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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemus

West Coast/East Coast and in between

Chris McDemus's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Yoga
Paddling
Skiing
Climbing
Surfing

Chris McDemus's Bio

I spend my days as a venture capital and startup lawyer in the Philadelphia area. I've spent my entire career of 18 years helping technology companies form, launch, scale, grow and exit. I spend the rest of my time with my family and in the outdoors.

I am a triathlete that loves to run and cycle and do his best to survive the swim portion. I enjoy road and trail running, as well as road cycling. I've been skiing for about 40 years now - a mix of in-bounds, sidecountry and backcountry. I love to hike and spend a week every August exploring Mount Washington in New Hampshire and it's hut system. Spent my youth surfing the east coast and most recently fell in love with paddleboarding. I feel most at home high in the mountains or on the beach.

Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on October 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought this shirt on a whim, online. So I had no hopes of it fitting right. In the end, it's been perfect. It's lightweight. Provides plenty of room in the areas that I need it. I am a short guy but very broad in the shoulders. XL fits perfect for me. They wash well so far and they have a nice cut to them so they don't look boxy or anything. I ended up buying two more in different colors.

I specifically bought them for a trip to Hawaii and I am happy to say that the shirts kept me very cool and didn't make me sweat my ass off. It's a good, hot weather shirt to be walking around town in.

Very happy with this product.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on October 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For a number of years I was using the Patagonia Fitz sneaker as a casual sneaker around town. I was tired of relegating my old running shoes to the casual shoe category. I wanted something dedicated to just being my around the town sneaker. I am really liking the Scarpa Cosmo.

As you would expect with the Scrapa brand, the outside of the shoe looks more like an "approach" shoe. The toe section is reinforced and the shoe material is tough (it's not mesh like a running sneaker - which I also think leads to it breathing a little less). The tread is rubbery, grippy and comfortable.

I've really enjoyed the sneaker so far. It does feel like it has more structure to it than the old Patagonia Fitz, and I like that. But not as much structure as running sneaker or anything like that. I've worn these for very long days and my feet haven't tired or hurt or anything.

Highly recommend!

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on October 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

It's probably been over 10 years since I've upgraded my bike computer. For the past 10 years I've been riding with a Garmin Edge 705. (Disclaimer: I am a Garmin fiend. I've rarely tried other brands for GPS and I have multiple products from them). The Edge 705 performed like a champ but only recently started showing signs of slowing up on me. So I pulled the trigger and bought the new 1030. I have to say, I am very happy with it so far.

First off, I really like that you can put something like 10 data screens on a single page. I am not a huge fan of swiping left or right to get to another data screen while I am riding. I can get all my data on one screen for the entire ride. Second, I love how bright and colorful the new screen is, and how big it is as well. Much easier to read while riding. Third, Garmin is really upping its game with all the new products with their compatibility with Training Peaks and Strava as well as tracking power meters, thresholds and training recovery periods.

I have had a few problems with the phone disconnecting from its pairing with my phone such that after a ride it doesn't just automatically download my ride. I've had to re-pair the 1030 a number of times. I am thinking though that this is more likely due to some IOS upgrades on my iPhone.

Would highly recommend this bike computer if you are logging heavy miles each week and like to have the latest bells and whistles.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on October 8, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For probably 8+ years now I've been running exclusively in Pearl Izumi Infinity shorts. I honestly loved them so much, I bought and hoarded them like Elaine bought and hoarded sponges on Seinfeld. But, Pearl Izumi has moved on with new styles and frankly that doesn't always mean "better" to me. So I set out to explore the possibilities. I have tried several shorts now from Pearl Izumi, Hoka and Patagonia.

Here's what I really like about the Patagonia Strider. It provides a nice tight but not-so-tight fit. I like all my goods to stay in the same place. But I don't want to be choked either. Patagonia Strider won that battle against the other brands. I really like the 5 in inseam, but some shorts with 5 in inseams seem to look a hell of a lot short than that. Patagonia was right where I expected it to be. Lastly, I have muscular legs and I really want to know that the shorts give me lots of room to move in all directions - especially when trial running. Again, the Patagonia Strider took the trophy.

I have not yet tried the pockets. They are deeper than I expected, but I am cautious about the unclosable opening. I tend not to like to carry much in the pockets of my running shorts other than possibly a car key (the Strider does have the small zipper pocket on the back like most shorts do).

Two thumbs up!

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on January 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have a quiver of helmets that I use for road riding - both triathlon training as well as competitions. If I am on my road bike, and not on my tri bike, then I am using my Kask Vertigo (mine flies the Italian colors). Overall, I really like the helmet. If you could try on road cycling helmets before purchasing, this is one you'd want to try on. Problem is, you don't find many Kask helmets in shops. You mostly find them online. So trying this one on really isn't an option.

Why do I raise the issue about trying on this helmet? You are going to see in many comments that most people focus on the retention system in the back of the helmet. This retention system is a set of sticky pads that sit on a skeletal framework that grip the back, lower portion of your skull. Once you have the pads properly positioned, you then twist the knob to cinch it down. If you've got a big noggin like me, getting the sticky pads over the back of your head can be difficult. If you wear a headband under your helmet, then you are going to have even more of an issue getting these pads in the right spot. But if you can get it on, I've found the fit to be terrific. Honestly, I love the helmet and it is terrificly ventilated for hot, summer riding.

Overall, I really liked the purchase.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on January 1, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'll admit, the Giro Air Attack Shield is not my only helmet. I also have a Kask Vertigo and a Rudy Project Wing 57. I use my helmets for both triathlon training as well as triathlon competitions. The Giro Air Attack Shield claims to have great aerodynamics, but so does the Wing 57. The Giro Air Attack Shield, however, is great for very hot weather. Too have great aerodynamics, but also have great ventilation is quite an accomplishment. I've used the Air Attack in triathlons when the weather was incredibly hot, and I never felt like I was over-heating (all while using a helmet with great aerodynamics). I also really like how you can flip the shield upside down and get it out of the way while riding if you decide you no longer want to use the shield. The shield attaches to the front of the helmet using magnets. Most helmets with shields have no mechanism for moving the shield while riding, without removing it completely and stashing it somewhere on your person. So the design of the shield is great.

One downside of the helmet is the the mechanism in the back used to cinch the helmet onto your head. It's a very small, serrated dial and, to be honest, it's hard to operate particularly during a competition.

In the end, you can't go wrong with this helmet.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on January 1, 2015

4 5

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

I've been using the Garmin 910XT for the past three years. It's been through multiple Sprint and Olympic Triathlon competitions, numerous 5k, 10k and half marathon races, and probably a few thousand miles of training. I've been using Garmin products now since the original Forerunner 305. I've been through the 305 and the 610 products. The 305 had its obvious faults, mostly based on early technology and design limitations. The 610 was an improvement but I found the user interface (the touchscreen) difficult to use (particularly during races).

The 910XT is a huge improvement over the 305 and the 610. The design is slimmer than the 305 because the GPS technology improved over the years. The 910XT ditched the touchscreen and went back to buttons, which I thought was a smart design decision. What I really liked was the ability of the 910XT to go into the water. Amazingly, the 305 and 610 could not be used during swimming.

So the 910XT was really designed for triathletes. In addition to being able to get very wet, the 910XT has built-in transition tracking capabilities. Plus, if you do Aquabike or Duathlon categories, you can tweak the racing setup so that it tracks exactly for that competition with built-in transition tracking.

I've also used this watch for hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire and so I've really tested the battery life. I've found the watch to have decent battery life - they 20 hour predicted battery life is an accurate estimate.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on January 1, 2015

Simply - "Great Goggles"
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've gone through a lot of goggles over the past 40 years of skiing. And the technology and design have changed immensely during that period. Over the past five years, I played around with Turbo Fan goggles (at least a few years ago, they were still a terrible fit with helmets), many styles of Oakley goggles. I've always had a terrible time with fogging. The Turbo Fan really helped but didn't work great with a helmet. The Oakley goggles fogged a lot with me, no matter how much I spent on design. I also found that the Oakley goggles did not marry well with my helmet choices at the time. I spent a small fortune on a variety of Oakley lenses but struggled every time when I had to swap them out.

These Smith goggles have really solved all my problems. The I/O lenses are so easy to swap out you have to ask yourself why no one came up with this design before. I've had zero - zero - problems with fogging. This is even more impressive to me given how seamlessly these goggles fit with my Smith Vantage helmet.

A great purchase!

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on January 1, 2015

Very Happy Customer
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've gone through a number of different helmet manufacturers over the years - Leedom, Giro, to name a few. My biggest gripe has been ventilation and helmet/goggle fit. I have really found my perfect match with the Smith Vantage. I've paired it with a set of Smith Optics I/O and the goggle and helmet now fit seamlessly together. Another feature I really liked is that the helmet has a number of settings for ventilation. I can open front and back vents separately, and I can open the vents at various positions. Smith nailed the ventilation aspects with this helmet and they nailed the helmet/goggle fit. I wasn't sure I was going to like the brim, but it actually adds to the helmet/goggle fit.

The helmet is super comfortable. I skied today in 20 degree weather before wind chill and it kept me very warm. I've found that the cinching system in the back of some helmets (near the neck) tend to be bulky and dig into my neck when I look up. Smith did a great job designing the size and position of their cinching mechanism. No problems at all.

Definitely a great purchase.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on June 17, 2014

4 5

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

These were the first Tri shoes I bought and they do the job, but I am sure there are better ones out there. If you don't know what you want in a Tri shoe but you are looking for something decent that you can wear barefoot and that is lightweight and decently drains - then it's a good shoe. I would imagine higher end shoes have a more contoured fit. I am a size 10 with a double EE width. I bought my typical euro size 43 but felt they were a little small which I chalk up to the width issue. All that said, I used them about 20 times now and they work well enough that I'll wear them out to the end.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on June 17, 2014

5 5

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

This shirt and other ExOfficio shirts have become my go-to warm weather travel shirts. They are classier than t-shirts. If they have a pattern they don't show sweat. They generally have vents built into the back that are perfectly camouflaged. They have a nice regular fit, not too athletic but also not boxy. Very lightweight.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on June 17, 2014

5 5

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

Someone bought me these as a present knowing I am a huge ExOfficio fan. These boxers are unlike any other pair I own. If you aren't hiking then cotton boxers are still the best, but these boxers will change your mind and have you wearing synthetics all day long. These are worth a try if you are looking to upgrade.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on June 17, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have a road bike and a Tri bike. For years I've been just repurposing my mountain biking shoes for road shoes, which means all my bikes (road included) had SPD pedals. I was starting to feel like the SPD was too small of a platform for long road rides. Someone recommended the Look Keo Carbon pedals and I bought a single pair first. I really liked them. Honestly, it's been a shift trying to adjust to clipping into these pedals, but once you get it down it's second nature. Definitely a better platform for a road bike setup.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on June 10, 2014

5 5

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

As I've mentioned in some of my other reviews, I am built like a rugby player turned triathlete. Plus I am short. Most tri shorts (or any shorts for that matter) tend to have really long inseams. I like these shorts for their 6" inseam. It's a perfect length for me for swimming, then hopping on the bike then running. The shorts have a compression feel to them, fit really well and stay in place. The have a handy little mesh pocket on both hips that could hold a GU or two. I've notice when I fall in love with certain gear, the manufacturers end up changing something so I actually just bought two more pairs of these while they are still around.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on June 10, 2014

5 5

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

I guess I am just adding to a perfect review line up here, but I have to make my case. First off, I am a short, stocky guy (imagine rugby player build). Suffice to say, I am not a fan of the long shorts movement. I like short with a 7" inseam. I first bought the standup shorts in a 5" inseam but it's really too short. The 7" is perfect. The shorts feel like they could take a direct grenade hit. The material is really sturdy. Also, love love love the pockets. All pockets two main front, two main rear (with a separate wallet pocket) are deep (like to the bottom of the shorts). I've bought like 8 pairs of these shorts in different colors and basically thrown out all of my other shorts.

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on March 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've tried lots of saddles for my go-to road bike. None have been as comfortable as this saddle for everyday riding. Granted, my buns are probably slightly bigger than the average biker (I'm built more like a rugby player), so the curve and the wide of the saddle are just awesome. There are so many saddles out there, and so many styles that it's really hard to choose. I lucked out to find a local shop that let people use loaner saddles for a week. That really helped me find the right fit without wasting tons of money. I went with the braided carbon just because I thought it would give me some extra strength given my rugby buns!

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Chris McDemus

Chris McDemuswrote a review of on March 23, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Lots of negative reviews of this product, but I have to say, it's worked well for me so far. I would agree that the plastic insert that attaches the bag to the saddle is designed in a way that could easily snap if pulled on in the wrong direction once inserted into the saddle. But so far so good. I do like how easily it attaches to the saddle - literally snap and click. I've bought the small bag and the next size up. Like all good products, maybe Version 2 of this will solve the problem for everyone.

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