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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro

Salt Lake City/Park City, Utah

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Vincent's Passions

Alpine Touring
Camping
Mountain Biking
Surfing

Vincent'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 Mauro wrote a review of on August 21, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

These shoes look super nice and skate great. Nice simple design which I think makes them look good and skate well. Super comfy, right amount of flex in the sole. And I like the nice high heel that adidas skate shoes have which really helps provide a secure feel even if you're laces aren't super tight. Like the looks of them? Get some! You'll be pumped.

Fit is very true to size. Maybe a TINY bit on the long side. I'm between a 10.5 and 11 depending on the shoe and a 10.5 fits perfect, but it's not extreme enough that I'd say they run big. If you're always a certain size I'd stick with that size for sure.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on August 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's obvious that these are squishy and absurdly comfy on long rides, but what surprised me was how grippy they are. I thought I'd be sacrificing some comfort at high speeds, but they do not move around on my bars at all and have insane grip with my gloves. I wound up in the rain recently with them, and they even stayed grippy when wet! Much more so than normal grips. Worth trying for sure, you just met use them the rest of your life.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on August 15, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Front derailleurs are for chumps. Lose the extra handlebar clutter, cables, dead weight, and replace all that garbage with one of these. Worried you need your granny gear because your legs will get too tired? Man/woman up and send it, you'll be glad you did and your legs will learn to deal with it.

You can also pair with the Twenty6 aftermarket 40t or 42t cog to still give yourself a fairly forgiving gear to climb in. I truly can't believe people still tolerate front derailleurs on mountain bikes.

As far as this actual product goes... I've only put about 80 miles on mine, but so far so good. It's a pretty straight forward part, so really all there is to worry about is longevity. I'm not really qualified to speak to that yet, but the quality looks and feels great so I am not worried about having any problems.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on August 13, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I love these pants. Sure they might be great for climbing, but I'm more interested in them as my all around go-to pant. The material is on the heavy side, but super comfy and doesn't overheat you too badly. It's August and I'm still wearing mine right now... They look great, and depending on the color they can be pulled off in a variety of looks ranging from grimy climber to pretty clean cut. The cut is definitely slim, in a good way. Plenty of room everywhere to be comfortable, but slim where they should be to look sharp. And lastly, the elastic waistband/built in belt combo makes getting dressed in the morning a mindless endeavor, which is just how I like it. Tempted to hit that buffet for lunch with the boys? This waistband has some room to party.

If you haven't tried these pants yet, DO IT! You'll be pumped. I'm also a huge fan of the Levi's commuter line of pants, for reference on what I like. If you're familiar with the 504, these fit similar but with a slimmer taper at the bottom. Fit is true to size.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on August 12, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I agree with the review below, except that I really like this bike. Compared to the Tallboy LT I'd say the Tallboy is better going uphill and plowing through crud, the RIP 9 is better at pretty much any kind of cornering. If your #1 priority is crushing miles in comfort then the Tallboy may be more your bag, but if you get your kicks from railing turns and ripping down more aggressive terrain I would definitely recommend the RIP 9. It is quick and stiff, and holds whatever line you dare to push it through.

It does still pedal great as well I just did a 3500' vert ride with it last weekend, but I will admit that the VPP on the tallboy gives an overall quicker feel when pedaling than the Niner CVA suspension.

I've only put around 50 miles on mine so far, but they've been pretty solid single track miles of climbing and descending. Overall, I'd say the marketing on this bike is pretty true. I don't believe an actual quiver killer exists, but this is definitely a bike that can pedal and climb all day and instill confidence on the descents.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on August 11, 2014

4 5

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

I got to demo the Tallboy LT. I have also recently been riding the Niner RIP 9 RDO, so for this review I'll compare the two. Both are crazy fun to ride, so to be clear we're splitting hairs here. At the end of the day either will put a smile on your face, so don't stress over the decision too much.

That said, in my experience the Tallboy LT is a little quicker on the climbs and a little faster/smoother on rough terrain. Neither of those traits are remotely surprising if you've ridden many VPP bikes. The Niner, on the other hand, was clearly built with handling in mind. It definitely has the edge railing turns and holding lines, and is a bit quicker and more responsive at both high and low speed.

As far as builds go... that's mostly personal preference in my opinion. Most drive-train and suspension offerings in this price range for 2015 are incredible. My niner came with an XT 2x10 set up... I highly recommend doing what I did, which was ditching the front derailleur and chain-rings in favor of the Race Face narrow-wide chain-ring. I paired that with the Twenty6 40t cog in the back, and I'm loving it. Less weight and clutter on your bike, with a plenty wide enough range of gears to get around all kinds of terrain.

If you're on the fence, hit up our super smart bike gearheads for some guidance!

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on July 22, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

These are definitely slim as people are saying, although if you are shopping for a slim cut pant specifically I think you'll really like them. I'm not a super skinny legged guy I have some fairly meaty quads that can be problematic with the ultra-skinny pants floating around these days, but I can rock the Kravitz in my usual size and they are perfect. SNUG, but not skin tight. And the bit of stretch makes it comfortable.

And the overall material, design, quality, yadda yadda is great. They feel like they'll be plenty durable, and they have a nice simple look.

Don't be like all the other guys walking around in jeans and chinos, mix it up big time with some fresh cords!

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

One of the greatest innovations in board shorts is the infusion of spandex, and these bad boys have a relatively high 8% spandex content. That mean's an even more liberating than usual feeling out in the water, for great comfort and also performance for applications such as surfing and air chair-ing. Get some, they're true to size.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

These are great boardshorts. Lots of spandex to make them ultra stretchy/comfy, and fit is true to size so they aren't a nightmare to buy online. I'm not a plaid guy so I went with the camo, but if you're a plaid guy you're probably pretty excited about the selection you're lookin at right now.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This pad is pretty bulky to use for long distance backpacking, but on trips where you wont have to carry it too far the extra comfort is well worth it! I would highly recommend this either to the recreational camper who doesn't care about marching 20 miles to their campsite, or to the avid hiker who wants a secondary pad to bring on the occasional car camping trip with friends.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 16, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

It really is hard to go wrong with these. Pretty neutral/timeless style, very average fit, great quality lenses... these would work for a whole lot of different people and applications. One particularly nice touch that sets them apart is the great grippy rubber Smith puts on the ends of the temples and on the bridge of the nose. This makes them stay put quite well for those who like to get a bit rowdy in their casual sunglasses.

Whether you want one pair of sunglasses you can use for everything all summer or just want to add another sweet pair to your questionably large collection I would definitely recommend the Lowdown.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 16, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I've always just rocked my one pair of casual sunglasses biking, but thought I'd give the sporty shades thing a try. At first they seem so light and flimsy that I didn't think they'd stay on my face. On the contrary, they're grippy where they need to be so they don't budge whatsoever even riding down rough terrain. And between the crazy light weight and the lack of frames in your field of vision you can barely tell you're wearing sunglasses.

Getting three lenses makes it a great value, although the photochromic ignitior has worked so great in various conditions so far that I don't see myself having to swap lenses too often. The process of swapping is super easy which is nice and they include a great case to safely house your spare lenses (and full glasses while traveling).

They're fairly expensive, but my justification was that I was getting better eye protection and relieving my similarly expensive casual sunglasses of the abuse of mountain biking. This "max" model is definitely fairly large, but I'd say anyone with a medium to large face could pull them off no sweat. If you consider yourself particularly small-faced though I would look to the regular pivlock v2s.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 13, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I love hybrid shorts, not for swimming so much but just for wearing around town when it's hot. They're super comfy and light. The annoying thing is that most have a button fly and therefore require a belt... nothing says "I'm not on vacation" like putting on a belt every morning.

Luckily Volcom snuck these through the cracks, a hybrid short with fully functional pockets and a drawstring closure! They're also a nice short in general, great fit and nice slightly stretchy material.

Fit is true to size, I'm a 34 in pretty much any short or board short and these fit perfect in 34.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 11, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I used this leash for a few weeks in Costa Rica and it was great. Put it to the test in some heavy waves (some of which snapped friends' dakine comp leashes) with no problems. It also looks cool and is comfy, so I'd say it's a no brainer if you're looking for a comp leash.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on June 9, 2014

Awesome
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This thing is incredible. The price may seem steep at first glance, but if you consider the insane quality of photo and video it can capture and it's ridiculously small size it's a great value. The iphone app makes it super easy to actually put your footage to use on your favorite social media platforms as well, which is a great touch. Gone are the days of capturing tons of photos and videos, just to have them sit on your memory card and go nowhere. You can easily shoot a sweet picture/video and have it up on instagram in minutes. I use it for surfing, skiing, biking, traveling, and any other random activities I can find and it has been great to have.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote an answer about on June 4, 2014

These tires (specifically the folding bead) are not sold as tubeless ready. However, there is a good chance they may work depending on your rim. I personally am going on my second season running these tubeless with no problems. Last season on Stan's Flow EX rims and this season on Enve AM rims.

Again they are not made specifically to be tubeless (UST) or tubeless ready so results and safety are not guaranteed! If you are unsure then do some more research online, at local shops, and with fellow riders to see if you are comfortable giving it a shot.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on May 9, 2014

Awesome
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Looking for a bike that's squishy and fast on the downhills, but light and spirited on the uphills? This is a pretty good choice. I don't think there will ever be one bike that can truly do it all, but my god they are getting close. I've put around 100 miles on the bike so far all on XC trails, and it has felt very comfortable in every situation I've got it in. Like any bike it takes a minute to figure out what works best. For me, I found that keeping my weight forward was crucial to keep handling sharp, in comparison to my previous bike (banshee rune) which was a bit more DH oriented and didn't penalize me so much for hanging off the back.

Getting on a tangent here... anyway, I am super happy I went with the Tracer 275c. It is the only bike in my stable for the summer, and I look forward to everything from light shuttle duty, to local enduro races, to all day epics down in southern Utah. And of course my typical days, which are simple XC rides after work. Do yourself a favor and take a serious look at this one.

It also doesn't hurt that this Pro build is one of the best builds you could think of. The big win being the rare combo of sram 1x11 drivetrain yet shimano brakes. Then it's topped off with the clean and effective reverb stealth and one of the best value wheelsets on the market, the stan's flows. You'll notice I did put Enves on mine since I had them from my previous bike, but I have also put a full season on this exact stan's wheel and they are great. The advantage of Enves is noticeable, but if you are understandably not looking to put that extra hit on your wallet the Stan's ride great and will not hold you back in any way.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on May 9, 2014

FUN
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Looking for a bike that's squishy and fast on the downhills, but light and spirited on the uphills? This is a pretty good choice. I don't think there will ever be one bike that can truly do it all, but my god they are getting close. I've put around 100 miles on the bike so far all on XC trails, and it has felt very comfortable in every situation I've got it in. Like any bike it takes a minute to figure out what works best. For me, I found that keeping my weight forward was crucial to keep handling sharp, in comparison to my previous bike (banshee rune) which was a bit more DH oriented and didn't penalize me so much for hanging off the back.

Getting on a tangent here... anyway, I am super happy I went with the Tracer 275c. It is the only bike in my stable for the summer, and I look forward to everything from light shuttle duty, to local enduro races, to all day epics down in southern Utah. And of course my typical days, which are simple XC rides after work. Do yourself a favor and take a serious look at this one.

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Vinny Mauro

Vinny Mauro wrote a review of on May 9, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've owned my XAR for three years now. I keep trying out newer fancier AM type helmets, and I keep going back to my XAR. It might not have the super full coverage and safety of some of the other options... but it's light, sits on my head without moving around at all, and is all-around encumbering out on the trail. I like to think that the best gear is the gear you never think about, and the XAR nails that criteria.

One specific feature to call out would be the super effective and easy to adjust retention system. It's easy to do one handed and holds strong. I loosen my helmet after every ride and re-tighten it so I'm playing with that thing constantly, and after years of this it is still flawless.

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