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Christian Peper's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Shimano M162 SPD Shoes 3/26/2014 1:55 PM

Nice all mountain spd shoe!


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;)


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!

This product has 2 reviews.

Added a product review for Giro Bravo LF Glove 1/8/2014 11:04 AM

Great glove with excellent ride qualities...


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.


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

SS Rigid/Rigid


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

The Bad: grips and pedals


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

Rocking tire for the Rockies


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:(


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 3 reviews.

Added a product review for Shimano M520 Clipless Pedals 4/12/2013 11:14 AM

Naked DX Pedal! 5 Stars


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.


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

Time Z Pedal is Pretty Good


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.


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

Great Lightweight Breathable Glove - 5 stars!


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.


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.