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Austin H.

Austin H.

Utah, Maine

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Austin's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Running
Skiing
Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on June 8, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Solid dropper post with some quirks:
1. The lever is massive, which makes it hard to position next to other business on your bars
2. Stiff lever action--it isn't long before you get a mondo thumb
3. Middle position isn't quite right
4. Slight play in *my* post after about two months of riding
5. Seat-level cable connection means that (like many posts) you're faced with cable drag and housing management issues that can become a PITA

Otherwise, I love this thing. Really, it does the trick. I'll keep it until I can find the pennies (or justification) to upgrade to a KS Lev.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on March 18, 2014

2 5

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

It fits a healthy collection of little stuff (keys, multi-tool, CO2, etc), doesn't rattle around too much, and the adjustments are easy enough to get right.

Unfortunately, the main zipper broke 15 miles into my second ride. I'll be looking elsewhere for a replacement.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on October 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

Clean style, polarized lenses, durable enough build, and lenses that haven't scratched easily (yet). I'd say that's the makings of a pretty solid pair of shades. Usually $50 would just get you a pair of replacement lenses from another brand--not the case here.

One-size-fits-all and I've found that the Suncloud fit is pretty accommodating for a range of face shapes and sizes.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on October 22, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Sneak up on unsuspecting foes on the trail...or just enjoy a suddenly and surprisingly silent ride. So far this thing has drastically (anecdotal) reduced my dropped chains and I don't hear a peep from drivetrain, even through braking bumps.

Also, I'm a huge fan of the Cage Lock feature. It's easier than ever to install a new chain or pull the rear wheel. Now that I'm spoiled, it'll take something drastic for me to go back.

Running this on a HT 29er with a 1x10.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on October 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Running a 32 on my HT 29er with a 1x10 and this ring does exactly what it should, it keeps my drivetrain running smooth. Out of the box it appears to be on par with typical Renthal quality (at least that of a few years back) and it has that drilled-out moto aesthetic that's subtle and pretty damn cool.

Half a season of Utah, Montana, and Idaho singletrack without a single issue. Nothing but praise from this guy.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on October 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Half the price of the Gucciest grips and twice the comfort? I'm sold.

I tend to climb without gloves and descend with/without gloves on about 50/50. These grips provide just the right amount of cushioning either way. The actual grippiness of the grip is less than I've experienced with some of the Lizard stuff, but it's still more than acceptable.

I followed the provided installation instructions and both went on easily.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I have a size 8.5-9 foot (street shoes) (26 Mondo) with a wide forefoot, skinny heel, high instep, massive arch, and skinny thighs and ankles, and I usually run a 300-307 BSL. I've been sizing down a 25/25.5 and figured that these boots would do the trick.

The 25.5 size (25 shell) left less than a finger width (10mm wide Sharpie) when shell sizing, which left little wiggle room for the toes when kicking or the space taken up by custom insoles (in my judgement). The liner felt tight out of the shell (not molded) and in the shell there was more than a 'moderate' amount of pressure on my big toes. Good news, the boot volume was right where I felt it should have been and the cuff height was decent. Here's the cliche at work: it's always easier to make a small boot larger...etc, etc. While I prescribed to this when I raced, now that I spend long mornings or days touring, a little extra room in the toe box is a welcome relief and if the rest of the fit is right, it takes nothing away from ski control. That said, I decided to pass on these boots based on the fit for MY foot.

Side note: after comparing the overall build and features to the Scarpa Maestrale and Maestrale RS, I was much more impressed by the liner, walk/ski mechanism, and buckle placement and construction on the Scarpa boots. The BD *felt* (subjective) a little cheaper than the Scarpa's. Had the fit been right this wouldn't have stopped me from choosing the BD's but it did give me a moment of pause.

Four stars because I'm not going to moderately rate a boot I haven't actually skied.

Disclaimer: boot fitting is an art and there are more variables to getting the right fit than anyone would like to admit. This is an anecdotal, tried-on-in-the-house review. Take it with a grain of salt.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on October 21, 2013

These Are Revo Tubeless Ready
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These are 'Revo Tubeless Ready' tires. They're ready to run tubeless and they're the Protection model (you'll see this when you try to add a size to your cart). The description mentions the Protection feature but the title doesn't indicate they're Conti's tubeless ready

I'm running a 2.2 on the back and a 2.4 on the front. The higher volume 2.4 actually made it significantly easier to mount with sealant without spilling/making a mess. An interesting byproduct of having some wider rubber up front.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on June 25, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I purchased this bottle vest and the bladder-compatible UltraAspire Omega vest and ended up keeping the Omega. While both vests offer much of the same in the way of build quality, materials, and pocket storage, the placement of the Kinetic's water bottles was far too awkward. In addition, I found that the bottom of the bottles pressed against my back in a manner that would drive me crazy during a long-haul run. Sorry Kinetic, I wanted to love your two-bottle design over a hydration bladder.
I gave this three stars because I feel like it's probably an excellent product in practice, it simply has a fit issue that doesn't work for my body.
As a point of reference for the aforementioned fit issue: I'm 5'11 with a medium-to-slender build and a proportional torso.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on June 25, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I run this as my primary taillight on my commuter. It appears well built, it's easy to attach and remove from your seatpost, it's easy to switch on and off, and the light modes are as described (an assault on the senses). I would call this a no-brainer purchase if you're a city commuter.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on June 25, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought one of these little buggers. This light is bright enough for riding in city traffic at night, it's super tough (I crash sometimes), and it's easy to attach/remove in a hurry. Just keep one stash in your backpack or riding bag and you'll always have a way to be a little more visible at night. Going stealth is only cool if you're a plane.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Although they're on the pricey side, these bars are worth the money. They're tasty as hell, less sugary than Clif Bars (IMO), and don't leave you with a nasty too-dense-nutrition-bar hangover. Probar does a great job of balancing flavors and mixing up ingredients without getting too fruity. As a quick meal, these bars pack a heap of decently clean calories into a tiny package.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

5 5

With a steel frame and big, easy-sliding pivots, this chair is sturdy. Both the height of the chair and the height of the arm rests are just right (I'm 5'11 with a standard wingspan). Chair collapses and opens easily, even after a few days in the desert. This is a reliable, comfy choice for car camping and sitting around the fire. Great bang for the buck!

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

4 5

I've only run about ten miles in these shoes thus far, so I'll hold off on a performance review until I log more miles.

Initial feel is extremely lightweight. Although I've noticed that the heel has more of a cup than many road shoes. I prefer this fit but it may rub the achilles for some. I wear a size 8.5 in most running shoes and these 8.5's fit spot-on.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on May 14, 2013

5 5

I've run about 20 miles while wearing this shirt and no complaints.

The material feels a little heavier than I expected, but it's by no means too heavy for running. Unlike some brands, a medium is truly a medium. I'm about 5'11, 165lbs with a medium-width chest and the medium fits just right. Any smaller and it would be too tight.

Well constructed and obviously high quality--very typically Patagonia.

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Austin H.

Austin H. wrote a review of on January 30, 2013

The Silver Bullet
5 5

This thing solves the age-old struggle of finding a shower kit that's not too big and not too small.
A toothbrush, small shampoo + conditioner bottles, a pill container, toothpaste, a razor, and more fit easily inside.
Ideal for the week-long trip or overnighter.

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