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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raines

Salt Lake City, UT

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on March 27, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

I bought this for my wife because she wanted to be able to carry stuff for the kids without looking like she was carrying stuff for the kids. In that regard, you can comfortably stash a few items for an afternoon out in a stylish package, which is exactly what she was looking for.

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on March 8, 2017

5 5

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

At only 6g heavier than an Ultegra 6800 pedal for half the MSRP, with the same adjustability, the iSSi road pedal positions itself well against the competition. I've used these only for a few rides, but I'm certainly impressed.

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on March 6, 2017

Spritely, yet predictable
5 5

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

I don’t do rim brakes. I also don’t do 25c tires, QR skewers, or climbing wheels. Sure, I know all those things have their place, but that place isn’t usually between the pavement and Aaron Raines. No, you’re more likely going to find thru-axles, 32c tires on mountain wheels, and The Devil’s own disc brakes underneath me. It’s always been my thought that these things lead to a smoother, more predictive ride that I can rely on day in and day out, regardless of road conditions. For the most part, this has remained true. How, then, did I feel so at home on the first ride out on the Bianchi Specialissima?

I attribute the majority of that at-home feeling to Bianchi’s Countervail technology. Unlike other vibration damping techniques—from elastomers to slabs of rubber bolted to the fork and seatstays—Countervail is a “viscoelastic carbon material with a unique fiber architecture.” This means that the very material and construction of the frame is designed with your smooth, efficient ride in mind. I don’t really know anything about fluid mechanics, but I do know that this technology contributed to a ride that seemed to soak up any pavement inconsistencies and absolutely stayed glued to the road. Don’t think that these supple traits take anything away from fact that this is a race bike born and bred to rip and shred. Countervail also increases the strength and stiffness of the bikes in which it’s used, delivering one of those it-shouldn’t-do-this-but-it-does experiences. The Specialissima will react to every watt of power with a spritely virility you’ve likely not encountered thus far.

As for the little things I don’t like to think about, mainly gears and stoppers, this build pulls out all the right stops in those departments. The consistently powerful braking performance we’ve come to expect from Shimano’s past Dura-Ace groups is carried over into the 9100 generation. Combined with the latest brake track from Enve on the svelte 2.2 wheelset, I never wanted for more power or modulation—even at my winter weight. Shifting? Again…Dura-Ace. Not much more to say there.

While not a “quiver killer,” by any means, the 2017 Bianchi Specialissima turns most roads into fresh, buttered blacktop. It’s the perfect rig for every fast ride, even outside of race day. Check my Instagram (@aaron_raines) for more photos and call or email to chat more about the bike!

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on February 6, 2017

5 5

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

So far, these have held up to everything my kids have thrown at them over the winter, which is saying something. It's nice that even the youngest kids can easily get these on and off. No complaints in the comfort department, either. Solid choice. Feel free to contact me about any gear for the kids in your life!

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on February 6, 2017

3 5

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

At this price point, I didn't expect the utmost quality the cycling industry has to offer. That said, I feel it fell short in quality of materials and construction. My wife, who would have used them had she kept them, felt the same way. She ended up choosing a different pair.

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on February 6, 2017

5 5

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

While it works well set up all winter at home, this vise is incredibly compact so it can come with you to events. Perfect to have in a gear bag, should you ever need to wax while you're out of town. Add to that the fact that it's sturdy and well-built. Feel free to contact me to nerd-out about more nordic stuff!

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on January 26, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Your little folks won't leave you alone until you eventually give in and let them come along. Why not make it easy? Whether you're trekking to the campsite, the fishing spot, or just the corner store to snag a RedBox dvd, they can have their own little adventure. Packing snacks and extra kid supplies is a breeze with the added storage. Don't hesitate to contact me for more comprehensive youth transportation solutions.

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on January 26, 2017

5 5

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

This is one of those items that really makes sense to have on hand if you spend any time in the backcountry. Trail running, mountain biking, back packing, and even rock climbing in remote areas. It's so small that you'll never notice it until you don't have it when you need it.

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on January 26, 2017

5 5

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

Tassels inevitably get pulled during recess and sled sessions, don't let them get away. Like everything from Patagonia, this is a well-built item that will last at least until your kid forgets it at school. Feel free to contact me to find the perfect items for the kids at araines@backcountry.com or 801.204.4556.

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Aaron Raines

Aaron Raineswrote a review of on January 26, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Weight: 25 lbs
Size Purchased: 24m

Most kids are pretty cute, but adding a tiny puffy coat is like getting a gold star in Mario Kart! The fold over hand flaps come to the rescue when your 2yo makes it outside with only one glove. Quickly hiding the ice cream stain from hitting that pothole on the way to grandma's is a snap since this jacket is reversible, and washing requirements are super simple when you get back home.

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