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Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotep's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Biking
Yoga
Skiing
Climbing

Cubby Hotep's Bio

I've lived near the mountains all of my life. Moved to Dallas, that lasted six months. I'm hard on gear, so if it lasts, it's pretty damned good. I also am super detail oriented and very analytical. This ultimately means I'm think a great product evaluator.

I mostly ride, and alpine ski. Might head into the backcountry a bit more, but front side activities seem to be just fine, for now.

Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on December 12, 2018

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

I love Castelli product. Styling gets 5 stars. Quality gets 4-5 stars. Sizing gets like 2-3 stars. Castelli is known for running small. The question is how small? One size too small, 2 sizes too small? Unknown.

I'm not a big guy. I wear the Gabba 2 in the spring and fall. Size XL. I'm 5'10, 165, 39 chest, 33 waist. With a tape measure, measured. Pretty average sized, actually. My weight varies maybe 5 lbs. Castelli notes a 41 inch chest for the XL Gabba 2. I wear a really thin layer under it. So sizing up two, It's form fitting and looks decent.

Sticking with my XL experience, these jerseys were way off for me, using the exact same underlayer. Chest was good, but the mid section was pretty baggy. The sleeves were at least 1.5 inches "on-the-bike" too long.

I buy Gore and PI stuff. Their sizing is always spot on. I buy a medium in PI and a large in Gore. They fit, every single time.

I will continue to buy Castelli product but the returns for retailers on inconsistent sizing must be a huge pain. Looking at the other reviews, it would seem a common issue.

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Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on September 26, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Large?

Back in the day, when we didnt have shifters, and wheels were made of stone, a small company made unpadded gloves out of Pittards leather. Like a good driving or worn in work glove, they were fantastic. I wish I would have known how good they were. Would have bought 100 pair. That company is still in business, much much bigger, but their use of Pittards brand leather in cycling gloves is long long gone.

So in my quest to find a decent pair of full finger gloves, I discovered these. Even better, I found them on sale, and decided to give them a shot. I've worn a single pair on every road ride for over 2 years, easy. No holes, stitching still really good.

Wear them a bunch before you wash them...and then air dry the first 4-5 times. The black dye will bleed a little at first, but thats a minor criticism in my opinion of what I consider the best cycling glove made.

They fit like a driving glove, and as I recall were made in 5-6 sizes, so get the right one.
I've found these are really good gloves. If you find them on sale, even better.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on May 15, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I just completed my first season on these skis and I'm really happy with how they performed.

I would say, I'm a good to advanced skier, who was looking for something with a mid-width waist, that could handle some hard charging and thrashing, especially when we get decent snow. These skis were able to take everything I could dish out. These skis were particularly great launching off the cat track at speed into pow. They were pretty confidence inspiring when taking off small rock pillows and dropping (2-6ft) into an area that was nice and soft. I knew these skis would land and track regardless of my speed.

I'm 5'10, 165. Been skiing a while. I don't geek out on technical details, but I do pay attention when I strap them on my feet. Do they feel good? Can I maneuver them? Are they heavy or do they feel so? Can I get them on edge? Can they handle a moderate bump field?

I'm not a finesse based or technically adept skier. I point them down and go like hell. These were great skis for exactly that. I could get them through big pillowy soft bumps when needed, but when it turned crusty these were not my favorite ski.

I feel like these skis were pretty damned stiff, which is why I think they destroy in mixed pow. Not first tracks? That's OK, these skis will still do just fine, and I was able to find some mixed runs that were not completely tracked out, where I had tons of fun.

Being as stiff as I think they are, for me, these are a very neutral demanding ski. Your weight needs to be fairly balanced in moderate terrain. The steeper it gets, the more (within reason) you can get on the nose of these skis. Be warned, these beasts will kick you back onto the tails you think you can get on the shovel. Perhaps if you're a heavier skier, you can, but I felt (165lbs) that I just allowed these skis to track where they wanted, and I just made slight course corrections.

These skis have a bit of a tail and as a result, I was able to do a bit of switch skiing on them this year. I wouldn't say I'm ready for the park pipe, but blasting down a run, swirling around backwards for a couple hundred feet, then swirling forwards again was serious fun.

Not sure of the durability of the top sheets, but as I mentioned above, I'm not a pretty skier. My goal is to ski by myself, and get as many runs as I can. When I'm done, I'm done.

These skis are a touch heavy (not horrible) and I matched them with some Pivot 14s to mitigate some of the weight. I was on 187s. I skied on some Armada TXTs (I couldn't get these skis on edge), the Carbon DPS 112 (Planky as hell) Rossy Soul 7s (they had no Soul) Fisher something or other (which were fast and edgey but really nothing else impressed me) and I think these were the best of the bunch for my type of skiing and our type of terrain.

I think if you know what you're looking for, a moderate pow ski that allows you to make some big turns and blast down the mountain, or if you'vegot some mad-skillz get these in the trees, and these Line SuperNaturals in the 108, should be something you consider.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on May 15, 2016

Great helmet, check sunglass fit
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been a Bell and Giro fan for years. Did a migration to a POC Trabec on the mountain bike. Thought I would give POC a try in the road space.

Got a pretty decent deal from BC, so I thought I would order one. Measured my head (as POC seems a bit funky with their sizing) and concluded, I'm right between sizes. Perfect.

My head is a 59cm, so ordered the Medium. Fits really well for my head shape. It's about 40 grams lighter than my old Giro too. Funny how I can feel the difference on my head.

The retention system works pretty well, similar to a lobelock or noodleratchet, or bunbuckle...whatever.

The ventilation is pretty good, but I don't live where it's particularly hot or humid, so not a big variable in my purchase decision. I also wear a headsweats brand skull cap, and this helmet worked well with it.

The eyegarage (two small plastic strips in two front helmet vents) allows you to place your sunglasses to the vents of your helmet. It actually works relatively well, and glasses stay put, but obviously, the sunglass temples need to actually touch the small plastic part inside the vent. Not sure all will, so try it with your own eyewear to be sure.

The helmet strap length isn't really adjustable and the side buckles don't really move up and down the straps. That didn't seem to impact the fit for me, just an observation.

On to the helmet straps...the only thing I didn't like was a lack of attention to design details for accommodating for sunglasses. If your glasses (mine are Oakley Jawbone) go outside the straps (as they should, boyz and gurlz) they won't really stay on your face, and with a bit of jaw movement the straps will somewhat dislodge your glasses. If you place your sun glasses inside the straps, and then tighten the ratchet, it pushes the earpieces into your head just above your ears. I think that is a really poor design.

For example, look at the design of other helmets. Their straps run through the helmet and exit close to your face, so your glasses can go on the outside of the straps. If you look at a POC helmet, the strap exits in the middle of the material. This creates a big gap. (I have indicated as such on the below pic.) So your sunglasses may not go on the outside, and may need to go inside your straps. So potentially, your will fit neither inside or outside particularly well. My Jawbones are OK, but not ideal.

POC glasses had to accommodate as their temple is stepped out. Great if you want POC glasses, but they are too "monobrow" for me.

Overall a good helmet, but be sure to give it a trial run with your selected eyewear. It wasn't a complete deal breaker for me, but that type of compatibility seems like an important detail that the product managers missed.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a question about on May 7, 2016

If I have a new set of Zipp wheels, but they are 11 speed Shimano/SRAM, can I replace the freehub to Campy 10 speed without redishing the wheel? Zipp site seems to indicate redishing is needed when going from 10 to 11, but what about the other way, Shimano 11 to Campy 10?

Update: A quick call to Zipp/SRAM (who were super helpful and responsive) confirmed the wheel will need a redish when going from 11 to 10.

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Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on April 13, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Pivot 14s. Put these on my bump skis.
57 hard ski days. Beat the hell outta them.

Got some new Supernatural 108 LINE skis. Moved these over.
52 hard ski days. Beat the hell outta them.

So two years later, I would say, my skiing is like my sex, poor, sloppy and fast. Oh and it usually involves a somersault or a face plant. These things have popped me loose every single time. Won't ski anything else. EVAR.

Would give them 5 stars if I had something other reference points. Demo skis had various bindings, none were particularly impressive, however those are demo bindings too.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 17, 2014

1 5

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

I'm gonna start my own cycling bootie company since half of what I buy is crap, or won't last a season. There are a great example. If you can get these to last more than 5 outings, I'm impressed.

- Fit was WAY too tight for it's labeled size.
- Zipper was terrible as it didn't allow adequate access
- Top cuff material when wet, felt like a dishrag on my canckle.

Not sure why one of the best wheel companies decided they needed to get into the clothing space, but if these booties are any indicator of their ability to execute on a clothing product line they need to try much much harder.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 17, 2014

4 5

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

I ordered 3 pairs of cycling shoe covers from the BC crew to compare and contrast, a set of Izumi's, a pair of Giordanas, and these from Louis Garneau.

My application is mostly winter time riding, either some gravel grinding in the spring/fall or groomed snow trails on a fat tire bike.

Interestingly enough, the most expensive (Pearl Izumi's) were filled with prima loft and were nice but not quite what I had hoped for. I wasn't crazy about their "power band" which was a strap under the toe. Seemed inadquate to me, especially for 100 bucks. The Giordana Nordic AV model was about the same price as these, but honestly was a mediocre shoe cover with limited insulation. The Garneau appeared the best of the bunch with a good dose of neoprene, and a heap of Velcro on the back side for synching up around your shoe/booties.

What I liked:
- Bottom side of the toe cover (Kevlar) actually covers your toe pretty well. Walking in these you MIGHT eventually wear through the material, but it's pretty burley.
- Zippers on cycling booties/shoe covers almost always seem to fail with regular use, or worse dig into the backside of your calf. These had heaps of super grippy Velcro on the backside to snug them up good.
- Under your arch Velcro strap. I liked this feature. Why in the hell don't more bootie companies do this?
- Nice height up your calf. These seemed to track quite a bit above a standard winter cycling shoe (I use a Sidi GTX) with a decent seal around the top.

These things are built so you can use them on the MTB, on the road, and as long as you don't need toe spike functionality, could probably work on a warm up of a cross race.

Through BC, these are only available in a large (probably a Men's 44-46) but so far they are pretty decent. You could spend more but I'm uncertain you're gonna get THAT much more in functionality.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 16, 2014

5 5

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

There are probably 20 different gaiters on the market. Of those probably half are wool or a wool blend. Of those I think this SmartWool gaiter is a great value.

It pulls up over my face/nose when the wind is howling and still keeps my neck covered. It also seems to hold its shape too. I have a 16.5 inch neck and its nice and snug, but not restrictive.

The material is a double knit (like a tube) so it's pretty heavy, and honestly it takes a little getting used to breathing through it when needed. Sitting on the chair lift, I pull this thing up to my eyeballs and wait for relief.

It's cozy, functional, good quality, and competitively priced. Give it a try.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 16, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Yep. Barney and I hang out together. We stop our cars via the hole in the floorboard. So it would seem perfect these boots are for us.

Ideally for someone who had a wide foot with a large bridge portion, and possibly high insteps. So, if you have a higher volume foot, you should consider a fitting with these boots.

Atomic went to a 3 buckle system, which I think simplifies the boot a bit. The buckles have good adjustability, so you can dial them in perfect.

The SIDAS liner seems good, and again based upon fit, works well.

The lock lever system works well, when I remember to actually use it. Basically these boots are supportive and comfy enough that I wear them to the hill, I wear them home. No silly unbuckling needed.

I've only got about 10-12 days in these boots (about 4-6 hours a day skiing) however I'm pretty happy so far.

Give these boots a try.

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Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 16, 2014

4 5

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

Echoing others impressions, these are a great pant. I usually prefer a bib, but these appear to work fine, and I don't really encounter any snow creeping into my drawers after a face plant. They "strap" into my powder bowl jacket, and with the 2 layer Gore Tex, appear like a pretty burley fabric.

The fit was pretty close (M and I'm a 32 waist) and the progressive fit seems like it's made for a big insulation layer (Down, DAS or Micropuff) should you need these to go over that. With that, even in teens and 20s, I just do a mid layer of wool.

The waist has 1-2 inches velcro adjustment each side, to take up some slack should you need it.

The right thigh pocket is perfect for a wallet, phone or something moderately flat. Back pocket and front pockets are fine, but I don't find I use them that often.

I accidently ran a ski edge across the front of the leg (in front of the reinforcement area of course) and put a 2 inch slice in one layer of the pant. Stealthy black duct tape will solve for a bit, but I better get them repaired, once the snow melts out. I guess Patagonia could run the reinforcement 150 or 180 degrees around the leg for a possible improvement?

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

4 5

At the prompting of my local ski shop I ran through a couple sets of skis trying to determine what my next set would be. I did demo skis for 3 full days and during that period skied on 6 different sets.

I'm a moderately aggressive skier with quite a bit of experience. I typically don't ski the groomed runs and will look for bumps or trees or deep backcountry pow.

When I got to the Dynastar Chams, I was really impressed. The 87 was fast and flicky. It carved well and I could bounce through bumps with relative ease.

I then went to the standard 97s. Loved these skis but could really feel the additional weight and bump skiing presented some challenges as the swing weight was clearly heavier. Get them on the groomers and they railed like a GS ski.....fast fast fast.

Next, I spent half a day on the standard 107s. The softer the snow the better they were, however your fore to aft balance better be dead on with these skis as you've really got to use the shovel to start the grab of the edge of the ski, and it does take a touch more work to get them on edge and carve around as they are 107 mm wide. As one would expect, kinda tough to work through a set of bumps, but I did try.

Lastly I went to the 97s but the HM version. It's nearly as light as the 87's (1800 vs. 1600 grams) but a bit wider for fluffy days but much lighter (1800 vs. 2300 grams) than the standard 97s. What a great all mountain ski! It busts the crud pretty well, it floats in the trees when needed, and I can power it down the bump runs with decent confidence and when it's fluffy I can float.

I mounted these up with Pivot 14s and the combo seems to be rock solid. Let's see what happens by the end of the year, but so far I'm digging these boards! If you can demo a set, go for it, you might these to be your next slidey sticks!

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

5 5

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

I have two Patagonia down sweaters, one full zip the other an anorak style. Both are wonderful. I was kinda skeptical that I could use (or really needed) another down pullover.

This thing is awesome. It's so light you hardly notice it's on your body. I wear it skiing, and it seems to keep its loft when its a touch wet. The collar zips up really well to help regulate body temp too.

No pockets or hoods or anything like that. It's basically a high tech version of your basic insulation layer, but when the wind was howling @ 20 mph and I'm on the lift buckled down, a wool layer, this shirt and a Patagonia shell keeps me comfy and warm.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

5 5

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

Good Lord, how many Patagonia jackets do I own (or have owned) I hate to really sit down and count, but this has got to be one of the best of the bunch.

The fit is dead on for me 5 10, 40 chest, 32 waist. The pockets are numerous and large enough to hold crap. The 2 layer GoreTex feels pretty tough and durable. Hood is huge and easily adjustable. Pow skirt has a couple snaps and doesn't pop when you yard sale your gear after biting a 360 landing.

Other really good features - The zipper pulls are good and easy to find with gloves. The pit zips are large and vent off heat after mogul runs. The wrist Velcro patches are large, synch down tight and stay in place.

Wear this jacket with a good wool layer, and maybe thin down (down undershirt is really nice, or Patagonia DAS/Nanopuff) and you've got a bomber set up.

The one issue I found is this jacket is supposed to integrate into Patagonia pants, and there are 3 small snapped straps on the inside of the jacket to accommodate, HOWEVER they are oriented vertically the same direction as the my Patagonia 2 layer GoreTex pants belt loops? Seems like a design flaw to me, or more likely I'm not as smart as the folks in Ventura.*

Regardless, it still gets 5 stars from me.

*EDIT: After a little more investigation the Patagonia pants have three small loops that the jacket snapped straps fit into. I'll try them out and report back.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

OK, lets get the price issue out of the way. Yea, these are stupid expensive in contrast with many other gloves on the market, however if you look for all the features in these gloves, you might find 2-3 comparable pairs.

Even though the medium would have been a better fit, I went with a large under the assumption I would wear a thin wool liner under these gloves. This has always worked well for me in other applications.

Good - Probably the best gloves in the market right now. Full use of waterproof Gore-Tex, ultra small seams of the removable liner glove, super form fitting goat leather, allowing really good dexterity. I also really like the wrist strap, the gauntlet functionality, and the fact they have leashes.

What could be better? - The back of the thumbs could have the critical nose wipe material. Nearly all cycling gloves have this feature and I've become accustomed to having that on ALL my gloves. Some mountaineering and skiing gloves also have this. These don't. Secondly, the wrist leash "keeper" is crap. The strap is OK but the keeper is a silly button you slide to your arm. How effective is it? Not. For 300 bucks I would expect a 2 cent, standard barrel cord lock on the keeper strap.

My finger tips usually get cold, hence my use of an additional super thin liner in these gloves and sizing one size bigger, so I can ball up my hands to make a fist inside the glove. That has worked really well. These gloves are good, but they are not as warm as a mitten.

I've skied in these every day for a couple of weeks in pretty blustery weather in the 20s and teens. They seem really good. Let's see how they are @ the end of the season.

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Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

2 5

Giordana makes high quality cycling gear, and sizing was spot on for my cycling shoes, however the labeling of "Nordic" seemed to give this product much more credit that it deserves. These were really ONLY shoe covers, and really lacked sufficient insulation for anything that might be considered adverse or inclement weather.

Additionally, I am not a fan of zippers in the back of cycling booties as nine times outta 10 the zipper blows out and doesn't last longer than a single season.

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Cubby Hotep

Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

The shell is flexible, the foam insert feels super sturdy. Sizing was a bit odd as I wear a large in most helmets (60.5 cm head) and the medium fit perfect, however I couldn't get this helmet go work with my Oakley Canopy goggles as the helmet brim pushed the goggles down my face.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

4 5

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

This item was on a discount from BC, in my size, so I decided to give it a shot.

First off, orange, orange, orange! It screams CAN YOU SEE ME! I dug it. As a French made (hello Alps?) 3 layer GoreTex one piece, I can't imagine a more robust piece of gear. Millet is mostly a climbing gear company, and their items are usually really good quality. However as with a Euro company sizing can be a touch off and this piece for me, was exactly that.

I am 5 10, 165 lbs (40 chest, 32 waist) I ordered a Mens M, and according to the size chart was almost exactly right. I even went to the Millet website and converted their CM sizes to inches (they make 5 sizes of this suit) to be sure it was right. When I tried it on, arms were about 2 inches too long, torso was about 3 inches too long.

I was disappointed this didn't fit as the product appeared bomber. I'm giving it 4 stars.

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Cubby Hotepwrote a review of on January 15, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
Fit: True to size

I hoped this would be an awesome base layer for cold skiing/cycling days. The thumb holes and integrated hood seemed functionality perfecto. The product weight indicated this thing was burley and heavy duty.

Once it arrived, construction and materials seemed pretty good to me. Unlike the previous reviewer, I'm a standard medium. 32 inch waist, 40 chest. This HyFi article was a perfect fit as an additional "jacket" type layer but a touch too big as an insulation layer. I couldn't fit this under a cycling jersey or as an intermediate layer before some down and a ski jacket. As a jacket this thing would have been pretty decent, but again, as a base layer it wasn't what I expected.

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