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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Ryan Conklin's Passions

Running
Biking
Yoga
Hiking & Camping
Skiing

Ryan Conklin's Bio

Mountains are my bullseye, my jackpot, my bingo. To tone it down, I savor smokey eats, dark syrupy coffee, & crashing on the couch with my wife. instagram.com/raiyen

Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on November 17, 2016

4 5

I wanted a minimalist skull cap for wearing on cold bike rides. This fits nicely under my bike helmet without requiring any adjustments to the helmet's fit. It works well for giving you that small amount of added warmth when you're active outdoors and the temps are low (below 55). I docked a star because it isn't as form-fitting as I had hoped. I'm not sure on the materials used in addition to merino, but a bit more elastic would've helped maintain the shape better. Still, a very good hat for cold weather running or cycling, etc., particularly at this price point.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinposted an image about on November 15, 2016

Trunk Access w/ Push of a Lever

It's so easy to use this rack! Kuat's 2.0 improves upon all the areas of weakness of the very popular and successful 1.0, which wakes the 2.0 a friggin dream! From the front-accessible cable locking point, to the easy-to-access lever for folding up or tilting back, and collapsible wheel cages, the Sherpa 2.0 will make you very happy. Pictured here on my '09 Honda CRV.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on November 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I bought these for cold-weather rides (below 55F) because they are really warm, while staying pretty slim on your foot (read: not beefy). The problem with wearing most merino wool socks in cycling shoes is that they're usually far to thick on your foot, which compromises the shoe's fit and that makes your feet both uncomfortable and cold. Ouch!

I like that these are fairly plain socks, and since my kit is red, I ordered the black ones with the red tab on the back for a touch of fantz.

The construction seems really solid on mine so far. I own Darn Tough, Smart Wool, Swiftwick, and these seem just as solid as those.

I wear a size 13 shoe (47 cycling) and the XL is perfect.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on November 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Picked this up last week and have used it for a road ride and a MTB ride. The installation to handlebars is easy, maybe not as easy as installation of Light and Motion's lights, but I think the way the strap feeds through this light's mount is more secure since it wraps around and feeds up and through the mounting bracket. This may require an extra 30 seconds of fiddling to get it strapped to your bars, but you'll be glad you did when your light stays fixed in place as you barrel around a dark turn on the neighborhood trails.

I haven't tried the helmet mount since it doesn't come with it, but my current setup with a 250 lumen helmet-mounted light and this guy on my handlebars makes nighttime riding much safer, particularly on single track. If this were my only light, I would definitely prefer mounting it to my helmet, instead of on my handlebars, that way I see where I look, rather than only seeing where my handlebars are facing.

The weight is about 50 grams heavier than comparable Light and Motion models, but again, I think the protective casing on this light is more robust and having a burlier case when mountain biking will protect the light more effectively if you do happen to take a tumble.

The boost effect on this is also really handy because no matter where I am on the lighting cycle, I can hit the button twice and crank out 950 lumens in an instant.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a question about on November 10, 2016

Hello, I just inquired on Powertap's website, and they said that this hub (GS) is now compatible with Ant+ and Bluetooth out of the box. The description here however says Ant+ only. Is this GS hub on Backcountry the current model sold by Powertap that is comptaible with Ant+ or Bluetooth out of the box, or is your description accurate and this GS is a previous model that is only compatible with Ant+ out of the box? THANKS!

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 25, 2016

5 5

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

I followed Salomon's sizing chart and ordered an M/L, and before running with it I thought it would be too small. This morning I took it on its maiden voyage though, a 7 miler with 1600ft gain, and I can comfortably say that the sizing is correct.

The fit of this pack is really nice: It moves with you. If you order it and you think it's too small, I recommend taking it out for a spin before deciding to exchange for a larger size. Trust Salomon's engineering, or, at least give it a shot.

The back pockets are nice and big, but I had a hard time reaching a loose gel and bar I had stuck in them. I'll probably plan to not keep any back there and only stick things in the back that are bulkier to make reaching them easier: a hat, jacket, gloves, headlamp, or maybe a ziplock bag full of snacks.

The zipper pockets are great, three in total. I put my keys in the zippered pocket on one side and my wallet on the other and I could not feel them as I ran. The small pouches in the front above the water bottles are great for small bars, GUs, and salt capsules.

Soft water bottles are a great addition in this model over hard bottles with over vests, which tend to bruise your chest after long runs. I found that the water bottles begin to flop around a little once you've sipped from them--fun fact, you can sip from them without removing them from their pockets! One recommendation is that once the bottle is empty, take a second and blow it full of air to inflate it and then stick it back in its pocket; this will prevent it from flopping around or falling out of the pocket if you bend over to tie your shoe or pick up an arrowhead.

Since I was out solo in the backcountry, I appreciated the pack's integrated whistle, should I have needed to yell for help, the whistle would've made it much easier to guide people to my location. --On this note, there's also the safety blanket included, which is another reassurance to tuck into the back of your mind as you go out seeking adventure.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 23, 2016

5 5

I love that these are not only really friggin tasty, but also very thin. I take 1-2 with me on bike rides and they fit in my jersey pocket without taking up hardly any space! If I had to, I could probably fit 20 of them in one pocket, which is 3,200 calories; there's no way I could fit even half that many clif bars in one pocket. You can't beat the size/shape of these and the caramel flavor is awesome!

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on July 15, 2016

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I'm 6'3 and 180# and the Medium fits. I typically wear a size Large, but for this shirt, the Large would be too big on me. I strongly recommend sizing down a full size when purchasing this shirt, unless you are bigger or prefer relaxed-fitting shirts of course.

As far as the fit, I tend to be very picky about shirt sizing, and this one bugs me in a few ways: the center back length is about 2" too short in my opinion, and the sleeves are about 1" too long. I don't think it's a "regular" fitting shirt, and I would more comfortably classify it as "relaxed" fit. I don't like relaxed fitting shirts since I'm tall and skinny, but buying this shirt on sale made it worthwhile.

The quality is average. I wouldn't say it's very high quality stitching since it doesn't have the triple stitching typically found on higher-end running shirts, but then again this doesn't go for a higher-end price point. Because it's polyester, it will be durable as far as the body of the shirt, just be careful with stretching, tugging, etc. as the lack of reinforced stitching means you could accidentally bust the stitching with less strength than you'd expect.

The hook on the neck is a great addition since I like to hang my shirts out to dry in the sun before tossing them in the hamper after a run or workout. The hook means I won't hang the shirt's neck directly on a hook to dry, which should protect it from stretching. Nice detail, TNF.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on June 22, 2016

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The following review is based on my personal experience with two of the 10oz bottles. I've used these bottles for lots of training runs and a few trail races, and they serve the purpose, but I don't recommend them and am looking for an alternative bottle of similar size/shape.

The problem with this bottle is that the cap doesn't seal well, so if you squeeze the bottle at all to drink, the liquid will come out the opening as well as around the sides of the cap. And, because the opening is so small, it's difficult to patiently drink from a small stream when you're running, particularly in a race. Most times nowadays, I take the cap completely off and sip from the bottle, then replace the cap and put the bottle back on my waist pack--this way seems to be easier as it allows me to drink the desired amount more easily/quickly and (when I'm drinking a powdered drink mix) it keeps my hands from becoming sticky from liquid leaking out around cap.

For me, the leaking problem has persisted even when the cap is closed. If I hold the bottle upside down and apply any pressure, liquid will escape from around the seal of the closed cap and leak out.

As an aside, the company Ultimate Direction is great and I love their other products, just not these 10oz'ers.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on March 8, 2016

Just What I Needed for My First 30k!
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought this in preparation for my first 30k trail run because it was a no-cup event. I went with this lumbar pack due to price and also because I already own a backpack hydration system, but it leaves my shoulders sore after long runs (besides the vest- and backpack-type systems I didn't want to go with a handheld because it throws off my rhythm). So, I'm happy to say, I'm very pleased with this purchase: having two 10oz bottles offered me the right amount of liquid between aid stations, and the front pocket fit my iPhone 6 (I had to remove my 6's protective case to fit it in the front pocket, but it fit nonetheless--a 6+ would not fit in the front pocket.)

At the stating line then I had my waist pack loaded with 10oz of water, 10oz of nuun, my race bib conveniently secured to my side, two mini Larabars, my car key carabiner'd to the bungie cord, and a mini ziplock with chocolate-covered espresso beans. All of this snugly cinched up on my waist, did wonders during the run: no chaffing, no bouncing, no agitation. When I needed a snack I easily slid the back section towards the front, removed my snack, ate, stuffed the wrapper in the velcroed pocket, and slid the bottle/pocket section back behind me again with my phone in front, all without breaking stride.

If I had one complaint it would be that the fasteners for attaching the race bib move freely, so unless you safety pin them to the waist belt (which would hamper your ability to slide stuff around to access while running), the race bib tends to fold so that left and right fasteners walk to meet each other leaving the bib folded in half. Now, this is by far not that big of a deal and can be avoided altogether by shouting your race number to the guy with the clipboard, but still, it is a criticism, and probably my only criticism given the solid construction and ease of use that this lightweight waist pack offers. Nice work UD, you guys got this one dialed!

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on February 10, 2016

2 5

The straps that connect the round cap to the overall lid flex each time you open it and while you drink. Unfortunately, the material isn't durable and it cracked on each side after 2 weeks of daily use. For a cap that costs nearly as much as the bottle/cap combo, I was hoping it would've lasted longer... I think I'll stick with Nalgene and Klean Kantene over the Chute. Bummer because I like that I could add ice and still drink from a smaller spout.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on February 10, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: 12

I bought these boots on sale since the full-price tag was a bit intimidating. However, now that I've owned these boots for about 4 months, I can confidently say they're worth purchasing at full price. The craftsmanship is expert and it is evident that great care was taken in their creation. Even the laces feel to be of high quality. FYI - I purchased mine in the "Falcon" color and it's slightly darker than pictured.

Break-in wasn't too bad, but there is a break-in period. My first thought was that these were a bit too tight, but I stuck with it and they broke in to the point where I'm certain I chose the right size. (My running shoes, sandals, etc. are typically sz 12, which is what I chose for these.)

I really like their look, which is fairly easy to dress up/down, and although they aren't great for hiking, they can do the job.

Damn attractive and high quality, I'm glad I pulled the trigger on these and look forward to many years of wear. Be sure to pick up the boot dressing and polish them on occasion to boost the life of the leather.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklinwrote a review of on February 10, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 185 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I really wanted a pair of gloves that would allow me to still use my fingers for smart phone handling. These seemed spot on for that purpose (as well as tying shoes, operating a DSLR camera, and making micro adjustments on my bike helmet). Not only do these allow you to uncover/cover your fingers quickly and easily, but the mitten action allows for your fingers to stay fairly toasty on runs. Plus when my hands are getting a little too warm, I can easily uncover my digits to help regulate my hand temperature, which is a really nice feature.

A con for me is that the magnets tend to be chilly on my fingers, and they don't tend to reliably secure the mitten flap. Many times I attach them and then they release due to quick movements while running (or even driving). Bummer, but not a deal breaker. Also, another challenge is getting these gloves off, I haven't damaged them, but I'm extra cautious when removing them because it feels like I'll tear the stitching by tugging on the flaps--there's simply no easy/designated place to grab them when pulling them off. A pull tab on one of the fingers (like a lot of cycling gloves have) would be helpful and reassuring since dropping $45 on gloves for me means hopefully getting 3+ seasons out of them.

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