Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam

North America

Stephen Tam's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Paddling
Skiing

Stephen Tam's Bio

Gave up a 12 year career in Physical Therapy to become an Industrial Designer. My family, friends, and the outdoors hold a special place in my heart. Attempting to fill my days with love, laughter, and a healthy dose of mountains.

Love to chase singletrack, ski where there are no lift lines, hike with the family, and swim in water that may or may not induce shrinkage.

Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on October 13, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

While this is now the outgoing generation of the XTR crankset, they still are one of the best XC cranksets around. While everyone is going to a single ring setup, I still prefer having two rings (and somedays still miss having a triple ring setup because of the 46T outer ring).

These cranks are stiff, solid, and flat out just work. They may not be fancy and made from carbon but they can take a beating and keep on going. I've got a set that have survived three different frames over the past two years and they are still going strong.

The chainrings do wear out but with two rings the wear will be higher than running three rings. If you have massive legs and a VO2 like sled dog go for the 42/30 ring setup.

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on October 13, 2014

Solid Workhorse
5 5

Over the past year I've reached for this jacket more than I thought I would. Originally purchased for ski touring, it has ended up being the main jacket used from rainy day hikes with the kids to windy days around town....hence the All Around (AR) in the jacket name.

I'm a heavy sweater and usually climb without a shell. While I still take the Beta AR off to climb, I don't have to take it off as soon as the skin track turns upwards. It breathes well and the pit zips help dump a lot of heat too.

I appreciate that there are not a ton of pockets on this jacket as well. It's a very functional technical shell that is really comfortable. Arc'teryx did an exceptional job with the fit. The 3D shoulder pattern they came up with offers exceptional range of motion...you won't feel your arms hang up as a result. In fact you could probably do a gymnastics routine and not feel any restriction in this jacket.

The Gore Tex Pro is a little loud upon arrival (makes a crinkling noise) but as I've stuffed the jacket in my pack, over the past year, it makes less noise.

If you're looking for a shell that can handle just about any type of weather, the Beta AR is tough to beat.

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on October 10, 2014

4 5

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

I'm not a big fan of running mainly because the aches and pains, in the lower extremities, after running (zero technique and feel like an Earth magnet while running with heavy strides). An endurance running friend turned me onto these shoes and I figured I would give them a try.

It does take a little getting used to the amount of cushioning the shoes offer but I knew I liked them when I did not have pain later in the day after a morning trail run. Prior to using these shoes I could not run more than 30 minutes without pain later in the day. Now I can run over an hour + without any impact related issues.

Another benefit to the overly large soles is the amount of traction going downhill (Just like mountain bikers throwing a 2.3 knobby on for traction) and of course your trail surface and conditions may differ.

Running uphill with the large soles will require a little extra lift to clear the toe but you'll get used to it quickly and won't even think about it after your first couple of runs.

If you can get over the "Old Lady Butt Toning" shoe look or comments from your spouse like "You're not wearing those if we go out are you?" then you will enjoy these. Your knees and other joints will appreciate them.

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on September 20, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

First off I agree that paying attention to the size chart is necessary. I ordered a size small (5'7" with beefy thighs) and they fit well. I've tried many other shorts from Fox, Royal, Endura, and Troy Lee but these are by far the best fitting. They are not "Bro" fit and are more xc oriented which I prefer. Even on the steepest climbs the waist band does not feel like it is digging into your stomach. When out of the saddle they don't feel like they're around your hips. I've been wearing them over bibshorts without any issues. They vent well and don't feel hot (summer temps here reach over 100F). Durability is good as there are no signs of saddle marks yet after a couple months of riding in them. Would highly recommend these shorts.

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on July 6, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had a difficult time fitting snow/ski helmets and have tried on many different brands. I have a round profile head (if that helps) and the other brands I tried on were either too large fore/aft while being too tight side/side or they were too short fore/aft and too large side/side.

The Salomon Prophet Air fit nicely all around and has performed well in the park and out of bounds. I paired them with an Oakley Airbrake goggle and have no issues. The padding is soft and comfortable and the air pump system is easy to use.

I purchased the white/grey color and the only issue I've seen is that the shell yellows in color a little bit over time.

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on April 6, 2009

2 5

I got this to charge my Garmin Edge GPS for my bike. It barely even added any charge to my gps unit and then wasn't even mildly charged after a day in the sun. I needed to recharge my gps since I was riding in a different country and it failed me.

Sent mine back and think that I'll wait a few years until someone gets it dialed.

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on March 25, 2009

5 5

This is the most comfortable child carrier backpack I've worn. It has a lot of adjustments to get the fit just right. The seat for the child is nice because it is a seat instead of a hole you drop your child into. Plenty of room to bundle your little one up and still fit (took ours snoeshoeing).

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on March 23, 2009

4 5

When I was using dual control I used these. They were flawless in performance and I liked that it didn't take up the entire handlebar to mount everything. Every now and then I would hit my knee on the disc brake res on the underside when my rear wheel would spin on steep climbs out of the saddle. If you like dual control, these are the best.

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Stephen Tam

Stephen Tam wrote a review of on March 23, 2009

5 5

Love these wheels! It's a toss up between these and the Mavic Crossmax SLRs. These wheels are a little lower profile since they aren't as flashy. Also they are more vertically compliant than the SLRs. Just as stiff though when you're cranking out of the saddle. I chose these over the SLRs for the BC Bike race and was not dissapointed since they were super comfy over the duration of the week.

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