Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders Over $50 100% Guaranteed Returns
1-888-276-7130
Save 20% on Select 2018 Santa Cruz and Yeti Complete Bikes
Zach B

Zach B

Zach B's Passions

Road Biking
Mountain Biking

Zach B's Bio

test

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on October 16, 2018

4 5

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

I got a couple rides in on a demo set of these wheels and have initial impressions to share.

This is an aluminum rim with a thin fairing over the structural portion of the rim. You can squeeze the fairing with your hand because of how thin it is. I mention this because some customers have called in, surprised about it.

The wheel itself is stiffer than I'd anticipated, and the aero benefits are noticeable. As is always the case with HED, the quality and construction are solid. Considering the depth and the benefit of aluminum braking, as opposed to a carbon brake track that you'd typically find on a wheel of this depth, the claimed weight of 1,760 grams is reasonable. I would recommend this wheelset to anyone looking for a superbly dependable, aero, stiff wheelset that comes with the safety and dependability of an aluminum braking track.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on October 16, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I couldn't really ask for more from a computer.

Initial set-up, which you do on your smart phone with Wahoo's app, is incredibly easy. Drag and drop to customize what you see on the Bolt, put in some information, and you're ready to ride. I've used the Bolt in conjunction with a Quarq DZero and the pairing was seamless and I had no lapses in communcation between the two devices. Uploading to third-party apps such as Strava is also painless.

I really have nothing bad to say about the Bolt and very highly recommend it. Though I found it to be adequate, some people may prefer a larger screen, in which case I suggest the Elemnt which is item number WHA000E.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on July 9, 2018

4 5

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

The bar tastes good, is easy to digest, and is filling but not overly so. I really like the lightness brought on by the rice. The flavor is relatively light and eating the bar did not dry out my mouth as is the case with lots of other bars.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on June 25, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is the best-tasting recovery drink I've had. Both the drinking experience and macronutrient profile are essentially the same as chocolate milk, just a lot more convenient. I also like this mix because contains lactase, which breaks down lactose, keeping my stomach happy. I've yet to meet a Skratch product I didn't like, and this is no different.

(1)

 

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on June 11, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'm a big fan of this helmet. If you're an aggressive rider or even just someone looking for extra protection and piece of mind, the combination of a helmet you can "trail ride" all day that carries DH certification as a full face will check all your boxes.

I consider myself to have relatively poor fine motor skills and it's very easy for me to convert the helmet to and from a full-face, which is as easy as securing three latches. The pads are very soft, comfortable, and have anti-microbial properties. I love the simple but effective function of the pad extending out in front of your forehead, so if you sweat a lot, if will pool out in the front and drip down in front of your glasses/goggles. Simple yet effective.

I have yet to test the spherical MIPS in a crash, but I can see how it would be effective. The inner shell, for lack of a more precise term, swivels inside shell surrounding it, in a motion very similar to a ball and socket. The inner shell connects to the helmet with yellow polymer, allowing a little bit of motion.

I can't comment with any certainty on the efficacy of the system, but it is comforting and confidence-inspiring to know I've got the latest technology available protecting my brain.

The fit of the helmet is in line with everything else I've ever tried from Bell, and my tall-ish, round head fits very well inside. If you have more of a narrow head, check out the Giro Switchblade.

Ventilation is more than reasonable considering what kind of helmet this is. It certainly doesn't breathe as well as an XC helmet, but in fairness it's not an XC helmet. My head does sweat more than it does in my Bell 4Forty, but again, that's to be expected. I certainly would not ask Bell to add more ventilation, as it would come at the expense of protection.

I usually have one or two things I'd change about any given product, but I honestly cannot think of anything for this helmet. I highly recommend the Super DH to anyone who wants extra protection for the most important part of their body.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on May 31, 2018

4 5

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

Read almost any review of a recent 5010 and you’ll see words like “playful” and “agile”. After taking our house build 5010 out on the trails, I wholeheartedly agree. The combination of Santa Cruz’s beloved VPP suspension platform, 27.5” wheels, a snappy carbon frame, moderate geometry angles, and a medium amount of travel make for a bike that responds very directly to rider input.

In my opinion, GX Eagle is by far the best MTB group for the money. Having ridden both GX and X01 Eagle bikes, there is obviously a difference in weight and aesthetics, but I can’t tell the difference in actual shift performance. For my money, this group is right where you want to be.

I’m also all smiles with the fork, and love that we spec’d a 140 mm rather than a 130 that Santa Cruz does on its house builds. This slackens out the head tube angle, making descents at speed a little more composed, and raises the low bottom bracket Santa Cruz bikes are known for and helps you prevent some pedal strikes.

My favorite aspect of this bike is that it’s a build we at Competitive Cyclist put together, which allows the customer to change the componentry to his or her liking on a custom order placed through the Gearheads here. That brings me to the two things I would change about this bike, which are the dropper post and the tires.

The Pro Koryak dropper spec’d on the build has 120 mm travel, so tall riders like me (6’3”) will need something longer to keep that minimum insertion line hidden in the seat tube. On the other end of the spectrum, people riding a small frame will want to swap to a 100 mm dropper to ensure that the saddle height isn’t too high with the post at full extension.

The other change I would make would be the tires. The bike comes with a 27.5” x 2.2” tire in the rear, but the frame can easily clear a 2.4. The rear tire wandered a bit more than I would have liked on loose, rocky sections of trail. A selection from Maxxis matching up with your local trail conditions is the ideal solution, with my pick being a Minion DHF up front and probably a High Roller in the rear.

I am a hair under 6’3” and usually get away with riding size large Santa Cruz bikes for demo’ing, although an XL would be preferred. I rode the 5010 in size large and it felt smaller than any size modern bike I’ve ridden of the same size recently (SB5, Hightower, Ripley LS, etc.) so many riders will want to go up a size.

I’d give the bike a 3.5/5 as it sits now, with the potential of it being a 4.5/5 with the proposed changes I mentioned. So for now, 4 stars it is.

If you have any questions or would like to set up an order for the bike, feel free to email me at zbonte@backcountry.com.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on March 19, 2018

3 5

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

I sampled this product before lifting weights at the gym and felt no discernible effect. This is likely because one serving size has 100 mg of caffeine according to the label, which for a coffee drinker like me isn't a lot. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine this product could be worthwhile. I do appreciate that the caffeine sources are natural sources: yerba mate and green tea.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on February 19, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I returned this jersey before wearing it on the bike because the sleeves were too short. This is a common problem for me, so if you've not had a problem with long sleeves being too short before, this jersey will be fine. I bought an XL, which usually works, but the end of the sleeves stopped about an 1.25" short of my wrist. For dress shirts I wear a 37 sleeve and my wingspan is just a touch over 6'4" or 193 cm.

The jersey fit like a standard fitted jersey; somewhere between "race" and "club" fit. Were sleeve length not an issue, I would have been more than happy to ride with this jersey.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on October 18, 2017

warm enough, not too hot
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these bib tights. With tights I've used oriented toward colder winter cycling, I've had the issue of overheating, poor moisture wicking, and material bunching. With the LW, all of these problems are absent.

Here in the dry Utah air, I've ridden in temperatures ranging from the high 30's (about 3 C) up to the high 50's (14 C or so), and have found the sweet spot for these bibs to be anywhere between 40-55 degrees F (about 4-13 C).

The chamois used here is Castelli's best chamois, the Progetto X2. Very impressive at this price, and this piece doesn't feel like a pricepoint-oriented garment at all. If I have one small complaint, it's the printing that serves as a tag sometimes sticking to my back, right between my shoulder blades, when a lot of sweat is present. That being said, it's not enough for me to deduct a star.

Sizing is pretty true to most Castelli bottoms. The XL fits me well at 6'3

(3)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on October 16, 2017

shoulder season / fake winter piece
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Sizing: let's face it, that's probably what you're most concerned with so I'll start there. I'm about 6'3" (190 cm) and 200 lbs (91 kg) and I like the fit of my XL. My arms are longer than I am tall, and the sleeves are plenty long enough to have adequate overlap between cuff and glove. You'll notice in my picture that the jersey isn't tight on my torso, nor is it baggy. If you prefer a more loose fit, size up. If you like a more race fit that won't sag with full jersey pockets, size down from your normal Castelli size.

I really enjoy the Puro 2 for rides in the 50's to low 60's as a standalone piece, and use it in lower temperatures with an appropriate base layer. As you'd expect from Castelli the hand feel on this piece is very supple and feels quite comfortable against bare skin. My favorite features of the jersey are its balance of warmth and breathability, which is key in times like October when you're freezing in the morning and ready to hit the pool in the afternoon.

I really don't have any substantial complaints about this jersey. If I'm being really picky, though, the text that says "You know you're getting an unfair advantage" on the zipper cover on the pocket on the wearer's right is a bit much. Thankfully for me, that text is small and not noticeable.

For those interested, the other pieces of clothing I'm wearing in the picture are the following:
-Castelli Scalda glove (CST00E4)
-Castell LW bib tight (CST00IU)
-Giro Empire ACC shoes (GIR003E)
-Castelli Quindici 15 socks (CST0352)

(1)

 

0 Comments