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Stephen H.

Stephen H.

Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on March 17, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've tried all the flavors of this bar and my favorite by far is the ginger miso. I get flavor fatigue and it's huge for me to find a non sweet bar that I enjoy. The spice of the ginger and the umami of the miso keeps me interested even deep into a ride when I normally struggle to keep eating. To me it tastes a bit like a cross between mild BBQ potato chips and miso soup. Sounds weird but to me it's great!

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on March 17, 2019

2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've heard many positive reviews of this bar tape, so I decided to try it on my cyclocross bike. The feel is great for CX as it maintains grip even when wet. The backing adhesive, on the other hand, does not. On one rainy race I noticed that the tape had begun to unravel as water had penetrated the tape and negate the adhesive. That's never happened to me with any other tape! Then this week while riding in the Florida heat it happened again. No rain; this time it was sweat that had loosened up the bar tape to cause it to unravel! The instructions, which I followed, explicitly state to not stretch the bar tape tight while installing, so maybe that's the problem. Either way, unraveling bar tape is not acceptable. Never again.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on July 1, 2017

4 5

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

I've had the chocolate flavor. Tastes a lot better than most protein recovery mixes that I've had in the past, and is great mixed into coconut water, my favorite post-ride beverage. Takes quite a bit of stirring to get it to mix into your drink, but that is fairly common. Note that in addition to milk based protein, this also has a significant amount of carbohydrates, fitting with its intended use as a recovery supplement.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on March 20, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

First of all, I can confirm the complaint that these are not navy. They don't match my team's kit at all.

More importantly, the operative word in "knee warmer" is "warmer." These are barely functional as warmers. I was expecting some sort of fleecy material inside, ya know, to keep the knees warm. No. These are basically lycra extensions to your bib shorts. They do kind of keep the wind off, but that's about it. They also don't have grippers on the lower portion so they ride up my monster calves.

These are an improvement on my team issue knee warmers that have a hole in them due to a crash, but that's about it. I'll replace these as soon as possible.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on January 7, 2017

2 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I was really hopeful that this smart trainer would make indoor season more interesting. I had been considering this one or the Kickr Snap, but opted for the Bkool since CC had a discount code for it. However, when it arrived I was sorely disappointed. The Bkool software is very clunky. Despite what the marketing materials suggest, you CANNOT instantly ride any of the many worldwide routes that are available. You have to go to their website and schedule a session that Bkool will host at a later date, usually within 24 hours. I never encountered another human rider on the course when doing this. The graphical experience is pretty poor compared with Zwift. All this would could be overlooked if the power readings were accurate, however, here too the Bkool failed me. I have been using a Stages power meter for years and it has always compared favorably with Computrainer power readings, within 2-3%. However, the Bkool trainer readings were off by 50-100%! On a flat virtual terrain, at 280 Watts the Bkool would read over 400 Watts! Either my right leg belongs to Chris Froome, or there is a serious problem with the trainer! Unfortunately, unlike a Computrainer, there is no way to calibrate the Bkool. Finally, I often find myself spun out in the 52/11 pedaling at 90 RPM at 280 Watts on flat terrain. Contacting Bkool tech support was no help either since their diagnostic software only works for PCs and they have no ability to help users who have Mac computers. After two weeks of giving it a chance and working with tech support, I've had enough and am going to exchange it for a different brand. Maybe I got a lemon or maybe it was damaged when I received it, but I wanted to share my experience.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on August 11, 2016

1 5

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

The most epic editions of the Paris-Roubaix feature rain, when the cobbles of the Arenburg forest are slick with mud. So it is with great surprise that these gloves, named for the legendary sector, became downright dangerous when it began to rain during my first outing with them. The gel pads, which are awesome and sticky when they are dry, became as slick as ice when they got wet. Nothing like descending in the rain and finding that your gloves can no longer grip the handlebars! I could only maintain grip on my bars by squeezing very tight, and I removed them immediately when I got to the bottom. If you live in a desert climate or don't ever ride in the rain, these gloves are awesomely comfortable and fit very well. Otherwise, they are dangerous and you should not buy them. I bought them today and will return them tomorrow.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on June 16, 2016

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Kuat did a nice job with this one. I went with this model rather than the Sherpa because I wanted the option of getting the add-on later. Assembly was somewhat awkward but not complicated and the directions were very clear. I do appreciate that they included tools; I don't know where I would get a 20 mm allen wrench! I have two complaints which is why this didn't get five stars. 1) The cable lock is too short. It is hard to get both wheels and the frame locked. 2) The arm that secures the front wheels (which came assembled from the factory) has a little bit of play front to back and can be twisted easily. It really isn't very stiff and allows the bike to shake a little. I expected it to be better.

I've had this for two weeks now, and overall I am pleased. Time will tell if the arm starts to break down. Luckily I've heard that Kuat backs up your investment with very good customer service; hopefully I won't have to use it!

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on December 6, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

These are fantastic! From the ankle grippers, the water resistant ankle zips, mesh back / suspenders, to the soft inside material, these bib tights have everything I could ever need. I've only ridden them in dry conditions, but the outer layer appears to have a water resistant coating. They have nice compression as well. The chamois was extremely comfortable; no irritation after 2 hours of mostly-upright easy riding without chamois cream. Easily warm enough for sub-freezing conditions (dry -- no knowledge of their wet condition performance).
The only complaint I have is that there is a weird flap in the back that goes from the small of the back to just above my butt. I suppose this is a spray resistant feature, but the problem is that it occasionally gets caught on the back of me saddle when I stand up. Not a huge deal, but it's something to be aware of. Why not keep the rain flap attached to the legs? Aside from that, I am extremely pleased with this product.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on December 6, 2015

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 135 lbs
Size Purchased: Small

I bought this jacket to serve as a high-visibility alternate to my dark blue team-issue winter jacket. The colors on the fluo version are very bright but not "fluo" in the traditional sense. More iridescent. It's a cool color. The fit and finish of this piece is very nice. It looks like it will hold up to many years of use. I really like the sleeve cuffs, as they have some stretchy fabric that easily seals at your gloves.
The jacket is not perfect, however. First, I realize that this is intended to be an outer layer (on top of potentially several base layers) so it should be a little bigger, the waist is definitely too wide for me. Bear in mind that I have a climber's build, so this is a common problem for me. Second, the zipper. At this price point, for a winter-weather piece, I would have expected a large zipper that is easy to use with gloves. Nope. Not only is it on the wrong side of the jacket, but the zip tab is barely big enough to grasp with bare fingers, let alone winter gloves. I also expected a zipper that can be undone from the bottom to make accessing any pockets on the inner layer easier. Finally, I would have preferred unzippered pockets on the back. That's just a personal preference I think; others may find the back pockets an attractive feature.
As far as warmth, this jacket did not disappoint. I set out for a foggy 2 hour ride at 35 degrees F with a thin merino base layer, and was actually too warm. It wasn't windy, but it seems pretty impervious to unwanted airflow.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on May 3, 2015

4 5

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

...why oh why the yogurt coating?! Don't get me wrong, the coating and the bar are delicious. But the yogurt coating melts instantly upon placing in a jersey pocket. So when I open the bar while riding my hands get covered in goo. Yummy goo, but messy! I've only tried the berry banana flavor but all of the flavors appear to have a meltable coating. Like the waffles which are entirely too crumbly to be opened and eaten on the fly, honey stinger makes a delicious and vaguely nutritious (at least all natural?) energy product that misses a key detail: to compete with the likes of Powerbar or Clif, the product can't make a mess when I'm on the bike. Please take a cue from M&M's (melts in your mouth, not in your hand/pocket) or remove the coating entirely.

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Stephen H.

Stephen H.wrote a review of on April 24, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought the cranberry-rosemary out of curiosity after falling in love with the Epic meat-based bars. Frankly, the Omni bars smell like dog treats. I don't have a dog but I'm sure that the dog would love these. The first few bars I ate also tasted a lot like dog treats. Not necessarily "people food." Initially I didn't like them at all. But after I ate two or three of them, and got used to the flavor and texture, I find that I crave them! All natural ingredients, and, at least for the cranberry-rosemary flavor, they aren't sweet, so they are a nice change of pace to avoid flavor fatigue. Easy on my stomach. I do tend to like the flavor Epic bars better than the cran/rose that I've tried. Maybe other flavors are better.

Normally I use them when driving home after a hard ride or race as a recovery food, and they are very satisfying for that purpose. I'll also throw one in my lunch box as a pick me up at work. Drink lots of fluid while consuming because they are pretty dry!

Personally, I wouldn't use them as a primary fuel for 2-3 hour efforts. Not enough carbs for high intensities. But for longer, lower intensity rides I would definitely include Omnibars in my fueling plan.

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