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Duncan Poling

Duncan Poling

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

Duncan Poling's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Climbing

Duncan Poling'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!

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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.

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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 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 a review of on April 27, 2013

5 5

This is the best de-greaser I have ever used. Not only does it work phenomenally well, but it has a pleasant odor that doesn't stink up your shop. I've achieved great results by removing the chain from the bike, laying the chain flat inside a 1.5 quart container, and pouring about 3-5 oz of ChainBrite over the top of the chain. I find that a 15-20 minute soak followed by a thorough scrubbing with a nylon brush works best. Alternatively, ParkTool makes a chain scrubbing tool that allows you to clean the chain on the bike. I am sure this works well, but there is nothing quite as effective as soaking and hand scrubbing.

I was able to clean 5 chains with this 16 oz bottle. For the price, it's a great deal considering what your LBS would charge for a chain cleaning. I wasn't able to find that, "handy flip-top lid on the 16 oz. (474ml) bottle..."that the BC product description mentioned. Just a regular screw top lid.

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