Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro

Employee

Salt Lake City/Park City, Utah

Vinny Mauro's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing
Surfing

Vinny Mauro's Bio

I work in merchandising here at Backcountry.com. If you have any questions about any of the gear I have reviewed please post them up and I will do my best to respond quickly!

Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 20, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

These things are so soft and comfy! Great for lounging around when it's hot, but also proper enough to wear out of the house no problem. I got them for an all around summer short and have been quite pleased. Personally I still switch to actual board shorts for swimming, but the light material these are made of are still very beneficial in warm weather if you don't use them for swimming.

Only minor gripe is that they definitely fit big and stretch out a little after the first use, so I would say order a size smaller and if they feel a little tight at first just tough it out, you'll end up with a perfect fit. I am ALWAYS a 34, but pretty sure a 32 would work for me on these. I've already worn the 34s a bunch though so I just use a belt rather than returning and I'm still happy.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This thing is so sweet. I've had some more serious Garmin watches and less serious Fitbits, but this is a great compromise between the two. It is capable enough to record my mountain bike rides and other activities, but much more compact, user friendly, and wearable on a daily basis than the bigger more fully featured watches. It is just small and sleek enough that I can wear it every day as my time piece, which was important to me.

The huge thing that made purchasing this watch a no-brainer was the music functionality. That said, it's still not perfect. The music feature works exactly as described, it's easy to load up music and to play it while you're on the trail. The freedom this gives you to run, bike, etc. without a cell phone flopping around in your pocket is pretty huge. However, you have to actually download the music in order to load it up you can't just pull from your spotify/apple music playlists. This is more annoying than I expected, turns out I don't actually own much music in 2016. While I consider this a pretty big problem, it is still the only watch of its kind to allow any kind of music function at all so it gets a pass! I'm definitely looking forward to the future when I can just hit play on my streaming accounts.

Other huge advantage over the fitbit lineup is that it is waterproof, and the heart rate monitor doesn't have that obnoxious green flashing light.

Overall this watch has been super easy to set up and use, and the features you get for the price can't be beat. If these are the features you're looking for, I would highly recommend it.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I used to think the super short service intervals on suspension was a load of garbage. Then I started actually doing them, and my god it makes your bike ride incredible! The longer you put off doing it, the more you'll kick yourself once you do and see the difference it makes. Easy to do at home if you are comfortable with that, just follow instructions and take your time.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things not only give you a phenomenal amount of energy without a crash, but they taste like delicious margaritas! (or whatever flavor you choose). The only problem is sometimes I eat too many at once and run out super fast... so try to pace yourself for the best energy delivery. Or don't.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 11, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These things are not only delicious they work incredibly well to get you through that slump on a long ride, run, whatever it is you do that makes you tired. I would highly recommend, already back ordering my third box. Flavors are pretty personal, I haven't come across any I didn't like yet.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 9, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: 34x32

These were my first pair of pants from Mountain Hardwear. I picked them because they have a very nice modern, slim fit which I like. They look sharp enough to wear around town, not just out in the woods. What's really great is that they combined that fit with the quality material you would expect from a brand like Mountain Hardwear, so you've got a pant that looks great, but is also comfortbale and durable enough to wear outside hiking, camping, working, etc. If you don't like having the change pants 3 times a day and want pants that can do it all, these are definitely worth a try.

Fit was true to size for me, I'm always a 34 and 34 fit me great. I've been using them for all of the above activities for a few months now and so far durability seems great as well.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on July 5, 2016

4 5

Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: 34

Got these shorts a couple months ago and they have definitely become a part of the regular rotation. The cut is great, a little slim and a little short, but not too much of either. The material is super stretchy and comfy, and it's a very small corduroy so it doesn't look weird.

My only complaint is that they fit a little big, and more importantly after a few uses they fit very big. If you are on the fence about size, definitely size down. I'm a pretty consistent 34 waist, and after stretching I need a belt to keep these guys up. If 33 was an option I would go for those, but don't think I'll go all the way down to a 32 I'm just going to rock the belt.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 16, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It was no secret that the Pike swiftly knocked Fox out of the top spot for 140-160mm travel forks. The Pike came out and was lighter, stiffer, smoother, and had better dampening. It seems to me like it took Fox some serious R&D to mount a comeback, but based on the 30 or so rides I have on this fork I'd say they have pulled it off finally.

The 34 chassis makes for a super light fork, but they've got it plenty stiff. In a blind test there's no way I could tell you which is stiffer this or a Pike. Whatever they've changed with the air spring has definitely made the beginning stroke much more supple as well. My 2015 (maybe 2014? had the RC2 damper) 36 Float was very rough and chattery and made for numb hands on long descents, this are is greatly improved on this fork. The RC2 damper in that 36 I had was pretty decent as well, but it was unfortunate they used the CTD damper in the 34 chassis exclusive since the CTD gave you very little control over compression dampening. This Fit4 damper has the same useful on the fly adjust-ability of CTD, but with much more actual control over the dampening.

Overall this fork is light, smooth, and easy to set up (with some basic understanding of the fundamentals of suspension tuning, not as turn-key as the previous CTD). I still dig the Pike for sure, but it's nice that there is now a comparable offering from Fox to choose from based on exactly what you need. If weight is a priority then this fork is a no-brainer over the Pike. Other than that, I'd say you really can't go wrong either way. Got to love when some healthy competition in the market makes for such sweet products!

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 14, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This shirt has proven super useful. The material is awesome for running, biking, or any other aerobic activities when it's chilly out. Just heavy enough to keep you warm, but you don't totally roast as the sun comes up. I've used it mostly for running and mountain biking on chilly spring mornings, but I've also used it camping and as a sun shirt. Makes a great sun/water shirt thanks to the hood when you need some neck coverage.

The fit is very true to size, with a nice athletic cut. Not compression tight, but snug enough that it doesn't restrict you at all while exercising. In their many years of making gazillions of things Nike has definitely got it figured out, I would definitely recommend this for the activities described above. For strictly casual use I would probably recommend something else.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I was traumatized by some bad experiences with Sram/avid brakes 5-6 years ago and didn't touch them for years. I finally made the leap back since this 4 piston design looked promising and they have been out for a couple years with solid reviews. Glad I didn't wait any longer, they are awesome. I don't plan on going back to a 2 piston brake any time soon. Compared to the 2 piston brakes I've been riding the last few years these have far more power AND modulation. I can't really comment on longevity, but I've gotten a few hundred miles of hard riding so far without having to mess with them. Even if I have to bleed them a couple times per season... that's fine my me for the extra performance, and as long as you have the Sram bleed kit it's stupid easy to do anyway.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's no mystery that Sram/Avid had some duds in their brake lineup in the lat 5-7 years and lost a lot of customers to Shimano. Myself included, many have defaulted to Shimano for their steadfast reliability and reasonable prices. These Guides were enticing enough for me to give Sram another try, and they have definitely redeemed themselves. While I still appreciate the low maintenance functionality of my XT brakes, I have put a few hundred miles on my Guide RSCs and have been very happy. I can't comment on long term reliability yet, but the extra power and control from these 4 piston calipers is HUGE. Sram has always had the actuation dialed, now that they have paired that with a super powerful 4 piston caliper I'd say these are definitely the best trail/enduro brakes I have ridden. So far I haven't even used the pad contact adjustment, but as the pads wear down I'm sure that will become useful.

At the end of the day, I would purchase these again all day.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 2, 2016

5 5

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

I just got one of these after riding a Nomad all of last year. My initial impressions were exactly what I expected based on the marketing and just looking at the bike... it feels like a quicker, more nimble Nomad. I would say climbing ability seems very comparable actually, not as much improvement there as you might expect but both are perfectly capable of climbing lots of vert. Going down is when I really noticed the difference. The Nomad is insanely stable and begs to go fast. The Bronson feels reasonable at speed, but really excels when you go to move it around. Picking up the front wheel, popping off a lip, dipping into a turn, etc. all happen with much less effort than the nomad.

Both bikes are crazy good. For all out speed I would still take the Nomad, but for general fun-having I am very excited about the Bronson.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on June 2, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Ok ya there isn't much special about this stem. But it works great, uses hex bolts which is nice, and looks pretty good/blends in.

If you have any doubts about the sizing of your stem, you will definitely not regret trying a different size. Do it now! Worst case scenario you go back to your old stem and can spend the rest of the season knowing that you have the correct size stem. Always worth it in my experience to get those little things dialed earlier rather than later so you can just enjoy the ride. Nothing worse than second guessing all summer, or trying your buddies bike with a different stem and realizing you've been hosing yourself.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 120 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

Nothing is better than giving someone a gift, and them actually using it all the time. Sure they'll throw it on the next weekend to make you feel good... but will it stay in their line-up?

I gave these to my girlfriend a few months ago and she loved them right away. Moreover, they have withstood the test of time and she wears them regularly. She is a fitness instructor, and these are among her favorite leggings for work.

These were relatively expensive compared to some other options, but considering she uses them at least once a week if not more I'd say it's well worth a few extra bucks.

She always wears size small stuff and the small fit her great in these.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 195 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This is not your average t-shirt. It has strategically placed mesh material to keep you super cool. The mesh material still looks very normal though, so it doesn't look like a dorky sporty shirt just looks like a casual cotton t-shirt... except you're way more comfortable.

The drop hem and slim cut also makes it very good looking if that is your style.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This pad definitely has the most thought out design of all that I have seen. As noted in the comments the L/XL does not have the slots on the outside to hold your fork in place, but in that place it does still have a solid thick pad to keep your precious forks super safe. Inside it does have the slots to hold your frame, which does an incredible job keeping things still. The velcro straps are great for peace of mind on longer drives.

The fact that this pad is so similarly priced to the more simple, feature-less options is pretty impressive to me. Lot's of designing and sewing has gone into it, and my bike is grateful.

I put this on my 2016 Ram 1500. The Ram has a stupidly thick tailgate, no pad sits perfectly on it as a result (thanks Ram!)... but this worked just as well as the others I tried, so I picked it based on how well the slots hold the bikes in place. These days it seems like the average bike is a good $5k, so $130 is quite a bargain to protect up to $30k of bike per ride!

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Maurowrote a review of on May 31, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This rack is awesome. Looks good, easy to load and unload your bikes, keeps your bikes super safe, and is easy to set up and install. I haven't had mine very long, but have several riding buddies who have had their Kuats for years so I am not worried about longevity.

I also have buddies with the Yakima and Thule options... I wouldn't say any of them are the end-all hitch rack they all work great, so I would recommend picking out the one you think looks best with your vehicle. I don't generally advise picking things based on looks... but I honestly feel that all of the high end tray style hitch racks are that comparable as far as performance goes. I've owned the Yakima hold up as well, and I have used the thule version on many trips with a friend.

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