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NickyG

NickyG

NickyG's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Skiing

NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on October 30, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been running Time ATAC pedals on numerous MTBs for over a decade. The design has changed very little in that time since it simply works extremely well. They've got a fairly wide platform, pretty easy clip-in, a predicatable level of float (easy on my creaky knees), and they allow you to set the release point at either 13 or 17 degrees of angular rotation. They are unaffected by mud or trail debris and are super durable--they may just outlast the bike they're on. The seals and bearings of my last pair survived 5 years of soggy PNW riding.
One caveat - after a few hundred hours of riding, the spring retention pins can work their way out of the composite body. I had a pedal do this after about a year of riding on em. I just drove the pin back in and dabbed a spot of Loctite Marine epoxy on the outside of the pins where they're pressed into the composite body. It's worked like a charm for the past 3 years.

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on August 26, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I just picked up a Lithium jacket on a whim as a lightweight mid layer and a cool weather outer layer for around town. Wow! What a terrific fit! I’m a lanky 6’ 5”, 220 lbs, and the XL looks and feels like it’s tailor-made for me. Very trim for an XL. Typical Mammut design and construction--those Swiss really do know how to make great-fitting clothing for tall, slim guys.
The lightweight nylon lining is buttery-smooth and very comfortable. The sleeve length is perfect and the lycra cuff gaiters are pure genius! It seems to be pretty breathable, but blocks wind effectively. I like the fact it’s a technical piece, but it looks really smooth and streamlined for everyday wear. This will fit really nicely under my Stoic Bombshell jacket for colder ski days.
I haven’t had a chance to test it in cold temps yet, but it seems like it should work well below freezing under a hardshell or maybe into the 20s during high exertion activities. Mammut doesn’t list the amount of insulation, but it seems comparable to a 50 or 60 gram fill synthetic jacket. At 13 oz, it’s a bit heavier (and probably not as warm) as my Arcteryx Nuclei hoody, but it fills a niche as a less technical layering piece w/o a hood.
I really didn’t need another lightweight synthetic fill jacket, but I’m really glad I bought this one (on sale, of course)! This jacket has been discontinued, so this is probably your last chance to grab one. Highly recommended!

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on August 21, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 220 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

This is my second 150-wt Anatomica T-shirt, and I completely love the style, fit, and comfort this shirt provides. I'm a lanky 6', 5", 220 lbs, and the XL fits me perfectly - trim without being constrictive in any way. (The XL fits like a "normal" Large in most US brands). These have become my go-to shirts for mountain biking, backpacking, hiking, and just wearing around town. If you're long and lean, you definitely need to try one of these on.
It's comfort/temp range is impressive--I use it as my base layer in the winter, but it performs just as well in 95 degree heat.
The 150-wt Anatomica is much more versatile than their 200-wt shirts, and they fit trimmer/slimmer than the Aero or Tech T lite shirts. When these are on sale, buy a couple!

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NickyGwrote a review of on May 19, 2015

5 5

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

I've had a pair of Sunclouds since way back in the Vuarnet days when they had glass lenses (I'm old!). These are made by Smith, and they represent an excellent deal in a fairly high-quality pair of shades. I liked my first pair so much, I bought another pair with brown lenses and an additional pair with rose lenses (my favorite lens tint, by far).
Very comfortable fit on my medium-large cranium, sharp optic clarity, great lens tints - not too dark, not too light, excellent detail and contrast. I use them every day for driving and hiking. They work really well in lower light conditions or when the sun is peeking in and out of the clouds.
I don't use them mntn biking as they're not ventilated enough & will steam up pretty quickly. I would also be careful when using them while rafting or other high-impact sports as they don't grip your head very tightly (that's what makes them so comfy to wear all day, though.). Would work for these activities with a set of keeper cords.
You're getting Smith quality at a discount price with these. Highly recommended.

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on November 21, 2014

5 5

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

This is my first piece of Arc'teryx gear, and I'm extremely pleased with it. Perfect detailing, a very trim, almost-tailored fit, great hood design, and it's amazingly warm & comfy for the weight (my XL weighs under 11 oz). I'm a lanky 6' 5", 220 lbs, and the XL fits me perfectly. I've got room underneath for a midweight layer, but it's streamlined enough to fit under a hardshell. I love the extra long sleeves and drop hem in the back.
It is warmer & less breathable than the Atom LT, but that's a plus if you're using it as I am - primarily as an outer layer in cold, windy conditions while hiking, hanging out in camp, apres ski, or around town. I wouldn't use this for high-extertion activities unless it's really cold; it will not vent well enough. But it is versatile and breathable enough for moderate activity in cold conditions.
I've tried midweight insulating jackets from Stoic, First Ascent, Patagucci, Montbell, and Flylow, but this jacket easily beats them all (for me) in terms of fit, comfort, utility, and overall quality. My quest for the perfect midweight layering piece is finally over!

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on November 5, 2014

4 5

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

This is probably the best bang-for-the-buck ultralight down jacket on the market today. As I started paring down my pack weight, I decided to pick one of these up & I'm extremely glad I did. It replaced my Patagonia R1 jacket (and a couple other fleece sweaters) as my cool weather insulating piece and saved me about 5 oz. It's very warm for it's weight, and it breathes pretty well. It's so light that you barely notice that you're wearing a jacket. The quality and detailing are top-notch.
The sizing is what I would call 'Standard' - it's just a bit 'blocky'. I use mine as a mid-layer down sweater, so I sized down. The XL was too big in the body, so I ended up with a Large. It fit's nicely through the body & shoulders, but I wish it was an inch longer in length - both in the torso and the sleeves. (I'm a lanky 6' 5", 220 lbs.) Another complaint is that it does not have a drawcord or elastic gather at the hem, so cold air can sneak into the jacket at the bottom. Still recommended, though!

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on April 7, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Gettin' older and numerous neck & back injuries over the years have been catching up with me. Using spare clothes jammed into a stuff sack just ain't cutting it for me anymore, so I decided to pick one of these up. I've used this pillow on 4 or 5 backpacking & car camping trips so far & I'm really pleased with it. It's just about the right size, it's really light and it pack down about the size of a Yoplait yogurt container. I'm a tall, lanky side sleeper and have found the inflation sweet spot at about 75% inflated - gives me the elevation & support I need, but it has enough give to be really comfy. The only thing I would change is to make the pillowcase removable for easier washing (you can easily make your own to go over the pillow). The soft nylon cover is pretty comfy, but it does get discolored with body oils pretty quickly. It's right at 3 oz & it's well worth the weight for me - if I know I'll be sleeping outdoors, it's always in my pack. Highly recommended!

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on June 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Nice lightweight pair of riding shorts with no heavy liner to weigh them down. The lightweight, stretchy fabric breathes well & dries pretty quickly. There's no liner short or liner material like Dakine's heavier-duty freeride shorts, so you stay much cooler. They look so good & are so comfy that I tend to wear them much more for casual wear than for riding. Suitable for XC riding in a wide range of temps & would even make a great swim trunk if you found a suitable swimming hole on your ride or hike.
I'm 6' 5" with a 36" waist & the XL fits me perfectly. The 14" inseam is perfect!

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on January 22, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I picked up a pair of these on a closeout last year & have been so impressed with them that I had to snap up another pair before they get discontinued.
I'm extremely pleased with these goggles. I finally found a goggle with a PERFECT fit on my large face - very comfy, with no gaper gap between them and my Scott helmet. No nose pinch on my big honker. No fogging, even in nasty conditions. Excellent peripheral vision & great contrast in variable conditions - from bright sun to snowstorms. And these look really smooth, too - spherical & slightly oversize without looking cartoon-ish or making you look like a bug.
I've got a pair with the Natural Light lenses (45% light transmission with a neutral color - Excellent every-day lens).
IMO, these are a much better value than the overpriced Oakley models out there & better quality than any Smith or Spy goggles I've tried. Get these! You won't regret it.

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on September 3, 2012

5 5

I loathe spending anything over $70 for a pair of unpadded MTB shorts. But I gotta tell ya - these are worth the money if you're looking for a very lightweight, comfy, well-designed & constructed pair of MTB shorts. I've worn shorts by Fox, Sugoi, Zoic and Nema over the years, and with few exceptions, have been pretty pleased with all of them. But the Mavics are in a different class completely - they're just so much more comfortable for hot weather riding than anything else I've worn.
The cut is a great balance between baggy & euro-techy. The stretchy fabric is thin & airy, but impressively burly & abrasion-resistant. There's only 2 zippered pockets, but they're where they belong - on the lower outside of the legs (have you ever ridden with stuff in your front pockets? Annoying!). And the length is great for guys like me with longer legs - about 13"-14" inseam on the XL.
If you're looking for a high-quality hot-weather MTB short, these are definitely worth a the $. The French have shorts dialed in.
Oh, I agree with the other reviewers - double check the sizing - theres a Euro & a US size chart - Euro XL equates to a L US size (more french fries, anyone?)

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on June 17, 2012

5 5

I've had my Sawtooth for about 8 years & have been extremely pleased with it. It's very well designed & super comfy. I haven't had it out in temps below about 25 degrees, but it's been toasty warm for me (a cold sleeper) down to that temp. I love the hood, full length zipper, fat draft tube & independent hood & neck cords (one flat & one round so you can cinch up just the one you need in the middle of the night). Sizing is perfect for larger folks & restless sleepers like me - I'm 6'5", 215 lbs & the Long fits me great. While not as light & compressible as higher-end bags, it still performs very well & is a great deal for the $. In warmer temps, I unzip it halfway & use it as a comforter.
I've been trying hard to justify upgrading to a Marmot Helium, but I just can't bring myself to part with my trusty Sawtooth. Good gear!

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on May 15, 2012

5 5

I replaced my Giro G10 with this helmet because the G10 earpads were horribly designed & would chafe on my ears while skiing. I finally scored a deal on the Scott & couldn't be happier! It's lightweight & extremely comfortable, it has a great padding system, a very easy-to-adjust fit adjustment wheel on the back, it ventilates pretty well, and it looks really smooth. The venting is adequate for resort skiing, but you may want something with bigger vents if you plan on skinning or hiking (or just take it off while humping for your vertical). The vents are super-easy to adjust - just push the entire top of the helmet back or forward. And it comes in 5 or 6 sizes so you'll get a much more streamlined/custom fit compared to helmets with M/L sizes.
Scott killed it with this helmet!

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on September 3, 2011

5 5

I've got last year's model. As with all Stoic outerwear, it's made for tall, slim guys like me. Close, athletic fit with very long sleeves & enough length to go a bit lower than my waist. I'm a lanky 6'5", 215 lbs & the XL fits like it was custom made for me. I can fit a lightweight fleece shirt underneath for really cold temps, but I haven't had to deal with that yet - the jacket is very warm for it's weight. Breathability is good. Depending upon your activity level & wind conditions, it's comfortable from about 50 degrees to around 15 degrees. It's got pit zips with mesh backing to keep snow out of your pits if you take a digger while surfing pow. (IMO, the jacket is a bit too short to use for skiing - it doesn't have a powder skirt like the Bombshell).
It's windproof & water resistant (good for dry Rockies snow, but I wouldn't wear it out in more than a light drizzle) and the soft fleece lining is warm & buttery! It's got pockets for all your gear & an excellent hood that cinches down very effectively to keep your dome warm in cold, blustery conditions - much warmer than a just beanie.
This has become my go-to piece of winter outerwear - I'm selling my Patagonia R4 jacket because this fits me better and is much more versatile.

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on July 4, 2011

4 5

Sugoi makes really well-designed clothing & these shorts are a great example. They're a perfect balance between tough/burly & cool/breathable. - tough enough to endure years of trail riding & light & airy enough for long days in the saddle. They fit a bit closer than some other brands like Fox, but they still offer excellent comfort & mobility. I'm kind of between sizes (36" waist w/ a big butt) - the Larges are just a bit snug & the XL is just too big on me. I wish the Larges had just a bit more room in them.
The detailing & overall quality of these shorts beats anything I've seen out of Zoic or Fox. The liner is really comfortable. I liked the integrated liner so much, I bought the same liner as a separate piece to wear under my non-padded mtb shorts. Give these shorts a shot - you'll be glad you did.

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on July 4, 2011

5 5

I finally found a MTB shoe that offers some grip when you're off the bike. I can't understand why shoe designers make the majority of off road shoes with friggin' plastic cleats! Zero traction on rocks & wet surfaces. The rubber soles on these offer great traction.
These shoes are an excellent fit for medium volume feet. They cinch down very effectively with the ratchet mechanism & have a pretty stiff sole. Since I've got narrow feet, I use a set of relatively thick Superfeet insoles in mine - very comfy on multi-hour rides. They also have rubber "armor" on the sides to ward off damage from high speed impacts w/ roots & rocks.
I tried on a whole bunch of mtb shoes to replace my trusty old Nikes, and these were the right choice for me. A great all-around trail riding shoe - comfy, burly enough to last awhile, pretty breathable & excellent traction! Get some!
I'm a size 13 & a Euro 48 fit just right.

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on February 5, 2011

4 5

For you guys in cooler locales, these are close to perfect for a trail/freeride short. The quality is superior to any Fox shorts I've tried; the construction and detailing are top notch. Beefy nylon outers w/ mesh lining (no chamois though - you can throw a padded liner underneath em for longer cross country rides). For hotter areas, these are just too thick & beefy, even with the thigh vents. Extremely comfortable shorts - I use 'em for casual wear the majority of the time. I really like the pockets - both are nice & deep, & the rear pockets have zippers so you won't ever lose your wallet if you rag-doll off a trail. They've got beefy velcro side waist adjusters and belt loops so you can cinch 'em down. I wear a 36-inch waist in pants and shorts - the XL's fit me perfectly. I'm really happy with the length, too - long enough to reach just past my kneecaps (I wear 36 inseam pants). The only issue I have is that the material is so thick at the top edge of the waist that it rubs the sides of my lil love handles a bit.
Did I mention how burly the fabric is? It's tough stuff.

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NickyG

NickyGwrote a review of on January 29, 2011

4 5

I normally don't wear cotton shorts for riding, other than running errands around town, so these fit the bill for everyday wear with the occasional short urban ride. For "real" riding, I prefer beefier nylon shorts w/ a nicer chamois. The liner & pad aren't all that impressive.
Lightweight cotton fabric for warmer summer temps, long enough to look pretty spiffy around town, and really comfy fit - not too tight & not too loose. If you can get these on sale, they're worth it for a light-duty casual/riding short. I normally wear a 36 inch waist, but always fit a 38 in Fox's sizing.

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