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Scoop

Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on November 4, 2019

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 149 lbs

I was excited to try this out. I wanted adequate ear protection along with a little more skull coverage. It underwhelmed me mightily. The edges or hems around the bottom roll up, maddeningly so, preventing a flush fit under helmet straps. Overall, the fit is not nearly compressive enough. Too bad, as it provides decent warmth and the material does not have too much volume. Sloppy execution, overall, however. I cannot recommend this thing at all.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on November 4, 2019

Decent but Problematic.
3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 149 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

First of all, the silicone grid palm started to shear off after only two rides—right where the palms contact the hoods. Hardly inspires confidence with regard to long-term durability. Since I have had good luck with Castelli gloves in the past, I am otherwise okay with them. I have reapplied the grip with Shoe Goo instead of sending them back right away. Insulation is minimal but works okay, maximizing dexterity. They are fairly warm—acceptable at 39 degrees; we will see how they do below that. Fit is good overall, especially the snugness around the wrist, ensured by the zip cuff. The index fingertip is too long, though, possibly due to the less pliable touchscreen-compatible material used there? I have not used these in wet conditions, preferring neoprene for that, but they seem capable of shedding water.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on September 8, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Great, in theory. I thought I would try these as an alternative to good old gels. My verdict: they're okay for training, when you can let up for a while and spend the time chewing them up before swallowing them. Not so much when racing, or whenever you're drilling it. Chewing them restricts airflow to the old carburetor for way too long, even one at a time. I suppose one could swallow them whole, once the gag reflex is tamed, but surely this would affect digestion/absorption? But then you are still left with half of the cube lodged in your teeth, even after a few pulls on the bottle. If the appeal of these comes down to mostly psychological concerns: having something substantial or more like a real snack, then I will stick with a bar--something you can take manageable nibbles off of. You can't beat gels, in my opinion, for quick and easy nutrition.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on September 8, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These days, side-loading cages are a must on most bikes--especially those with sloping top tubes/compact geometries. Having past negative experiences with other Lezyne gear, and their abysmal customer service, I was reluctant to giving them another cent. But, as it turned out, the Flow is an excellent alternative to much more expensive Arundel Sideloaders that I think are the gold standard of side mount bottle cages. Having said that, four stars is generous, considering that the Flow doesn't come with mounting bolts! Pure Lezyne. Luckily, most of us have tons of old bolts floating around. But still--come ON.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on March 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 154 lbs
Size Purchased: 46

Probably the stiffest sole of any shoe I’ve used. Definitely designed for maximum power transmission. So think twice if you’re looking for an everyday shoe for long, relatively sedate rides. Closure system provided for infinite adjustment. No hotspots or numbness, even when cranked right down. Could be a tad wider up front, to accommodate my wide forefeet, but this doesn’t pose a huge problem, by any means. As with other SIDIs, it took a couple hundred km of break-in time until they were just right. This was especially true for the tongue, the top of which seriously cut into the upper/talus area. I adjusted the top strap length, snipped the tongue as per SIDI’s instructions, which helped a bit. But only more revs cured it completely. Odd, since this model seems nearly identical to my trouble-free Geniuses, in most respects. Lastly, the retention dials are not only comfortable but amazingly robust, too. I prefer them over BOAs, which tend to slip at times. Operating the SIDIs’ dials is a bit more complicated and a bit more time consuming, especially on the fly, but definitely worth it. If only each side turned oppositionally to the other. Strange and counterintuitive, in that they both ratchet in the same direction. No dealbreaker whatsoever. Highly recommmended, particularly if you’re running Speedplays and are considering a standard version. I have tried it both ways, with a variety of brands. It does make a difference.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on March 8, 2019

FYI: Possible Failure Issues
3 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought several pairs of these some time ago. Like most reviewers, I love them. Unfortunately, ENVE recently put out a consumer product safety alert, warning their customers about numerous sidewall failures when using their wheels mounted with tires constructed with ‘natural fiber’ casing. They mentioned a few Corsa variants and a similar Challenge model by name—any ‘open clincher’ with cotton, etc. filament sidewalls. They emphasized the fact that this is not an issue only with ENVE wheels, and even mentioned (or at least implied) that they believe any rim bead, carbon or alloy, can cause chafing/abrasion that can eventually cause failure. And crashes, which have been reported. I am going to hang onto mine, but I am going to keep a close eye on them; maybe replace them, once their normal rotation time rolls around. But they’re not training tires, so I would imagine that their tread/effectiveness, with regard to what they were designed for—racing; limited mileage—will tick over before catastrophic failure occurs. Anyway, I just thought I would put it out there.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on October 6, 2018

5 5

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

I’ve been riding pretty hard core for over 30 years and have tried them all (short of full-on custom). For years, I had settled on Sidi as my ‘go to’ shoe. Not any more. The Course Air Lite II is the most comfortable shoe I have ever used. I have fairly wide forefeet. Most brands have a ‘wide’ model, but this means that pretty much the whole shoe is widened, including the upper ankle area which, along with the heel cup, is where most of your power is focused/transferred. This usually results in an overall ungainly fit, with too much ‘slop’ in some areas, too much constriction in others. I suspect that most of us find this tolerable, assuming that compromise is a ‘given’, with regard to the shoe fit equation, as is a little pain and a fair amount of numbness now and again. Garneau has come up with a perfectly simple solution to all of this: the little elastomer inserts are definitely no gimmick. My first ride with the Course Air Lites was >70k. Blissful. No hot spots or numbness at all, even when the dials were cranked way down for climbing. My heels were anchored like they were in concrete. The soles are plenty stiff, but with just enough ‘give’ to prevent discomfort. This was a few months ago (review was originally written for another retailer; ‘sorry’, CC). Since then, I have put in about 4000 km on them, and even got a second pair for winter riding. They have held up admirably: the Boa dials perform as if new and the shoes themselves show little sign of wear. I am convinced that these shoes make me go faster, since I can devote more of my mental energy to ride mechanics/form, rather than worrying about being let down by my shoes. Of course, physiologies differ. But I would recommend giving them a shot, even for ‘normal’ feet, esp. at this price. Consider sizing down a tad, though. I wear a Sidi 46; 45.5 in these is ideal.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on October 4, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been a Ridley fan for many years. This is my fifth and it is a beauty, even with day-glo orange accents. I live in an area with plenty of rolling hills, so I like to keep things as light as possible, even though I intend to use the Fenix primarily as a winter bike. Total weight, built-up with Ultegra 8000 (incredible, btw; along with DA 9100, maybe the best Shimano group ever, properly set-up), Hed Ardennes Plus, Zipp cockpit, and Speedplays: 16.02 pounds. Not bad. It has a reputation as more of a flatlander bike for the cobbled races, which it is. In this regard, it may seem pretty unforgiving for some folks. I don’t mind a rougher ride, if I can go faster, though. Plus, tire pressure is the real key there, anyway. For the majority of surfaces, it’s perfectly comfortable. But, importantly for me, it’s stiff and light enough to rocket up climbs quite nicely. Supremely confident on the way back down, too. Fitted with orange-striped tape and orange pedals (!) it’s ugly, maybe, but in a good, WTF kind of way. I’m totally happy with it.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on October 4, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 153 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Like all Giordana gear, this is an extremely well-made, perfectly engineered piece of kit. On a long, 47 degree ride, with only a thin sleeveless base layer, I was too warm. So with sensible layering, I imagine that this thing will be good, easily, down into the high teens or even lower. Great rear coverage; sheds water like a duck. Highly recommended for late fall/winter riding. For reference: chest measurement is 37 in.; fit perfectly with room for layering, without being baggy.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on October 4, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It works at least as well as other standard hydration mixes. Perfect taste for me, with just a hint of sweetness. And a little shot of caffeinated ambition after my the end of a long ride helps with that last climb. Scratch says you’ll retain more hydration, due to their sodium formulation. This is demonstrated by needing fewer “natural breaks”, i.e. needing to stop for a pee. And it’s true.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on October 4, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Good old Wheels Manufacturing. This is the fourth WM bottom bracket I have installed in different bikes: two carbon-framed; one steel; one titanium. This is on a Ridley Fenix SL that I will be riding in the winters, over rough terrain. It’s sealed well, despite the price, rolls smoothly with not a hint of ticking/creaking, and installs easily. I prefer their models that have the two cups thread together; they are a pure engineering marvel. But this one comes close. I expect many miles of carefree travel on this, as with the others. Definitely recommended.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on October 4, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Replacement for a Performance Bike-branded Elite trainer I had for years. Not as compact, either stowed or in operation, as the Elite. It does seem to maintain better contact with the rear tire and offers somewhat smoother power transmission, however. Mounting the bike is easy, but takes some force and is not as quick and easy as the locking lever on the Elite. The main selling point for me was the CycleOps’s ability to conform to uneven surfaces, like the unevenly poured concrete floor in my basement. Nothing special at all: just an egg-shape to the rear feet end caps that can be rotated for leveling. And they don’t work. Sigh. Back to a piece of yoga mat stuck underneath the front foot.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on May 26, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This version of the Helium does run somewhat large. I’m almost 5 ft 11 and went for size ‘small’. With a 110mm stem, it’s perfect for me. If you know your preferences re: reach/stack, as well as top tube measurements, I’d suggest going with that when choosing. Mine is 14.7 lbs, built-up with 6800 all around, swapped off of another bike. Campy Eurus wheels; carbon-braided saddle; 3T cockpit; Deda post. No reason to be put off by the pressfit BB, if that’s a concern. Installation is a snap, esp. with Wheels Manufacturing’s model and even a cheap press. WM PF30s are fantastic. I’ve clocked many miles on them, on a few bikes, without a hint of creaking, etc. This is definitely one of the best-climbing bikes I’ve ridden—a close second to my Pinarello F8, but the latter has carbon wheels. Descends with laser precision. But it’s hot on the flats, too. As an all-rounder, I prefer the Helium (and/or the Euruses, maybe!) to the F8, since it’s/they’re a bit less fatiguing over the long haul. Cool graphics on ‘black/silver/red’ model; same as Cult Energy team bike (same frame, too) if that matters. I can’t recommend this frameset highly enough, particularly at this crazy price. Why are they still available?!

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on May 25, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 160 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

Excellent all-around. I haven't used it on the bike, partly because I prefer sleeveless base-layers. Off the bike, it's incredibly comfortable and fits perfectly. None of that constricting feeling you get when wearing race-cut jerseys. The squared-off collar is a nice touch; you never realize how a regular collar gets in the way, at times. This is especially true when riding. The shirt just looks great, too; lots of compliments on this thing.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on April 19, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 158 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

This is a great shirt. The sizing is especially welcomed since, in the US, it’s so hard to find casual clothing that is suitably trim enough for people who are in decent shape. And the styling has an undeniable European flair. Quality construction/materials, too. Highly recommended.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on April 19, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 158 lbs
Size Purchased: L/XL

These are billed as winter socks. But the cool thing about wool is that it works at any temperature. The only limiting factor for summertime might be thickness. These are rather thin for winter socks. Still warm when it’s cold, but without added bulk. So I would consider these to be ‘all-season’. They stay up on the calves and look great. Highly recommended. My foot size: 11.5.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on April 19, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 158 lbs
Size Purchased: Large

I usually shy or away from gel-type gloves. Not anymore. These have fantastic grip with no squishy feel. Fit is perfect; easy to put on/take off. Understated graphics, too; no wacky decorative garbage. Definitely my new “go to“ gloves. Highly recommended. My hand circumference: 8.75 in. = large size.

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Scoop

Scoopwrote a review of on April 19, 2018

5 5

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

This is a great shirt. The sizing is especially welcomed since, in the US, it’s so hard to find casual clothing that is suitably trim enough for people who are in decent shape. And the styling has an undeniable European flair. Quality construction/materials, too. Highly recommended.

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