Jon J

Jon J

Gearhead

Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on July 17, 2016

Mount Up!
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

RockyMounts brings a solid contender to the hitch mounted rack field. I've previously owned the Yakima HoldUp, and have used a buddy's Kuat NV quite a bit. The Splitrail is on par with both of those. Though having a claimed weight of 44lbs for the 2in receiver option, the rack feels lighter, and more balanced than the HoldUp which claims to be 39lbs.
It took me 30 minutes to install the Splitrail, and assembly is very straightforward and easy with the included hex wrenches. The hitch's fir system creates a very stable interface, with no wobble, but can be in issue if you're moving the rack from one car to another regularly. The rear handle for adjusting the position of the rack is also a strong point. The rack has ample clearance for 29 and 27+ tires. Though RockyMounts doesn't recommend it, I was bale to fit my fatbike with 4.8 tires onto the rack with a ski strap, but do so at my own peril.
The locking system is a weak point in my opinion compared to other offering. A cable extends from the arms, and a metal chuck locks into the end of the cable creating a loop. No rack's included lock/cable is very substantial, they're all there to keep people honest, but the Splitrail's system limits where you can loop the cable. If I were leaving bikes on the rack during an extended period of time, I'd use a thicker cable looped through the hitch like I have with my HoldUp.
Overall the Splitrail is a great rack, that's easy to use, and will get you and your bike to and from the trail with ease.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on May 17, 2016

3 5

Tried this out for a weekend trip to Moab, and it wasn't what were were looking for. This would be great at the beach, or at a park where you'll be sitting or lounging , but if you want something you can stand underneath, I'd look at a tarp setup. This is about 4 1/2 feet high at the apex, and was basically redundant in shade coverage to our tent. It does pack up small, and the included backpack straps on the bag make it convenient to carry.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on May 16, 2016

Teller on the Mountain
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I pretty much lived in these shorts on our last trip to Moab. I've got 2 pairs, a small and medium. My waist is 31", and the smalls fit fine, and the mediums are a little big, but leave better length for use with knee pads. They also have an internal cinch at the wast. The front zip pockets keep anything safe when you're on the bike, and are great for keeping stuff organized pre and post ride. A velcro rear pocket also comes in handy for day to day use. I've even left my wallet back there on a ride and did notice it until I got back to the car.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on May 4, 2016

3 5

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

Picked this up for our little girl and ended up returning it. FYI, this is just the padding, in the photo, the harness and straps are those that are included with the Chariot itself. We have the infant sling as well, and as she grew, just loosening that more into the seat seemed to work just as well for her. This supporter may work better for others, but if your little one has good control of their head/neck, it may or may not be needed.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on April 12, 2016

BIgger. Faster. Stronger.
5 5

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

I had the pleasure of spending a pre-launch weekend in Moab aboard the SB5.5. If I could have brought the bike home with me, I would have, but I'€™d also need to bring all the rocks home as well. The SB5.5 only further blurs the line of a bikes capability along the trail/all-mountain/enduro spectrum.

Full disclosure, I'm a Yeti guy, the ASR, ASR-5c, SB95c, SB5c, ASRc have all spent time in my garage, and the SB4.5c presently is tenured there.

Forget all you preconceived notions about a €"œlong travel" 29er. "€œA 160mm fork will feel too raked out and wander up climbs"€ -€“ wrong. "€œThe wheelbase will be too long and hamper maneuverability" -€“ wrong. "€œ29ers are dumb€" -€“ wrong again.

I'€m 5'€™7"€, and rode a medium SB5.5 with ease and comfort. The Switch Infinity heart of the 5.5 stays true, and will claw its way up anything as long as you keep the pedals turning. Going up the Amasa Back jeep road, and Hymasa trail, the 5.5 felt similar to my 4.5. Efficiency wasn't an issue with the additional inch of rear travel, and the 160mm Fox 36 could be pulled up steeps and step-ups with the ease of my 140mm Fox 34. Where the 5.5 separates itself from its shorter travel sibling, as it should, is once you point it downhill. It'€™d been 3 years since I'd last descended Porcupine Rim on my then ASR5c, the SB5.5 made 2013 feel like the dark ages. The Fox 36 came to life will all of its 160mm of "keep your teeth in your head"€ travel. The Infinity link feels supple and bottomless; a coworker took the 5.5 off a 6 ft drop; all he was asking for at the bottom was another bottomless token for the fork. This bikes wants the A lines, and the faster the better.

As Yeti puts it, this is a purpose built bike, and the spec follows suit. No plus-size tire shenanigans on this machine. A meaty 2.5 Minion DHF tire breaks the trail, and aesthetically brings proportion to the Boost 110 Fox 36 fork. The Float X Factory DPS shock sits in back, and will leave you asking "What happened to that rocky section?"€ A Reverb dropper is stock on all complete offerings, and all come in at less than 29lbs.

Geometrically, the SB5.5 proves form equals function. The medium frame has the same 90mm headtube length as my small 4.5 to keep things balanced, standover is lower too. The wheelbase for a medium is 1168mm, 20mm shorter than a medium SB6, and only 3mm longer than the SC Hightower that uses a 140mm fork. The 66.5 head angle keeps things stable at speed, but the paired 73.6 seat angle makes that fork feel shorter on the climbs.

If you have any other questions about the SB5.5c, or any of Yeti'™s offerings, don'€™t hesitate to give me a shout. My direct contact line is 801-736-6396 x4378, e-mail is jjakupcak@backcountry.com

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on March 24, 2016

5 5

These are tough to beat for a $20 pair of sport shades. They have a larger lens and provide good coverage. The fit my small/medium sized face well, and didn't have any big gaps at my temple. The glasses come with a lens cloth and a zippered hard case.

The lenses are not interchangeable, but these also cost about half of what a Smith or Oakely replacement lens costs. Great budget glasses to pick up as a backup, or to stash in the car or gear bag.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on March 24, 2016

4 5

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

I picked up a pair of the Jet/Grey glasses. I have a small/medium face, and these fit well. No big gaps at my temple like a get with other glasses. The lens is much darker than appears in the photo. In person it's almost the same color as the frames.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on January 7, 2016

Great Boot
5 5

Got these boots for our daughter who'll be 3 in April. Size is true to fit, boots are easy to get no and off, a so far no complaints from her. She's been lapping the sledding hill with these since we got them, and at times that I've been slipping and sliding, she's chugging along. That may be her low center of gravity, but I'm sure the traction of the soles plays a solid role as well. Sorel's quality is never in question, and I'm sure kiddo #2 will be sporting these in the seasons to come.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on January 7, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've had multiple pairs of these, and I always recommend them for a liner glove, or for running. I've run with these into the low 30s and had no problems, and my hands typically get cold first.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on January 7, 2016

3 5

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

Checked out this beenie, and it's super light. It could easily be used as a helmet liner, or used for high intensity /aerobic activity. Being thinner it is a lower profile beenie.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on December 21, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small

My head measures 55cm, and the small was not going to happen, couldn't even get in over the crown of my head. I'm always between S and M for helmets, and based on Bells size chart, I was hoping the small may give a lower profile fit.

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Jon J

Jon Jwrote a review of on December 21, 2015

4 5

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

Construction on these boots is great, and the materials, closure, and design give a strong first impression.
In terms of sizing, i feel the boots run large. I've always worn a US 8 and all my cycling shoes have been a EU 41, and I've always had a pinkie finger's width of room between my toes and the front of the shoe. Lake equates a US 8 to a EU 42 in their size chart. I tried on a 40, 41, and 42, and the 41s fit best, I had on a slim sock, but there was still room if I were wearing a warmer winter sock. The 40s weren't too small, but wouldn't have had room for a thicker sock. The 42s had more room than I needed. As for width, I don't wear a an E size shoe or anything, but my feet probably lean towards the wide end of normal. These weren't narrow feeling, and I didn't feel like the wide variant would provide a better fit.

Contact me with any questions here at Competitive at 801-736-6396 x4378, or jjakupcak@backcountry.com

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