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  1. #1
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    MTB shoes and gear

    Having a conference in SF on Feb. and will be in the US for like two weeks total that I would like to use for some shopping.
    Shoes - always used Shimano for good and bad and liked the older versions of the MT40 (maybe MT38?) and today use the older version of the M181 (maybe M180) which is disappointing. Buckles broke on a simple crash than they never really hold for the ride and need re-fastning and the shoe tears everywhere very easily. The balck cool plastic is just a crappy plastic that peels very easily. Not recomended despite the cool look.
    What are you guys doing?. Should I use my 20% off REI coupon and get the Sidi which is never on sale, or do you have other recomndations?.
    Shorts - Always went Lycra (sorry if I am not cool for AM riding but that's what I found was working for me) and mostly Pearl Isumi. Today I don't know if PI worth the money and if it's the best?. Never had full length padded, do you find it better than shorts with long tights under?. What, where?. Recomndations wellcomed.
    Gloves - Always used cut fingers and mostly Gel padded pearls. For winter riding I have full hand pearl base layer gloves under my gloves. I could'nt find these base layers in the last 6-7 years and maybe they've passed from this world but I liked it. Should I go full finger?. What?, wher?,... .
    Sure I need many more things (new helmet, HRM, Cliff bars as I can't even taste Power Bars any more and all the other after cristmess deals you can not pass on). This is more than enough for a start and maybe the shoes are of most importance.
    Again what and where (online stores and/or Performance and REI that I can find easily)?.
    Thanks
    GB

  2. #2

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    What time in February?

    I'm a parttimer at REI and we are having our Super Clearance Sale next month. If you are unfamiliar with it, it's when any item ending in an $.83 is subject to an additional 50% off the price. So for example you find a widget that is priced at $19.83, when you go through the register, you'll get it for $9.92 instead. Now keep in mind you ain't gonna get the most latest stuff. Usually it's stuff that is a season or two (or more) old. The first couple of days, things sell out QUICK. My advice to people is to do it online first thing on the first Friday of the sale. Here's a hint...you can get a decent idea of what will be on sale by going to both REI.com and REI-Outlet.com several days before the sale starts and look for items ending in $.83. It's not a guarantee that those same items will be available when everything goes "live", but from my experience, it's pretty darn close.

    Never worn SIDI's cuz they are too expensive even though we can prodeal 'em. I'm a fan of the Pearl Izumi Vagabonds. I know in our store, both the men's and women's versions are on sale for less than $60 and they are ending in $83 so I'm just hoping this carries over next month.

    For winter riding, I have two pairs of the PI Therma Fleece tights. Love 'em!!!! Used 'em down into the low 30s without freezing my giblets off.

    I use full finger gloves (Novara & Fox) for mountain biking. I just like the additional coverage even in the middle of the summer when it's 100 degrees in the Boise Foothills.

    If I were you, I'd go for the SIDI's with the 20% off coupon.

    Nick

  3. #3
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    Thanks Nick

    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    What time in February?

    I'm a parttimer at REI and we are having our Super Clearance Sale next month. If you are unfamiliar with it, it's when any item ending in an $.83 is subject to an additional 50% off the price. So for example you find a widget that is priced at $19.83, when you go through the register, you'll get it for $9.92 instead. Now keep in mind you ain't gonna get the most latest stuff. Usually it's stuff that is a season or two (or more) old. The first couple of days, things sell out QUICK. My advice to people is to do it online first thing on the first Friday of the sale. Here's a hint...you can get a decent idea of what will be on sale by going to both REI.com and REI-Outlet.com several days before the sale starts and look for items ending in $.83. It's not a guarantee that those same items will be available when everything goes "live", but from my experience, it's pretty darn close.

    Never worn SIDI's cuz they are too expensive even though we can prodeal 'em. I'm a fan of the Pearl Izumi Vagabonds. I know in our store, both the men's and women's versions are on sale for less than $60 and they are ending in $83 so I'm just hoping this carries over next month.

    For winter riding, I have two pairs of the PI Therma Fleece tights. Love 'em!!!! Used 'em down into the low 30s without freezing my giblets off.

    I use full finger gloves (Novara & Fox) for mountain biking. I just like the additional coverage even in the middle of the summer when it's 100 degrees in the Boise Foothills.

    If I were you, I'd go for the SIDI's with the 20% off coupon.

    Nick
    I am flying in Sunday Feb. 11th and can probaly get to an REI store the same day, and leaving arround 25th. Never had much luck with the Feb. sale as by the time I got to the store, all the real staff was gone. The Vegabonds don't get high scores at MTBR for some reason (look is very cool).
    The 20% off works great and I'll probably use it for the Sidis that I guess I should fit at a store rather then buy online. 3 years ago I used the cuopon for the crappy Shimano's M180 that were 140$ full price(just went over the reviewes and everybody had the same complaints). I guess you can not be dissapointed with the Sidi.
    Thanks for the heads up!.

  4. #4
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    Shoes- I use the Specialized BG comp(I think shoes) around 120 bucks. I've been satisfied with them. I've got some pretty flat feet and it helps a little with my pronation problem. I don't have to run an orthotic or anything special with them. Now, if I didn't have to answer to a wife then I would go with the 20% off at rei and get the Sidis.

    Shorts- PI bibs. I try to buy one every time i get a 20% coupoon at REI. Either Attacks or Ultrasensor. I find my attacks lasting a little longer through the crotch than the Ultrasensor.

    Gloves- Full Finger- Anything from Fox or 661 with light padding/none at all. Locally, it was hard to find full finger gloves from fox at the LBS. Then I realized, motocross stores carried fox and they carried a variety of fox gloves. Same gloves just marketed to motocross.
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  5. #5
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    Shoes- I second the specialized shoes I've had a pair for three years and they have held up fairly well. The reviews I have read say that they are only comfortable on certain foot shapes so try them on first.

    Shorts- If you want to go the baggy route I say nema crown jewels are the best I have tried so far with the deviate second. (fox, Oakley, zoic, sugoi, deviate) The IMBA special edition ones are on close out at the IMBA store for $28 you can only get them at the web site though.

    Gloves- definitely full finger I got so sick of pulling blackberry thorns out of my knuckles I'll never touch regular cycling gloves again. I just look for minimal padding and a terry thumb I'm using a pair of dakines right now they are a little warm in the summer so I'll probably be looking for a new pair soon.

  6. #6
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    Thanks 95stumpy and Jet fixer

    Quote Originally Posted by jet fixer
    Shoes- I second the specialized shoes I've had a pair for three years and they have held up fairly well. The reviews I have read say that they are only comfortable on certain foot shapes so try them on first.

    Shorts- If you want to go the baggy route I say nema crown jewels are the best I have tried so far with the deviate second. (fox, Oakley, zoic, sugoi, deviate) The IMBA special edition ones are on close out at the IMBA store for $28 you can only get them at the web site though.

    Gloves- definitely full finger I got so sick of pulling blackberry thorns out of my knuckles I'll never touch regular cycling gloves again. I just look for minimal padding and a terry thumb I'm using a pair of dakines right now they are a little warm in the summer so I'll probably be looking for a new pair soon.
    1. where can you find (not online) the specialized shoe?

    2. understand your full finger approach but why the minimal padding?

  7. #7
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    Wink answering wife about shoes?????

    Quote Originally Posted by 95Stumpy
    Shoes- I use the Specialized BG ........ Now, if I didn't have to answer to a wife then I would go with the 20% off at rei and get the Sidis.

    .
    Don't know how it goes with you but my wife never answers me about shoes. She buy and throw so often that I believe I could get 10 SIDIs a year on the budget she uses for shoes per year. I mean this is realy strange as she will buy high heel shoes and boots even after back operation when she knows she will suffer pain.
    No I don't need to answer anything about shoes.

  8. #8
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    Get the shoes at a specialized dealer there are about 20 in san fran
    I usually get hot/numb spots in my hands if there is to much padding in a glove.

  9. #9
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    "Off the Ramp"???

    Quote Originally Posted by jet fixer
    Get the shoes at a specialized dealer there are about 20 in san fran
    I usually get hot/numb spots in my hands if there is to much padding in a glove.
    Do they count as Spesh. dealers???.
    Thanks
    GB

  10. #10
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    Any Specialized dealer should stock them. Search their website for a dealer that will be near you.

    As far as the gloves, I just found that after buyng my 575 I really didn't need all the padding and that I actually like the "feel" with my grips, if that makes sense.
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  11. #11
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    I got the, "do you really need to spend 200+ on cycling shoes?" Like I said, I am very pleased with my Specialized Shoes. The plus side is my wife doesn't like to shop and only buys shoes and clothing only if she really needs to. I am the one who spends most of the money. She is very low maintenance. So, I don't have a leg to stand on in that matter.
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  12. #12
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    Shoes I agree on the specialized. They fit me well and have held up well over 4 seasons of pretty rough use.

    Shorts I go for performance elite shorts. I have one pair of Pearls that are like a sandpaper seat when I use them. The stitching around the chamois is the problem. No pearls for me

    Gloves: Louis Garneau all the way, ergo air fingerless in the summer. Full length windblockers in the winter. They are cool, comfortable and hold up much better than pearls. I used to get 6 months from a pair of PI's. I've got a 2+ year old pair of Ergos that I'm finally ready to replace.
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  13. #13
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    shoes again

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBonty
    Having a conference in SF on Feb. and will be in the US for like two weeks total that I would like to use for some shopping.
    Shoes - always used Shimano for good and bad and liked the older versions of the MT40 (maybe MT38?) and today use the older version of the M181 (maybe M180) which is disappointing. Buckles broke on a simple crash than they never really hold for the ride and need re-fastning and the shoe tears everywhere very easily. The balck cool plastic is just a crappy plastic that peels very easily. Not recomended despite the cool look.
    What are you guys doing?. Should I use my 20% off REI coupon and get the Sidi which is never on sale, or do you have other recomndations?.
    Well I got two recommendations PI Vega and Spesh.
    Doing some more reading I see that my bad experience with Shimano's buckle is not unique (Shimano had much more issues) but also guys with the Spesh. shoes and even SIDIs complained about the buckles. Any thoughts towards shoes with buckles in general?.
    If SIDI is really the best, I don't mind paying the price but I hope they are also durable and not only comfy and flashy.

  14. #14
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    I've wanted buckes but bought velcro because of the price. I've never had a problem with velcro and it lasts fine. I've seen a lot of problems with other folks buckles. My riding buddy fiddled with a screwdriver for 15 minutes to get out of his muddy sidi's last spring. I was dressed and sucking down a cold one by the time he freed himself. I don't see any reason to pay a lot more for something that is less reliable.
    What do I want to be when I grow up.....Dead!

  15. #15
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    Thnaks for sharing your experience

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnA
    I've wanted buckes but bought velcro because of the price. I've never had a problem with velcro and it lasts fine. I've seen a lot of problems with other folks buckles. My riding buddy fiddled with a screwdriver for 15 minutes to get out of his muddy sidi's last spring. I was dressed and sucking down a cold one by the time he freed himself. I don't see any reason to pay a lot more for something that is less reliable.
    I may give up the buckles all together. This may be too high tech for MTB and the hussle of breaking a buckle may be much more than the benefits.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBonty
    Having a conference in SF on Feb. and will be in the US for like two weeks total that I would like to use for some shopping.
    Shoes - always used Shimano for good and bad and liked the older versions of the MT40 (maybe MT38?) and today use the older version of the M181 (maybe M180) which is disappointing. Buckles broke on a simple crash than they never really hold for the ride and need re-fastning and the shoe tears everywhere very easily. The balck cool plastic is just a crappy plastic that peels very easily. Not recomended despite the cool look.
    I read those reviews on the the m180 about the buckles so passed on the closeouts and got the 181 instead. I am completely happy with the new buckles, i think they are easier to use than the Sidi or specialized ones. I am bow legged and rub crankarms HARD i mean all my RF cranks have no sharp edges. I burn though shoes every 18 months and they look like hell by then, i mean down to the plastic at the heel cup, rubbed through a strap on my Specialized shoe. These Shimanos are actually holding up well or at least the same as all my other shoes. Performance has them for $89 right now.

    What are you guys doing?. Should I use my 20% off REI coupon and get the Sidi which is never on sale, or do you have other recomndations?.
    Sidi are the best shoes by far and Specialized are my second favorites also but can't really afford them.

    Shorts - Always went Lycra (sorry if I am not cool for AM riding but that's what I found was working for me) and mostly Pearl Isumi. Today I don't know if PI worth the money and if it's the best?.
    Pearl definitely makes quality stuff, overprice? yes i think so but i'm a tight wad.

    Never had full length padded, do you find it better than shorts with long tights under?. What, where?. Recomndations wellcomed.
    I actual prefer fleece lined leg warmers, they are more versatile and warmer. I am in SoCal so cold is a relative thing 40 degrees is freaking freezing to me.

    Gloves - Always used cut fingers and mostly Gel padded pearls. For winter riding I have full hand pearl base layer gloves under my gloves. I could'nt find these base layers in the last 6-7 years and maybe they've passed from this world but I liked it. Should I go full finger?. What?, wher?,... .
    Sure I need many more things (new helmet, HRM, Cliff bars as I can't even taste Power Bars any more and all the other after cristmess deals you can not pass on). This is more than enough for a start and maybe the shoes are of most importance.
    Again what and where (online stores and/or Performance and REI that I can find easily)?.
    Thanks
    GB
    .....

  17. #17
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    Thanks Ratt

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt
    .....
    So not sure I got this. You like the M181 but you rank them 3rd after Sidi and Spesh?.
    Cheers
    GB

  18. #18
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    SHOES - I used to use the Specialized BG Carbon comp shoes. They're great when trying on in the shop, but felt weird for me when on the bike. They are supposed to prevent soreness in your kness and stuff due to the weird angle in the sole (body geometry) but this didn't seem to suit me. Since then I've had Diadora, Carnac and Sidi. My Sidi Dominators are the best shoes I've worn, took a few weeks to break in but now they're perfect and fit like a glove. The buckle on the Sidi is 100 times better and stronger than any other buckle I've used too, plus they're a sinch to use/adjust when your riding. Diadora buckles suck and get snagged easily (but replacements are available and are cheap) and the Carnac's are too over-priced for what you get in my opinion. Bottom line is that my Sidi's are super tough, perfectly comfortable and look good. Spend the extra coin now and get some, you'll never buy another shoe. As they say, you get what you pay for... and the Sidi's are no exception.

    GLOVES - i prefer full finger. gives you better grip on the levers and these days the temperature difference is hardly noticable. More crash protection too, especially for those "face and hands first" trips over the bars. They saved my palms on many spazzo occasions!

    SHORTS - I just got myself some of those Nike 10//20 lance armstrong lyrca shorts and they are the bomb. They're a bit longer too which I like. Hard to find now because they're so popular.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBonty
    So not sure I got this. You like the M181 but you rank them 3rd after Sidi and Spesh?.
    Cheers
    GB
    Ya i'm cheap, had a $100 limit and preferably $75 for my shoes. Bought the m181 mostly on price and then fit. Could not justify spending $180 on Dom 5's when i will shred them to bits in less than 2 yrs. I could have gotten by with the Speshy Comps (prefer the Pro's) but could not find a dealer that would sell them for less than retail (god i miss Supergo) and the strap placement is exactly where i rub so i wear Speshy out super quick. Actually settled on Vagabonds for a week but the tongue cut into my instep (gotta love Performance's return policy). Was going to go with the closeout m180s but was offered m181s at the same price so i went for them.

    I have sworn off velcro shoes, on super steep hills on my SS i can force old velcros open. I use a tight fitting lace ups for that bike. I generally get my shoes 1/2 size large to keep my toe nails from turning black so with the m181 i get too much heel lift on my SS but the buckle do stay closed .

  20. #20
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    How Long Have You Had It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt
    Ya i'm cheap, had a $100 limit and preferably $75 for my shoes. Bought the m181 mostly on price and then fit. Could not justify spending $180 on Dom 5's when i will shred them to bits in less than 2 yrs. I could have gotten by with the Speshy Comps (prefer the Pro's) but could not find a dealer that would sell them for less than retail (god i miss Supergo) and the strap placement is exactly where i rub so i wear Speshy out super quick. Actually settled on Vagabonds for a week but the tongue cut into my instep (gotta love Performance's return policy). Was going to go with the closeout m180s but was offered m181s at the same price so i went for them.

    I have sworn off velcro shoes, on super steep hills on my SS i can force old velcros open. I use a tight fitting lace ups for that bike. I generally get my shoes 1/2 size large to keep my toe nails from turning black so with the m181 i get too much heel lift on my SS but the buckle do stay closed .
    Got you!.
    OK I must check the fit and I may give Shimano a second chance if {Performance keep it at 90$ by February. I will not pay the full price for this shue which may be better than the M180 but seems to be using similar "gentle" materials. I rather pay 180 for the Sidi than 140 for the Shimano.
    Thanks and hope you'll be happy with yours.
    GB

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBonty
    Got you!.
    OK I must check the fit and I may give Shimano a second chance if {Performance keep it at 90$ by February. I will not pay the full price for this shue which may be better than the M180 but seems to be using similar "gentle" materials. I rather pay 180 for the Sidi than 140 for the Shimano.
    Thanks and hope you'll be happy with yours.
    GB
    Bought them back in February maybe 1200-1400 miles on them. Holding up good, buckles look like they got bashed but function fine. A lot of threads starting to disappear from the side of the shoe but that is typical for <i>my</i> shoes. Not sure if you can tell from the pics how much wear i put on the cranks
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #22
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    Quite convincing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt
    Bought them back in February maybe 1200-1400 miles on them. Holding up good, buckles look like they got bashed but function fine. A lot of threads starting to disappear from the side of the shoe but that is typical for <i>my</i> shoes. Not sure if you can tell from the pics how much wear i put on the cranks
    Thanks, I'll check the fit and if good will sure remember your advice.
    GB

  23. #23
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    i second the recommendation on the specialized shoes. I have a pair of carbon pro's in both road and mtb flavor. Love them. I've broken a buckle on the mtn pair, but it was only $10 for a new set.

    I like PI shorts- and the prices at the factory outlets (one in gilroy, one in fairfield, not sure if there's one closer to SF than that). Fox full finger gloves are nice, if they're on sale.

  24. #24
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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by kev1n
    i second the recommendation on the specialized shoes. I have a pair of carbon pro's in both road and mtb flavor. Love them. I've broken a buckle on the mtn pair, but it was only $10 for a new set.

    I like PI shorts- and the prices at the factory outlets (one in gilroy, one in fairfield, not sure if there's one closer to SF than that). Fox full finger gloves are nice, if they're on sale.
    OK I have few options with the shoes and I will sure go by fit. The Shimanos are 120$ now at performance and may go back to 135 by the time I arrive so really none of the above shoes are cheap. I don't rule out Sidis as well, I remeber too many hot days where my toes went num in the Shimano and guess it will be better with Sidi but I don't find too many Sidi fans on this board (one so far) and maybe it's just for racers.
    PI at Gilroy!. Well heared about it but never went there even when I lived 25 minutes away.
    Is it worth the time to go there?, can you find good quality and value in the outlet?.

  25. #25
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    Another Sidi fan here!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBonty
    OK I have few options with the shoes and I will sure go by fit. The Shimanos are 120$ now at performance and may go back to 135 by the time I arrive so really none of the above shoes are cheap. I don't rule out Sidis as well, I remeber too many hot days where my toes went num in the Shimano and guess it will be better with Sidi but I don't find too many Sidi fans on this board (one so far) and maybe it's just for racers.
    PI at Gilroy!. Well heared about it but never went there even when I lived 25 minutes away.
    Is it worth the time to go there?, can you find good quality and value in the outlet?.

    I like Shimano shoes too, but more their "casual models" for going around town and stuff.. I ride Sidi Bullets and they have been awesome.... they are very cool (as in heat) shoes... so cool i can't ride them without covers (booties) even sometimes in spring/fall...........


  26. #26
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    Wow Bling Shue

    Quote Originally Posted by crisillo
    I like Shimano shoes too, but more their "casual models" for going around town and stuff.. I ride Sidi Bullets and they have been awesome.... they are very cool (as in heat) shoes... so cool i can't ride them without covers (booties) even sometimes in spring/fall...........

    Did you ever feel you wanted a buckle?. I mean buckles add bling and maybe finer fit (when they don't release teeth during the ride) but they break and than you need to go look for a buckle. On the Shimanos, I broke a buckle and could'nt find one on a BT to California (and they cost 20$). Luckily I found a replacment buckle at an LBS 5 minutes from my work and for a reasonable price but the shoes were out of service for a month!.
    I don't see much Sidis in Israel eventhough most of the bike clothing comes from Italy. It may be an issue if I broke a buckle.
    Last edited by GreenBonty; 01-16-2007 at 03:06 AM.

  27. #27
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBonty
    Did you ever feel you wanted a buckle?. I mean buckles add bling and maybe finer fit (when they don't release teeth during the ride) but they break and than you need to go look for a buckle. On the Shimanos, I broke a buckle and could'nt find one on a BT to California (and they cost 20$). Luckily I found a replacment buckle at an LBS 5 minutes from my work and for a reasonable price but the shoes were out of service for a month!.
    I don't see much Sidis in Israel eventhough most of the bike clothing comes from Italy. It may be an issue if I broke a buckle.
    Thanks.. no.. I prefer shoes without buckles... that's actually why I went with the Bullet..it is the highest Sidi model with no buckle....

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBonty
    PI at Gilroy!. Well heared about it but never went there even when I lived 25 minutes away.
    Is it worth the time to go there?, can you find good quality and value in the outlet?.

    The PI outlets can have some great deals. I've only been there 3 or 4 times, but each time I found what I wanted and paid quite a bit less than retail. As far as I can tell, the quality is the same as what you'd get in that brand anywhere else, but ymmv.

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