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Rick A

Rick A

Chicago

Rick A's Passions

Road Biking

Rick A's Bio

Borderline OCD road cyclist who rides nearly every day for fitness and stress relief. Nothing like a solo Sunday morning ride just as the sun is coming up. Peaceful. Nothing to think about other than turning the pedals.

Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on December 10, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Keeps my sweat off the bike (still all over the floor, a bit) as intended. Works very well and a little wider than a cheaper one I used to have. The only minor issue I have is it is wider near the middle than some leading my legs to rub/ touch it sometimes during hard efforts. Not a huge deal. Still continue to use it after all this time. Holding up well but I should probably wash it soon...

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on December 10, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Having tried a variety of tires over the last ten years, from Vittoria (Rubino), Conti, Michelin, Specialized, and I am sure I am missing one, these are by far my favorite. I stepped up to the wider version about four or five years ago realizing the 23s were just to harsh, especially with carbon fiber wheels. I was able to run a reduced pressure which, as all the articles will tell you, improves traction especially when wet. Yes, they do not last as long as some harder tires but with the riding I do it is worth it. They last a season at best but I have not experienced any flats in the last two seasons of riding on these. Roads are fairly clean where I am at so that helps. For the record, my second favorite is the Michelin Pro4 Service Course but unless I have major issues with Vittoria I am not going back. I do not race but participate in some very aggressive group rides one to two times per week aside from solo riding. I ride five to seven days per week, wracking up about 5,000 miles (outside) per year - the rear is definitely ready to be replaced. Turbo trainer work is done on a different bike with last years tires - makes sure I get the most use out of them. Just ordered the Vittoria with Graphene for next season and look forward to riding on them once spring hits.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on September 2, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I may have reviewed these before but from my experience they rate a follow-up. Switched from Conti 4000s when the Pro4 came out after BAD wet weather experience. The Pro4 continues to be my go to tire. I have considered "straying" but still come back. I got >4,000 miles on may last set (live near Chicago and overall the streets are pretty good). I run about 90 psi and have great traction and feel. For me they work and when CC had the sale at $30 I could not pass it up. There is always the "fear of switching" and I was concerned about leaving Conti for the unknown. Glad I did. I have read numerous reviews over the years and you do need to factor in road conditions and your riding style. Not that Conti produces a bad tire but for me the Michelin work better.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on May 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Good taste and nice alternative to the usual energy bar. I usually combine one with a gel mid-ride. An adequate amount of calories (150 compared to 200+ for some bars) that does not sit like a rock in your stomach. While a bar is easier to eat in bits along the way (unless the ride is an all out hammerfest, the Rip Van Waffels are best eaten completely at once. They are a bit crumbly and may not survive once you break into it. I will continue to add this to my routine.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on May 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wear a SIDI wire vent shoe in size 43. The stock insoles do not accommodate my mid-rise arch. I have used the Specialized medium insole and found that to be better. The Giro insoles need less trimming to fit, at least for the SIDI 43 - just follow the line. Good support and I like being able to try the other arch options. They even come with an Extra high option that I have not seen with Specialized. Also provides the ability to have different arch heights if required for each foot. I have not ridden in extremely hot weather yet but so far no ventilation issues. I would purchase again and recommend others to try them, especially if you find your current insole lacking.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on December 26, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you have carbon fiber wheels and have been using the Swisstop yellow king pads you will want to strongly consider the Black Prince. They appear to be a bit softer and braking is significantly improved. They will squeal when new unless you make sure to have some toe-in as recommended. Got caught in the rain a few times and while stopping distance did increase, pulsing the brakes to dry the tracks occasionally while riding improved stopping performance when needed. Still prefer allow wheels in the wet but sometimes "rain happens" and the carbon fiber wheels are my preferred. Using second generation SRAM Rival group.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on December 26, 2013

Time will tell
3 5

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

Purchased because the price was right and I was replacing the cables. Have used SRAM, Specialized, Fizik, and Zipp previously as bar tapes vary quite a bit and can be an easily changed decision. Does have a little bit of stretch but not the most comfortable tape I have used. I do not think this has a tacky feel at all and agree with other reviewer (David) that getting this wet is probably not a good idea. It does look good when installed. The Fizik is nice and my favorite to date is the Zipp CX tape but it wore rather fast. This will do the job but not sure that I will order it the next time around.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on December 26, 2013

5 5

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

Very easy to install and makes for a return to effortless shift performance. The setup is SRAM Rival brifters and derailleurs. Housing is very flexible and suggest making cuts with a housing specific cutting tool such as one from Park Tool. One interesting feature is the clear housing end that goes towards the shifter. It is marked on the housing but not referenced in the instructions. Appears to be slightly more flexible than the rest of the housing to make the bend against the bar/ under the tape (shown in photo). Had a few parts left over that must be used on different Shimano compatible groups - again not identified in the instructions. Instructions are a fair guide but if this is your first time replacing cables suggest you watch a couple YouTube videos (there are plenty). This replaced a GORE Ride-On set; the original version was great but the second gen did not live up to prior expectations. Read the reviews on Jagwire and Yokazuna Reaction - chose Jagwire mainly for the black color option. Have multiple color choices where YR only has two and was tired of white. The black looks good with the black Rival group. Took about 90-minutes to install. Great way to spend Christmas Eve. Limited use since just installed but expect great things.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on December 10, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This will be my second set of the 700x25. I installed the first set in early summer and have ~3,500 miles on them riding nearly every day of the week with Saturday and Sunday each being at least 50-mile days. A few small cuts (the roads are pretty good here in Chicago 'burbs) and no flats. Definitely better wet weather traction than the Conti's. Have tried both 23 and 25-mm and will stick with the 25's. The lower pressure helps absorb some of the rough pavement and when paired with the winter alloy wheels with higher spoke count definitely more comfortable. Ride equally well with carbon clinchers in summer. Current set not fully worn out but could not pass up this sale.

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Rick A

Rick Awrote a review of on October 30, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Replaced cheap, er inexpensive, "AA" powered light of unknown lumens that was enough to let me be seen (usually). No fears with the Lumina. I can get at least 5 hours use between low and medium before needing a charge; possibly even longer. Even when the low battery indicator comes on I can get another hour on low - but have not pushed it further. Recharge time is not too bad and it came charged in the box. Now I can see where I am going (especially with my new Smith Pivlok V90 with the clear lenses) and be seen as well.

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