chaz

chaz

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chas's Bio

chaz

chaz wrote a review of on February 28, 2012

5 5

Salomon is a ski company. Now they make snowboards and gear. I started snowboarding in 1989 (I think that makes me "core") and would only wear boots made by Airwalk, Burton and Vans. I wasn't going to be seen wearing gear made by a ski company (even though I grew up skiing). Then I dated a girl in Big Sky who hooked me up with a pair of Salomon Malamutes because I desperately needed a new pair of boots. Yes, she really liked me.
Anyway, Although it was against my moral standards to wear a pair of Salomon boots—I was broke, and the boots were much more comfortable than the old, packed-out pair I had rocked the previous two seasons. So I gave them a shot. After a 100-day season in the Malmutes (like I said, I'm "core") I was hooked and decided never to go back to any of my old standby brand of boots. I also decided never to go back to the girlfriend, mainly because she was cheating on me, but I also didn't want to give the boots back. Now it's 2012 and I still have my old Malamutes, but decided it was time for a new pair. I purchased the Synapse and they have changed my life. They are stiff, not as stiff as the malamutes, but stiff. Super responsive and light as a they come. People now look at me different. I'm popular, I get tons of chicks and I'm not self conscious about wearing them without pants—I used to be. I don't know what Salomon puts in the Synapse Boots, but it gets me tingly all over every time I think about it. Buy the Synapse Boots, wear them to Yoga, be happy.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on December 28, 2011

5 5

The MiNewt 300 is worth every penny. I use it for commuting, but it's also bright enough to run in a 24hr race—as a second light. I've had cars flash their lights at me with this light, meaning it's ridiculously bright for it's size. The battery life is better than expected and the battery itself isn't too big or heavy to lug around all the time. The handlebar mount is super-stable so the light doesn't jiggle over bumps and the design makes attaching it to the bars easy and quick. Buy this light and you won't be disappointed.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on November 21, 2011

4 5

Finding a good cycling glove is tricky. Either they are too bulky and warm or too thin and not warm. However, these PRO gloves are solid. I commute everyday in the cold, wet & snow, and after wearing a pair of these for just a week I still like them a lot (that's a rarity in my world). They breathe really well, but are still fairly waterproof (I've yet to have wet hands) and warm without feeling bulky. Dexterity is also about as good as it gets for a cold weather glove. Also, I typically wear a MED glove across the board. I ordered a medium and they are quite snug and I probably could have sized up to a large. Instead, I kept the mediums and they have stretched out enough to be really comfortable, it just depends on how you like your gloves to fit I guess. Just something to keep in mind on sizing. I would recommend these gloves over a number of others on the site because of their awesome breathability, durability (so far) and dexterity for a winter glove. Buy them, you'll be glad you did.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on November 10, 2011

1 5

My experience with this pump is just like all the rest of the Lezyne crap I've used. It sucks. The valve connection is a pain in the ass and the design isn't any better than anything else out there. Oh, and good luck not unscrewing your Presta valve core when attempting to release the hose. Design: average, Function: poor, Looks: nice. So go ahead, buy one. You'll regret it in a week.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on October 10, 2011

5 5

This pump kicks ass—period. The needle is precise and the gauge is easy to read, the head clamps easily without having to flip the chuck (Lezyne), the hose is long enough to easily reach the valve and the body of the pump is tough enough to use as a weapon in a street fight. This is a well-designed floor pump that will not let you down. It also works great on tubulars thanks to it's ability to inflate up to 230 psi.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on August 1, 2011

Fast, Fast, Fast.
4 5

Ridley Noah RS, SRAM Force Group, Fulcrum 5 wheels, Deda bars, Stem & Post.

Overview

The Noah RS uses a 30-and 24-ton high modulus carbon fiber, just a step below the 50, 40 & 30 high-modulus carbon found on the flagship Noah—but with a healthy jump down in price. Coming in at around 1200 grams, the RS isn’t the lightest frame available, but what it lacks in the weight-weenie category, the RS makes up for in aerodynamics and stiffness—two characteristics Ridley has invested heavily into improving.

Over the past decade bottom bracket shells have been getting progressively larger, minimizing bottom bracket flex in many of today’s machines. But with the Ridley RS this isn’t just hype, it’s actually a defining feature. Bottom bracket stiffness during an out-of-the-saddle climb or a hammering sprint is unmatched, period. Hard as we tried, we couldn’t get the RS to play the middle-man when it came to power-transfer; energy went straight to the wheels without passing go.

Ridley tackled lateral flex through the oversized head & down tube, and continued all the way through the front end by adding the 4ZA Sphinx full-carbon fork. The combination of oversized tubing and the 4ZA Sphinx Fork eliminates any hint of sloppiness in the front end. Take your hands off the bars at 30mph and the RS tracks straight and true without wanting to wander or wobble—important when it’s time to sit up and don a windbreaker for the descent.

Cornering on the RS was confident and smooth. Diving through corners the RS didn’t flinch, and although it shares the same 970 cm wheelbase as the Damocles and Excalibur, the RS just feels quicker.

One complaint about the RS is that ride quality was almost too good. Smooth and nimble sometimes bordered on muffled, eliminating some of the Euro-sportscar-esque feel that defines a race machine. But, if you’re more of a high-powered sedan person, it might be right up your alley.

Aerodynamics.
To say Ridley researched aerodynamics would be an understatement. Every curve on the Noah RS is tuned to reduce drag—even down to the R-Surface paint. The 4ZA Sphinx fork uses Ridley’s patented R-Flow Jet foils; slotted airfoils on the fork blades draw air away from the spokes and reduce drag by up to 6.4%. Internally routed cables and a teardrop-shaped carbon seat post keep the RS sleek and slender while adding to Ridley’s focus on aerodynamics.
But can you feel the difference? Without a doubt the RS feels fast, whether you attribute fast to the aerodynamics, nimble handling or what you ate for breakfast it doesn’t really matter. Numbers don’t lie, and the with the rigorous wind-tunnel tests Ridley has performed, the numbers are there. So whatever the reason, fast is fast, period.

Group.
Groupsets are personal choice, and as someone who isn’t a DoubleTap user, the SRAM Force gruppo took a bit of getting used to. Shifting was relatively smooth, but lacked the confident clicks found in a comparable Shimano or Campy group. The Force hoods were fairly comfortable, and access to the controls is quick and easy.

Wheels.
Fulcrum 5 hoops are stock on the Noah RS and come with one of the loudest-clicking freehub bodies around. Don’t plan on coasting up behind anybody without them noticing, because the rear hub sounds like a pissed off rattlesnake. Aside from the noise, the Fulcrum 5 wheels felt stable and complemented the stiffness of the RS nicely. Durable and smooth, the Fulcrum 5’s make a great training wheelset as most will swap out wheels for race day.

Conclusion.
Overall, the Noah RS is ready to race right out of the box. It’s also ready to climb, descend and tackle cobbles like nobody’s business. It has a price tag literally thousands less than its big brother, so you can still afford to renew your license, pay for your new team kit and take your spouse out to dinner.

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chaz

chaz wrote an answer about on July 19, 2011

Yes, the Ritchey WCS 4-Axis stem will work fine with your Bianchi. You have a 1-1/8in (or 1.125) steertube on your Nirone which is common on newer road bikes, and the Ritchey Stem is 1-1/8in. Just make sure you have 31.8mm diameter handlebars (which you most likely do) and you should be good to go. Rock on! —RC lackey.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on July 17, 2011

2 5

Lezyne might have their marketing dialed, they might have Cavendish to promote their products, but my experience so far with all their product is less than satisfying. I've been around bikes my whole life, have used dozens of pumps and the Road Drive CFH straight up sucks. I bought one for my wife because the hose makes it easy to NOT break valve stems—but 9 times out of 10 when you attempt to unscrew the hose from the Presta valve it unscrews the valve core letting all the air out of your tire. My wife had tons of issues with this, one on the side of the road. I figured it was her, so I tried to use the Road Drive again & again. It pulled the valve core every time! If you screw it on enough to get air in the tire it pulls the valve core, if you don't screw it all the way on it doesn't get air into the tire. It may look great but it's worthless.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on April 8, 2011

5 5

North Face is cool, from the Mike Ranquet to Scott Schmidt. I've had very few TNF jackets over the years because they last and stand behind their gear. This jacket is definitely well-built. The Windstopper is great for cold winds, the back two zip pockets are nice, zippered and well placed. The jacket is definitely cut slimmer than typical TNF jackets, it's actually a cycling jacket! That said, even though it's a "cycling jacket" it would be nice to have front pockets. The sleeves come off easily and it works well as a vest, but putting them back on can be a bit confusing. Overall, this is a super-kick ass jacket. And it's black, so it'll match your soul...

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on April 3, 2011

5 5

The Rubino is the perfect balance between being too bulky and heavy to race, but too thin and light to offer any type of puncture-resistance or longevity. My wife trains on a set of these and I have a set on a pair of wheels I use for training. Don't plan on rallying through a thorn patch puncture-free, but then again if that's what you are looking for buy a set of Conti Gatorskins. On the other hand, daily training rides are not going to leave you on the side of the road with punctures, and you can still corner without feeling like you are riding super-wide slicks on a mountain bike. These tires are worth the price and a good daily tire and better than any set of Conti's, Hutchinson's or Michelin's.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on March 19, 2011

4 5

The Sugoi RSE Bibs are some of the best I bibs I have ever on owned. The chamios is fairly firm, but provides cushion where it's important. I have a pair of the Castelli Bodypaint bibs, a few pairs of Pearl, Voler, Craft, Demarchi & Garneau's—the RSE bibs are my favorite of the lot. The Sugoi's are tight, compression-wise, so they feel solid, not like they will wear away or fall apart in a season. They also have a cool ipod pocket on the bib strap. The only downside is the silicone leg grippers which irritate skin, but is easily solved by flipping them up. Long story long, if you buy these bibs you will like them. If you don't like them you're weird.

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on March 16, 2011

5 5

This pump is awesome. We use it in the shop and it works great, day in and day out. You don't need to flip the chuck to inflate a tire either. The head is simple, the design is sturdy, and the gauge is easy to read. You could spend more on a fancy pump, but why?

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chaz

chaz wrote a review of on March 2, 2011

5 5

This tire is the best clincher around. Run them at 140-150psi and they perform great. Super low rolling resistance, solid cornering, decent wear resistance (I'd sacrifice a little wear resistance for higher performance), and better than average puncture protection. Definitely the most kick ass clincher available (along with the Vittoria Open Corsa).

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