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John Schott

John Schott

, Gearhead

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!

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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

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 look 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!!! Go on ahead and spoil your feet...I'm sure gonna!!

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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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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Assos have gone and done it again! With yet another piece in their line up they placed no precedent on cutting costs in luei of making the best product possible for any given application. The Fuguhelm is the type of hat that does everything you ask of it on the bike and screams, "Respect me, I'm wealthy", off the bike. Though I am of humble means, I am under the conviction that marginal investment in gear up front, more often than not, saves resources in the long run. More importantly, it yields priceless gains in creating the best possible chance for a positive memory inducing experience on the bike. It was a bit of a stretch for my funds allocated for gear. But after a number of uses and initial quality impressions, I've made arrangements in my will to ensure my great great grandchild inherits my hat after my passing. My hope is that they too will experience the Fuguhelm's ability to turn dark winters into warm summer days with tailwinds in every direction!!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 11, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my first foray into Poc's clothing and you may color me impressed! Though, it should come as no surprise as my experience with Poc's helmets has been nothing short of stellar(It seems no co-incidence that the helmet industry as a whole has upped their game since Poc stepped onto the scene).
But I digress. I've used this jersey throughout this past fall and winter primarily for mixed surface riding with heavy doses of single track on the Salt Lake Valley floor. The jersey offers a relatively tailored fit which seems to cut down on drag for those "go fast" offroad excursions, and in my case, for linking those secret-sneaky valley floor singletrack-snacks linked by sections of pavement.
The cordura sleeves come in handy for when the trail gets gamey and narrow; or for the inadvertent crash. The cordura reinforced sleeves are barely noticeable but should yield extended service life for the jersey and save some skin on occasion. They have also served as peace of mind when riding loose offroad with the skinny tires and curly bars. Ventilation in spades in key areas of the jersey have kept me comfortable in a variety of temperatures and riding conditions with appropriate layering.
This jersey has proved worthy and versatile for it's style, fit and function for my mixed surface riding gravel bike pursuits. However, I am looking forward to the high alpine trail thaw this spring for putting this jersey through the paces in its intended environment.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 8, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

"Derailleur"; This aptly named mechanism allows one to glide their chain up and down any 10-50 12 Speed Eagle Cassette with the greatest of ease. I invested a bit more in the brains of the outfit, the shifter if you will, to the tune of an xo1. The combination works marvelously and I needn't fret my more ham-fisted less graceful maneuvers that could render the ol' rear derailleur in a very precarious situation. In my minds eye the extra gram count should help this derailleur take a bit more of lickin' and in the event the abuse necessitates a replacement, the tax bracket I reside in readily allows for the more modest financial blow that comes with stacking it up on the double-ender(full suspension bicycle) best suited for the trick ditches.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on February 4, 2019

Dogglo-Cross
5 5

Most great ideas come out of accident, dumb luck, necessity or a combination of all of the aforementioned. In the case of my discovery of dogglocross it was mostly dumb necessity. The trail my dog and I were frequenting had a section that was lined with tribulus terrestris(more commonly known as the goathead plant). A plant with a known habit of puncturing tubes and puppy paws alike with it’s nasty thorn-like nutlets.
Our simple problem required the simple solution of carrying both pooch and bike across the threshold of thorns to safety. With that simple solution to our simple problem the potentially hottest new craze in cycling was born. Aptly named “Dogglocross” the new sport will likely remain a subsidiary under the genre of All Road and Gravel Grinding disciplines of cycling.
After spending some time in the Limar Air Pro helmet I can attest that the helmet will be a subsidiary to no other and was born out of necessity. When you have history of partnering with top level athletes, you’re obligated to continue to push the envelope to give your riders every advantage possible to perform at their best. The 30+ years of experience that Limar has with developing helmets is very evident with both the clean aesthetic and overall performance that I have experienced firsthand in both my light hearted exploratory dogglocross expeditions and slightly more serious, closet base mile training.
True to most things that are both Italian and cycling, this helmet offers both fast and function first while keeping that classically cool aesthetic we’ve all come to expect from a premium Italian cycling brand.
My favorite thing about this helmet is how quiet it is in regards to the air passing through the helmet while out riding. This might not have been something I’d notice if I haven’t had some loud helmets in the past. If you’ve ever had a loud helmet and had a flashback while at an aviary or while flying in a plane you’ll know what I’m talking about. Limar placed an emphasis on reducing wind drag when designing this helmet. They have a lot of wind tunnel testing and data to support this notion, but the peace and quiet I’ve had on some of my longer rides is the most tangible one for me.   
I also appreciate the low profile. This keeps my large noggin looking fast and sleek. The helmet is impressively light and the range of adjustability of the harness is a nice touch as well. I run a medium in most helmet manufactures and opted for the large size in the Limar Air Pro. I’ve found that relative to many other helmets I’ve worn in the past, this helmet has a more round shape to it. With this in mind, and though I have more of an oval shaped head, the range of adjustability the helmet offers still allowed for a comfortable fit. Also, being on the small side of this “large” rather than on the big size for most manufacturer’s mediums has allowed me to bust out some of my old classic cycling caps for use under the helmet for those chili early morning shoulder season rides. Again, the range of adjustability of the harness has been helpful in the fitment of the helmet when ran with said cap underneath.
The quality of construction is spot on. The in-mold carbon frame transitions cleanly with the eps shell and the black on black colorway I opted for looks exceptional!
In summary I give this helmet full marks on all accounts; comfort, style and performance!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on January 8, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My first experience with these was in patching/booting a Geax Sagauro TNT tire. I suffered a substantial gash between the tire bead and casing that was large enough such that it was suspect the tire could remain in commission under any circumstances. However, the patch combined with copious amounts of sealant kept me tube free for the rest of my trip! I'm sure it was a bit of an outlier but I had success resetting the tire up tubeless with one of these little bad mamber jambers!!! While I doubt Lezyne ever intended this patch kit to be used in such a case scenario, my mind was blown and my mid-winter's desert singletrack trip through the prickly-pears and other assorted long pointy bits south of Tuscon was carried on as intended.
On the flip side I have had these patches not hold air escaping from a tiny pin prick in a low pressure 26" tube on my townie?! Go figure!
Maybe it's all in the mind? Maybe I just need to set a better intention during the install of these patches for best possible results? Either way, I've had much better luck with Lezyne's Smart Patch kit than other glueless and vulcanizing patch kits I've tried in the past. Accordingly, they find themselves in my pack along for the ride more often than not. 3 out of 5 stars because 60% of the time they work all the time!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on January 8, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 165 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Ages ago, when I was still naive(but not too naive to know I had stumbled upon something special), I found one of these Pendelton Shetland sweaters second hand at a thrift store. By then the wool had softened and the sweater had a few minuscule holes in it. The Shetland proved comfortable in a wide variety of conditions and scenarios. It appeared humble(yet classy) for everything from quiet evenings in the foyer with a pipe and a book, to spring days spent kicking through the Uintas on the 'ol 3 pin boots and skis. The Shetland quickly become one of my most prized possessions.
Unfortunately a couple of seasons back I had to put my beloved sweater down as it became much too stricken with holes to provide adequate service in the field. Who knows what kind of past life the sweater had before I shared a 10 year romance with it. Ah yes I remember it well...winter and shoulder season days spent in the mountains and nights out on the town spent in dark corners of quiet bars. The Shetland was my go to for just about every occasion for all but the hot summer months.
In my search for a suitable replacement it came as no surprise that Pendelton is still producing the legendary yet unassuming and timeless sweater! I might have to pick up a couple of these so I'm not wearing the same thing everyday for 5 months on end!

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on January 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The shifter is like the brains of the operation when it comes the drivetrain system. The cables and housing that's the nervous system. The chain and cassette is like your knee and hip that's going to wear out and you'll just have to have replaced anyway if you keep carrying on like this! The derailleur is like your foot that you're just going to break off if you keep hucking your bike to flat and keep riding so gosh darn loose!
I'm all for spending a little extra coin to have a little more going on upstairs when it comes to candle power in the shifting duty department. The precision of shifts and the feel of your thumb on the ol' shifter paddle relative to Shimano's other shifter options is tangible! Try saying that 3x fast!
With all of the aforementioned in mind, I have this shifter paired with an RD-M8000 XT rear derailleur and other 11 speed drivetrain giblets and am very pleased with the overall shifting performance.

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John Schott

John Schottwrote a review of on December 27, 2018

Time Traveler's Sunshine Spectacles!
5 5

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

While in my efforts to unwind one evening to the classic song "Seven Spanish Angels", I found this video of Ray Charles singing a duet with Willie Nelson from 1984 while wearing the Pit Viper Exciters. Please see my photographic evidence included in this review. This is one more proof point of the existence of time travel per the product on backcounty.com's website.

This poses the question: Was Ray a time traveler who came to the future to get Pit Viper Exciters? Or are the Pit Viper Exciters the tool that allows one to fold time and space itself?!!

I guess you'll have to pick up some of these sunshine spectaculars to find out for yourself!

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