Category: Reviews (page 1 of 2)

Review- Klean Recovery, Electrolytes, and BCAA+ Peak ATP

A few months ago I received a package from Klean Athlete with three products to try out. I was excited to give them a try since this year seems to have been the year of nutritional gains for me. Klean Athlete sent me some things that have been right up my alley of thinking, specifically their Recovery Product.

To make this a bit easier to follow, I hit each of the three products separately after giving some general information so you can know what you are getting.

And that really is what Klean is all about. Continue reading

HotShot Review

Every once in a while, someone in story looks at an age old problem and comes up with an brilliantly unique solution. Example, increased aerodynamics through ditching the traditional double diamond frame shape like Dimond or Ventum bikes. Obviously, only time will tell if these ideas will work out in the long run. Questions abound from the stability, stiffness, and recently even the safety of such designs. There is a reason traditional designers have stood the test of time!

But on the nutritional side of things, the age old dilemma that has plagued about every athlete at one time or another is that of cramping! The team behind HotShot is looking to be that radical solution that challenges the traditional approach to cramping.  Continue reading

Review- Profile Design 1/Fifty Wheelset

Faster. That’s the adjective that every endurance athlete is working towards. We want to go faster, so we train harder, eat smarter, and buy that fancy new gadget that promises a few seconds here and a couple minutes there. For a triathlete, that focus usually comes on the bike. It is simply the easiest place you can “buy speed.” So we look for the best way to spend our limited resources to get the biggest bang for our bucks. One of the most popular ways to get those precious few seconds back is with a set of aero wheels. And with these new wheels from Profile Design, we can save a few bucks, and still get that aero benefit we are looking for!

What are they?
The new 1/Fifty wheels from Profile Design are a lower cost option to their higher end TwentyFour series wheels. As the name suggests, they are 50mm deep carbon clinchers that put them right in that range of all around wheelsets. They are not super deep to only be used for time trials or triathlons, and they are not shallow to mainly be used for climbing or training. That 40-60mm range is really a Sweet spot for rim depth.

What’s the difference between these and the TwentyFour series?
Like I said before, these are the “budget alternative to the TwentyFour series.” Where a full set of 58/TwentyFours will set you back $1398, the 1/Fifty’s will only cost you $999. Look for them on sale and you can even snag them for $750! Obviously, my first question in seeing that price difference was “what am I giving up to save that $400?”

There is not a ton of information out there, but through some of my own digging, and then my observations actually being able to ride both sets of wheels I was able to find some minor differences. The first is that Profile Design says they are us using the same rim shape they used on the TwentyFour series which was validated using CFD. What they don’t say is that they validated this rim shape at the 50mm depth. That means this is still a fast shape, just maybe not perfectly optimized for the 50mm vs the 38, 58, and 78mm depth.

The only other major difference I found was that PD also went with round spokes on these versus bladed spokes on the TwentyFour series. This doesn’t seem like a hunger deal, but from wind tunnel test I have heard from the likes of Flo and others, bladed spokes make a big difference. I’m not sure what kind of hit aerodynamically that would be in this case, but I know it’s there.

The final difference is the culmination of a bunch of little things. Both sets come with brake pads, rim tape, skewers, etc. but the overall presentation in the packaging is lower with the 1/Fifty wheels. Obviously, they were thinking about cutting cost wherever the could. I also noticed slight differences in a few other accessories like the skewers. I couldn’t really tell if there was a performance difference between the two, so I reached out to customer service and here is what they said:

“You pay a little more for the twenty four series wheels and that is one of the items that are upgrade from the 1/fifty version. Both skewers sets will do the same job, the twenty four series are just a little bit lighter and slimmer design.”

So there you have it. In my mind it is really like the difference between opening up a brand new iPhone or other Apple device versus pretty much any other electronic. Those of you who have gotten a new iDevice know what I’m talking about. It’s that attention to every last detail and the whole experience that is extra nice. Once you get out and start using it, all of that fancy packaging is gone, so you don’t really care. But first impressions mean a lot.

How do you like them?
The 1/Fifty’s are not bad wheels. Obviously I like the TwentyFour s better, but I hope that would be the case for spending $500 extra. Profile Design touts their number one selling feature to be their best in class braking performance compared to other carbon wheels, and the 1/Fifty’s line right up with the others from Profile Design. I felt a slight drop in performance compared to aluminum wheels, but nothing I noticed too much. These wheels did great in any weather I threw at them.

As far as ride quality goes, I noticed an immediate improvement over my stock wheels, and I know it was worth the upgrade. I could hold my speed longer and I even felt a little smoother ride. I am aware that all of this is totally subjective, but I was pleased all around.

I did have one issue with these wheels. When I installed them, I went for a trainer ride to make sure everything was adjusted properly before heading out to the open road. I immediately head a popping noise coming from the rear wheel accompanied by a jump in the drivetrain. I narrowed down the possible culprits when I realized the rear derailed was not jumping, and the chain wasn’t skipping. It was like the whole drivetrain came loose for a second and then caught itself. That’s the only way I can describe it. My thought was that the hub was defective.

I sent in a request for warranty service and the great people at Profile Design took care of me. They sent me a prepaid shipping label to send the wheels back to them and they sent me a new set the day after they received my old ones. Since I had to ship them across the country both ways it took about 2 weeks to get my new wheels, but in the end it worked out. Obviously I would have wished the first set had been good to start with, but I’m happy with the great customer service and the end result is that I’ve got new wheels on my bike!

I found out after the fact that this was in fact a manufacturing defect. Trisports, where I bought my wheels, sent me an email warning me of the issue and gave me a contact directly at PD. Since I already had the issue resolved I didn’t need all of that. Talking to my editor for Trisports University she told me I was probably “the point of the spear” in finding the defect. It’s nice to be a help… but I’m also glad I didn’t crash on the wheels! As far as I can tell, the wheels on sale now are defect free!

Would you recommend them?
That’s a tough question. It really depends on your finances. If you can snag these for $750 like I saw around Christmas sales, go for it! These are a great buy at that price. If you are paying full price, my main question is if you can afford to squeeze out that extra $400. If yes, then the 58/TwentyFour or 58/78 TwentyFour wheels are within reach. If you are the type that is going to kick yourself knowing you are not on the fastest wheels around, you need to make the jump up. If you are the type of person who is all about the budget, go for the 1/Fifty’s

At the end of the day, if you get these wheels (without a defective hub lol) you will be happy for a good product that is a definite upgrade from your stock training wheels.

(Disclaimer: yes, I purchased these wheels myself. I got them from Trisports.com over the Christmas season while they were on sale. With Trisports going out of business they are listed as “out of stock” and I doubt they will get them back in. You can check Amazon and use the links on this page to support the site!)

Review- Hammer Nutrition Fully Charged

Nutrition is a vital part of any athletic experience. Go to any high school sports practice and see how many athletes will dare chug a soda in front of their coach before practice. I remember my coach telling me to lay off the soft drinks for the entirety of baseball season. Whether we listened or not, that is another story.

But the foundation of all of this is that what you put in your body affects how you perform. do you want to get the best results you possibly can? Then you need to make sure you are fueling your body with the highest quality fuel! And if you want to get your body going before that big race or workout, you may want to try priming the pump. That is where Hammer Nutrition’s Fully Charged Pre-Igniter comes into the picture.  Continue reading

Review- Balega socks

Socks… not something many triathletes spend time thinking about unless it’s under the topic of transition time. Usually the thought is either to wear socks or not to wear socks, and not usually which socks to wear. As must long distance runner know, and triathletes making the jump to long distance find out quickly, your socks matter. That thin layer of fabric separating your shoes and your feet can make or break a long run.

That is where Balega steps in. I’ve been running in these socks since Balega sent me a couple pairs to try out 2 months ago, and honestly… I haven’t even noticed them. And that’s a good thing. A good pair of socks need to disappear when you put them on. And that’s what these socks do! Continue reading

Review- Riplaces

Most serious triathletes are always looking for the latest and greatest gadgets to get them to the finish line faster. More aero, lighter, high tech means better right? Today’s product review shows me that isn’t always true. Sometimes the way to go is a simple hack brewed out of good ole’ American ingenuity!

Elastic shoe laces are not anything new. I bought a pair for my first triathlon and have been running in them ever since. They are cheep and can be found online or just about anywhere. But every single style I’ve tried has left just a little to be desired. Either they were hard to adjust, or you were left with the choice between the ability to open them all the way or a long string flapping around as you ran. Then I was sent a pair of Riplaces to try out! Continue reading

Review: Honey Stinger Waffle

Starting off the New Year we have a review for you! Today we’re taking a look at the Honey Stinger Waffle!

Waffles have been a big hit recently with a number of companies giving their own variation on this great snack. But to really understand them, you need a little history lesson.

The thin, filled cookie-like waffles have their root in the Stroopwafel of the Netherlands. They were originally a snack developed by some bakers in the town of Gouda (yes.. like the cheese) to make use of scraps they had leftover. They are made of two thin wafers with a layer of syrup between. Their popularity grew and eventually grabbed the attention of cyclists to be used as a quick snack while on the road. Today, these snack have taken off and can be found in coffee shops AND bike shops all over the world. Continue reading

Review- The Triathlete’s Training Bible 4th Ed.

For this edition of Friday Reviews I wanted to drop a quick not on a book I just finished: The Triathlete’s Training Bible 4th Ed.

     The big selling point for this book is that it is totally revamped with the latest in sports science. Joe Friel even states in the preface that some of the things he says in this latest edition CONTRADICTS some of the information in the older editions. He talks about that in-depth in the intro and how readers of his blog would be up in arms about things he would write that contradict older info in his books.

     The basic reason for this is that as sports science gains better information and studies either prove or disprove long held training philosophies then the athletes and coaches training should reflect that to a degree. Fitness is always a moving target and the more we learn about the human body, the better we can hit that target at the right time for our “A Race.”

Continue reading

Trisports University Post: NiteRider Review

I like to let me readers know when something I’ve written is published other places. So here you go!

Over at Trisports University I just got a review posted of the NiteRider Lumina 950 Boost and Sentinel 150 lights. I don’t want to simply paste what I wrote there, but think of this as more of a cliff notes version of the full review.

First of all, let’s explain what these are. The Lumina 950 is NiteRider’s newest bike light for road bikes. It replaces the 800 model. The 950 and the 800 actually stand for the brightness of the light at it’s highest capacity, so obviously the biggest improvement in the 950 is an extra 150 lumens of brightness.

The Sentinel 150 is a tail light with daylight visibility flash for extra daytime visibility. The biggest standout factor of this unit is the laser lanes it can project on either side of your bike. This gives you a virtual lane you can ride in as if there were an actual bike lane on the road.

My conclusion at the end of the review is all great! These lights are bright and durable. You really can’t ask for more than that. Head over to the review at Trisports University to get all the details and my thoughts on the various features in the units. Then buy yourself a set! They are on sale right now, and if you want a 20% off code, just let me know in the comments, on twitter, or using the contact form!

Review- Finish Line Super Bike Wash

You know you need to keep your bike clean, but you hate cleaning it. Or maybe you’re like me and you think cleaning your bike is borderline therapeutic, but you live in an apartment. Today I’m reviewing a product that can help us both out: Finish Line’s Super Bike Wash!

cleaning-your-bike-in-the-showerI’ve tried a few bike washing methods over the years of apartment life. Finding a hose is quite the task for most apartment dwellers unless your complex has a nice car wash area (that’s free). My first try at bike washing was the shower. I’ve shown pictures of that before. It got my bike clean, but my wife was not too happy and I spent more time cleaning the shower than I did cleaning my bike.

Continue reading

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