Paul R

Paul R

Maryland

Paul R's Passions

Biking

Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on May 1, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Extra Large

Just to be clear, the Lugano booties are Gore Tex shells with no insulation. The fabric repels water and serves well in cool dry conditions. However, I've had trouble with road spray seeping in on longer rides, leading to very cold feet. For shorter rides in light drizzle, though, the Luganos have served their purpose...Overall quality of materials and stitching is good, so I expect these to hold up over several seasons...Regarding size, heed the advice of other reviewers here: Gore Tex does not stretch, so you might want to size up. I wear other Sportful booties in size large, but bought the Luganos in XL. They fit easily over my size 42 Fiziks with a little slack--definitely not aero, but also not a PITA to slip over my shoes.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on May 1, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

This is a nice lightweight merino sock that insulates well in cool-to-warm conditions. There's no padding in the toe or heel, so they work well with snug-fitting shoes. The tall cuff supports my calves well with just the perfect amount of compression. The socks also hold up well in the wash if you use cold water and dry on low heat (or air dry on a hanger). For size reference, my feet are 42-42.5 EU/ 8.5-9 US and the mediums fit perfectly.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on May 1, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I bought these booties at the tail end of winter and have used them on ride conditions ranging from high 20s to mid 50s. Paired with the right socks, they've kept my feet comfortable--neither warm nor cool, just perfectly in-between. The Windstopper fabric is somewhat water-repellent, so these booties can keep your feet dry in light drizzle. For size reference, I bought Large booties and they fit perfectly over my size 42 Fiziks.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 29, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I own lots of other Sportful kit (gloves, jerseys, shorts, jackets) and the Grupetto jersey is another hit from the brand. The material breathes well in hot weather, and and also pairs nicely with base layers and arm warmers for chillier days. The zipper is high quality and hasn't jammed up on me once through many uses. Rear pockets provide plenty of storage space.

The Grupetto jersey fit isn't nearly as tight as the BodyFit Pro, but it's still plenty racey--i.e., if you size appropriately, you won't have excess fabric flapping around at high speed. I also like the longer sleeves, which give a little more coverage than some other jerseys I own. For reference, I stand 5'5 with a 37" chest and the Small fits me perfectly.

The Grupetto graphics are tad busy, but overall, the design is neutral enough to blend in with other shorts.

As another reviewer points out, this jersey is a high value product. If you can buy it on sale, you're getting a great deal.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 27, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

This jacket keeps me warm in low 30s to low 40s with a long sleeve base layer, and works fine on its own or with a light base layer up into the low 50's. Above that, you might start running a little hot...The Windstopper fabric provides great insulation on blustery days, and insulates well in rain, even after the material starts to absorb water (it's initially mildly water repellent, but will gradually soak up moisture in constant/heavy rain). The fit is trim in the trunk, but not restrictive in the shoulders; the jacket offers good range of motion for my arms and trunk without excess material flapping in the wind. One minor gripe for me is the small rear pockets--i.e., they provide enough space for wallet, tube, gels, but little more room if you have to strip off warmers, hats, etc. during a progressively warmer ride. Overall, this is top-notch jacket for fall, early spring, and possibly winter rides (depending on where you live). I liked my first jacket so much that I bought a second one, and I've been wearing them 2-3 days/week since early October.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 22, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I've worn these gloves on ~15 rides with temps ranging from low 30s to upper 50s, sometimes in rain and brisk winds. The gloves insulate vey well without causing clammy hands, except at the upper temp range (tip: keep a pair of lighter gloves handy if you think ride conditions will go from cold to mild). They've also kept my hands dry in moderate rain up to a couple hours ride time. Lastly, the flared cuff is a must-have feature for cold weather gloves since it allows you to tuck your sleeve cuff into the glove and keep the cold air out. Regarding size, I bought "Medium" and these gloves fit comparably to "mediums" from other brands I own like Craft and Garneau...One caveat: these gloves feel a little stiff and tight fitting when brand-new. Break them in and they'll feel more supple after 5-6 rides.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 21, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: one-size-fits-all

The Capo Roubaix cap provides great coverage from the neck and ears up to the head, and insulates well in temps ranging from low-30's to the low 50s (anything above ~55 and my scalp sweats bullets). The brim is bigger than ones on most cycling caps, which helps keep rain out of your eyes, and offers some protection from sun glare if you're riding w/o shades. The brim also has a big-lettered reflective logo on the upside, which enhances visibility to motorists in dark conditions. Lastly, the cap fits perfectly on my "Medium" 58cm head, which isn't always a given with one-size-fits-all caps...I would give this cap 5 stars if it was less bulky and took up less headspace under my helmet. Also, the big brim--which is great for shielding your face against rain--limits my field of vision when riding in the drops. Otherwise, this cap has solid construction and performs nicely in Fall and Winter weather.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 11, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I've used this jacket on four rides in light to medium rain, and am impressed at how well it keeps the water out. The material is heavy synthetic and much more water resistant/repellent than a standard nylon shell. It also features velcro tabs on the cuffs to keep water from sneaking up your sleeves. The back tail has a rollup/rolldown flap that does a decent job keeping road spray off your behind. The bright yellow and reflective accents are also nice safety features. One downside to the heavy duty material is the lack of breathability. The jacket has zip-vents on the front, but these don't allow lots of air to flow through. In moderate temperatures (mid to upper 50's) you'll want to layer very lightly underneath with no more than a mesh base layer or short-sleeve performance fabric shirt. For colder temps, a long-sleeve base layer should keep your comfortably warm without overheating.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on November 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: M/L

This sock, like any Merino wool product, offers outstanding insulation across a wide range of conditions. I've worn these road riding with light booties in 30-40 degree temps, and without booties in mid-70s temps, and my feet always feel comfortable. The socks also perform well when wet, keeping the feet relatively warm despite soaking road spray.

These socks also earn points for fit and design. The seams on the toe and heel are unobtrusive, and the arch section offers some compression. The tall cuff also offers moderate compression--i.e., just enough to support your calves and keep the cuffs from sagging without feeling constrictive.

Lastly, I'm very impressed with the socks' durability. I have two pair, which I've been wearing in regular rotation 2-3x per week for ~2 months. The socks have held their form despite wear and tear from use and regular washings. They also withstand low clothes dryer heat with minimal if any shrinkage.

For sizing reference, I ordered these socks in M/L. They fit perfectly on my cycling shoe size 42-43 feet. Note that these socks are a little bulkier than summer-weight socks; if your cycling shoes fit snugly with lightweight socks, these woolies might not work for you.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on October 24, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been using this pack as a daily commuter bag for ~3 months across a wide range of weather conditions, and have been pleasantly surprised by its comfort and resiliency. The pack allows adequate airflow to my back on hot, humid days, and the bulky waist strap doesn't cause me undue sweating or irritation. In fact, I thought the waistband was a little obtrusive at first, but I don't even notice it while riding. I've also worn this pack through some intense rainstorms, and the inside of the pack always remains dry. I wouldn't call the material waterproof, but it's very water resistant.

Like other Evoc packs, this comes in different sizes. The "Small" fits my smallish torso fine (Im about 5'5"), though the top and bottom of each shoulder strap can be adjusted to fit much bigger.

This pack has a ridiculous number of storage pouches inside its various pockets. which makes it easy to organize your gear. There's also a small pocket on the underside that holds straps and buckles in case you need to strap gear onto the pack's outside (I use this pouch for spare tubes). My sole gripe with this pack is the single waist belt pocket. All my other hydration packs have two waist pockets, which are useful for stashing snacks, keys, tools, or any other things you might want to access on the fly. This is a very minor point, but it still irritates me.

This is a hefty, high-capacity pack that would be good for long MTB rides or day hikes. It comes with a foam/plastic spine-protector insert, but you can easily remove it if you don't need the body armor. The color options rock, too; I bought the green & yellow model and find its color layout absolutely gorgeous.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on September 13, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

In addition to the Grupetto shorts, I also own a pair of Sportful's higher-priced Body Fit Pros, which offer a good point for comparison. The Grupetto have simpler suspenders like you find on most other bib shorts, but they fit me nicely and don't bunch up (note: taller, longer-torsoed riders might feel the suspenders too tight while standing)...The Grupetto chamois is simpler and thicker, but no less comfortable; I've done several rides in these over 3 hours and have never thought about the chamois, so that means it's doing its job...Like the Body Fit Pro, the Grupetto leg grippers have a series of silicon Sportful "S" logos rather than a silicon band; this prevents slippage but also allows some adjustment on the fly if desired...Overall, fit and compression are excellent. I own/have worn lots of bib shorts--Capo, Castelli, Garneau, Giordana, Verge--and the Sportful line fits me the best of all brands. The Grupetto bib shorts offer particularly good value if you can snag a pair on sale.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on September 6, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I bought a pair of Mondo Evos 2 years ago, and was pleasantly surprised to find the new ones just as comfortable and made with most of the same high quality materials. The thigh panels are the perfect length, and the silicon-free cuffs grip nicely around my quads without cutting into them (really nice design--some silicon-free cuffs on other shorts slide around). The chamois feels comfortable without being bulky...My one gripe--a trivial one--is that the suspenders are very long, and sag a bit even when Im standing straight. Im a shorty, but wearing size Small, I feel like these straps would fit perfectly on someone much taller.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on September 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

VeloShines are excellent for wiping dirt, mud, and grime off your bike without worry about harsh chemicals or de-greasing agents. They cut through the muck, but are also gentle enough to use on your body for a quick trailside wipedown so you don't foul up your (buddy's) car...Also, VeloShines are a lot tougher and more durable than baby wipes. They don't tear easily if caught on bike components' sharp edges, and can be rinsed/squeezed out if you have fresh water handy and want to get another quick wipedown in lieu of a thorough cleaning...VeloShines aren't cheap on a per-wipe basis, but each wipe does a lot.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on September 3, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs

I had low expectations when ordering this watch, just wanting a cheap and simple replacement for a pricier and more complex watch. I was pleasantly surprised by the Neff's materials and finish, which aren't top-shelf, but aren't chintzty either. All the grooves and edges on the body and strap are even and cleanly separated from their molds, and all the function buttons work properly to set time, date, alarms, and light.

I have worn this watch daily for over a month, in heavy rain, chlorinated pools, and hot sun. I've also taken a few spills on the trail, and the watch has survived indirect hits with no troubles afterward.

Lastly, I find this watch's slim, unobtrusive profile very comfortable. I have smallish wrists for a guy, and get irritated with watches that feel heavy and take up a lot of space on my forearm. While the retro-dork design might polarize some, I think it looks neat in all the available color ways.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on August 23, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I've worn my BodyFit Pros on several rides in the 2.5-3.5 hour range, and consider them some of the most comfortable bib shorts I own. The cut in the hips and thighs keeps everything snug without restricting movement. The chamois is high quality, and does the padding job so well I don't even know it's there. The suspenders are an additional well-thought-out design touch: flat, perforated, seamless straps that lie flat across your back and shoulders without bunching up. Even the leg grippers have a smart design, with silicon Sportful logos that run along the inside to "stick" the cuffs in place while still allowing some adjustment on the fly (this is a nice compromise between the very common no-grip cuffs, which can slide around, and others that wrap and stick a silicon band all around your legs).

The BodyFit Pros get bonus points for their subtle aesthetics. Mine have three thin red, white, and gray horizontal stripes around the cuffs, helping the shorts match easily with different jerseys. The black spandex panels, like the Sportful Grupettos, have a sublimated honeycomb pattern that catches your eye without screaming for attention.

I can't tell yet how these bib shorts will hold up over time, but the materials and workmanship seem high quality.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on July 9, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Extra Small

I ordered these shorts in XS and they fit me perfectly--nice and snug in the waist and hips, with an inseam that's just long enough to leave ~4" between the cuffs and my knees. The gripper material in the cuffs is VERY grippy, which I like because it helps keep the shorts in place. The suspenders are so comfortable that I don't even feel them when Im riding. The chamois is top-knotch, too; I've worn these shorts on multiple rides between 1 and 3 hours duration, and my undercarriage always feels fine the whole way. Lastly, these shorts work very well in the heat. I've ridden them through really hot and muggy conditions, and believe they "breath" just about as well as or better than any other bib short you can buy (and I wear lots different bibs, including other Capo models, Garneau, Castelli, Verge, and Giordana).

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on July 9, 2015

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs

I bought these to replace some DC sandals that finally started falling apart after 3 years of regular wear. The Under Armours started falling apart within 2 months. Specifically, the uppers on both sandals are separating from the soles. This is from routine wear around the house...I can probably fix the problem with some crazy glue, but if I spend $27 on plastic sandals, I expect them to last a little longer than 2 months.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a question about on June 30, 2015

Can the rear hub be converted from 142mm to 135mm QR?...I've checked several online threads; there seems to be a wide range of opinions about whether you can convert, and if so, whether this requires just adding end caps or taking apart the hub and replacing the axle as well.

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on April 28, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs

The frames initially seem kinda chintzy, but don't let first impressions color your judgement. These sunglasses feel nice and light upon my face (I have a medium-large head, for reference). The wide lenses provide excellent coverage and visibility. I use these primarily for cycling, and like how these lenses help me see things from odd angles with no blind spots. The light weight is also nice during long rides--no face fatigue...Im using the rose colored lenses right now, which are perfect for spring afternoons when the sun is shining but not super bright. As the sun picks up summer intensity, I'll probably swap the rose lenses out for darker smoke gray lenses (which are included).

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Paul R

Paul Rwrote a review of on April 28, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: small

I ride daily throughout the winter and bought these bibtights just in time to catch a late winter/early spring cold snap. They're noticeably warmer in upper 20s-low30s temps than my other bibtights (which include Sportful Grupetto, Capo, Garneau, and Giordana), and the reinforced insulation over the front knee panel definitely helps keep wind chill off your knee caps.

Chamois is high quality; I've had no comfort problems on longer rides. Fit is excellent, with the perfect amount of compression around the hips.

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