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Michael N.

Michael N.

Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on August 4, 2019

4 5

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

Caught these during the TDF sale in mid July for a good deal. The chamois is wider than any other chamois i've ever used and its a bit thick. Why is that worth mention? if you have very narrow sit bones, it slightly bunches up between your legs and can cause a hot spot in mid crotch, even after it gets broken in, after 6 to 8, 30-50 mile rides. The bib straps are wide and have no stitching, they're very comfortable however, they are about 1 inch too short. When standing off of the bike you really notice this, when on bike and crouched over, not a big deal but I do get minor warm/red spots on top of traps where the bib straps are after 2-3 hr. rides. Fit is dead on, seemed slightly snug at first but these broke in an relaxed after 6-8 rides, give them a chance, the first 2-3 rides I was questioning my purchase.
Got size L and they are right on w/ length, waist, etc.
FYI - If you "pull" your bibs from the back, at the chamois pad stitching to move them a bit for fit, be warned, I tore both sides of the chamois pad (right & left) about 1 inch inside the stitching, between the layers of fabric. Surprisingly, the chamois didn't wad up or bunch, it stayed in place, even with a 1-2 inch tear in the chamois foam, that is in between the outer bib fabric and the inner chamois cover that's against your skin. Speaks to Giordana's quality in a good way.

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on August 4, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs small
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Like the jersey, particularly in hot, humid weather of South FL however, at 5'11" and 190lbs. the size L was super snug, as in tighter than any other normal "race fit" jersey and about 2 inches shorter than any jersey I've ever owned from any manufacturer. The grey color is also "see through" once you sweat or get rained on, hence the 4 stars. This jersey's L is right in between a true Large and a true Medium.
Just FYI, you may need to size up or down depending on your height & weight.

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on August 4, 2019

5 5

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

Got as a gift for my wife, she tried several other brands and didn't like them. As a male, I have used the DZNuts chamois cream for men for a few years and it's one my two "Go To's.
I saw this specific formula they also make for women, so I read up on it and, the only difference from the men's formula is that, this women's formula doesn't have menthol in it. After a few uses she loves it and asked me where I got it, right here at Comp.Cyclist. Any men reading this, if your wife or lady in your life rides a lot, surprise her with a gift of this.

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on June 12, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

What most folks don't know is...
the Shimano Blue and Red cleats have a 'round' toe cleat, as compared to the Yellow cleats 'straight' toe piece, look carefully on the sides of the toe cleat, just down from the tip and you can see the difference. That's mainly why the Blue cleats have so much less float than the Yellow cleats, and the Red basically have no float. Look at video's of current Pro riders, many use yellow, some use blue, everyone likes what they like. If you're a bit older, not necessarily just a 'beginner, the yellow offer a bit more float for your knee joints...I used Yellow cleats since they came out, swapped to blue for a few years, going back to yellow now that I'm an "Age group" rider & racer, over 49 yrs. old...
and nearly all newer Shimano SPD-SL road cleats work in all their road SPD-SL pedals (Dura-Ace R9100, 9000, & 7810, Ultegra R8000 & 6620, 105 R7000, Tiagra R550, even the Shimano PD-R540...).

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on June 12, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Bought two, to have one on the indoor trainer rear wheel and, one for road rides rear wheel setup. Hard to beat for the price and the mid level weight, compared to dura-ace or Sram XD at three times the cost for only 50-70 grams less, save those for race day! Can usually get 2-3 chains worth of life out of one rear cassette and set of front chain rings, then again, I clean my drive line after every ride and lube it, makes a huge difference in life of chain, gears, and how bike shifts.

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on June 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

If you live at any altitude above 3,500 ft. and want something to warm (not heat or burn) your calves and thighs during a cold or very cool, spring or fall ride, this is the ticket. I take a wet cloth, rub my legs to get the skin moist, then I put some Mad Alchemy Embro in my hands and rub it into my leg muscles (top of ankle to just above knee). It'll kick in about the time it takes you to get warmed up on the bike, 15 mins or so, then it provides a warming sensation for about 45mins to 1.5 hrs. It does pick up dust, dirt, etc. but not too badly, just wash it off after riding, comes off easy with soap & water.
Many other Embro creams, gels, etc. are way too hot, like rubbing "Heat" or cayenne/capsacian cream on your legs, they can burn for a a good 1-2 days. Not this one, it's just right

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on June 12, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Primary use is for bad weather in winter to train, once I upgraded the sensor on the back of the trainer (from old black one to new green one), I discovered I could use this trainer in Zwift and also for my Garmin 520 plus, they both pickup power and speed, using either ANT+ or bluetooth. This doe not have an "ERG" mode, it's a manual, fluid trainer, so it can only get 4 stars. Cheap when on sale and it does the job, if you want 5 stars, get a Top level trainer that has ERG mode (TACX, etc.). After 6+ months of use and over 1,000+ miles, one worn out road tire (these eat regular tires!), and one worn out trainer tire, I can say from experience, ensure you get a high quality, trainer specific tire. They last way longer than regular road use tires. Glad I got this Kinetic trainer, worth it and Zwift is better than just grinding out miles looking at your Garmin bike computer!

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on October 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Have gone through a container, from easy training rides (10-20 miles) and on 50 to 100 mile rides (centuries, fondos, grans, etc.) Works fantastic, keeps your skin well lubricated, no chafing, and no issues post ride or long term, it won't clog pores or cause saddle sores. Great quality ingredients, very easy to wash off of skin and just as important, washes right out of chamois in shorts, bibs, or cold weather tights. This is my go to, most often used chamois cream now.

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on October 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Moderate menthol scent, mellow (lower than 'Medium') on actual menthol effect on your chamois application skin regions. Mild to mellow menthol sensation on crotch skin during rides over 50 miles, just right, even in late fall and winter. Imagine this will be best in heat of summer! Have used on 50, 60 and 70 mile rides, works great, no issues on skin, washes off easily (no double scrubbing needed) and also easily washes out of chamois in bibs or tights. Highly recommend trying, great value for an excellent product, this is the third MA product i've used, been happy with all of them.

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on October 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

To Be Clear...
This is for the 2016/17 season board (160 cm) that I got in October 2016, so after a year of use, at a variety of Mountains. (Purgatory, Mt. Hood Meadows & Timberline, Mt. Baker, Wolf Creek, Taos, and Snowbowl) and a healthy diet of side and backcountry, I can say without a doubt this is a solid board. It excels in powder but still powers through crusty, chunky, several day old left overs, even crappy icy stuff. One of the best boards I have owned in the last 20+ years, very glad I took the chance and got it. Surprisingly, this board has a long Effective edge for its size, at 125.7cm. That's impressive because compared to a '16/'17 season Arbor Iguchi Pro Rocker (the blue and white wood one) at 162cm long, it only has 120cm of effective edge. That's closer to 6cm more edge, in a board 2 cm shorter (or almost 3 inches more edge in an inch shorter board...).
Having saved up my slave wages to get both boards, and getting many days on both, I rode the Ultracraft twice as much as the Arbor Iguchi 162. Obviously Mr. Jones knows math and how to apply it in snowboard edges very effectively...
At 5'11" and 180lbs, both boards were perfect for me size wise, I prefer slightly longer, directional boards that are stiffer, for better high speed performance.
The Ultracraft is light, flexible, kills chatter, and yet, stiff enough to lock into high speed turns and "Rail it like Belushi"... horriible joke but , this board likes going fast and carving deep lines, and does this in all conditions equally well. Cold, dry and light powder, or wet, chunky deep snow that feels like oatmeal, even windblown, hardpacked thin snow on top of ice, this thing likes to go very fast, float and get pushed up on its edges hard. Although a directional board, with a serious spoon nose and flared edges on the tail, it can be ridden fakie/switch and does this easily because of the slightly spooned center channel in the center of the tail and the flared outer edges of the tail.
With bindings, I got very lucky and caught a huge deal on a set of '16/'17 season Union Ultra's that were used at trade show,s they are prefect for this board, stiff, very responsive edge to edge, nicely cushioned and very adjustable. I noticed a significant improvement mid season because I switched boots, from a worn out 5yr. old pair of Burton Ruler's, to a new pair of Van's V-66's, huge improvement in riding comfort, adjustability, and lighter weight. Boots are a separate topic and subjective as F*** to everybody so i'll just quietly drink my Van's flavoerd Kool-aid.
Back to the board, this Jones Ultracraft 160 reminded me of one of the best boards I ever owned, a Burton Supermodel 168 (late '90's...) because of how solid the Ultracraft feels at high speed and its ability to hold an edge and not budge. It also floats like a board that is 6-10cm's longer. The base is Sintered and I used Wend waxes all year, their Base Prep wax, and non-flouro MF Race waxes (Mid & Cold temp) worked superbly. When I got caught out and couldn't do a full hot wax, the Wend Wipes saved the day. The board got many days, 70 at Mt . Hood Meadows alone and 15 days at Baker, the rest were in CO and a handful in lesser spots but it still kept a huge smile on my face in any conditions I rode it in. The base is a legit sintered 9900, there are two notorious flat spots at both Purgatory (way down on the ridge running away from Lift 8, under Lift 5) that most snowboarders get stuck on, and at Mt. Hood Meadows, towards the end of Discovery, as you coast to 3-D, O-Ring, or Roach Bowl, there's a long flat that lots of boarders would be seen walking or pushing, not on an Ultrcraft that's well waxed, you'll glide over flats with ease...
Killer board, Jeremy Jones and who ever else helped him develop the Ultracraft did a hell of job in designing it. Get one if you can find one...

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on October 21, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Originally ran in Brooks Cascadia's (almost whole series, 8's through the 11's) and also ran in Altra Lone Peak's from 1.0's to the new 3.5's and that's where Altra lost me as a customer, with the LP 3.5.
Looking for a new trail shoe, I took a gamble on these Merrell Agility Flex's and have not looked back, they are that good. Very good in the protection category, a balance of cushion, feel and protection, no stone bruises on ball of foot, arch area, nor heel (Altra's are notorious for heel bruising-LP 3.0 & 3.5).
The Merrell's are Very flexible fore to aft and side to side, the shoe conforms to the terrain, it does not do the "Altra roll" and roll in or allow your ankle to roll out when running down hill on fast, technical, rocky trails here in North AZ and SW CO.
Very stable and solid heel support, minimal rise/drop at only 6mm. If you liked Altra's early efforts, you may find these Merrell's are even better.
One thing you have to actually see with these shoes, feature wise, is the anatomically engineered support these shoes have. Go to an actual store that has them and take out the insole and look at the ball of the foot inside the shoe, there are individual supports for your foot metatarsal bones. Look at the sole of the shoe and how it is engineered to behave as an extension of the bones in your feet. Once you try these on and run in them, you can easily feel how much thought Merrell put into this shoes design. No more sore feet on rock trails! Hard to believe but, this is probably the most under rated and highest performing trail running shoe out there currently.
I bought another pair once I put 250 miles on the first pair, they're still solid, they take about 20 miles to break in and loosen up, feel slightly stiff at first, have patience.
Hope Merrell does not ruin this shoe and change it.

Oh yeah, these are Dead On with regard to sizing, I'm a 10.5 and the 10.5 shoe has just enough room to allow for toe movement and foot swelling if you run more than 10-15 miles at a time. Very durable and grippy sole, surprisingly grippy in wet rock, or in and around creeks and rivers.
Highly recommend giving this a go if you're looking for legit Trail runner shoes.

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on October 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

No joke, bought this saddle, the SMC3 Pro, and ended up trading it in directly to Ergon, for the SMA3-Comp and that is one bad ass saddle. Did not even ride the SMC3 Pro, an Ergon Rep at a major SW MTB Festival (in AZ...) allowed me to straight trade for the other one, so in all fairness, I will review the SMA3 Comp in its proper place.

*** Addition to the above review, after finding out Backcountry does not sell the SMA3 Comp model (that was designed by old school Canadian Pro MTB'er - Richie Schley), I hope Backcountry realizes how excellent the SMA3 Comp is. I rode both during a festival over three days ( the SMA3-S and SMA3-Comp) and they both are super cush, shaped superbly, so you can move all around, off the back and back on, with no snaggin', hangn' up, etc. and after using it for the last year, it is the most comfortable saddle I've owned in many years. Being an older MTB'er, who 10 and 15 years ago used to put road race and tri saddles on XC bikes to race with in the original "24hrs of Endurance series" races, now that i'm older (mid 40's), comfort is king, but too much cushion is no good. The SMA3-Comp broke in nicely, the inner thigh area of this saddle flexes very nicely, not at all stiff, so you don't get chaffing, after longer rides of 15-20 miles or more. Super solid saddle, check one out if you get the chance.

Just in case you live in Colorado or California (yes, you Mr. Spicoli...), this review is NOT for the SMC3-Pro, it IS for the SMA3-Comp

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Michael N.

Michael N.wrote a review of on October 15, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 190 lbs
Size Purchased: XL

Have used these for many trail rides in north central AZ, on very hardpacked terrain, lots of red rock and sandstone, all plants here are like barbwire, they shred clothes. These shorts have been beat and used as every day wear shorts, they are that good. Besides MTB, they have been used hiking, running, swimming, hot tubs, pools, creeks, lakes, taken several good spills, the shorts saved my upper thighs and rear end from getting seriously abraded. They have faded after a hard spring. summer, & fall and many washings (got the brown & yellow ones) but, the buttons, zippers and vents still work flawlessly. Medium'ish sized pockets, can hold cell in one, wallet and blade in other, or 4-6 gels in one pocket, two bars in the other.
Best MTB shorts I have owned in the last 10 years, lots of cheap quality stuff out there today, these are the real deal and can take heavy usage. They have a nice adjustment system (waist tabs, small webbing and friction buckles in front waist on both sides) and a no slip strip around the inside waist (3 silicone tacky strips), if you tuck in a baggier sized jersey, so its not flappin' and gettin' caught on cactus, junipers, or the worst out here...mesquite!, have "butt burned" these over a dozen times on my rear tire hard, and the shorts do not have nylon burn, no tear, no frays. The front vents (across top of inner thigh) are awesome for ventilation when its hot out. They also dry quickly if used as board shorts, well done Yeti! Getting more as daily wear, for beater shorts if they ever go back on sale. I'm a 34-35 waist and got the XL size, perfect fit. These are not hipster, 'too tight' shorts...these are man shorts.
Get You Some!

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