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Patrick Fink

Patrick Fink

Portland, OR

Patrick Fink's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Climbing
Running
Fly Fishing
Yoga

Patrick Fink's Bio

I'm a ski mountaineer, trail runner, rock/ice climber, mountain biker, adventure junkie, and beverage connoisseur based in Portland. I like moving fast and far through the mountains under human power, and I grind my gear into the ground. I share my adventures, tips, techniques, and photos on Mountainlessons.com.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on November 25, 2015

Proshell with great details
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Millet struck a nice balance between comfortable fit and technical performance in this jacket. Like any jacket worth it's salt, it's made with GoreTex Proshell, and Millet decked it out with nice details, like durable zippers, zipper hoods, a removable powder skirt, a helmet-compatible hood and cuffs that will fit over any glove system.

I've used this shell in the snow on Mt Hood, with sideways weather and flying ice, and also on early pre-dawn mornings crabbing along the oregon coast. In a large, the jacket fits my 5'11" 160lb frame on the bigger side, which will accomodate a puffy jacket underneath for the colder days. If you want to wear it over just a thin midlayer, a medium would be a better fit.

One thing that I love about the jacket is the number of pockets. While some jackets become bulky nonsense as soon as manufacturers add pockets, the Millet has two enormous hand pocket, a chest pocket, and an internal device pocket which all disappear when you're not using them. They're easy to access and can hold you gloves, food, sunscreen, or whatever else you want to keep nearby.

The dark blue is a nice royal navy color with just enough Euro touch on the zipper colors. Hood adjustment is simple, with pull tabs outside the hood (are you listening arcteryx?). Pit-zips are standard issue-- nice and long, and as easy as any to manipulate. All zippers have solid zipper pulls.

This jacket is kitted out for serious weather. Throw it over an insulating layer, slide some big gloves under the ample cuffs, and go get some pow!

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on August 10, 2015

1 5

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

I was excited about this pannier-- solid construction, built in laptop sleeve, roll top closure. But it has only been a disappointment.

The biggest problem is with bike attachment. After you thug through using the low quality hardware to attach a heavy steel rack to the rack you already have, then the pannier won't even fit easily onto the mounting rack. When the bag is nearly empty, it is somewhat challenging to get it to slide onto the mounts, but when it is actually holding anything, it's downright impossible to do with one hand, and takes several minutes with two.

Once mounted, the pannier is hard to reposition on the rack. On my standard issue rear rack, it actually won't go far enough back to avoid striking my foot when I pedal, which is unacceptable.

The other problem is that the bag is just too small. the 37L measurement must be with the bag completely open, and when it's rolled I would guess that it's closer to 15-20L. I can barely fit my laptop, lunch, and a jacket in the bag. It doesn't have enough space for groceries etc.

Finally, the shoulder strap is worthless. I appreciate that the handles are the right length to carry without dragging the bag on the ground, but they don't store for biking and they're too short to go over the shoulder.

I love chrome, but this product is a big miss. They reinvented the wheel and came up with something that doesn't roll.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on July 25, 2015

Functional Style
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 160 lbs

The Arcade belt is a svelte, stretchy belt built for mountain biking and other dynamic sports. This really comes through in the design: once you have the fit dialed in, the belt does a great job of holding up your pants, but also stretches to allow all manner of movement without constricting or riding up on your hips.

I've been wearing the belt as my day-to-day belt and as my go-to for mountain biking for about a month now. While the wide band and the little wings on the buckle make it a bit tricky to thread through smaller belt loops, once it's on, it works perfectly and you never notice it.

As far as looks go, the wide band looks like wool and dresses up to head to the bar or to work. It looks good with a tie, and would make for a great belt if you're bike commuting.The arcade logo is subtle, good looking, and doesn't detract from the belt.

The buckle is a low-lying plastic clip that has a minimal profile. I wear a hip pack while biking, and the belt buckle never interferes with my pack nor presses uncomfortably into my stomach. Are you sensing the theme? Get the belt on, get it sized in, and it disappears from your attention until someone complements you and asks where to buy one.

Pros: Low profile, good looks, great stretch, hold the pants up. Can dress up to business casual but is clearly perfect for mountain biking.

Cons: A small bit of pilling near where I clip my keys to my belt loop. A bit fiddly to get sized in, and the belt buckle is tricky to pass through some belt loops.

Bottom line: Great function in a good looking package. I love it.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on June 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I replaced the 2x on my Santa Cruz Bronson with a 32T narrow-wide, and I'm not looking back. Paired with a clutch-type derailleur, the days of chain-drop are long gone, and I've ditched my bash guard too. The simplicity of the 1x setup is something I still can't get over. My friends are tired of hearing about it.

This ring installed easily with my stock chain and on the inner ring of my 2x chainring. Even at more extreme chain-lines, the ring is pretty quiet and breaks in to be even quieter.

There has been slight wear of the anodization where the teeth engage the chain, but it is startlingly minimal after 250 mi of riding.

Everyone has an opinion about this, but I have yet to encounter something that I could ride up with my 2x that I can't surmount with 1x 32T (11-36 in back). It calls for more power than spinning in a granny gear, but it has only made me faster because I can't go slower a certain RPM and keep the pedals moving. If you live somewhere with really sustained climbs >3 mi at a time, you might like a 30T, or you can convert your cassette to wide-range 11-42 with a wolf tooth or OneUp product.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on June 6, 2015

Lightweight but could use some beef
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 160 lbs

Pros: light, neutral fit, low drop, aggressive tread.

Cons: Lacking a toe-guard, non-durable upper, floppy upper.

This shoe is an almost for me. I was excited about their light weight and aggressive tread, but I found that the lack of weight came not from precise build/engineering, but from an inferior upper.

For me, a trail shoe needs to have some kind of protection at the toe. If you're running on flat ground, ok, leave it out, but with the tread on this one, its off-road pedigree deserves a bit more foot protection.

Also, the upper is too flexible. Without structure, it allows my foot to pronate off of the foot bed, which is not a problem that I've had with other shoes. Additionally, the shoe buckles with each foot strike, bending near the ball of the ankle and making a perfect little basket-ball hoop to collect rocks and dirt along the way.

I've switched to using the S-Lab Ultra SG for my traction-y shoe, and I couldn't be happier, as it has all of what I want in a shoe like this, and nothing more, and it achieves its weight with thoughtful use of material, not by leaving out necessary features.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on June 6, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 160 lbs

I picked up a pair of the X-Series hoping that they could serve as a more-cushioned S-lab for pavement, hard-packed trail, and speed workouts. In that respect, I got what I wanted. The X-series has a bigger drop and more heel-cushion than the Sense 4, but has a similar fit through the midfoot and is still lightweight overall. The toe box has a bit more room, and the heel comes up a bit higher at the ankle.

I'm giving the product 3 stars because it doesn't hold up to what I expect from the S-Lab series. While the shoe has the cushion that I expected, the fit isn't as dialed, and there are a few functional details that need sorting out.

First off, the ride characteristics are good. It runs well on pavement and on trail. The added cushion contributes to slightly less sensitivity, but it's still a low-enough shoe for some non-technical trail running.

Why they roomed out the toe box, I'm not sure. This could be a boon at distances over 25 miles when the feet start to swell, but I prefer the more snug fit of the Sense.

Additionally, the quick-lace system has been bruising the top of one of my feet. Unlike the S-Lab Sense or SG, one of the eyelets for the X-Series sits right over the second knuckle of my large toe, and will bruise it with repeat sessions. As a consequence, I have to cycle this shoe in and out, swapping with others on different days.

Lastly, and again inexplicably, the heel is taller at the ankle. which has given me my first running blister of the last 1000 miles. With a low sock, it reaches past the sock and can chafe a bending ankle. A piece of tape set me straight, but it's just not what I expect from salomon.

I think that this shoe is pretty great, and will fit some feet better than it fits mine. The fit is similar but a bit more roomy than the Sense, there are other small changes that I've highlighted above. I'd like to see the fit fall in line with the other S-Lab shoes, and the details with the heel and laces should be sorted out. I'll be looking for that in the X-Series 2, and in the meantime, it'll still be a training workhorse for me, with a few caveats.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on June 6, 2015

S-Lab Chassis, All-Terrain Tires
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 160 lbs

I came to this shoe from the S-Lab ultra, looking for something that could handle the wetter days that we have in the UpperLeft USA. In the past, I've used the La Sportiva crosslite for when I needed traction, but the SG is my new rig.

The fit is identical to the Sense 4 as far as I can tell, and they required no break-in. They're well worth the price for a thoughtful, all-terrain shoe in such a slick package.

The SG has all of the benefits of the S-Lab Sense 4: the out-of-the-box fit, the quick lacing, the rock guard, the sensitivity, the minimal weight, but in addition, it has a solid, lugged sole that does a great job on wet corners without collecting mud.

I also like the the SG for longer runs, as the lugs give a little bit more cushion to the Sense 4, which can me a bit hash on hard ground over longer distances. While the SG does make a funny noise when running on pavement, it still behaves well, and runs well on hard-packed dirt and rock.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on June 6, 2015

The Old Standby
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This has been my glove of choice for the last three seasons. I like it for its snug fit, reasonable durability, good looks, and light weight. Like almost any glove in this product category, it is essentially expendable, but for how light the glove is, each pair lasts me a long time. The last pair made it around 1200-1500 miles before popping a seam.

This year's glove has a slightly different cuff closure which is lower profile. I initially didn't like the change, but decided after a few rides that it stayed closed better and had a good look to it. For the price, I don't think that you can get better.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on September 30, 2014

Light shoe for long distance
5 5

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

I've used these shoes now for >250 miles, all on trail and most recently running around Mt Hood. I disagree with the reviews here that say it fits narrowly, or that it hasn't enough padding in the heel.

For comparison, I have run through two pairs of cross-lite's, and a pair each of anacondas, wildcats, and multiple other branded shoes. Compared to other LaSportiva shoes, if you fit for length, the width is greater. I've usually had issues with the width of some of their other shoes, but the Bushido continues to fit my foot, even with swelling during the day. The durability of the shoe ha been better than any of their other models as well.

The shoe feels great while running-- it's not uber-sensitive, but what you lose in sensitivity you gain in protection (toe guard!), a bit of heel cushioning, and a great underfoot rock guard. The trail is aggressive enough for all but pure mud, but not as knoby as the xlite or anacondas. This is a bonus for running on firmer surfaces or on smoother rock. The tongue is also bonded with a nice elastic guard on each side, so the shoes fit like a sock but still breathe.

What else is there to say? They're light, and they look sexy.

(I've marked fit true to size. LaSportiva sizes vary between ALL shoes I've tried, so you should try them on in person.)

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on December 26, 2011

4 5

This is practically NOLS instructor uniform in the rockies. It's super light, and for its weight, its incredibly warm.

Compared to the standard jacket of this weight -the mountain hardwear compressor- this jacket is better cut, weighs less, looks better, and is only slightly less warm. It has great stretch cuffs and the zippers are of appropriate weight for a lightweight jacket.

It's not the most durable jacket ever, but nothing made of featherweight nylon is. it quickly frayed a little bit around the cuff and at the jawline, but it's on the whole snag resistant. Not for offwidth climbing.

Mine has seen at least 100 days in the field heavily used, and another 50 in the city, worm everywhere, and its still going strong. It's also easy to wash, and unlike down, you don't have to worry about it getting wet.

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Patrick Fink

Patrick Finkwrote a review of on December 7, 2010

2 5

Unlike Peter, I cut these to fit my S7s and they failed to impress. It's true: they save a few ounces for the climb, the fold and pack more easily, and in some cases they seem to have a little bit more glide. That said, those few onces saved translate into greatly decresed climbing performance on steeper tracks. They climb just fine if you're cutting mellow switchbacks to-and-fro, but if you're skinning a ridge with steeper steps then you're in for a time. I'm switching back to the normal STS skins, which have done the trick for years.

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