Zach Pina

Zach Pina

Marin, CA

Zach Pina's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Paddling
Skiing

Zach Pina's Bio

Love the persistent sweep of an ETA 2428, the refraction of light through a Mazzucchelli 1849 tort, or the steady, reassuring whirr of a Dura Ace 7900 freehub body — all of which in the complete absence of facial hair or overly sanguine filters.

In no particular order, I prefer to write about bikes, sunnies, and timekeepers. Usually in slightly more detail and with slightly less irony.

Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on April 27, 2013

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Castelli really hit a home run with the Nanoflex fabric ? it's brushed for warmth, and repels wind and moderate moisture (rain, snow, etc.) with relative ease. No wonder why the Garmin guys insist on this stuff. Downside: zero articulation in the construction. No elbow bend or shaping makes the warmers bunch up where your arms bend. Not exactly uncomfortable, but not ideal either. Still a great product.

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on September 24, 2012

5 5

In continuing its timeless design and insistence on using the very best acetates available, RAEN offers up another instant classic with the Savoye. Lots to like here: superlative construction, a nice unisex width and earstem lengths, and a curvacious vintage profile begging to be shot with your favorite Instagram filter. I was also pleasantly surprised to find RAEN now using stiffer hinges and rivets to secure the asymmetrical temple branding (instead of earlier frames which only used adhesive). As aesthetically pleasing as always, but now with an attention to construction befitting of the frame's superlative Mazzucchelli acetate. A truly excellent offering from RAEN.

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on August 24, 2012

make some noise for detroit
5 5

In the sea of sunglasses claiming Ray-Ban as an inspiration, the Detroit is as close in profile and construction to a pair of Wayfarers as you'll ever get - and actually, I think these are almost nicer than the Wayfarers most of us already own. The frame is made from some very nice, two-tone handmade acetate and features awesome asymmetric temple detailing as per the Loveless collection. Early versions of the Wayfarer had that deep, signature 'tilt,' and you'll get a bit of that here with the Detroit as well. An homage for sure, but this is a classic in every sense of the word, and one with more than enough style to stand on its own.

* not a super tall or wide frame - if you prefer extra coverage, check out the Detroit XL. Something about the slightly smaller frame lends a bit more to the classic nature of the profile, so if you need to widen the earstems out a bit, you can use a hair dryer to heat and carefully bend the acetate

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on August 22, 2012

5 5

There's a lot to really like about the Helm - pretty sweet color options, nice lenses, on-point branding, and the cool earstem interchangeability (bear in mind that not every pair comes with extras - look for "With Extra Set" in the title). The retro, squared-off flair (definitely dig the keyhole nosebridge) is also very on-trend, and is quite similar to the Oakley Holbrook and the Electric Knoxville, though the Helm lens profile is a few millimeters taller. That being said, while the construction and the quality seems fine enough, I think the Helm is a tougher sell than some of Spy's other offerings at this price point. The finish on the matte colorways is admittedly a little rough around the edges, and I'm also not crazy about the fit - seems like with the lightweight nylon grilamid construction and the hinge design, the frame would be quite a bit more flexible than it is, but the frame width and earstem angle isn't quite ideal for those with slightly wider heads. But at the end of the day, the Helm looks totally awesome and that was probably the whole point for Spy all along, so I'll just shut up now.

* you can swap out the earstems, but their attachment points aren't any different than the Oakley Frogskin (who does NOT advertise this interchangeability), and I would assume this could increase the likelihood of breakage if not done correctly every time
* $5 from your purchase of the "Keep a Breast" colorway (which comes in a fun, limited-edition "I love boobies" microfiber case) goes to the non-profit's education and awareness programs designed to "inform young people about methods of [breast cancer] prevention, early detection, coping and support."

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on August 21, 2012

5 5

Very pleasantly surprised with the Dibs. While very different than the rest of the label's wraparound offerings, it's still a quintessential surf style that is neither uber modern, nor throwback. The frame is oversized, but remains lightweight and very flexible. Unique to the brand, the Dibs combines a classic squared-off profile and a modest lens width and height, with a flattering angular nose bridge that should play nicely with a wide variety of face shapes. Optical quality seems on point - the red mirrored lenses are undeniably badass. Struggled at first changing out the custom arm "sleeves," but once you get the hang of where you're supposed to push and how you're supposed to pull, you'll fear less about snapping off your hinges. Arnette should really sell the ACES pieces separately as the customization is pretty intuitive and unique, but at the moment, you're only able to get a spare pair with each sunny purchase.

* made in Italy, if you're into that sort of thing

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on August 20, 2012

5 5

"Asian Fit" tends to turn a lot of prospective wearers away, simply because it's a bit misleading. This delineation is simply reserved for certain Oakley frames with a slightly narrower and deeper nose bridge. They certainly fit a good many Asian facial profiles, but other facial types are not a complete exclusion. To really dial in the right fit, Oakley also includes a second pair of specially-sized nose pads with the AF Split Jackets which allow the frame to sit a little bit higher on your face. If you struggle with finding sunglasses that don't perch comfortably on your nose and bump the tops of your cheeks, the Asian Fit might be for you. Frame width is not part of the equation here; if you have a wider head, they'll still fit, but if you have a wider or 'taller' nose, you'll probably want the standard Split Jacket. Fit aside, the Split Jacket is an excellent medium-coverage sport frame that lacks some of the overt aggression of the Jawbone, while still delivering top-tier performance with an intuitive lens interchange system. Note that all Split Jacket lenses will fit any model of Split Jacket frame - Asian Fit, or otherwise.

* I have a medium-large sized head and prefer the coverage of the Jawbone, but this Split Jacket still fits fine - it's just a matter of getting the nose bomb fit just right
* changing out the nose bombs on the Split Jackets is easy, but there is a specific technique to doing it without damaging the mounts:
1) unlock the nose piece to open the frame's "jaw" and remove the lens
2) take notice of the tiny "claw" opening on the nose piece (the part that attaches to the alloy bar in the frame), grip the frame firmly (you might find it easier to close the jaw first), and pull the nose piece directly downward - opposite the attachment point and away from the frame

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on August 20, 2012

5 5

Honestly not a big fan of any saddle bag, but this was a nice compromise. Went with the Small and was pleased at how neatly and securely it tucks directly beneath the saddle. While you should expect a pretty snug fit, the Small should fit a single tube, a C02 cartridge + inflator, and a pair of levers. There's also a clever external pouch on the underside of the straps for your multi-tool, which is especially handy as it grants quick access to this regularly-needed tool without forcing you to dig through the pouch. Bear in mind that if you plan on carrying your phone or any snacks in the pouch, I would recommend getting the Medium size.

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on August 6, 2012

let the journey begin
5 5

The Rover II really exemplifies what Nixon is all about: rugged simplicity wrapped in an engaging design that might even inspire a little wanderlust along the way. But what I was most pleasantly surprised by with this watch, is how powerful the luminescence is. A brief charge in natural sunlight results in a reassuring glow that lasts well into the night - a glow that's right on par with what I would expect from some Swiss or Japanese watch brands. Granted, it's not quite as bright as C3 Superluminova or Seiko's LumiBrite panels (probably the technical inspiration here), but still very damn good - easily the best I've experienced from Nixon. Bear in mind that the lume on the All Black and the Surplus colorways is going to be a little brighter than the white lume on the regular Black colorway, as those green hues tend to hold a subtly brighter glow for longer. Peep this photograph to see the impressive green lume shortly after a fresh charge from an LED lamp.

* not a huge fan of the included strap. Its leather backing and custom keeper rings are very nice, but the fitment holes are located too far apart and my small wrist is apparently in between sizes. Obviously not everyone will have this problem, but it was enough for me to change the strap out for a nylon zulu I had lying around

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 30, 2012

5 5

I'll come right out and say it: the Hard Kore is not the most cleverly named, and it certainly lacks some of the refined sculpting and frame design that I've come to expect from sunnies at this price point. It even almost feels dated in both of those respects. However, there's something about the Hard Kore (ugh) that still feels refreshingly utilitarian -- a timeless sport-performance profile, if you will. It's pretty clear that Kaenon is putting all their eggs in the basket of optical performance, and luckily their SR-91 lenses deliver in spades. For me, having a contrast-enhancing lens that protects and cuts glare on sunny days but delivers perfect clarity on cloudy days is a huge win -- the C12 (copper, 12% light transmission) is the ultimate in all-day, all-sport versatility. Plus, its mirrored finish looks absolutely badass. No complaints on the fit or wearability - it's definitely a large wrap frame with beefy arms and big lenses. The rubber nose pieces and long rubber temple tips are more than adequate to keep things snug. Still, if you have a smaller mug, or just prefer smaller sunnies for sport, check out the also unfortunately named Soft Kore.

* made in Italy, if you're into that sort of thing

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 19, 2012

yep, still fresh
5 5

The Acid Tort colorway isn't technically a true tortoise - it's actually just a contrasting print over the frame's bright aci-- Wait, what am I critiquing? This colorway is simply more of what everybody loves about the Frogs. And with color-matched Iridium lenses? Sold. Call it a tort, call it camo, call it whatever you want, the Frogskins still have it. Easily one of my favorite limited Frog drops to come along in a while.

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 19, 2012

5 5

For several seasons, my Gore Power bibs have been the de facto standard for fit and comfort against which I measure everything else I wear for riding. The Xenon 2.0 surpasses that standard in every way. The straps are slightly wider and softer to eliminate chafing, while remaining exceptionally lightweight as they disappear against your shoulders. The leg ending features a thick band of tight lycra along with subtle silicone grippers on the inside - both of which combine for a perfectly secure leg fit. And the insert - again, better in every way. Multiple densities for perfect support, carbon fiber threading helps keep the insert dry and adds antimicrobial protection, and the insert's deep channel allows for even better ventilation. Truly a top-shelf short worthy of sitting on the top shelf.

* I fit a Gore Medium across the chart, and the Xenon doesn't surprise

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 19, 2012

5 5

Most impressive and telling about the Xenon glove is how even with its superlight construction and subtle padding, it's still remarkably durable, supportive, and surprisingly easy to remove. Lesser gloves leave hands numb after long hours, don't ventilate well, or simply fall apart after the first few rides. And it strikes a fine balance between 'just enough' padding in the right places so as to not compromise your feel on the bars. Cycling gloves aren't for everyone, but that's simply because not all gloves are created equal.

* wear a Large size glove across the branding spectrum, and these are no different

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 16, 2012

5 5

If you owned multiple pairs of Radar sunglasses because changing the lenses was more trouble than it's worth, listen up. There's a lot of praise that could be heaped upon the Radarlock, but at the end of the day, the most important fact is that it is a significant and wholly justified upgrade over the original Radar - and one that doesn't come at the expense of sacrificing what makes the Radar platform the ultimate sporting frame.

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 12, 2012

special sauce boss
5 5

The Burnet is my first pair of sunnies from Kaenon (pronounced "kay-nun" - just throwing that out there), and I'm now confident it won't be my last. It's not kool-aid; the SR-91 lens technology that Kaenon has patented is the real deal. The downside with many polarized lenses is that the polarization filter often adversely impacts the clarity of the lens itself, but that's the magic of SR-91 -- it delivers maximum glare reduction while still preserving its near-perfect clarity. Kaenon also adds a comprehensive series of scratch/impact and moisture-resistant coatings to the lenses, which have a nice mirrored finish to them - even the lighter Copper series of lenses. Now, as for the Burnet frame itself (I got the Special Sauce colorway), it's masterfully constructed in Italy using a very high quality and lightweight TR-90 plastic. I would have almost preferred that Kaenon use acetate, as it would allow for a little more precise frame adjustment, at only a slight weight penalty. I only say this, because the Burnet is definitely a smaller frame best suited for medium-sized faces. If you need a little more coverage but love this subtle retro style, check out the Burny. I'm willing to forgive the minor sizing gripes though, as the Burnet really is an impressive and timeless sunny, and one I fully expect to wear when out for long hours out on the road or water.

* Special Sauce, Black/Tortoise, and the Tortoise colorways are quite a bit darker than pictured - only under direct sunlight do the colors really come alive
* Kaenon has discontinued the pictured silver hard case, and is now shipping its sunglasses with a zippered black and orange soft case, along with the included microfiber storage bag

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 10, 2012

5 5

I wasn't crazy about the original Pivlock, and Smith must have been listening, because the new version is leaps and bounds better. Much more aggressive styling and a subtly updated lens geometry with nicely improved nose piece adjustment. Fit is still super lightweight, but it now slides around helmet retention systems more comfortably. There's an awful lot to like here, and in case you were wondering, sizing on the V2 Max is on par with the Oakley Radar XL - definitely tall (the difference between the V2 Max and the regular V2 is only in its height - not width or stem length) coming in around 50mm at the top above the nose, and potentially in the way if you like your helmet to sit low on your forehead. Otherwise, excellent vertical and periphery coverage. Crazy multi-sport versatile, and if you score the White or Acid Yellow colorway, Euro-fabulous too.

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Zach Pina

Zach Pina wrote a review of on July 9, 2012

5 5

I have the older Xenon jersey, and the new 2.0 offers a welcome round of improvements without compromising on the foundation of the kit: its superlative fit and air-channeling capabilities. Gone is the see-through mesh around the stomach, with more strategically (and modestly) placed ventilation around the shoulders and underarms. The jersey itself is constructed of a much lighter weight and better ventilated fabric, negating the need for overt ventilation panels. Gore also went with a full-length, locking zipper for quick and generous access to cooler air. There's nothing about the Xenon 2.0 kit to not like - and it's quickly becoming a renewed favorite in my rotation.

* I've always been a Medium with Gore, and the Xenon fits just as slim as expected

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