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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on October 4, 2019

5 5

Have you ever found yourself lost in thought, staring directly into the sun because you can't decide whether to get a medium or large sized Castelli bib shorts? Me too.
By the time you realize they would probably both work out pretty well, you blink! By then it is too late and all you can see is sun spots. You can't keep carrying on like this for you'll cause permanent damage to your eyes!!!
You blink again and find yourself falling, and falling, and falling....
You hit the floor! Thank God it was only a dream! You purchased medium bibs and the sun still came up! You look about the room and your trusty Bronson is still leaned up in the corner where you left it. Better yet you can still see!
Yes, yes indeed, you can see but you can only have one bike as these velocipedes have the kind of technology on them that drives the price up; albeit worth it!
Luckily for you the Bronson is pretty darn fantastic every where. Smooth flow trails, big senders at the bike park, chunky square edge tech trails and for the occasional ride with that buddy whom everyone refers to as "the lung". The Bronson is there to do everything you ask of it without holding you back!
If you're struggling to narrow down your choice bike to just that one bike for every occasion, this is likely the bike of your dreams! Not the dreams where you're falling, the ones where you're flying! Cacaw! Cacaww!!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on October 4, 2019

5 5

Have you ever found yourself lost in thought, staring directly into the sun because you can't decide whether to get a medium or large sized Castelli bib shorts? Me too.
By the time you realize they would probably both work out pretty well, you blink! By then it is too late and all you can see is sun spots. You can't keep carrying on like this for you'll cause permanent damage to your eyes!!!
You blink again and find yourself falling, and falling, and falling....
You hit the floor! Thank God it was only a dream! You purchased medium bibs and the sun still came up! You look about the room and your trusty Bronson is still leaned up in the corner where you left it. Better yet you can still see!
Yes, yes indeed, you can see but you can only have one bike as these velocipedes have the kind of technology on them that drives the price up; albeit worth it!
Luckily for you the Bronson is pretty darn fantastic every where. Smooth flow trails, big senders at the bike park, chunky square edge tech trails and for the occasional ride with that buddy whom everyone refers to as "the lung". The Bronson is there to do everything you ask of it without holding you back!
If you're struggling to narrow down your choice bike to just that one bike for every occasion, this is likely the bike of your dreams! Not the dreams where you're falling, the ones where you're flying! Cacaw! Cacaww!!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on October 4, 2019

Do you know how fast you were going?
5 5

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

"Son, do you know how fast you were going back there?"

"Doh, I don't know officer, maybe 77....76.9 or so?"

"Seven!!!! You were going SEVEN miles per hour!!!!"

"Oh, I apologize officer. I thought you said 'what seattube angle?'"

Rest assured, you will never be accused of going 7 miles per hour on this here SB150. Gosh darn bike is just too fast for that.

In all seriousness though, the above dialogue highlights an important feature on this bike that will set the stage for generations of trail bikes to come....77 degree seat tube angle. This allows for a planted and confident feel on the steepest and loosest ascents. For when you're really goosing the pedals, it places you in an ideal position over the bottom bracket, that allows one to deliver peak power when needed with ease. Despite the bike's generous amounts of travel, long wheelbase, and slack head tube angle this ideal position over the pedals makes those steep, long, and arduous climbs pretty darn enjoyable in spite of yourself.
50 years after we put a man on the moon the collective mountain bike community has rolled their socks up and down and figured out how to arrange tubes and shape molds to optimize bike handling. I digress though; single ring drive trains and dropper posts have all aided in allowing for said frame geometry but that story is for another day. Seat tube angle alone isn't solely responsible for just what a lovely machine this SB150 is. It sure is a variable worth mentioning though. A choice variable that found me riding a steep loose deer trail out of a sketchy holler(ravine for those of you back east) in a pair of flip flops with such ease that I was colored impressed before putting on my bib shorts and clipless shoes to really put this bike through it's paces.

Upon taking my protein pill and putting my helmet on I set forth on a nice 15 mile alpine loop. Rolling hills through relatively smooth terrain found me a bit over biked but none-the-less enjoying myself in the brown ribbons of singletrack amongst the quaking aspens and wildflowers.
3.5 miles. Three and a half miles of some of the steepest-high speed chunky rowdy single track this side of the Wasatch at nigh the end of the ride really brought this bike to life. The SB150 in it's ideal environment is no slight of the wrist. It is real magic. There are no words for real magic. And seeing that there are no words for real magic, to try and put into words, just how amazing the SB150 is on the right terrain would simply never do it justice. I took this bike on one ride, three months ago and to remissness upon that ride(the 3.5 mile descent in particular) still gives me goosebumps.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on October 2, 2019

4 5

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

I really liked this bike. Both joy and gladness come to mind when I reflect on my short but sweet, sweet, sweet demo ride aboard the Santa Cruz Blur XC.
I was expecting this bike to feel relatively nervous when the trail pointed in the gravity assisted portions of my rides. This presumption was based on pretty much every single experience I have ever had on a dedicated cross country bike. However, after just but one ride, I found myself pleasantly bemused!
What was this strange beast I found myself turning unfamiliar cranks over and over again, in effortless forward propulsion?!!!
I stopped after just a mile, maybe mile n' a half, to check for a battery or some other means of pedal assisted wizardry...but NO!! This was no e-bike! This was still cheating though!
Most of this perceived dishonesty came in concert in that aforementioned first mile-mile n' a half. Just but a bit of jibbing, manualing, and sending the bike modestly skyward off some bumps, lumps, and slight undulations in the trail was done so with such relative ease, that I could only come to the conclusion that this bike offered an unfair advantage in many a trail-case-scenario.
This bike is a pedaling contradiction; partly truth and partly fiction. The Blur XC in fact, has traded in tomorrow for today. From here on forth, I'm ruined for my expectations of an xc race bike, in terms of handling characteristics.
The code, or recipe if you will, has been cracked. The devil is among us. These here short travel Blur XC bikes are playful yet planted. Just an all around joy to pedal for their unreal high yield of return for any and all pedal efforts.
Sounds like a glowing review, yes? I digress. Like some of the previous testers I struggled to manage the remote lockouts. I suspect that this could be easily remedied by moving the Twistloc remote inboard and sourcing some bigger grips, to get those big ol' meatpuppets you call hands outta the way, to avoid any inadvertent locking out of the fork and rear shock. I personally would get rid of the remotes all together, but these days I'm not out there looking to climb podiums. I'm out there for the wind; especially through my hair.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on July 22, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I can remember my father having one of these Stanley Classic bottles. He'd pour cups of that caffienated tough stuff out into the built in mug(that also served as an insulating lid) early most mornings when I was growing up in the late 80s/early 90s.
Every thing from quick trips out to the lake for some fishing to weeks' long vacations up to Superior Country to check places like the Kitchitikipiti and Tahquamenon Falls...that classic green thermos was there!
Now that I've gotten on in years and have a child of my own, I keep my coffee hot and my adventures bold. Every time I pour a cup of that tough stuff out of my Stanley Vacuum bottle it brings back memories of my father and the adventures we shared.
Here's to hoping I'm well on my way to instilling a sense of adventure and a love for the natural world in my son. Maybe someday I'll get him his own Stanley Classic drinking vessel and it will trigger memories of moments shared and days spent on the mountain with his ol' man.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on June 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: medium

I've always been a bit of an Assos man myself however a bit of a snob about it. I've tended to opt for their bibs with a higher cost of entry from the F13 bibs I found myself in my youth to the Equipe Evo 8 bibs I picked up last season. It was with a little bit of speculation with the price point in mind that I found myself ordering the Assos Mille. Dress me impressed the Mille bib did not disappoint!!! True to Assos form a lot of thought went into these bibs; comfort and quality is in abundance. Very clean over all look and they pair quite nicely with the MilleGT jersey. One thing worth mentioning is that the Mille series offers a bit more forgiving fit then the rest of the series in their line up. The size chart Assos provides is plenty accurate so I would call them out as running true to size.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on June 12, 2019

5 5

Torn labrum, subchondral bone sclerosis, and facet joint arthritis is not a good news to hear from your doctor, especially after having had the hip in question operated on. I have spent a number of years finding myself uncomfortable on every saddle I tried and also uncomfortable on saddles that I use to get along well with. I swear I could feel a mashed up pea under a dozen mattresses my hip was so bad for wear. I was especially sensitive to my saddle selection and position on the bike.
Enter in the SMP Drakon. After learning a bit about the company's storied pass, 100% made in Italy designation, unique 1 piece saddle rail construction(longest rails on the market for fore aft adjustability) paired with some feedback from some trusted riding partners I found myself on the Drakon. I was immediately impressed with the over all feel of this saddle and after tweaking the tilt and fore aft position of the saddle after a couple of rides, it was straight up love. I've been able to extend my ride time and continue with my upward trajectory of healing and I'd like to think the Selle SMP Drakon has had a lot to do with it. I often find myself switching this saddle between bikes I've become so smitten with it.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on May 20, 2019

5 5

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

Do you often find yourself laying awake at night whilst racking your brain as to whether Sliding Yetiman is drifting or skidding? Yes, I suffer from the same affliction. I've studied Sliding Yetiman's finger placement over his brake lever. I've measured the angle of his bike lean assuming all possible angles of the depicted riding surface. And lest we not forget I've spent the most time bending mind bullets over the roost of dirt pealing off of Yeti Slidingman's rear wheel and left hoof and mostly have come up with nothing. Whatever your take is you can't argue that this classic iconic logo embodies everything mountain biking is, has been, and will be.....fun!!!

Fantastic shirt for riding or chillin'! The denier is absolutely outstanding!!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on April 30, 2019

5 5

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

I have yet to build this bike up but can attest that the quality of the frameset looks fantastic in person. It was an easy choice to pick up this frame given my experience with high end steel in the past.
I remember my first "super bike" I up built back in the day. It was a custom Independent Fabrications Steel Crown Jewel(built with Reynolds 853 Steel) with full Campagnolo Record, King Headset, Reynolds Carbon Fork, Topolino Carbon Clinchers, Thomson seatpost/stem and Easton EC90 handle bar back when 31.8 was new and weird.
That bike stands to this day as the ride of my life. I had no cents or sense and more time than I care to remember to log miles on that bad war pig. I was freaky fast and still had ambitions in life! Unfortunately, I sent that bike packing in exchange for a semesters worth of tuition for a degree I'm not sure I have fully utilized. I probably should have just kept pedaling that bike away from reality!
I can still remember the unique and lively ride the Reynolds 853 steel frame offered up in concert with a carbon fork!
So when the sun, moon and stars aligned and this RLT Steel found it's way into my tax bracket I lept at the chance and kerplunkt'd down my coin for one!
The geometry is very similar to some bikes I have ridden as of late that I have played quite nicely with and the braze-ons(especially those mid-blade eyelets on the fork) speak to my exploratory side.
Quick commutes, evening single-track sessions and epic multi day bike packing trips come to mind. The versatility of this bike seems limitless.
I have some Desert Solitaire dreams burning through my mind as I exit the abyss of a hip surgery gone sideways and enter back into a life including turning over the pedals with new perspective and a new bike to build up! I'm looking forward to riding this bike in the opposite direction from reality, albeit in smaller doses than what the 853 steel Independent Fabrication saw.

The completion of the build is nigh! Please stay tuned for a full ride report!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on March 23, 2019

Not for your '73 Impala...but close!
5 5

This tire time and time again allows you to defy both gravity and that point in which friction should be lost in the apex of every turn that will leave you buzzing post ride almost as much as this tire buzzes on the pavement. You'll be strutting like a wild turkey at the trailhead after every ride!

No wonder Maxxis aptly named this tire the Assegai! Just about anything can happen out there with these tires...nothing short of looking anything butt all kinds of badasserie as you drop a foot in every flat corner at ludicrous speeds and exit with reckless abandon!

(5)

 

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on March 22, 2019

5 5

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

I don't treat myself to new kits too often but the quiet and casual look to 7mesh's apparel really resonated with me. I'm not a huge fan of jerseys or cycling clothes that make you look like a billboard or those advertisement pages that sit 3 pages from the back of your favorite cycling publication. Aside from the clean look they had me at "wool" with the Ashlu jersey. Wool doesn't get stinky like some other materials do after seasons of use. I have some other wool jerseys, that are too heavy for summer riding but the Ashlu feels like it will be just at home on those dog days of summer as it was on my ride this past weekend where temps hovered in the mid 50Fs. The material is super soft and light weight and the rear pockets are very well thought out. The side two side pockets are side entry and have some nice feeling zippers. I was able to get to my snacks without issue mid-climb on a few occasions. I got a pair of the MK3 bibs to run in in concert with the Ashlu Jersey and from initial quality impressions to a handful of rides on both the pavement and gravel, my new 7mesh kit has done nothing but spark joy! I got a small bib short(MK3) and medium Ashlu jersey and damn do I ever look good(I'm usualIy self deprecating for the sake of a laugh)! I got a compliment from my wife about my derrière before I could barely get the bibs on! I got some similar compliments from my riding mates as well and by the time I finished up basking in the glow of all of the compliments I had to get a bigger helmet. I'm 160lbs and well into the 5'9" camp and have been accused many a time before of being 5'10" by people whom I think are shorter than they actually claim to be for sizing reference. I followed the size chart for the medium jersey per my 39" chest and the small bibs, 31" waist and it worked out famously. I'm very happy with my purchase!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on March 1, 2019

5 5

It puts the lotion on the skin. Then it gets the saddle again! Sometimes prevention is the best medicine. I've never have had the pleasure of having a saddle sore but I've also generously lathered on the Eurostyle Chamois Butt'r on the ol' under carriage ahead of those longer rides! Can't fathom those big days in the saddle without it!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 28, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

I got a couple pairs of these as gifts for both my mom and wife. Gosh, are they ever spoiled!! Talk of the town those two!! Ever since they've been gallivanting around in their Teva Mocs they've been the envy of both their friends and foes! They looks super cool while keeping their feet super warm! How'd Teva go and do that?!! They come in gentleman's as well so I'm fancying myself in a pair! I just can't wait!!!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Probably not but I've tried breaking this chain and just can't do it!! The secret sauce is in the hollow pin construction where said pin gives it full purchase of that outer plate. Rumor has it you can even ride recklessly with it on both e-bikes and single speeds. That in itself is very telling for the usage on mere mortal's velocipedes. I've got this chain paired with an XT-M8000 crankset, derailleur, cassette and XTR M9000 shifter and the combination works famously. Might be all in my head but the overall drivetrain friction seems lower relative to lesser chains I've used in the past.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'd love to entertain you with ideas on why a 28.99mm Dub spindle is just the right temperature for most frame shells out there while still tasting great re-heated but I'd inevitably bore you to onions!! If you like super tasty soups and porridge and prefer mashing pedals to potatoes than the GX Dub cranks might just be for you!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I'd love to entertain you with ideas on why a 28.99mm Dub spindle is just the right temperature for most frame shells out there while still tasting great re-heated but I'd inevitably bore you to onions!! If you like super tasty soups and porridge and prefer mashing pedals to potatoes than the NX Dub cranks might just be for you!

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