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first impressions

Gear Me… Osprey Talon 22 first impressions.

If you have been cycling for a while, you probably have some sort of backpack that is made just for your cycling pleasure. I am sure that most of us gear geeks have a Camelback or two hanging out in our gear shed (Two for me!). My latest purchase needed to be a little more versatile than both of my Camelbacks, so I decided to try out another brand, which led me to my local outfitter, Roads, Rivers, Trails to check out the variety of packs. After talking over my wants and needs with their knowledgeable staff, I ended up going with Osprey. The bird geek in me rejoiced.

The Talon 22 is one of their Multi-Use packs, which focuses primarily on cycling. This pack is very versatile in regards to size, fitting in the 1200-1300 cu in. daypack category. This is a size of pack that I am desperately lacking (I am a backpack whore, I’ll admit) and primarily I plan on using it to carry my growing camera gear while on the bike. I also wanted a pack that I could load up for the day, and stay in the woods for a while. This pack fits right in with those thoughts. While it is on the smaller side of the spectrum, it still packs in quite a bit of gear, and I plan on trying to do an ultralight overnight or two with this pack, with minimal gear of course.

Some of the other handy features of this pack are an external hydration sleeve to keep your reservoir separate from your stuff; side pockets with compression straps, with one side having taller tie down points for longer gear, like a tripod; and the handy dandy LidLock, which holds your helmet in place when you are not wearing it. I am a bit confused as to why I need that concept, but it does work nicely.

In this price range of around $100, this is a solid pack so far. I have only had it in action just once, since I just bought it yesterday. Today on a small hike, I loaded it to capacity to see how it felt, and it was pretty amazing. We shall see how that first impression stands up to the tests of time. Stay tuned!

Osprey sums up the Talon 22 with this short video, as well as providing the monotone overdub:

Be sure to check out Osprey at the link above, as well as Roads, Rivers, Trails which is located in historic downtown Milford!

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Just Riding Along… First Impressions.

First impressions are huge. They are when you decide if you are going to like something or not, in a very quick amount of time. Today was the prime example of that. A bike ride materialized out of nowhere, so the Troll was loaded up and I was racing the sunset. Decided to make the journey to East Fork state park to see if the trails were ride-able, and luckily they were.

This is my first “real” mountain bike ride on the Troll, not just tooling around the local nature preserve. This is single track, and sweet single track it is. Anyway, the Troll performed as it should. It reminds me a lot of my former Haro Mary single speed. I make this comparison only due to the fact that the top tube is stretched a bit, and I am using the same On One Mary handlebars. They are both steel frames, so that plays into the comparisions as well. These similarities make me happy, as the Haro Mary was one of my favorite bikes. Solid, smooth ride characteristics, which is surprising for a rigid frame. The Maxxis Ardents are a big surprise at how well they handle too. They are huge, at 2.6″ wide, but they just lock into the soil and hold your line. I was planning to replace them for summer riding, but I might shelve that idea for the time being. Again though, this is only my first impression, not a long term test. I will probably change my mind in due time.

Things that I will be changing soon: I feel that I need a shorter stem. I am a little too stretched out for my liking, but it is not a deal breaker at the moment. Another change that should happen is my front derailleur. It is the only part out of the build that just does not work too well. It was cheap, and it works, but it will be a cheap and easy fix. Sub par shifting, luckily I am from a single speed background, so the chain stayed in the middle ring for the entire ride.

So not a long ride, but a ride nonetheless. It was nice to be out on the trails again, the only rider in the woods, watching the sun drop below the tree line while soaking up the remaining light on the sweet single track. Can’t wait to be out again…

Just keep spinning…