Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders Over $50 100% Guaranteed Returns
1-888-276-7130
Annual Tour Sale—A New Daily Deal for Every Stage
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 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.

(0)

 

0 Comments

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

(2)

 

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

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on September 20, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This cassette performs just how it should. I can make my chain slip on a PG-1150 cassette if I try hard enough, but I cannot do that with the PG-1170 using the same chain.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on September 20, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been lucky enough to put a few hundred miles on a demo set of these wheels and I've been nothing but pleased. To indentify where I'm coming from, the wheelset usually on my bike is a pair of Reynolds Assault clinchers, so my comparisons will largely be based on that frame of reference.

The Zipps feel stiff, and I am able to run my brake pads a few mm away from the braking surface without any contact between those parts under heavy sprinting loads. I weigh about 200 pounds (91 kg) and put out about 1300 watts for my five second power last time I rode with a power meter, so I tend to notice when wheels are flexy.

The braking on these wheels has been the biggest surprise; it's excellent for carbon. I've ridden these wheels in a wide variety of conditions, including a 10k descent in the rain, and not once did I feel a lack of confidence under braking. Additionally, there are no disconcerting sounds under heavy braking, which is sometimes the case with carbon clinchers.

The 302's come with J bend spokes, which in my experience work just fine and are easier to service/replace if necessary, and do not have the dimpled surface found on Zipp's top end offerings. I'm sure that in a wind tunnel this would be a measurable difference, but in the real world, I was completely content with the smooth rim surface.

I will say that the seam between between carbon sheets on the inner lip of the rim (the portion closest to the hub, where the spoke nipples are) could be a little bit cleaner, but bearing in mind the price of this wheelset relative to other carbon clinchers from trusted brands, it's not enough for me to knock a star off the review.

All things considered, this is one of my favorite wheelsets that we carry. For the sake of comparison, For $1,500 you get Zipp reliability, noticable aerodynamic improvements, and braking that you'll feel confident with on prolonged descents. Going up in price beyond $1,500 will yield a wheel with some more features and very similar performance; what it really comes down to is whether those relatively diminished returns are worth it to you.





(1)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on September 11, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I can easily say that this is the most fashionable road jersey I own and my favorite jersey for rides that fall within its wheelhouse.

As for the fit, it is definitely a race fit. The jersey is not particularly stretchy, so pay attention to sizing. Refer to the following link on size (not the chart on this page): https://attaquercycling.com/pages/attaquer-sizing-charts. I'm 6'3", 200 lbs, and prefer a snug jersey that doesn't flap in the wind or sag when I stuff my jersey pockets for a long day in the saddle. I'm definitely at the upper limit of the XL size and the sleeves are particularly tight if I bring my wrists to my shoulders as if I were doing a curl with a dumbbell. But to be fair, I don't really care about elbow flexion while riding. For sizing reference, my arms are about 15.5" around (that's flexed, of course) at the girthiest point of my biceps.

Additionally, this jersey is best suited for cooler days; riding in the mid-80's F (about 30 C) was a little too hot. On the other hand, I got caught in a downpour in this jersey and it did a lot better than the vast majority of short-sleeved jerseys out there. I consider this to be a shoulder season jersey, best for rides on which you might also bring a vest and arm warmers.

At this point, you may be asking why I gave this 4 stars given what I've said so far. The rating is based on the fact that although this jersey is only suited for certain builds and rides of an admittedly narrow temperature range; it is a great jersey when those criteria are met.


(1)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on September 11, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchased this saddle roll because I was tired of post-mounted saddle bags wearing out my shorts and liked the looks of this bag. The waxed canvas is really durable and the color complements my gumwall tires quite nicely. I can pretty easily fit a road tube, two C02 cannisters, a small multitool, and my air chuck and still have a reasonably compact set-up. Setting up the roll securely takes a bit of figuring out initially, but if you place the contents of the roll mindfully, it will stay put and look good.

I recommend this for road use only; just for fun I tried using this on my hardtail on a rocky ride and it kept coming undone. No surprise there, as the roll is held on with one robust but relatively small leather strap, which is essentially a toe strap that one might see used in conjunction with an old school pedal cage.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Zach B

Zach Bwrote a review of on September 6, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Here is my preferred chainwhip for use on my bikes. This isn't a tool that I use all that often, but it's a must-have for those times when I need to remove and install a cassette. The handle on the SR-2.2 is more comfortable, but the price is right on this SR-11 for occasional use.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments