crankset was easy to install and adjust taking all of 15 minutes. I've used it for about 6 weeks now and it performs very well with no appreciable flex for the relatively skinny dude I am . The anodized aluminum finish seems more scratch and scuff resistant than carbon is. Overall I'm very happy with the purchase . My experience with the Rival crank and other products in the group shows me that Sram Rival is a solid choice at a great price point.

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Richard H.

Richard H.wrote a review of on June 28, 2019

4 5

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

I'm the kind of person that can't seem to completely give up a pump in favor of CO2, I need that fail safe a pump offers. Frame pumps aren't great options for my curvy carbon frame so I've been searching for the perfect mini pump. It has to be functional, durable, and stay out of the way when mounted to the water bottle cage mount. My previous pump, a Lenzyne road drive seemed to check all the boxes, but had a fatal flaw. The chuck screws onto the presta valve stem and I had a very frustrating attempted tire change with a removable valve core tube. Every time I tried to unscrew the pump it would take the valve core with it. After ten minutes of the same result on each inflation attempt I had to flag another cyclist down and bum a CO2 cartridge off of them to get the tire inflated.
The Tattico eliminates this problem, the chuck has a thumb lock so no risk of taking the valve core with it when releasing the chuck from the valve stem. The pump is solidly built. It works very smoothly and is not too difficult to get up to about 100 psi, but does take a lot of strokes as expected for a mini pump. It's a bit hefty but so what, you could use this thing to fend off vicious animals or guys that follow your wheel too closely.
I've only had to use it once on the road so far, but it worked well.
The only downside was mounting the pump holder to the water bottle cage mounts. The bolts that came with the pump had heads that were too big in diameter to seat well with my Velocity cage mounting hardware and my cage bolts were too short to accommodate both water bottle cage and pump mounting bracket. I had some bolts laying around my shop that worked fine so no problem. You might not have that problem depending on your type of water bottle cage.
Overall, I highly recommend it. Silca pumps have been around forever and the company definitely knows its craft. I took off one star for the mounting bolt issue.

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Richard H.

Richard H.wrote a review of on June 17, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my second pair of Lake road shoes. I have a pair of CX 237 road shoes which are great, I really like the wide toe box of the lake shoes, which are a good choice for my feet since I have issues with a Morton's Neuroma on one foot. The issue I had with my CX 237s was that during indoor winter training the leather heel lining would get wet from sweat then dry out and eventually started to crack as it became less supple. Probably my fault for not conditioning the leather, but I was looking for a Lake shoe that had a synthetic liner that would dry better and be more durable. The CX 241 seemed to fit the bill. After using the shoe for a couple of months I think I'm ready to review it. Like all Lake shoes it requires little to no break in time to fit like a glove. These shoes are the most comfortable I've worn. The carbon sole is very stiff and easy to position cleats precisely were you want them to be. The boa retention system allows perfect fit and two-way adjustment on the fly.
I was a bit concerned about the mesh on the sides and if the shoe would be durable, but so far it's been fine and I I don't think it will be a problem. The big plus of the mess is that the shoes dry very quickly when wet- from soaked to totally dry over night after a long rainy ride. With all the mesh you will probably want to wear shoe covers on really cool fall or spring days.
Sizing is pretty true. I have worn a size 45.5 in Sidis and 45 in Fiziks and the 45 is perfect for me in the Lake. My foot tends to be a bit narrow, but the heel cup in the Lake fits fine
All-in-all I'm very please with the CX 241s and the two-way adjustability of the boa system and moldable heel cup are nice upgrades from the 237s and for me worth the greater price.

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Richard H.

Richard H.wrote a review of on March 17, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Everyone kept telling me that tubeless is the way to go and I finally decided to try it out. I'd read good things about the gravel king SK tires and have had great luck with Panaracer road tires so the gravel kings seemed to be the logical choice.
As usual Competitive Cyclist service is great and the tires arrived in a few days. I set out to mount them on my Stans Ironcross wheels. These rims can be difficult to mount some tires, In fact, I had a pair of Challenge Strada Bianche's that neither I or the LBS could mount on these wheels. Judging by the bead on the gravel kings I knew I was in for a wrestling match. I could not get the tire on the Stans rim even with a little soapy water for lubrication and a tire jack. After a bit of thought and being too stubborn to admit defeat, I mounted them with a tube on some Velocity A23 rims and inflated the tires to 70 psi and left them for a couple of days. After this I was able to mount them on the Stans rims, it was not easy and still required a tire jack for the last bit of the second bead. Once on the rim the tires were a breeze to inflate- only needed a track pump to inflate and dry seat on the bead. Add a bit of sealant and you're good to go! They hold air well for days at a time.
Running the tires at 30 psi front and 35-40 psi rear they roll really well and are pretty surefooted in loose gravel. I got the 38s which actually measure 40-41 mm when mounted on the Stans rims. Too soon to know about wear, but the ride is really nice. Overall, I'm quite happy with the purchase. My advice to those that buy is have a tire jack handy or go to your LBS with a sad look on your face and maybe they'll take pity on you and mount them for free or a minimal fee.

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Richard H.

Richard H.wrote a review of on October 7, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For years I've worn Sidi shoes and more recently Fizik, both of which are great shoes and fit my narrow foot nicely. I've developed a Morton's neuroma on my foot and needed to start wearing an insert which made the other shoes too tight and I needed more room in the toe box. I decided to try a Lake shoe based on some investigation. I usually wear a size 45 or 45.5. The Lake shoe in a 45 fits me very well, mind you that's with an insert with a lot of arch support which takes up more space than the insert the shoe comes with. No slip on the heel at all with my narrow foot, but I'd say the shoe runs a tad larger than Sidi's do and definitely more room for the toes that I was looking for. These shoes are well made and the leather is really supple. They are the most comfortable shoes to wear out of the box that I have ever owned. They have a nice stiff carbon sole. No hot spots at all even on long rides. The dual boa closure allows you to dial in the fit perfectly. The only complaint I have is that the boa closure system they use only allows micro adjustment when tightening, not when loosening. I don't understand with shoes at this price point and above why Lake doesn't spec them with the micro adjust in both directions. I took off a star for this, but otherwise this is an awesome shoe and a good value based on materials, construction, and fit. I'm very pleased with my purchase and also the sizing advice I received from the guys at competitive cyclist.

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Richard H.

Richard H.wrote a review of on March 15, 2017

5 5

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

I've been looking for a good quality carbon bar at a reasonable price for a while for my gravel bike. I've used FSA aluminum bars for years and have always liked them. So when the SL-K carbon bar went on sale I jumped at it. The bars are stiff and have very comfortable hand positions on the top of the bar. The compact bar provides for a very comfortable reach to the drops as well. I've ridden a couple of times in the snow and gravel and with the recent cycle of freeze and thaw the roads are pretty beat up. I'm impressed with the vibration damping the bars provide. In fact, I was so pleased I bought a second one for my road bike...the price is hard to beat. I don't have any long-term experience to share yet, but I expect that these will continue to preform well over time.

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