Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling

Snowy places (photo: view from top of Rattlesnake Mountain, WA)

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Duncan's Passions

Backpacking
Camping
Trail Running
Sport Climbing

Duncan's Bio

If there is snow on it, play on it

Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote a review of on October 15, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is the best cork tape available. It has a great feel, it's very durable, easy to keep clean, and they give you plenty material to wrap even the biggest drops. Also, I'm a big fan of the color options! Don't kid yourself... you know it matters.

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote a review of on August 18, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Yes, they are everywhere, but for a good reason; Ultegra derailleurs are amazingly good at moving a chain around. When properly adjusted and maintained, this derailleur sings. This thing shifts faster than you will ever need... perhaps faster. In a word, it is snappy. As an added benefit, it's delightfully quiet. None of that SRAM clickety-clack.

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote a review of on August 18, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Yes it's stiff, it shifts effortlessly, it's beautiful, it's light, and it works. No carbon silliness, no wonky chainring shapes, just a simple and elegant crankset. Sure, it's not the lightest option out there... but will you really notice? Will it make a difference? When paired with the Ultegra BB and the Ultegra chain, this thing is unstoppable. As an added plus, when properly lubed, it runs completely silent. As an example of this things strength, I weigh a little under 180 lbs. and I can't get this thing to flex for the life of me... even if I'm standing on it, stomping it up a hill, or sprinting with all my might. Try it, you won't be disappointed. Aside from wheels, an Ultegra crankset is the most beneficial upgrade you can make to your road machine.

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote a review of on August 18, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

The Sidi Wire shoe is amazing. I was impressed from the first time that I tried them on, and I continue to be impressed every day. As with all Sidi products, the fit/finish is second to none. They are as comfortable and functional as they are beautiful.

As with all shoes, these may not be right for you. Every foot is different, and we all have different needs. Sidi tends to run a little narrow, and tends to have a tighter toe box, but they have made some wonderful adjustments to these shoes. The Wire is special in that it can offer more of a custom fit and therefore more comfort. The closure system is brilliant and can be rapidly adjusted on the bike. Even more important, the ratchet system holds, even over the longest, hardest ride.

Overall, the best shoe out there (especially for speedplay specific soles). I love these things and I look forward to years of comfortable and powerful riding. Thank you Sidi!

(2)

 

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote a review of on August 18, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Two things to note: If you are searching for soft and spongy bar tape, keep looking. Fizik makes other tapes with more padding, as do many other manufactures. Look for the words "Gel" and or "Cork"if you want comfort. Also, this stuff is going to be slick if you get caught out in the rain. However, if you are using Fizik bar tape, chances are you don't ride in the rain that often... Something to keep in mind though.
That said, this stuff rocks! It looks slick and shiny, but it offers plenty of grip (even without gloves, and even with sweaty hands). It has a very thin profile, allowing for a tight and smooth tape job. It lays down nice and flat and the edges remain smooth and barely noticeable when I run my hands over the bars. Installation is improved by a thin strip of adhesive on the back of the tape, and Fizik offers you plenty of length to work with (no trouble wrapping my 42 Ergosum drop bars). However, I will say that the nature of this material makes it a little tricky to wrap a "figure-8" around the brake hoods (it's not as flexible as cork or gel tape). Lastly, and this is a minor detail that may not apply to every rider, it is super easy to keep clean. For those of you who always liked the look of white bar tape, but hated dealing with the hassle of keeping it from turning gray, this tape should be strongly considered. Just rub with a damp shop rag and it will look good as new.

(1)

 

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote a review of on August 18, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For the past three years I have been riding on the OEM Al drop bars that came with my bike. Not bad bars, but they weren't doing me any favors (wrong size/shape for my body). I recently decided to spring for a pair of carbon bars, something which I had been debating internally for quite some time. I am glad I did! They are significantly more comfortable, better for my riding position, "softer" on the road than Al, plenty stiff, and yes... lighter (noticeably so). The profile of the Ergosum is perfect for my hands and body position when I'm on the bike. They offer more reach (placing the hoods farther away) and a shallower drop. They allow me to comfortably achieve an aggressive/aero posture that was impossible (or at best, unsustainable) on my original bars. It is important to note that these bars are oriented more toward a "race" cockpit setup. If you are looking for a comfort specific/gran fondo carbon bar, there are more suitable options out there. Ultimately though, the Ergosum is a great bar. I'm looking forward to years of riding with this magnificent piece of equipment. 3T is pretty sweet...

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote an answer about on August 10, 2013

The half size up will be a little wider, but you will have to try them on to see if it makes enough of a difference for your feet. With regards to the "Mega" option you mentioned, the Wire is currently only offered in standard sizes. No indication of a "Mega" Wire any time soon.
As you may have discovered, Sidi tends to favor riders with narrower feet. If you are getting sleepy toes in your Ergo 3's, you are probably going to get sleepy toes in these. The Wire and the Ergo 3 are very similar in shape and fit. That said, the Wire is a slightly more adjustable shoe than the Ergo 3, and it's significantly more comfortable (on my feet, at least). Have you tried different socks (thinner/barefoot)? How about a different insole? How about a different shoe (Shimano makes great shoes, better for wider feet). There are loads of options out there. Good Luck!

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote an answer about on May 5, 2013

Yes, the 28 tooth will help a bunch. However, if you have the cash, you would be better off with a compact double crank (50, 34). That 30 tooth front gear is not doing you any favors, and 39 is a few teeth too many. 34 front + 28 rear = mountain climbing status. Nothing will stop you!

If you stick with the triple crank and throw on a 12-28, you will need more chain. Good luck.

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote a review of on May 5, 2013

5 5

The front derailleur has a difficult job, but when it is working properly it is easy to forget it's even part of the bike. However, a poorly functioning front mech is the fastest way to ruin a good ride. Fortunately, I have had the pleasure to be the owner of a 105 front derailleur, which has made me a very happy cyclist. I only had to adjust it once over three years (cable change), and it never gave me any trouble. Perfect, quick shifts every time. No dropped chains. Shimano knows what they are doing! Price to performance ratio, 105 FD5700 is the clear winner.

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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling wrote an answer about on May 5, 2013

Light and Motion is the company that I...

Light and Motion is the company that I turn to every time I need lights. Admittedly, they are a little pricey... but as we all know, "you get what you pay for."I have been using my"Light and Motion URBAN300" for commuting, and it is perfect in every way. There are brighter and more expensive lights out there, but the 300 was able to satisfy all of my requirements at a lower price: It is bright and visible, easy to use, rechargeable, and casts a beam that lights up the road surface. I am not certain if all Light and Motion headlamps operate the same, but my 300 has four brightness settings, one strobe (always gets noticed). It also has the same side LEDs as the 180 taillight for added visibility. Plus, it came with a helmet mount, although I prefer to mount it directly to my handlebars.

Can't comment on "Lupine Lighting," I have never used any of those products. What I can recommend is that you should choose a lamp with a rating of at least 150 lumens and some form of side illumination. Good luck, and stay safe!

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