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John S.

John S.

John S.

John S.wrote a review of on January 17, 2020

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought one of these a year ago. I started to pay attention to tire pressure and I couldn’t seem to get it right. Then I got this thing and started comparing the differences in tire pressure reported by the gauges on my various pumps. Well, they varied by 10psi. 10psi in a 30mm tire is a HUGE difference and made all the difference in ride quality. Now I can repeatable and accurately control tire inflation.

As far as build, this thing will probably outlast you. And if it doesn’t, it’s completely rebuildable. The chuck is the best in the business, bar none - nothing comes close.

So I’d take the hit in the wallet and then get this thing. You be glad you did, for years. Quality tools make a difference.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on January 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love these tires. I don't know how else to say it. I've been riding them for two seasons now, through a couple of sets of them, in everything from pure road riding, light touring, gravel, gravel that ought to really be mountain biking etc.. They really are amazing, the ride is plush, and they are fast.

Initially, I tried these on a pair of non tubeless rims. I put in tubes and road them. They felt like truck tires. Then I got them set up on a new pair of tubeless read HED Belgium rims and they had a ride and suppleness that is comparable to the tubulars I ride the rest of the time but with a far more plush ride. The weight is surprisingly close to the tubulars when run tubeless. Imagine my surprise when my average times with a 30c tire were very close to the times with 25c tires, not as fast, but very close. These are fast tires with light rolling resistance.

This last summer we did a bike tour in Norway that included riding a big part of the Rallarvegen trail through the mountains. To say this was "gravel riding" would be the understatement of the year. In the 30 miles, about 20 miles of it was through flinty rock gardens. No flats, and they held up. This was with light panniers (clothes etc... no camping gear) on top of it. And I'm a big guy. So these tires are tough. Not a mark on them.

I put these on a cyclocross frame that I have that had typically been too stiff to ride comfortably for more than about an hour. The plush ride these tires provides turned this bike into a favorite for road riding, for exploring and for light touring. It's an all day ride.

As others have said, these are not the tires that are going to last untold miles. They won't last as long as other tires but they kill them with a great ride and performance. It's a tradeoff that works very well in favor of the Schwalbe tires. They'll put a smile on your face and you will be amazed. Highly recommended.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on August 12, 2018

5 5

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

I’ve been riding them all year and they are holding up just fine. I like the padding - it works and it’s not bulky. I like the ventilation. I’ve worn them for 10 hours at a time in the saddle on gravel rides and they’re fine. Maybe I got an exceptional pair or something but they are outlasting most other gloves I’ve owned. I usually make it until mid summer before they fall apart. These have beat that substantially. So, they’re on sale and I’m buying another pair!

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on November 14, 2017

4 5

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

I don't have a large head, but most under helmet hats are too small. The one fits me well and - finally - I found a hat that covers my ears. Big kudos for the breathability of this hat too. Most hats get me sweaty, this one doesn't and it also stops the ice cream headache from my helmet the funnels air in over my forehead (a very good thing when it's hot out, but sucks when it's cold).

Only 4 stars since, while it's still the best hat out there, it's too expensive and it still isn't perfect. Color choices in black might be a good step. And get rid of those goofy loops for glasses. It just makes it harder to get your glasses on when you have hat and helmet in place.

I have a 56cm head circumference and I had to use the large size ( II in Assos sizing).

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on November 12, 2017

5 5

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

I bought these looking for a shoe that would be good for touring and had better walking characteristics that my top line carbon soled mtb shoes. While I bought these for touring, they are a surprisingly capable shoe for general riding and MTB usage. I’m kinda seeing these as my primary go-to mtb shoe.

I walked about a mile in these nonstop to see how they would do. They were fine. These could easily be the single pair of shoes I’d take when touring (we tour high speed and lightweight). That said, I’ve ridden these on my road bike after changing pedals and hammering on them to see how the shanks and sole hold up for road riding - they were just fine! So again, a surprisingly capable shoe if not just a touch heavy given it’s (necessary) vibram sole.

The sole is a grippy vibram sole with plenty of room for an SPD style cleat. I use Speedplay Syzr pedals which need every last millimeter of width on most shoes. They worked fine on these shoes. The sole is built in such a way to help guide the cleat engagement and it works great. As well, the tread around the cleat is slightly deeper than with standard mtb shoes so you don’t get the crispy sound when you walk on pavement and there is grit on it - which also chews up your cleats. That’s a pet peeve of mine and I’m glad Giro fixed the problem.

I wear a 10.5 to maybe an 11 in some shoes. Width runs a hair wider than D (call it D plus). I bought these in a 44.5 and they fit perfectly. I’m pretty sure from what I’ve read that the standard non HV shoe runs to a C width or for very low volume somewhat wider feet.

The insoles that Giro supplies are just a hair better thant the garbage that most shoe suppliers provide. Plan on getting better insoles (as you should as practically a rule with any cycling shoe). That done, I’m very happy with these shoes. Giro did a nice job on these and kind of nailed the hike-a-bike mtb and touring market with these kicks. A very solid and capable shoe that you can actually walk in.

I didn’t want to like these since I’m pretty much a Sidi fan-boy. But the shoe is a compelling rendering and Giro did a great job. If you read the reviews web wide you find nothing but glowing reviews. I find them to be accurate and I find this shoe to be impressive.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on August 13, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Multi fuel is a great deal if you're traveling in most countries. Most of the liquid fuels have a higher btu per volume than goes gas cylinders and no wateful cylinder to throw away. The Optimus is a great stove and you don't need to be fiddling with jets to adapt to a new fuel.

Good stove that will last a lifetime.

It's a little harsh to nail it down to one star because of a 0.1l difference in fuel bottle size.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on October 4, 2016

5 5

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

I liked these so much, I have several pairs. The gel is thin, thinner than many other gloves I've used, but at the same time it is extremely effective. These gloves fit without being bulky, they pad and reduce vibration without losing the feeling of the bars.

Order your normal Castelli size.

Highly recommend these.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on July 3, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: 44.5

I struggle with shoe fit whether it's cycling or street shoe. It's always a problem for me. These shoes are amazing because you can get them to fit like a glove with the boa system that Sidi has created. Between the closure system and the heel adjustment, you should be able to make these shoes fit perfectly (provided you don't have mega wide feet). Because the boa system works so well, I find that I can tighten the shoes down less than with other systems but yet get a fit where there is (comfortably) zero movement of my foot in the shoe.

This last is, I think, slightly wider than Sidi's previous normal last. I wear a either a 10.5 or an 11 depending on the shoe, but for Sidi I wear a 44.5 and it fits perfectly even though Competitive Cyclist's chart says that would match up to a 10. In all the Sidi shoes I've worn before, the regular fit has been too narrow and I've gone to the Megas to get fit properly. In this shoe, that's not necessary. My normal width in shoes is regular to slightly wide (again depending on the shoe).

The uppers are not supposed to stretch, and I don't think they do, but they will conform to your feet. So when trying these on, put them on for an hour or so.

I like these so much, I have both the road and mtb version and find the fit to be equivalent between them.

I have about 5000 miles on these shoes. I have them mounted to Speedplay cleats and it all seems to work very well.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on March 31, 2016

5 5

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

The range is correct - 40 to 60F for most people. I'd take them from 35F-60F. They are warm and windproof and not bulky. Also - best yet - they do a great job of wicking sweat away. Great dexterity too. Buy your normal Castelli size. Brilliant product.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on December 19, 2015

5 5

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

Most hats are too warm for me even down into the 20's I eventually sweat. This hat, especially in the range of 50-35 is perfect. It's largely wind proof, does not inhibit moisture transfer and fits easily under a helmet. Highly recommended.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on December 19, 2015

3 5

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

This is an outstanding idea and it works really - REALLY - well. The problem is the sizing. I'm not built like a TdF rider (little guy), I'm a pretty typical American male - 5'11". The piece that goes around the neck is too tight and needs a wider range of adjustment. The piece that covers your chest needs to go down to your navel and go wider than the center of your chest. Castelli needs to make this in two sizes.

Other than that, this is featherlight weight and it's a breathable wind block. I'd estimate that it adds 10F warmth to your torso without blocking moisture transfer. Great idea but make it bigger.

If you're a little guy or a woman, this probably fits well.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on December 8, 2015

4 5

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

I live in Minnesota so there is no shortage of cool to cold weather in which to ride. I typically ride from late March to early Decemember - basically from when there is no ice on the roads in the spring until the ground freezes for winter. When it freezes, I go to the fatbike with studs.

I use these bibs in the temp range that they are specified by Castelli (see their website) and find them to be accurate during daylight. The best part of these tights is that they really work for a very, very wide temperature range - more than any other tights I have ever owned. They wick and breathe well but they are also pretty wind proof.

A couple of weekends ago, I used them for an all day ride that went from 28F to 46F all in the same day. Amazingly enough, at no time was I cold, at no time was I damp from sweating and at no time was I too hot. That is an incredible accomplishment for a winter/cool weather piece of cycling clothing.

I would prefer that the straps, front/back were more consistent with Casetelli's other bibs and tights but it's not really a big issue. The reason they do it the way they do is to let you control the layering instead of forcing a layer on you. That works for me as well.

Very happy with these tights.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on November 18, 2015

4 5

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

These are great gloves. I've worn this down into the 30's with no issues. They are quite adaptable and wide range. The ability to add the additional wind block is genius. Great dexterity for shifting, nice feel of the bike. They are sealed up to prevent any any incoming cold air ingress (a classic problem with bike gloves).

My only complaint is that they are a little long in that they come up quite far over the wrist and can get in the way of jacket cuffs etc...

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on November 18, 2015

5 5

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

I live in Minnesota so we understand cold. These gloves are really pretty good. The main problem with gloves and fingers is that they are stuck out in essentially a relentless high wind situation. Any little pin hole (literally, a pin hole) in a glove will eventually cause cold fingers. The other enemy of warm hands is an inability to wick moisture out of the glove.

These gloves are made from some sort of soft shell like material that provides great dexterity for shifting but seems to be almost seam sealed compared to other gloves (even Castello's great 3.1 gloves from last year). I rode with this in sub 30F temps a week ago and they were toasty warm, almost hot. I'd say that these gloves could easily go down to low 20's and maybe even colder.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on July 25, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have a problem getting cycling shoes to fit. I'm borderline between a regular width and needing a mega. I bought these earlier in the season and now have a lot of miles on them.

With these shoes, Sidi has put a bit more width into the width of the foot and used materials which really conform well to the foot. The closure system is nothing short of brilliant with a firm hold on your foot with absolutely no pressure points. It's actually easy to over tighten these shoes because of the lack of pressure points.

What I found is that once they are properly set up, you foot is absolutely locked in place. It's a ski boot like fit with your foot firmly held in place, zero lift on the heel but it is comfortable. I cannot get my heel to lift from the sole even if I pull directly up with my foot and pull directly down with my hands - it's that solid. The benefit on the road is that I am able to ride with less pressure across the instep but absolutely no movement in my heel.

This is really a big deal for me. Had this not worked, the next step was to get full custom shoes. Happily I don't need to do that and I'm really happy with these shoes - maybe thrilled is a better word.

Finally, and the surprise to me with these shoes, is the super stiff sole. It's simply rigid - all the power from you leg goes right into the pedal. It's a noticeable difference from other shoes I've used (Sidi Dominators, Lake, etc...).

Really like this shoes and highly recommend it. Spendy it is but there is value as well and for me it's a lot cheaper than custom shoes which would run 50-100% more.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on June 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought one of these for routine replacement of my bottom bracket. Shimano alleges that the drag from the seals was 50% less etc.... I was surprised to find out when it was installed that it was noticeably easier to spin the cranks and even more so that it was noticeable during riding.

What is not clear is that all of the new Shimano bottom brackets are different sizes and require different tools to install. This is not spelled out clearly by Shimano although they do include a plastic insert that will fit the old size bottom bracket tool. This is not a great solution since the plastic wants to strip when you tighten the bottom bracket to the 35-40nm torque spec. So do be careful when tightening. An even better strategy would be to get the right tool. That also is not clear, but it is the BBT-59 from Park Tool - which I discovered after calling them directly.

Bottom line - I really like this bottom bracket and would recommend it.

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John S.

John S.wrote a review of on January 30, 2007

4 5

I've had 3 pairs of these. The first two pairs were because they tore out between the fingers (index and middle finger). I'm hard on gloves, but these started tearing in the first two weeks of use.

However, these are warm. My wife also has them and has not had the durability problem that I have had. I must just have bionic fingers or something. ;)

I give them high marks for warmth and it would be higher if they were more durable.

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