Monday, July 15, 2024

Brooks Hyperion Max 2 Review: 5 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum

Brooks Hyperion Max 2 ($180)

Introduction

Sam: The Hyperion Max 2 is  the Brooks entry in the higher stack height, supercritical foam and flexible plate powered uptempo “super trainer horse” race, a very active category indeed we will compare options in at the end of the article.. V1 was a fairly traditional in construction and ride with a firmer DNA Flast foam and considerably lower stack height.  


Here, Brooks boosts the stack height 4mm at the heel and 6mm at the forefoot using its new DNA Flash v2 foam (as in the Hyperion Elite 4). It now comes in at  what I might call a mini max stack height of  36.25 mm heel / 30.25  mm forefoot. I see it competing with shoes such as the Endorphin Speed, Boston 12, and Mizuno Neo Vista among others, all shoes with similar stack height and a more flexible plate.

.

Pros:

Versatile uptempo longer run focused daily trainer: Sam

Responsive quick returning and forgiving cushion: Sam 

Linear, consistent directed ride: Sam

Guided rear and midfoot stability (and upper support),  without overdoing it: Sam

Rolling, moderately plunging, and lively toe off, flexible Speedvault plate & Rapid Roll: Sam

Upper built for performance and security: Sam


Cons:

Slightly heavier than expected for stack height and materials at 9.25 oz / 262g US9: Sam

Snug midfoot hold may challenge broad feet: Sam

RoadTrailRide: Garmin Edge 840 and Varia RTL515 Bike Radar Reviews

Article by Jeff Valliere

Garmin Edge 840 $449.99 ($549.99 solar) and  Varia RTL515 Bike Radar

$149.99


In the article I test and review the Edge 840 and Varia RTL515 Bike Radar  together an integrated set of cycling data, navigation, and safety tools. 

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Pacer v2: Less Can be More! 10 Comparisons

Article by Ben David, Jeremy Marie, Ryan Eiler, Renee Krusemark, Sally Reiley and Sam Winebaum

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Pacer v2 ($200)

Pros:

  • Light, fast, highly breathable (Ben / Jeremy / Ryan / Renee/ Sally)
  • Some “classic” racing flat” vibes - in a good way (Jeremy/Sam/Renee/Sally)
  • Well balanced combination of midsole softness and snappy turnover (Ryan/Sam/Renee/ Sally)
  • Secure grip (Jeremy / Ryan/ Sally))
  • Don’t miss a maxed out stack height: stable, agile, plenty of cushion, even some front flex: Sam/Sally/Jeremy 
  • Adequate fit, nice foothold and spacious toebox (Jeremy/Sam)

  • Most versatile super shoe yet? Race ready, any training pace or distance friendly: Sam/Sally
  • Great looking shoe! (Sally)
  • Available in 2E Wide

Cons:

  • Not very adept at slower paces, lower stack may not work for everyone (Ben)
  • Might feel firmish for some due to lower stack height (Jeremy)
  • Achilles rubbing / heel design, Minimal heel cup could be more built up for better achilles comfort  (Ryan/Sally/Jeremy)
  • Distinct heel vs forefoot ride characteristics (Ryan)
  • Flat insole was totally unglued at first, wrinkles had to be smoothed out and insole pressed down in place (Sally/Jeremy)

Please see testers run bios at the end of the review. The testers range in marathon times between 2:14 and about 4 hours.


Introduction

Ben: The New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Pacer v2 is called out as a carbon-plated race-day shoe. It is a lighter, lower-stack option than the SuperComp Elite v4. This airy, snappy shoe absolutely sings at shorter distances, such as the 5K and 10K, but is up for longer distances too and was on the feet of New Balance athlete Emily Sisson when she took second place at the U.S Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando this past February. The first version of the shoe were competitors with other 5K / 10K shoes on the market such as the adizero Takumi Sen but this latest iteration (In my opinion) puts New Balance at the head of such a group and yet can also range further. This shoe is fun and fast, truly a pleasure to run in. Let’s take a closer look. 

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Test: New Balance Fuel Cell Venym: Dynamisme et Confort (French)

Article par Jérémy Marie

New Balance Fuel Cell Venym ( €140)

Introduction

Les Venym se présentent comme un modèle “Door to trail”, donc passe partout, avec un accent mis sur le dynamisme. New Balance le met d’ailleurs clairement en avant sur leur site: “Un modèle conçu pour être léger et rapide”.


Équipée de mousse FuelCell, la même que sur la série Rebel pour les modèles route, et munie d’une semelle externe assez cramponnée, la principale question qui se pose avant l’essai est l’adéquation de cette mousse assez moelleuse, avec pas mal de rebond, aux terrains nature, aux trails.


C’est en quelque sorte une version tout terrain de la NB Rebel v4, ce qui est plutôt prometteur vu le succès de la sœur routière.



Pour:

Le confort général

Amorti très vivant, dynamique, offrant beaucoup de rebond.

Pas trop instable malgré le moelleux de la mousse grâce à la large plateforme

Accroche très bonne, bonne adhérence de la gomme.

Passe sans souci des chemins au bitume.

Le prix est raisonnable.


Contre:

Certains coureurs manqueront de support et de stabilité

Revers de la médaille: la semelle est assez molle sera vite limitée en terrain technique.

Durée de vie de la mousse et des crampons ?

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Durston Gear Iceline Trekking Poles Review: Superlight! 8 Day Trek Tested

Article by Sam Winebaum 

Durston Gear Iceline Trekking Poles ($169, currently sold out restocking in fall 2024)

Introduction

Ultralight backpacking tent and pack specialist Durston Gear adds to its portfolio of innovative gear with the new Iceline trekking pole, a superlight (126g) adjustable length 2 section 100% carbon shaft pole.


I tested them during an 8 day trek in Queyras region of France which featured a wide range of terrain including several steep soft snow fields (using optional snow baskets in two sizes), steep shale slopes, many raging torrent crossings and smoother trails.

Durston set out to simplify the trekking pole to its essence while focusing on durability, reliability and the lightest possible weight. They succeed!

Testbericht: adidas Supernova Prima - Mein zur Zeit meistgelaufener Schuh! 7 Vergleiche (German)

Nils Scharff

adidas Supernova Prima (170€)


Einleitung

Ich habe mich schon vor ein paar Wochen in meinem Testbericht des adidas Supernova Rise darüber gefreut, dass adidas endlich wieder einen sog. Dailytrainer im Laufschuh-Lineup hat. Also dieser eine Schuh, der sich wunderbar dafür eignet 80% der Trainingskilometer in ihm zu absolvieren. Nun hat adidas nach kurzer Zeit einen zweiten Trainingsschuh herausgebracht, der dem Rise nicht nur namenstechnisch zum verwechseln ähnlich ist. Auch die Grundzutaten sind dieselben - allen Voraus ein sehr bequemes Obermaterial sowie das neue Mittelsohlenmaterial Dreamstrike+, ein PEBA-basierter Schaum, der auf Haltbarkeit und Beständigkeit ausgelegt ist. Der vermeintlich einzige Unterscheidungspunkt sind wenige Millimeter mehr an Stapelhöhe (30/38mm) - also eine leicht erhöhte Mittelsohle mit einer angepassten Geometrie mit nunmehr 8 statt 10mm Sprengung. Damit kratzt der Supernova Prima an der Max-Cushion Kategorie und adidas bewirbt ihn als den Schuh für ambitionierte Athleten, die Schutz und Komfort während ihrer vielen Trainingseinheiten suchen. Genau da finde ich mich wieder und bin deshalb sehr gespannt, ob mich der Prima noch mehr begeistern kann, als es der Supernova Rise vermochte

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Brooks Hyperion 2 Review

Article by Renee Krusemark and Zack Dunn

Brooks Hyperion 2 ($140)

Pros:

Zack/Renee: Lightweight and nimble

Zack/Renee: Upper has great lockdown in all areas

Zack/Renee: Midsole is lightweight and responsive 

Zack: Increased stack height (4mm) makes shoe more versatile  

Zack/Renee: Outsole is simple yet effective


Cons: 

Zack: Feel like the shoe needs slightly more snappiness, such as from a plastic plate which could elevate it to a near perfect shoe for me

Renee: best for runners who like a forefoot rocker 


Zack is a college runner with a 14:51 5K PR. Renee has a 1:30 half marathon PR
Please find the testers full run bios at the end of the article after Comparisons.

Most comparable shoes 

New Balance Rebel v4

Brooks Hyperion Max v1

Monday, July 08, 2024

2024 UltrAspire Round Up Reviews: Spry 4.0 Race Vest, Synaptic 2.0 Waist Pack, ISO Versa 2.0 Handheld , 550 Race 2.0 Handheld

 Article by Mike Postaski 

Spry 4.0 Race Vest ($74.95Synaptic 2.0 Waist Pack ($59.95), ISO Versa 2.0 Handheld ($24.95), 550 Race 2.0 Handheld ($21.95)


Introduction

I was sent a package of UltrAspire gear this spring for testing. I'm a big fan of the brand, with their products being indispensable in my running/racing setup. The Zygos 5.0 vest is my go-to for long ultras, and the Basham vest is my favorite ultralight vest option for shorter runs and even longer outings where water is readily available. Their waist lights have also been a go-to for night running and overnight ultras. Currently I'm using their Lumen 600 for overnight racing.


I've also tested both versions of the Big Bronco race vest. I've been leaning towards using hydration bladders recently, so those vests aren't ideal for me. But they are advantageous if you prefer flasks up front, and want all pockets accessible on the go. The main item I'll be reviewing here is the Spry 4.0 vest. This vest wasn't on my radar at all, so I fully tested it with an open mind, with no expectations as far as expected usage. I also received their Synaptic 2.0 waist belt as well as two handheld options - ISO Versa 2.0 and 550 Race 2.0.

Brooks Ghost Max 2 Video Review: Smoothie Comfort Max Cushion Road Cruising!

Video by Sam Winebaum

Brooks Ghost Max 2 ($150) 

Brooks updates its max cushion cruiser with DNA Loft v3 supercritical foam and with a new yet more plush upper. 
In the video I detail the shoe, discuss fit and ride, compare to v1 and reach some conclusions.

Sunday, July 07, 2024

Ombraz Teton Armless Sunglasses Review

Article by Markus Zinkl

Ombraz Teton ($160.00)

Introduction

Ombraz, a Washington-based eyewear company, has carved a niche in the market by focusing on simplicity and style. Their innovative armless design, which arose from a founder’s experience of breaking his sunglasses and improvising with string, launched successfully through an Indiegogo campaign. Ombraz emphasizes durability, functionality, and a unique aesthetic in their products.

Pros

  • Unparalleled hold for any activity

  • Unbreakable design

  • Carl Zeiss lenses

  • Comfortable fit and stylish form factor

  • Lifetime guarantee

  • 20 trees planted per pair bought

  • Additional side shields available

  • 100% UV protection

  • Available with prescription lenses through Lens & Frame Co.

Cons

  • Cord design can create tangles with helmets and is not easy to take on and off

  • Lenses are not interchangeable

Saucony Hurricane 24 Review: 3 Comparisons

Article by Allison Valliere

Saucony Hurricane 24 ($160)


Pros: 

Cushion, comfort, stability, protection, breathability, durable outsole

Cons: 

Lacking response/agility, big, broad on the ground and built up

Saturday, July 06, 2024

Merrell Moab Speed 2 Mid Gore-Tex Review: Tour du Queyras Trek Tested!

Article by Dominique Winebaum

 Merrell Moab Speed 2 Mid Gore-Tex ($180)

Doing research for a friend who was looking for a pair of light hiking boots, I came across the Moab Speed 2 Mid GTX, and opted to test them on our 8 day trek on the Tour du Queyras, the GR 58 in France. 


It is an 80 mile course with significant elevation gain (25,345 ft) and loss (/25,180 ft), in the Queyras Natural Park located in the Hautes-Alpes department near the Italian border, and south of Briançon.  

ASICS Superblast 2 Review: 4 Comparisons

Article by Michael Ellenberger and Sally Reiley

ASICS Superblast 2 ($200)

Pros:

  • Bouncy and responsive ride: new foams including top end FF TURBO PLUS: Michael

  • Improved upper for better lockdown and comfort: Michael

  • More durable outsole with improved grip: Michael

  • Highly cushioned - love the max-stack of  45 mm heel /  37 mm forefoot for all sorts of runs: Michael


Cons:

  • May be too firm for some runners (especially those who loved the v1 for its softness): Michael

  • Somewhat pricey at $200: Michael


Introduction

Michael: The original ASICS Superblast (“v1”) was an absolute fan favorite among runners for its energetic ride and plush cushioning and very light weight. It was one of the first “super trainers” and a plateless one at that to hit the market, and (speaking without any scientific basis) one of the most popular - it’s certainly the max-stack trainer I see most commonly in the wild. 


The ASICS Superblast 2 takes those winning qualities and elevates them - it’s not revolution, but it’s definitely evolution, and while I don’t think those with a backstock of v1 need to long for the latest and greatest, there are enough upgrades here to make the newest model worthwhile (even at the relatively hefty $200 price point).

Thursday, July 04, 2024

New Balance Fresh Foam X Balos Initial Video Review

Video by Sam Winebaum

New Balance Fresh Foam X Balos ($200)

In the video below,  I detail the Balos and take it for an initial 10K run commenting on Fit and Ride. I also compare to the adidas Supernova Prima and 361 Eleos which are of similar construction and materials as well as New Balance's More v4 and 1080 v13

Fresh Foam Balos Initial Video Review (21:57)

The Balos has a soft PEBA /EVA blend midsole stacked big (38.5mm heel / 32.5 mm forefoot) and light at 8.6 oz / 243g US 8.5 sampl

It has a very pronounced rocker and thick firm black heel rubber to keep the softness from bottoming out and moving forward in key rear and front wear areas. The rest of the midsole is an outsole grade EVA.

The upper is a soft pliable and very supportive mono mesh backed inside with a grid of underlays. 

Balos has a lightly padded stretch knit tongue with gusset and plush rear collars

$200. Available August 2024. 
Full written multi tester review soon.

Shopping at our partners below is much appreciated and helps support RoadTrailRun

NEW BALANCE
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Thule Urban Glide 3 Review

Article by Michael Ellenberger

Thule Urban Glide 3 ($650)


Michael: If two people love each other very much, and also love running… well, long story short, there comes a time when you’re looking for a running stroller! Thule was kind enough to send me the Urban Glide 3 - a stroller which I had already been eyeing myself - and my wife and I have put it through its paces (at least, relatively speaking - I plan on adding a follow-on review after a summer and fall of mileage) and I’m happy to say - even with relatively preliminary testing (about 50 miles onboard, across a couple different terrains) - this thing rules the road.