Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review - Easton XC One Wheelset

I love these wheels. I dropped nearly a pound swapping these for the Mavic CrossRide wheels I was using.  They have a nice stealth black finish with minimal decals, unlike most of what is available these days. Also, the decals are removable if I decide that I don't want to advertise for Easton. Or, if you're a major weight weenie, you could remove them and tell your buddies about how much rotational weight you saved. They are light, stiff, and well built. It is nice that they came with an aluminum lock ring and variety of spacers to get your chainline just right with whatever style of cog you use. I'm using a Chris King cog with it, and have heard that you should avoid the thin steel cogs.  They could tear up the aluminum cassette body.

Redline Monocog Flight AL with Easton XC One wheels

Review - Salsa Stainless Skewers

I have tried using KCNC's super lightweight skewers on my road bike and they didn't have enough clamping power for me on the rear wheel, causing it to slip.  I decided I would rather have a really strong skewer at the penalty of a few non-rotational grams.  The Salsa skewers are beautiful, but I have to say I liked the look of the older finish better.  It was a bit more raw and you could see the machining.  The new finish has a softer look to it with rounded edges and a different texture.  That is the only complaint I have about the skewers, and it is completely my own personal taste.  The new skewers have some nice features like color-matched clamp-shim-washer-things, stainless contact points, and spring retainers.  Check the photo below for a comparison of new and old.  As of this review, Salsa still has photos of the old style on their website.

I'm currently using Salsa skewers on two mountain bikes (hardtail Scott Endorphin and full suspension Sette Ace) and my temporary FR-303 road bike.  I have blue, red, and green and the colors are very rich.  Love 'em.

Images courtesy of QBP & Salsa.

My rare Scott Endorphin sporting blue Salsa skewers.
New style Salsa
Old style Salsa

Review - Mavic Equipe Jacket

This review is a little old, but is a testament to the quality of Mavic apparel.  The Equipe jacket is still available from Mavic, with what looks like only cosmetic changes.

On my first ride with the Mavic Equipe jacket I was very impressed. My ride started at about 5:45 in the morning with the temps in the low 50s and a good amount of fog. Under the jacket, I was only wearing a Defeet UnDShurt Tank and was very comfortable. The jacket is super soft and deceivingly warm for how light it is. I was afraid the arms would be a little long for me, but the cuff is longer than normal and the soft material gently bunches without being annoying. I met three of my GTR teammates in Asilomar and we rode back through Monterey to do some climbs through Monterey and Pebble Beach. This is the only point in the ride when the jacket got a little hot. I opened the zippered sleeve vents in the arms for some cool air and dropped the main zipper a bit and was fine. Speaking of zippers, the main zipper is offset so you don't have any rubbing on the middle of your throat from having the jacket partially unzipped.  We dropped back down into the fog by the coast in Pebble Beach and the jacket was perfect. I finished the ride by coming back through Pacific Grove into Monterey and by then the temps were up in the high 50s. I would say this jacket is best in the 45-60 degree range, but would not use it above 60. It's amazingly comfortable, looks great, and has some wonderful features.

Mavic Equipe Jacket & Blue Norcross SP

Product Reviews

I've decided to post some product reviews I have written on different retail websites.  They are short blurbs, but might be useful to someone out there.  I'm hoping to do more reviews in the future and make it a regular thing here.  Up first - Mavic Equipe jacket...

Wednesday, October 03, 2012