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Christian Peper's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Shimano M162 SPD Shoes 7/21/2014 2:41 PM
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Nice all mountain spd shoe!

Rating:

The Good: 1. All mountain weight weenie shoe- they feel light! 2. Fit and finish are all Shimano- super nice 3. They are a great value at Vital's retail partners. 4. Sizing is spot on, since they use the Euro chart and it offers fractions of sizes. 5. The ratchet release is the best I've used. 6. Toe box is roomy, but not sloppy. 7. Heel retention is perfect!

The Bad: 1. The accents could have been black - fashion slave 2. White shoes make my feet look big and they aren't - that's what she said;)

Overall:

To preface this review I am coming off of the Mavic Alpine XL so #enduro. I went to this shoe since I wanted to lighten up my shoes without going to the ultra light and slippery carbon sole'd full on XC shoes that I've used in the past. I prefer a shoe that once I've unclipped or clipped out I can still hammer on the power and clip back in when I get the chance without feeling like my foot is gonna blow off the pedal as I rack myself on the top tube.

These are a GO TO shoe for riders looking for great trail shoes without the 1/2 lbs. weight penalty of the shoes offering big neoprene cuffs, some semi-flexible oversized sole, with vibram tread or some super budget offering with 3 velcro straps or dare I say LACES!! haha What I like are what everyone wants and that is a shoe that is upper end performance for $100ish and true to size so that you can order it online and not have to do so 2-3 times. Plus I've had Shimano before and never had a bad experience. I also have had a couple of three velcro closure shoes and this one with only two straps keeps the toe box snug and fitting properly for the entire ride. The online descriptions mentioned that these velcro closures are asymetrical or something super high tech, however let me redefine them as two regular velcro closures that work fine. The ratchet is smooth and simple by design with a super release. This easy to use ratchet closure in combination with the heel cup retain the foot really well in uphill efforts out of the saddle where pulling is needed to help climb.  Obviously they work without compromise on my Shimano pedals. They ride well, look good and are definitely the business.  Everything on this shoe works with gloves ON!

7/21/14 Now with 100+ rides more on them I to have a small rip in my left side ratchet strap.  It is only about 1/4 inch down from the top edge and does not affect how the shoe performs or fit.  I ride daily and run my gear pretty hard so I only expect a season out of the average shoe and I foresee getting all of that easily even with the small tear.  It may have been caused by an off the bike hike while camping, when I just wore my riding shoes instead of changing for the hike.  Shimano's new stuff is about to drop so these will drop again in price and still be a great value.  I've dropped a star to 3.5 instead of 4.5 due to the strap issue even though it hasn't affected the ride.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for Race Face Charge Leg Guards 7/21/2014 10:48 AM
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Great XC knee guard for those just in case moments for riders who usually don't have catastrophic starfish moves coming off the bike in the trees at speed.

Rating:

The Good: Fit is right on according to RF sizing. The don't move down the leg while riding. They aren't too hot in the summer. Minimal protection for those not needing or wanting to wear Goalie gear.

The Bad: None yet. They are NOT a DH impact guard!!!

Overall:

I got these pads earlier this month from my LBS and they have been just what I was hoping for. I consider myself an aggressive XC rider...Not enduro or DH. I usually don't have catastrophic starfish moves coming off the bike in the trees at speed :)  That being said I did come off the bike last month and have been nursing some knee issues ever since.  These pads have really hit the mark if you are looking for something that you can ride in for a couple hours in 90 degree weather and wear them just in case.  These are perfect just in case guards for your knees.  They have some minimal knee protection that is being represented as second skin type protection and I'll give it that.  It is actually a bit more than second skin.  Plus you get some knee joint support and warming effect without overheating issues.  Like a leg warmer on steroids.  It's a pad for those that may or could go without but who recognize the value of having a little something.  They are easy to wear, comfortable and don't get in the way or look stupid even with spandex.  I docked it a half a star because it is light protection.  I had also considered similar products of gform, xsi flow and fox enduro all of which are in this same type market.  I went this way because it is a JUST IN CASE pad.  I may not have worn those pads every time as they are bulkier, heavier and offer more protection but at a cost.  Picking the tool for the job.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for Niterider Cherry Bomb Rear Light 5/3/2014 4:15 PM
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The Cherry Bomb can save your bacon a couple of ways

Rating:

The Good: 1. Weather seals are good // 2. Super Bright and has a couple modes // 3. Usable clip // 4. Works for running as well as the bike // 5. Super long battery life

The Bad: 1. I broke the seatpost hard mount in a crash. I'm deducting 1.5 stars for that. // 2. The flash or strobe mode may give riders behind you seizures. :)

Overall:

I've been running this little gem for about a year and a half now and do a lot of night riding in the fall and winter months. I don't want to be in the unfortunate spot of having some distracted motorist taking me out while I'm along the road headed to the trail.  And as I ride solo often it gives me some piece of mind knowing that if I am down and a search goes out, they will find me in the dark. It is so bright those who would come looking will be able to see you easily and the battery life is so long that it'll last a couple of days straight. At the end of last winter I was riding in the snow and washed out and this fall broke the hard seatpost mount that came with it, but it still has a clip that has worked without issue since.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Crank Brothers Multi 17 Tool 5/3/2014 3:55 PM
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17 ways CrankBrothers makes you faster and more consistent

Rating:

The Good: This bad boy fits everything on all of my bikes:) trail, single speed, commuter, jump, and friends bikes! CrankBrothers make a few models with fewer and more tools, depending on what your needs are.

The Bad: Just a little extra weight to carry along.

Overall:

It has saved more than a handful of rides and that along makes it invaluable. Nothing is worse than finally getting out on the trail and few miles later you or one of your buddies is broke down and the fun stops and the sweating begins.  It is almost like having a whole bike shop of tools right under the seat.  I have this exact one other than my 17 has some ano-gold trim.  The chain tool functions properly and you can get some good torque on it to pop those stubborn links and the spoke wrench works like a charm and isn't unmanageable considering the rest of the tool is connected.  This little piece of trail wonderment has been well thought out and built with long lasting materials.  All of the hex  wrenches and drivers are still in good shape considering some of the ragged junk that they've fixed.  It's a backcountry must.

This product has 4 reviews.

Added a product review for Giro Bravo LF Glove 1/8/2014 11:04 AM
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Great glove with excellent ride qualities...

Rating:

The Good: fit, fabrics, construction and feel on the bars

The Bad: Nothing yet but I've only got a handful of rides on them. The stitching and panels are all looking and performing as good as day 1.

Overall:

Ok to start off I bought these from jensonusa.com and was super pumped on how they handled the transaction and timing on the standard shipping, I got them right away.

About the gloves: Giro offers a solid glove design. I have always been a Troy Lee XC glove guy which are still fantastic.  That being said these have some outstanding ride qualities that helped them stand tall.  I really like the feel on the hand, it's like a compression wrap for your hand that does not fatigue or stress your grip in anyway.  They feel lighter than my TLD, I'm not a weight weenie and NO,  I didn't not put them on a scale.  Standard features I look for are absorbent back of the thumb, good bar feel and sensation, closure is adequate.  I got them because they were on special at Jenson for a fraction of the cost of a TLD glove but was concerned about the little pads on the callus area and heel of the palm.  They are non issues as soon as my hand grabbed the bars they disappeared, meaning the callus pads couldn't be felt decreasing my tactile feedback from the bars and the palm pad didn't even touch the bar until my riding stance totally relaxed and I sat back to start the climbing.  Giro kicks butt.  These 2011's may not have the 2014 fabrics or patterns but I'll be looking at their stuff in the future and would absolutelyrecommend these.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for 2013 Kona Unit Bike 11/3/2013 9:16 PM
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SS Rigid/Rigid

Rating:

The Good: Geometry: HA is 70 degrees with short chainstays and Reynolds tube set .

The Bad: grips and pedals

Overall:

Ok I'm riding a SS bike for the fall and winter portion of this year. I chose the Unit because of its geometry and because its steel. It turns out that lot of what you hear about SS is not that far from fiction as you might think. Update 2 months later. This bike has become the stand out bike of my bikes. I grab it for more often than not when going to ride anywhere.  It will never match a suspension bike in a DH trail but have been super surprised that my Strava speeds for complete rides( up and down) are really close.  Little to no maintenance, wheels are still true:) cheap and you feel manly riding it...hahaha

5 months later update

This is now my main ride.  I never thought that a SS rigid would be my main training bike.  I got it thinking I'd ride it here and there in the mud and bad conditions to save my suspension and drivetrain.  Spring is here and I'm still hustling this thing even though the trails are dry.  It isn't for every trail obviously but 90% of them.  Love it.  My fitness has improved and when I am on my trail bike, it can be ridden harder, longer and with more than wild abandon.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Schwalbe Hans Dampf Tire 10/29/2013 8:00 PM
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Rocking tire for the Rockies

Rating:

The Good: Bloaty tire volume without the weight. Super grippy in the corners. Tubeless setup with little effort and holds the pressure well without burping at lower pressures.

The Bad: Price and long term wear. After 1000 miles trail riding I noticed the side knobs were tearing off from hard cornering:(

Overall:

Lots of great things to say about these. I ran them for the first part of the season front and rear at 2.35 width on a Transition Covert 29er. they are well spec'd this way from Transition as the stock tire. Great job Transition! They hold corners, roll fast and climb well.  I can say enough about the volume of the 2.35 it is huge huge huge compared to Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5.  Yep they are bigger! Plus they are 200 grams per tire lighter.  I will be going back to these next season after I put some more miles on the Minions.  The TrailStar compound is the real deal.  I liked its fast rolling middle and grippy edges.  The tire has a great round profile with no gaps in tread to leave you hanging as you drop the bike into the turn.  They drift in a very controlled and predictable way.  With qualities like these...LIGHT, GRIPPY and HUGE BLOATY VOLUME you start sprinting into the void without being choosy about which line.  Great All Mountain or Aggressive XC tire but I might not go as far as DH tire as the casing is nowhere near as beefy as the Minion DHF.  I ride lots of rocky trails and haven't had any problems of sidewall failure or punctures.  I should have mentioned that earlier.

This product has 4 reviews.

Added a product review for Shimano M520 Clipless Pedals 4/12/2013 11:14 AM
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Naked DX Pedal! 5 Stars

Rating:

The Good: 1. They're cheap cheap cheap at $30. 2. They're light. 3. They're adjustable. 4. Many many good things.

The Bad: 1. They come with the cheap #51 single release cleat. 2. Nothing.

Overall:

Ok, if you want something with a platform this is not it. However, if you can put your feet on the pedals properly they are the way to go. This is the flagship for Shimano's pedals. Check out the DX or M545 - they are running this same retention system. It's adjustable, zero maintenance, chromo axle, easy to clean if you have to and easy to install and remove with all the clearance. All these great things will come at a price, though! You have to get the proper cleatseparately.  This pedal comes with a #51 single release cleat from Shimano and to really enjoy this pedal for what it is, you need to spend an additional $17-$23 for the multi-release Shimano cleat.

Now you have light, amazing retention and a release that can be tuned by the rider.  I think the DX does come from Shimano with the #56 cleat and is why it gets the rave reviews. This is the DX naked of its resin cage. Don't be shy on these. For under $30 I have paid more and gotten less before.  Get them now if you're in the market and don't forget to get the right cleat. #56 multi release. It is not included unfortunately.

Every review board on the web rates this pedal as the ONE.  If you need the platform go DX - same pedal with resin cage.  Don't go with alloy cage - they rattle!

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for TIME Z Clipless Pedal 4/12/2013 10:48 AM
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Time Z Pedal is Pretty Good

Rating:

The Good: 1. Nice stable platform to work with when you're not clipped in. 2. Effective rotational allowance reduces strain on the knee. 3. For the couple of weeks they were on the bike they seemed strong! 4. They look awesome and feel good underfoot.

The Bad: 1. YOU CAN NOT ADJUST THE RELEASE SPRING! 2. Multi-directional release. It's important to me anyway. 3. Weight, but probably not as you're looking at a platform.

Overall:

I imagined the Time Z to be the be-all-end-all pedal, but they unfortunately ended up in my stash and are nearly new still. I was really looking forward to the nice platform and extra support but the retention system just didn't cut it. I've had many SPD pedals, and had always heard that these were a great pedal and yes they are good. The pedal itself is strong, entry easy, and release is very similar to Shimano with the single release cleat.  So if you're coming from a Shimano pedal to try them and you've been running a single release cleat, you will be happy with these.  If that were the background then they are a 5 star pedal.

I, however, prefer adjustable tension which Time does not offer.  Since the pedal tension can't be adjusted and because of the multi-directional release I'm giving them 4 stars.  The rest of the pedal is really nice and built to take a pounding.

This review is based on my experience with it. Your experience may be different.  Good pedal.

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for Troy Lee Designs XC Gloves 4/4/2013 8:48 PM
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Great Lightweight Breathable Glove - 5 stars!

Rating:

The Good: Super feel and control. If you usually ride without gloves to increase feel for the trail then these are the gloves for you. Pretty plain looking with great breathability. Fairly inexpensive at under 30 dollars.

The Bad: The older versions had a terry thumb panel for wiping your face and nose that was handy. Now it's gone and they've replaced it with a panel that isn't quite as soft but does still work.

Overall:

Great value and feel. If you hit the ground these have just enough to keep your hands happy. Lightweight feel makes them perfect for summer riding. They are true to size. I can operate my galaxy smartphone with them on.  Not sure if that's important to everyone, but for those that do Strava and listen to Pandora it's a benefit not to have to take off your gloves to start, stop, open and close apps while riding. I'm going five stars as this is my 5th+ pair of them and never flinch on buying another set.  Heard some reviewers at other sites saying they had troubles with graphics and seams, but I've never had either of those problems.

This product has 2 reviews.