Mike Bean

Mike Bean

All around Colorado, with occasional excursions elsewhere.

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Michael's Passions

Climbing

Michael's Bio

Weekend warrior taking winter weekdays off whenever possible. Slowly chipping away at the 14ers. Ironman triathlete. Hooked on fast & light. Author of http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on August 18, 2011

4 5

First things first, these are sized for use without socks. If you want to wear socks with them (really not necessary), go up a half size.

I've been looking for a replacement for the VFFs I ran through (in well over 1000 miles) that would give me the same feel without the toes, and these are pretty close. I was enjoying the Merrell Trail Gloves until I wore through the rubber in about 200 miles. These aren't super-minimal (mostly because of the 4mm drop - everything else is pretty legit) so if that's what you're after, look elsewhere.

The MT20s have a "softer" feel than the Merrells - not sure how to explain it really, it's not a cushy feeling, just less harsh. I've got several runs in these now and I'm pretty happy. They're great for running without socks. I've seen complains about the lack of a rock plate and getting stabbed through the gap in the tread, but my runs in these have been predominantly on paved surfaces. Rubber durability seems good so far, I'll revise this if that changes. I'm looking forward to the Minimus Zero, but will happily train in these until then.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on August 6, 2011

5 5

I never thought a night of sleep not-at-home could be so comfortable. I first picked this up because I was going to be sleeping in the back of my car for an Ironman and needed to be comfortable. It was so comfortable that I probably slept better than I would have in a hotel. It's also performed admirably for car camping. I can't imagine using anything else, unless I have to carry it with me very far.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on August 4, 2011

5 5

The only drawback with these is the price. Otherwise, they're the best product in the category that I've found. Light, comfy, don't stink after excessive use, and don't ride up (I use suspenders in winter/spring, which makes *everything* ride up, and these fared far better than anything else). The best part is the lack of a fly, I shouldn't need to explain why that's a bonus for comfort. Oh, and if you get the bright green, they're super classy for hanging around camp in too.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on July 27, 2011

Outstanding shirt
5 5

I've owned the previous version (back when it had the goat instead of the stoic logo) for a couple years and liked it so much I picked up one of these. As far as I can tell, they're completely the same. Used it all spring, this plus an Arc'teryx Gamma MX hoody had me covered me from winter through spring, with some wicking sleeves once the summer heat rolled around. No stink, great athletic fit (165lb, 5'11", top-heavy and fit great in medium), outrageously comfortable.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on July 27, 2011

4 5

This is about as good an option as I've found for roof-mounted racks. Super easy to use (once installed), and incredibly stable. Takes about 15 seconds to load and/or unload a bike. Dropped a star for two drawbacks: if you want to mount it on the driver side you have to spend 30 minutes swapping the whole system around (minor annoyance), and even locked all a thief has to do to take your bike is disconnect the front wheel. If you have to leave a bike in the rack unattended in a sketchy area, I strongly suggest a heavy chain or a U-lock.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on July 27, 2011

Worked great for a while
2 5

The Echelon worked great until it came close to catastrophically failing on the highway. Less than 3000 miles of use and the bracket that holds the head to the cross bars failed. It's just a poor design (there's not enough width to resist the moment forces), though it'll work fine if you only go in straight lines on smooth roads. Sent it back and got another Sidearm, which is bomber.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on July 27, 2011

Run great, but not durable enough
2 5

I decided to get a pair of these because I had to retire my VFFs once they developed holes in the sole after well over 1000 miles, and they seemed like the most legit replacement option (mostly due to being zero-drop) at the time that didn't have the dorky toes. I love how they run, but had to return them after I wore through the rubber on the soles in less than 200 miles.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on February 11, 2011

5 5

I switched to Dynafit a few years ago, and wish I'd done it sooner. They're so light and ski so well that nothing else compares. Not having to lift the weight of your bindings with every step (as you do with all non-tech bindings) makes such a difference that a 3,000' skin goes from being a big day to being a good warmup. There is definitely some fiddling and learning once you start using Dynafits, but it's a quick learning curve and completely worth it.

These are great bindings, but if you don't need the release value of 12, save a few bucks and go with the ST. The little connector piece does absolutely nothing beyond look cool, and I only have FTs because I got a deal on them. If you care about having a solid plate, the Radical FT (coming next season) have a functional binding plate.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on February 11, 2011

5 5

I've been using these for a few seasons, and can't say enough good things about them. They're pretty warm (a little too much on those warm spring days, and not enough when it's sub-zero and the wind is howling - get the Seth 3-fingers for those conditions), perfect for most days. The palm gets scratched up a bit from ski edges, but mine are still solidly intact after well over 100 days of heavy use and abuse. Warm, tough, waterproof, and dextrous as...well, dextrous enough for anything you need to do.

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Mike Bean

Mike Bean wrote a review of on February 9, 2011

5 5

I absolutely love these pants, so much so that I just picked up a second pair (smaller size, lost a bunch of weight). I've got dozens of days in them, and the only damage is a tiny, easily repaired hole where I crashed straight into a small, sharp branch. I've used them on stormy winter ridgelines with a light baselayer, hot spring 14ers without, ordinary run of the mill touring, and for about two weeks straight while climbing in Alaska last summer (including while sleeping).

They breathe like crazy, stretch and move with you well, the ankle patches fend off ski edges and crampon points, the cargo pockets can be over-stuffed without affecting comfort, they come with suspenders, and are available in not-black. They're perfect.

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