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william S.

william S.

william S.

william S.wrote a review of on May 7, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size
Height: 4' 9"
Weight: 98 lbs
Size Purchased: Ace 50

I recently bought this for my 10 year old. Somehow my kids have ended up very spoiled. I never had a pack like this when I was 10...or 30. My son recently expressed desire to start backpacking with me and after shopping around didn't like any of the cheaper options. I recently upgraded to an Osprey Aether AG 85 and loved it so getting him an Osprey seemed like the way to go. We haven't used it other than some day hike testing but initial impressions are very positive. It is 100% as well made and constructed as my adult pack. The torso and belt adjustments are very simple and well engineered. I wish I'd had anything this nice for backpacking when I was young.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on May 5, 2019

Definitely an upgrade
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Install was very simple. It took less than five minutes to install it under the seatpost of a 2019 Specialized Venge. After install my phone detected it immediately however it failed the firmware update multiple times. I kept getting an error message about unstable wireless connection. I pulled the seatpost and had the unit almost right next to my phone and still got the message. It took a lot of patience to finally get it connected and working. After the update it paired immediately with my Garmin 520. The main reason I wanted it was for using the buttons on my brake hoods for scrolling the Garmin screens. This function was was easy to set-up and has functioned flawlessly. Also allows for easy shift profile changes (I prefer semi-synchronized) and allows monitoring of Di2 battery levels.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on May 5, 2019

Nic Works
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Nobby Nic is my go to day-to-day training tire for typical Idaho single track (I race on Racing Ralphs). Nic works in damp forest soil, dry August moondust, sand, and the common loose over hard. I ran 2.25" for awhile but have been running the 2.35" version for about a year and have liked the larger footprint despite the weight penalty. I've never had any punture issues or sidewall tears. Durability is pretty good as long as I stay away from Moab rock. It seems like one trip to Moab always eats the tires. I mount them on a set of 27.5" Enve M60s and they setup tubeless with no hassle. Pic shows a Racing Ralph on the rear but that's because I was riding Utah rock.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on April 25, 2018

5 5

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

Installation - I'd rate 2 out 10 on difficulty scale. Less than 5 minutes if you have average skills.
Connection - Immediately recognized by Garmin 520.
Fit and finish - It's a Shimano crank arm so flawless from that standpoint. The Pioneer module is very cleanly installed and very low profile.
Accuracy - I don't have anything to compare with.
What I like - Uses a standard CR3020 battery so no hassles with charging. Very easy to open the battery compartment.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on November 2, 2017

Love it, but...
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Pros: Love the design. Legit one person set-up, my wife agrees. Adequate vestibule space. Convenient internal storage pockets. Good headroom. Good weight for the size. The storage bag is awesome. It's a backpack with multiple compartments. You can get the tent, footprint, and awning kit into the bag without extra effort. Many tents that I've used are almost impossible to repackage into their storage bag, that's not an issue at all. Very nice hardware and guy-lines. Rain fly is easy to attach.
Cons: NOT a six person tent. Four adults max. Our family includes two adults, four kids ages 8, 6, 4, 2, and a puppy. It takes VERY creative use of floor space to fit everyone in for the night and there is no extra room for gear. We'd upgrade to the eight person version of this tent but with the dual vestibules this tent is already really long and we have a hard time finding a space to set it up at most campgrounds. We'd never fit the eight person version into a campground. Lately we've been taking this tent and a second smaller tent when we camp. I also think that for the price of the tent the awning kit and footprint should be included.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on November 2, 2017

Awesomeness has a downside
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I put about 1500 miles a year on my mountain bike. I do some endurance racing and local sprint races. I upgraded my drivetrain to Eagle XX1 in February and I'd never go back to anything else. So about the chain.
Pros: Super smooth shifting, quiet, stays a lot cleaner than other chains I've used and is easier to clean, the TiNi coating really lives up to the hype, last of all it looks great.
Cons: I only get about 500-600 miles out of a chain before it stretches enough to cause a noticeable decrease in shift performance. I'm light and not a "pedal masher." I'd imagine that a bigger power rider would really struggle with longevity.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on November 2, 2017

No complaints
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

When racing I run Racing Ralph's front and rear but I keep a Nobby Nic mounted on the front of my spare wheels. I typically run it early and late season when conditions are looser or wetter. Mounts tubeless with no fuss. Durable enough to keep me happy. I've used the 2.25" and 2.35" versions. Pros and cons to each.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on November 1, 2017

The only one I'll wear
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been wearing a Micro Dome for over 10 years now but I just lost my original so had to order a new one. The Micro Dome is a made with a much thinner fleece than most beanies. If you find most beanies to be too hot, thick, or itchy this is the one for you. I can't tell if the new one is a slightly different material or just needs another 10 years of break-in but it's still very true to my original. I've attached a pic of the original at camp in Yangri, Nepal. The pic shows the logo done with two colors. The new one has just a single color. Black on black.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on December 8, 2016

5 5

The Ultegra pedals have a solid platform, great feel, and smooth bearings. With all metal and carbon fiber construction these pedals look as good as they perform. The engagement is positive with a reassuring click in and out so there's no guessing about whether or not you're actually connected. I prefer the blue cleats, minimal play, no slop.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on December 8, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I use the blue cleats for less play but the yellow cleats should be the starting point for beginners. These work as intended and fit well with my Ultegra pedals. I put over 500 miles on these in just a couple of months and they have held up well.

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william S.

william S.wrote a review of on December 8, 2016

Perfect for side sleepers
5 5

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

I've never loved mummy bags because as a side sleeper if I turned in the bag my knees wouldn't fit, if I tried just rolling the entire bag it seemed that I was always falling off of the sleeping pad or fighting with the bag. This bag eliminates both of those problems. The built in pad holder is genius. I used a Klymit Static V and it fit and worked perfectly. I could roll over in the bag and be perfectly comfortable. I'm 5'10" and the regular length bag is perfect.

The bag includes a storage bag and a smaller stuff sack but not a true "compression" sack. I put my pad and the sleeping bag into the stuff sack to force a bit more compression and save some room.

I recently used the bag for 4 nights in Nepal. Temps were in the high 30s to low 40s at night so I wasn't pushing the temp rating but I was almost too warm at night. The bag has a reversible zipper so I unzipped a bit near my feet to allow for a bit more airflow and was very comfortable sleeping barefoot wearing nothing but underwear. I suspect that as I push closer to the 15 degree rating I'll need long underwear and an insulated pad. I'll be winter camping in a couple weeks so I'll try to report back.

The materials all feel very high end. I like the design with minimal insulation on the bottom so that there is more on the sides and top at the same fill weight. There's nothing "gimmicky" about the bag, no extra pockets on the inside or anything like that, just a simple draft collar and drawstring. There's very minimal velcro in the fastening system at the neck which I consider a positive feature.

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