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Zack Foley

Zack Foley

Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on July 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Ion has been making great products for quite some time now. And we all know that when they release a new item, it's generally going to surpass it's competition. But I've got to admit I was a tad skeptical when I'd seen the release of their shoe line. Especially in a time where companies like 5.10 and Giro reign supreme for mountain biking due to their construction.

The Raid was everything I didn't expect upon opening the box. A reinforced toe cap to help reduce wear and to keep from breaking anything when you slam. An elastic tongue band to help tuck your laces so that you don't need to worry about them getting sucked into your drive train. Even a heel loop to help pull the shoe on for a properly snug fit (as we all know, most mtb shoes can be a bear to get on without unlacing entirely). To me, these were the little attributes that show attention to detail in an items design. But a shoe is more than looks and quick fixes. It needs to perform.

Upon walking in them I'd noticed a bit of give just past the ball of my foot. Which is great if your shoe is intended to be a street shoe, but you really want that to be rigid in a shoe made to transfer power into your bike while pedaling. I'm also a bit of a snob when it comes to rubber compound as well. The last thing any of us want is to lose footing while landing or right when our speed exceeds 30+ mph. This is a detail that many newer companies tend to overlook I feel, so I stress emphasis on this detail as I really hate coming off of my pedals.

While entering my first climb I'd noticed that not only was the rubber compound of the sole fantastically sticky, but no matter where my placement was, the rubber meshed incredibly well with my pedals. I had also noticed that even though the sole had a bit of give in the parking lot while walking, the rigidity really took hold once on the bike and pedaling. Allowing me to transfer power efficiently just as I'd hoped. Fast forward weeks and this shoe is now my go-to in a closet full of options. It's comfortable, breathes well, and performs INSANELY better than I could have hoped. And as I had mentioned before, the attention to detail on this model is incredible, allowing you release any worry you would normally have about excess, cumbersome laces going haywire on your drive train while riding.

If you're looking for the shoe that is the solution to any issue you're experiencing with your current platform mountain bike shoe, You'll not be disappointed. Ion came out swinging with the design of the Raid AMP. And it won't be long before we're seeing this on every other foot at the bike park.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on June 17, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As many of us know the Selle SMP saddles catch the naked eye due to their unique shape. But what many riders alike may not know is how well their nontraditional design work in sync with how the human anatomy performs under stresses such as long climbs or even longer days in the saddle. The Forma is the saddle for the cyclist that doesn't prefer a lot of padding, or that prefer a more stripped down version of a saddle. The shape works well for anyone that cannot find comfort on a traditional saddle shape such as a Fabric Scoop, or Selle Italia SP-01. The SMP saddles are designed to always keep comfort in mind, allowing you to rack up training and base miles, or have pain from your saddle be the very last thought in a race.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on May 22, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Having followed this brand on the moto side for a while I was surprised to see they made the jump into cycling. The Gun Wind Elegance helmet is the combination of aerodynamics, lightweight, durability, and ventilation that every company strives to achieve. It's breathes incredibly well when you're in the thick of a long climb on a summer day, and the weight makes it feel like you're not even wearing a helmet. The shape of the model allows you to descend without hearing a ton of noise from the vents as you would with some of the industries counterparts. It's the kind of helmet that are few an far between, hitting the nail on the head with bringing everything to the table that a cyclist needs in a proper helmet. It is after all the only piece of protective equipment we wear while riding. It's best to choose the best.

The helmet has more of a rounded shape to it as opposed to helmet like the Giro Synthe that has more of a ovaled shape. It's a true to size fit for me (a gentleman of 5'10" and a medium sized head), with room for a cycling cap for colder months.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on May 21, 2019

The Only Stand For Your Road Bike
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Having worked on the road as a team mechanic for near a decade before my current job at Competitive Cyclist, I can tell you that this is the best stand for your road bike be it rim or disc brake. With the mounts being fully adaptable, it not only houses such a wide variety of bikes, but makes it significantly more easy to wash and tune them. The platform rotates a full 360 degrees allowing washing to be a breeze, and keeping you from having to dodge a giant post holding the clamp for your seat post. This also comes in handy when overhauling a bottom bracket. The lightweight construction makes this work stand extremely pack-able, and easy to carry to your races. There is a reason I own 4 of this model alone. Feedback stands just work, and they work extremely well.

If you have any questions about this product, please reach out to me at ZFoley@CompetitiveCyclist.com and I'm happy to help you compare!

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 27, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'd tried this on at a trade show to get a feel for it, but let's be honest here. Aside from fit what questions can you REALLY answer by just trying it on? So I bought it. Suffice to say I was incredibly surprised. I wanted a new brain bucket for when trails in Utah decide to get rowdy, and this thing is great for spontaneous rowdyness. It's incredibly lightweight and breathable. You can see that from the design and the cutouts, but to actually feel the difference while you're pedaling is incredible. Especially when we're used to full face helmets that are the worst thing you could add to your collection on a summer day. The Proframe is unrivaled, and the amount of time I've spent in this helmet because of it's versatility is great. You can pedal uphill without getting heat exhaustion, and trust that you're incredibly safe on the descents!

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 27, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was looking for a new pack for commuting, but sometimes Utah's weather can be a bit unpredictable. I knew I needed something that was comfortable, entirely weather proof, and large enough to hold all of my work clothes as well as my laptop for the day. I didn't expect to find a pack that hit all of these on the head, but I'm happy to say that I was incredibly wrong.

My favorite part of the bag hands down is the welded zippers. They swung for the fences with this feature. It's ENTIRELY water proof, and in the rain and snow storms I've been caught in, I've never once needed to worry about my laptop. Which is great considering it's a work laptop. It's got a full run of 3M reflective piping surrounding multiple parts of the bag to help with visibility, and if that wasn't enough, the bag sports 4 Red LED lights that can be controlled by a quick press to ensure motorists can see you. The sternum strap is very comfortable, or can be removed entirely as some may not be a fan of the strap itself. So you're not married to the design if it just doesn't fit your comforts wheelhouse.

This pack can be sued for commuting, or just an everyday reliable bag. It's great for commuting in the summer or winter, and has a wide variety and no shortage of space. If you're looking for that go everywhere- do everything bag, you've found it!

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Kuat brand is a brand that we're all familiar with. But what's just as famous as the name is the unrivaled quality and customer support. With this hitch pin it was bought as a replacement on a rack that I'd not purchased new, and had grabbed a run of the mill hitch pin just to substitute. Big mistake. The Kuat hitch pin is considerably better for not only longevity, but ease of access.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Shimano Barb and Olive design have stayed the same for so many years because they work well. It's just that simple. Installation has a very ways you could go about doing it, but either way, it only works with Shimano, and if you drop it, God speed and good luck!

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

**LIKE THIS REVIEW IN 15 SECONDS OR YOU WILL BE CURSED WITH CHAIN BREAKAGE**

Joking, probably. But the best part of the GX chain is that you KNOW it's reliable. There's a reason why bike manufatures use the GX chain instead of an X01 on a stock X01 build. It just works. And it works well. With the entire GX groupset weighing in a just half a pound heavier than the X01 kit, the chain is hardly the place where you'll gain all of that weight. And you'll sleep well at night knowing that you won't break it specifically because you liked this review within 15 seconds.

#ThoughtsAndPrayers

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

GX Eagle is a highly underrated groupset. There, I said it. The parts don't get the respect they deserve in my opinion, and in a time when everyone is spending hundreds more on X01 strictly because it's X01, this is the perfect solution to help anyone obtain their dream build without having to sacrifice performance. The GX shifter pairs with your SRAM brakes, to keep the cockpit looking incredibly clean. It's dependable in some of the worst conditions, and it always bounces back for more. If you're looking for that X01 build without the X01 price point, GX is here for you.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

We know that the DUB bottom bracket is designed to be stiff, but what was surprising was how smooth and efficient the bearings inside are. I didn't expect the bearings to be as low friction as they actually are. With a moderate push I was able to get 2 1/2 rotations out of it, when it's Shimano counterpart had gotten a little over a full rotation. It's a solid choice for anyone wanting to experience DUB without having a bearing that's going to cost a ton for marginal gains.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you're going to try to save anywhere on your GX/ X01 groupset, this is really the place to do it. It shifts just as efficiently as the X01, and really isn't much heavier at all. Durability is a close rival, and the overall technical aspect is identical. If you're trying to save a few bucks in your build, this is where you can save it without sacrificing performance.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was skeptical about running GX for a small bit, but after doing more research I've found that the GX group set is a very close rival of it's big brother, the X01 group set. The entire group is right at half of a pound more heavy, and performs famously. With a super stiff clutch and cage lock-out, this is a terribly accommodating rear derailleur that anyone should consider.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Fox has been not just an industry standard, but my personal go-to suspension company for quite some time now. The reason? They're unrivaled. They don't use cheap rebound knobs that fall off while you're riding, their forks can take a hit and bounce back, and they are incredibly easy to service. The Grip 2 is currently the most adjustable fork on the market. pair that with an MRP Ramp Control Cartridge and you've got limitless possibilities. The reason I went with this fork over another band is quite simple. It's just the best fork out there.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

40 reviews on the same product, none of which are below 4 stars should tell you all that you need to know. The Wolf Tooth levers are the best in the industry for smooth actuation, dependability, and durability. They can take any seat post and turn them into the most effortless version of itself since a company designs and tests it. 10/10 the only lever option I'll ever run.

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

But really. The new Code brakes are easily the best bang for the buck on the market. Anyone who runs the RSC version of this brake will agree that not only is it cost efficient, but the adjust-ability and reliability are like no other on the market. You get a brake that world cup downhill riders are able to race on, ensuring that you have the stopping power needed to take the risks on the trail you know you're capable of coming out on top of. Bar-none, the best brake we currently offer in terms of checking off all of the boxes!

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

There is a reason why this is the flagship rotor for all Avid and Sram brakes. They work well. They're ventilated properly, and they're inexpensive. In the years I have been in the cycling industry, the Sram rotors have always be able to achieve exactly what I've needed out of them. And without breaking the bank along the way!

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Zack Foley

Zack Foleywrote a review of on February 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

At such an inexpensive price, why wouldn't you want to set yourself apart from every other bike with a Fox fork? The decal kit comes with extras to accommodate multiple fork and shock models, and was incredibly easy to install. If you find your nerves getting the best of you during the process however, just spray a bit of rubbing alcohol on the back of the decals (the adhesive side), move the decals to your preferred location, and then let sit for 24 hours. The alcohol will evaporate, over time, but affords you the adjust-ability of being able to put your decals precisely where you want them!

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