Stuff I Use and Like

I enjoy doing reviews of products that I have found that either work really well, or that make my life on and around the bike more enjoyable. As always, these are my opinions and once you try something, you may find you have a different opinion.,That said, plenty of people ask about what I use and like so here is a list of some of the highlights.

 

  • Road Bike-2014 Trek Madone 7 series frame and fork from the Project One shop. This is an amazing bike and I have really grown to love it more and more since I first rode it. I decided to go with the H1 geometry. The frame is light and quite stiff. The bike handles like a dream and I love racing it in crits because it corners better than any bike I’ve had so far.

  • Quarq powermeter– After using the Powertap powermeter setup for several years, I decided to switch to a crank based unit so that I could ride different wheels without having two Powertap hubs. The unit I have has worked flawlessly and the battery life lasts me 4-6 months riding 10-12 hours a week.

  • Sram Force 22 drivetrain-When I ordered my Trek Madone I switched from Sram Red 10 speed to Sram Force 22. I couldn’t be happier with the Force 22 components that I am using. I feel that the shifting is on par with the Red 10 speed group I had on my last bike. The weight of the group is also comparable to the former Red groupset. The clincher for me was the price savings with the Force 22. I got all the quality and performance I need and saved over $1000 by going with the Force 22. I’d recommend this drivetrain to anyone.

  • Bontrager Integrate brakes-These work well and I did not see a need to spend money to upgrade them. The only downside is the brake mounted below the bottom bracket tends to collect quite a bit of dirt and braking power is reduced in messy conditions.

  • Shimano BC 9000 shifter cable set with housings in white-I had been a fan of the Yokozuna Reaction cables and still find them to be excellent cables and housing, but  the Shimano BC 9000 cables were recommended by my bike shop as an alternative with a feature being the new cable coating which is supposed to last better than previous versions. So far I have been quite happy with these cable’s performance.

  • KMC X11sl Chain-I have had chains from pretty much every manufacturer and these chains are my favorite for durability, strength and shifting. They are also incredibly light and easy to maintain with the missing link design which eases the process of removing a chain for a thorough cleaning.

  • Bontrager R3 Tubeless Ready 25mm Tires-I decided to make the jump to a tubeless tire setup on the Trek Madone and I couldn’t be more pleased with these tires. They are durable, handle well, hold up in all kinds of conditions from dirt and gravel to potholes to snow and rain.  These are the tires I use to train on everyday. I have raced on them as well when the weather forcast called for rain and when the road surface was less than ideal. I raced the Tour of Battenkill on them and had a great race with no tire problems at all. I really love that I can run this setup at a lower tire pressure and have really grown to love the ride that I get from this setup.
  • Fizik Arione CX saddle-This one fits me well and once I find something that works I like to stick with it. It may not work well for you. Saddles are very person-specific and each person is unique.

  • Bontrager Bar Tape-This tape offers a nice clean wrap, large color selection, good grip and very nice durability!

  • Reynolds Sixty Six Tubular Wheels-These are my everyday race wheels. I love tubulars for racing and these wheels are light, fast and sturdy plus they do it all. At under 1400g a pair, they are light enough for the climbs and crits, fast on the flats, and work great in the time trials. They truly fit the all around race wheel need that I had. The braking on the carbon rim is also great compared to my old carbon wheels. My only negative feedback is that they are a little bit twitchy in a crosswind situation, but I have them paired with an aero frame as well, so this is to be expected.
  • Vittoria Corsa Evo CX II Tubular-These are the tires I run on my race wheels. They are one of the pro standard. Supple, grippy and tough enough to get you through even rough roads. Try them and feel the tubular difference!
  • Garmin Edge 510 GPS computer-There are a lot of things that I like about this unit but it has some bugs which can be frustrating. When its working right, and most of the time it is, I love the design and functionality of it.

  • Speedplay Zero pedals-I am on my second pair of pedals and love the simplicity of the setup and us. The low platform and two sided entry are both clear advantages for me.

  • Fizik R3 road shoes-These are comfortable to me and suit the high arches my feet have. The sole is stiff and the footbed helps my feet stay comfortable and not go numb after hours of riding.

  • Giro Atmos helmet-I have no particular reason for this other than I like the fit and color and the ventilation is good.

  • Swiftwick Aspire Socks-I can’t say enough good things about these socks. I love them. You’ll love them. I love them so much I look for excuses to wear them off the bike, they are that comfortable. It blows my mind that I can get back from a ride covered in sweat and my feet will be pretty much dry! Somebody I recommended them too recently called them “life changing!” Get yourself a few pairs and see if you like your old socks better. For my review of them, check out this article.

  • Oakley Flak Jacket sunglasses-I can understand why someone might not want to spend over $100 on sunglasses, however, one thing I need to be outside in the sun is high quality, polarized sunglasses. I like that Oakley’s lenses are on the cutting edge of quality with many lens colors for varying light conditions and preferences. The Flak Jacket gives me the ability to change lenses easily depending on conditions and I like the half frame design. There are many high quality sunglasses makers but I think it is highly important to protect your eyes while on the bike with a high quality pair of sunglasses.

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