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Russell S.

Russell S.

Russell S.'s Passions

Biking
Climbing
Hiking & Camping
Running
Skiing
Surfing

Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a review of on July 17, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Based on the positive online reviews, I bought a Weehoo and tried it out with our 2 year old toddler. I towed it on roads and bike paths around New England for 4 rides, about 60-80 miles total. But I didn't like the handling and ended up selling it and replacing with a Burley Minnow.

Things I liked:
+ Solid build quality
+ Easy setup, dissassembly
+ Narrower than most other trailers - doesn't take up as much of the road
+ Armrests are good for keeping a napping kid from falling out.

Things I didn't like:
-- With my cyclocross bike, I had a difficult time controling this trailer, especially when out of the saddle. The single wheel design and seatpost attachment point creates a lever arm that tilts the bike to the left or right whenver you stand up. This in turn creates a fish-tailing effect with the single wheel design.
-- When leaning into a turn, the degree of your lean has a dramatic effect on how the trailer tracks through the turn. You'll find your arms getting tired as you death grip the handlebars trying to keep the trailer stable.\
-- Emergency handling was downright dangerous, primarily because I typically stand up when things get hairy. Ex: There's a pothole ahead of you, so you stand up on the pedals a little and start turning. This in turn causes the trailer to fishtail. We had a few scary moments.
-- Loading your child can be difficult because the trailer won't balance on its own. Sure, you can often find a fence or wall to lean the bike and trailer against. But it's still more difficult than a 2-wheel trailer, which is perfectly stable when loading. I had the optional kickstand, which helped a little, but is not wide enough to stabilize the trailer when there's a kid sitting in it.
-- Minor gripe, but the seatpost attachment caused some abrasion on my carbon seatpost. It wasn't too bad from the few rides that I did, but would be a concern if you adopted this trailer long term.
-- The mud guard is not sufficient. My kid got a lot of dirt in his face. Sunglasses are a must.
-- It's significantly heavier than your typical 2-wheel trailer.

Disclaimer: This review is for road riding, and I have a young kid. I expect that a bike with very wide handlebars (ie, a mountain bike) would provide a better ability for the rider to stabilize the trailer. While I give this trailer a thumbs-down for road riding, I can see how it might be better for mountain biking. Likewise, an older kid may be better at balancing (making the handling better) or just weigh more (making the handling worse).

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Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a review of on March 14, 2017

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have mixed feelings about this binding. Things I like:
-- Easy step in. Those little plastic guides do make a difference when you're in a hurry.
-- Brakes worked great for me. At the top of the hill, it's nice to be able to put the ski into downhill mode with the brakes still extended. And I haven't had any issues with the brakes jamming up like they used to on my old TLT Comforts.
-- They look pretty snazzy.

Now my gripes:
-- You can't replace the brakes. I'm upgrading to a wider pair of skis, so I need a wider set of brakes. Easy enough, right? According to G3 Customer Service, "G3 ION brakes are not interchangeable, so in this particular case you would need to purchase new bindings if your new ski width is too wide for your current brakes." Seriously!? This is the first set of bindings where I've ever had with this issue. Looks like I'll need to scrap/sell the bindings after just a couple of years of use.
-- Occasional pre-release. Not too bad, but I've had occasional pre-releases when skiing on hard snow and hitting a bump or when skiing on soft snow and flexing the ski a lot. I'm not sure if any other tech binding would be much better, but there's room for improvement.

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Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a review of on March 11, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been using this pack every day for a couple of months and I'm pretty happy with it.

It carries reasonably well as a backpack, and the cavernous main compartment works great as a gym bag for indoor climbing gear, running shoes, etc. The top compartment is great for small stuff, and the laptop compartment is easy to access and holds a full-size 13" laptop. I occasionally use the separate "wet gear" compartment, but I'd still like the pack even without this.

Of the other duffel-bag/backpack combos that I've used (Patagonia Black Hole, North Face Base Camp), this one has the best compression straps and carries best as a backpack. It's a perfect gym bag for a bike commuter.

Durability seems good; it still looks pretty much brand new. The main zipper is a nice big one and should last for years.

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Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a question about on January 6, 2015

Once I mod my boots to work with the Dynafit Beast binding (ie, add the special heel insert), can I still use them with other bindings? Ex: Is the special heel insert compatible with:
-- normal Dynafit bindings (TLT Vertical, Speed, etc)?
-- frame-style AT bindings (Marker Duke, Fritschi Freeride, etc)?

(1)

 

Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a review of on March 5, 2014

Good beacon, questionable harness
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've owned a BCA Tracker for about 7 years, and it's been reliable. As other people have mentioned, it's simple and idiot-proof, which makes for faster searching.

My only complaint comes with the harness. I've had numerous times where the beacon has fallen out of the harness while I'm skiing! The problem is that the elastic on the harness buckle will stretch, allowing the round beacon to slip out. (see photo)

I emailed BCA about this problem and there response was:
"I would recommend adding some duct tape or something like that to keep the beacon more secure in the harness. If you have a pocket you that you don't go in and out of much during the day, that is a good option as well. "

I've gone with the duct tape approach myself and it seems to be working okay for now.

Bottom line: I were buying a new beacon right now, I'd probably buy something with a better harness.

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Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a review of on December 1, 2012

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Like many of you, I've got a bunch of helmets, so the appeal of "one helmet to rule them all" was obvious. No more swapping out helmets for each season - get one good one and stick with it.

Unfortunately, the POC Receptor+ hasn't worked out as well as I had hoped. Here's how it fared during one year of usage in the following sports:

Downhill skiing - This was my main use. Fit was great for me, helmet was comfortable for all day wear. However, the goggle clip is a disaster - it fell off during my first wreck. Bought a replacement from POC, superglued it on, and it eventually broke as well. Now I'm just using velcro, which works okay, but tears up your goggle straps. Ventilation is so-so - the helmet makes a loud whistling sound when you're going fast, and I've found that small areas of my head get really cold while others are still pretty warm.

Bike commuting - My old bike helmet needed to be replaced, so I figured I'd try out the POC. Not recommended, even with the winter padding removed. It's just too warm for summer commuting - I was sweating like crazy. Switching back to a real bike helmet was a welcome change.

Downhill mountain biking - Worked pretty well for a couple of days. I wasn't overheating as much as I did for bike commuting, and having kevlar helmet makes sense when you're bombing downhill. But if you do that much downhill, wouldn't you want a faceguard as well?

Kitesurfing - If it's good for whitewater kayaking, it'll be good for kitesurfing, right? Well, I'm dubious how good this helmet would be for whitewater. The interior padding system fell apart during the course of a season in and out of the water. Easy enough to fix by buying more velcro and more pads, but not really recommended.

Rock climbing - Similar to bike commuting, this helmet it just too warm for summer usage. Weight weenies might also complain about how heavy it is, but that didn't bother me too much.

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Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a review of on March 28, 2011

3 5

I bought this helmet in the hope of finally having a single helmet that I could use for skiing, rock climbing, river tubing, and whatever other random activities come up.

So far I've only use it for skiing. It fits well, ventilation works well (I occasionally put my hood up because my head gets cold), and seems to do a decent job of protecting my noggin.

My only complaint so far is the goggle clip, which is a total afterthought on an otherwise well-designed helmet. It doesn't hold your goggle strap in place very well and fell off during the first wreck I had. So I ordered another one and superglued it on. The second clip has held so far, but catches on stuff in my ski bag and I expect I'll break it eventually.

One trick I have found is to use the extra velcro dots that came with the helmet to help hold my ski goggle in place. They seem to be working okay so far.

I'll give it another star in a few months if the helmet holds up well to summer use.

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Russell S.

Russell S.wrote a review of on August 7, 2006

4 5

The funky Salomon lacing system on these shoes works great - quick and easy to put your shoes on, and then relaiable when you're hiking - no more laces getting untied, caught on shrubs, easy to loosen/tighten up, etc. I use these shoes for hiking, and often wear them around camp with the lacing loose - unlike a regular shoe, I don't have any trailing laces to trip myself.

One other thing I like about these shoes is the big rubber toe guard - great for when you're hiking off-trail or scrambling up over rocks.

Potential Cons: The kevlar laces are held in place by a plastic speed-lace widget that could break. I've never had any problem with this, but it would really suck if this plastic thing were to break. I bet you could jerry-rig some sort of fix to get back to civilization, but it would be significantly more difficult to fix than regular laces.

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