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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzer

Sacramento, CA.

Greg Balzer's Passions

Biking

Greg Balzer's Bio

I love to bike and take stupid selfies. What more can I say?

Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on March 15, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I purchased these wheels to replace a pair of 2012 Mavic Ksyrium Elite clinchers installed on my 2008 Cannondale Synapse SL3. This is my daily commuter, about 10 miles daily, and I wanted something softer riding my previous Specialized Armadillo tires, yet also as puncture-proof. Long story short - the bike feels wonderful - the wheels and included UST tires are roughly 1 pound lighter - and the ride with the 25c wide tires is pretty plush. Longevity is a mixed bag - however - and that is why I knocked off one star. The second week I rode on these tires I flatted the rear with a slice so wide that it wouldn't seal. I replaced the tire with an identical one from Mavic, and after five weeks of riding, I have yet to flat again.

The wheels are light, yet strong. The feel at least as reliable as my previous set - if not even more so. The spokes are beefy, I'm not sensing any flex in riding, and they look great.

Mavic has nailed tubeless - the tires fit the rims like a glove. I was able to mount them without any tools, and the tires seated instantly with a common floor pump. The sealant is a bit of a PITA, but it wasn't awful to take care of - and the extra insurance against flats is probably worth it. As others have noted - it's not uncommon to lose 5-10 psi overnight - there may be tricks to get the tires to seal better - but generally I inflate to 80 psi in the morning and then reinflate two days later.

If the tires were a bit more indestructible this would be a 5-star review. I imagine that over time Mavic/Hutchinson will tweak the tires a bit more to improve reliability - but overall I am very satisfied with the tire and wheel package for commuting and weekend rides.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on February 4, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I probably could replace the brake pads on my car for less money, but these puppies really do a great job at slowing your bike down, even in the wet. I can't speak to their longevity, but if you want a set of brake pads that feel great, no matter what the weather, I can't recommend any other make and model than this.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on February 4, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I commute to work in Northern California, and I leave Toe Thinigys on my shoes all Winter. If it's really raining, I just place the full shoe covers over the toe thingys. These covers keep my feet warm down to about 35 degrees. Below that, you will need more protection.
These covers simply work, and they are inexpensive enough that when they wear through at the tip due to walking, buying another pair won't cause you much pain. I've had mine two seasons, and they are just about ready to be replaced.
$20 is a reasonable price for two winters of warm toes.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on January 22, 2018

5 5

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

No matter how cold it is when I start out, I always am too warm after about 10 minutes of riding. This long-sleeve base layer features a zipper that really helps solve this problem. With my other base layers, I unzip the outer layer yet still sweat due to the warmth. With this puppy, you just unzip the top like a jersey and you are cool as a cucumber once again. This is my favorite base layer out of the four that I own. If you need help cooling when it is cold out, pick this base-layer up.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on January 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Great commuter gloves for temperate climates. I commute year-round in Northern California and these gloves are my Winter favorites. They are thick enough to keep my fingers warm down to about 30 degrees F, and they even keep my fingers dry in light rainstorms. The striped pattern on the fingers helps signaling, and they are long enough to mate well with most jackets. Sure they are a bit pricey, but the materials and build quality trump the cost. A solid pair of gloves.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on January 22, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small

I'm a year-round commuter in Northern California. Most mornings I wear a Castelli long sleeve base layer topped with a Perfetto or Gabba long sleeve jersey. This works most days - wet or dry, morning or evening. When the temperatures drop closer to 30 degrees in the morning, I combine the long sleeve zippered base layer with this Mortirolo jacket. The fleece lining feels great on cold mornings, and the extra thickness of the jacket is just right for colder mornings. As I warm up, I open the chest zipper vents for extra cooling.
This is a great commuter jacket - the extra reflectivity really helps on Winter evenings. Like most reflective coatings, however, they rub off with wear - so it is best not to use this jacket with a backpack. I am just beginning to show wear on the reflective surface after two seasons so it is not fragile, but you will see scuffing with a backpack.
A great jacket at full price. A steal when on sale. This jacket forms the core part of my commuter kit.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on January 20, 2018

4 5

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

Great shoes. Fit like a glove - the fabric totally wraps around your feet. If you break the laces, you can get replacements from CC. Can't beat this price either.
On the negative side - the reflective coating on the toes scratches off if you don't put your foot flat when you stop at traffic lights. And if you commute in these shoes, you are going to go crazy with the extra time it takes to get these shoes on and off. I'm switching back to a Boa fastening system because I use these shoes to commute, and while comfortable, I probably spend an extra 10 minutes a day lacing these puppy's up

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on January 22, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Like a child's security blanket, I take this vest along on most of my trips where I feel a little insecure. Carrying this vest on a commute provides cheap insurance against wind, light rain, and temperatures lower than 65 degrees. When it's windy, cold, or drizzling, this vest provides the additional protection necessary to ward off the commuting blues. If the weather warms up, this vest is light, and easily stuffed in a pocket or pannier - or leave it unzipped to cool off and continue the ride.

For most Fall and Spring rides in California, a long or short sleeve jersey and this vest are all you need to wear up on top. For California Winter rides, a long sleeve base layer, Gabba long sleeve, and the Perfetto vest suffice 80% of the time.

I wear a Medium Castelli jersey, and purchased the Perfetto vest in Large to allow for extra layers underneath, and a little extra length when layering. I purchased the previous generation of this vest ( 9 months ago) so take all this with sizing information with a grain of salt.

If you are a cycle commuter, particularly a California commuter, you can't go wrong with this vest.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on January 21, 2017

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

The other reviews highlight well the strengths and challenges of these bibs. Worth repeating is that the chamois in the seat and the brushed layer inside the legs makes these bib tights very comfortable to wear. The reflective covering on the lower legs provides extra confidence on dark rainy bad traffic nights, and is easy to wipe clean of mud and leaf particles. The extra wind protection of the "pro" version proved to be adequate for a 5 mile commute home in mid 40 degree temps with wind gusts of up to 50 mph. Combined with a LS Gabba 2, these bib tights are a great fit for those dark and stormy nights.

Sizing is a bit of a challenge, here is what I noticed. My Free Aero Race shorts fit great (comfortable compression) in a medium. Same with my jerseys. I ordered both medium and large nano flex pro tights. I could (eventually) put on the medium size, but getting them over my calves was difficult, and I couldn't fully close the zippers over my ankles. What is odd is that everything else fit fine on the medium version. The large was just slightly larger than the medium, and was fine in the calves and ankles. Take-away: The determining factor for fit in these tights is most likely to be.... the size of your ankles and calves. I second the idea (expressed below) of ordering two sizes and returning the one that does not fit.

Finally, if you are a fan of Spiderman or Superman, take note of the fact that my wife suggested (in jest) that the reflective covers on the calves make one look like a superhero in these tights. I just can't unsee that image any longer.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on January 17, 2017

3 5

Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 158 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

I really, really like the Castelli short sleeve T-Shirt. Those are thick, heavy duty. I assumed the long-sleeved version would be as thick because it was intended for cooler weather, right? Nope. I purchased both the red and black versions, and they are as lightweight as a T-Shirt from Target. The weathered look is unique, but I expected something warmer for the cool weather.
Sizing runs typical to Castelli. I wear a Medium Castelli jersey, and the Medium T-Shirt fits just a bit looser than the jersey. If you have other Castelli kit, you should be able to order your typical size,

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on August 13, 2016

5 5

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

I purchased the Black version in Medium. It is just a good looking T-Shirt. It fits snug like a Castelli jersey, so you might want to size-up, but I wear a Medium jersey and the medium shirt fits just fine, if a bit snug.
The fabric is thicker than most t shirts, but I see that as a plus. It's just a good looking, comfortable shirt. I'll get a few more if they go on sale again. Recommended.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on August 13, 2016

4 5

Fit: Runs large

Well, they are just socks, but they fit tight, and have enough texture to avoid your shoes slipping around. I like these so much that I wear them with my jeans and white tennis shoes. They just feel right.

They run large. I wear size 9.5 (43) shoes and I went with the small socks. The heel cap is in just the right place. I think that medium would have been too large. I am amazed that ANYTHING Castelli fits large - but there you go. Anyway - buy a few pairs, they are one of the most inexpensive Castelli kit pieces.

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Greg Balzer

Greg Balzerwrote a review of on April 23, 2016

5 5

Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Yeah, it's probably a bit silly to sport a jersey for a 25 minute commute, but if it makes me feel faster, what's the harm? I recently switched to a Castelli kit, formerly wearing Perl Izumi gear. I selected this jersey because it was labeled as a training jersey - a race cut jersey seems over the top for a work commute. While fitting tighter than my lower end Perl gear, this jersey feels super. The fabric stretches easily, and nothing feels as if it is binding up when I ride. The fabric also dries out quickly. I wore it through a decent rain storm yesterday, and it had dried out by the end of the work day - even in an enclosed locker room. The full zip feature is great - both for ventilation on the road, as well as getting this thing both on and off without stressing the fabric. Looks like Castelli has found another customer.

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