Andrew Renner

Andrew Renner

Wasatch Range

Andrew Renner's Passions

Biking
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Andrew Renner

Andrew Renner wrote a review of on January 6, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For a lot of us, half of the appeal of cycling is the mystique of all-things Euro. Italy almost always takes the top spot (Spain falls somewhere down the list), but Belgium is right there, especially come spring and fall, when the "hardmen" come out to play. Ridley's slogan is "Tested on Pave," and while it's a little cheesy, it's pretty spot on with their design philosophy (at least for most of their bikes - TT bikes may be less brute and more finesse) - simple down and dirty bikes/frames that are built like tanks that still manage to hold on to a glimmer of that southern-European buttery ride (think Pina, Colnago, Bainchi, etc). Having ridden the Helium for a season, I can truthfully say it's a really nice bike. It's a pro-tour-ridden frameset that's respectably light (even by today's standards), rides very solid (partially due to the ISP) especially pedaling hard while in the saddle, and is, likely, one of the best values in a high-end frame. At over $3k retail for the normal frameset two years ago, it was a great deal. At under $3K for a 6800 Ultegra/Hed Ardennes equipped bike? That's a silly good deal. Get one and be that hardman on your weekly group ride.

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Andrew Renner

Andrew Renner wrote a review of on January 2, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Part one: I wasn't sure I was sold on the idea of a thermal short - I usually just go to knickers or tights if it's cool. But I decided to give them a try because of point two, and they haven't disappointed. They're definitely warm, and are a good choice paired with knee or leg warmers for those chilly morning rides when you know the sun will be peaking out and warming things up.

Part two: the quality is stellar. De Marchi makes all (I believe) of their clothing in Italy, and they manufacture chamois and bibs for other well known brands. The feel and quality reminds me of a certain R**** brand, only these are even better. Love them and now am very excited to see this same series but in their spring/summer line.

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Andrew Renner

Andrew Renner wrote a review of on December 11, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It all starts with the rims - there are only a handful of products that a mere mortal can buy that are as legitimately PRO as these hoops. The fact that they're laced to some really awesome Murican-made King hubs is just icing on the cake. I have the same wheelset (only with DT hubs) and they're just awesome riding, timeless, and bombproof. Modern-day creature comforts these may lack, but that's not really the point.

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Andrew Renner

Andrew Renner wrote a review of on November 26, 2013

Just solid, everywhere, all the time
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I spent a summer on this frame, and there were lots of qualities that were great, but one thing always stood out - it's just solid. It feels almost weirdly-solid in corners, out of the saddle climbing/sprinting, over rough ground, etc. It seems so simple (and not exotic like you'd expect a Dogma review to read), but after you ride one, you look back at all the previous bikes you've owned and realize they just weren't that solid. One big grin and two thumbs up.

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Andrew Renner

Andrew Renner wrote a review of on November 26, 2013

Modern-technology be damned, sometimes
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've loved the idea of a steel bike since the beginning. There are (literally) millions of threads and blog postings talking about why steel is still a relevant (and good) material to use for bike frames, so I won't delve into all of that. I came off a Pivot LES, and a Highball Carbon before that, so I've had my fair share of creme de la creme carbon hardtails. To feed my never-ending lust for steel, I decided to give the new SIR9 a try. The stereotypes are true - it's pretty heavy, it is really smooth (smoother in the rear than either of my previous carbon hardtails), and is relatively heavy (yep, it's like a pound or two heavier than my other frames were). But for me, especially this time of year, I don't really care all that much. I don't have to worry about damaging the frame (I suppose I need to be conscious of rusting, but FrameSaver should take care of that), and it's pretty inexpensive. And it's fun, and different. And it's easy to make it single speed or geared. I dig it - when spring rolls around and I go back to slogging up thousands of feet of vertical, my tune my change a bit, but as a cool all-around hardtail (especially for midwest riding), this thing is rad.

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Andrew Renner

Andrew Renner wrote a review of on October 9, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Having ridden a plethora of deeper-depth wheels, I'm all too familiar with the "getting blown around" feeling you ALWAYS get. It's a trade-off that is, often, worth the hours of white-knuckled riding. Enter the Aero series - the profile is a lot different than what most are using, but that's not really important. What's important is how amazingly stable these are in crosswinds, while cornering hard down mountain descents, and out of the saddle. They are straight-up unbelievable. Reynolds may have lost some of the sexy that was Reynolds a decade ago, but these more than make up for it.

(1)

 

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