Spend $250, Save $50* »
Mike Nelson

Mike Nelson

The Wasatch Mountains and Environs

Mike Nelson's Passions

Road Biking
Mountain Biking

Mike Nelson's Bio

I’ve been riding mountain bikes for 18 years, Road bikes for 10. I started out on steel, but things have gotten more elaborate since then. I’ll race when I have to, but for me bikes are for getting outside with friends, being healthy, and seeing new places.
Current rides – Niner Rip 9 RDO, Bianchi Infinito CV Disc, Niner ROS 9 Plus.
Competitive cylcist Brand Ambassador for Castelli, Niner Reynolds Smith.
I’d love to answer your Mountain and Road bike gear related questions. My email address is mnelson@backcountry.com, and my phone extension is 4076.
Backcountry.com’s Gearheads are your instant connection to gear knowledge. They’re passionate outdoor experts hell-bent on helping you find the right ski, saddle, or pro. Follow their adventures and exploits.

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on December 14, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

My ideal bar tape feels good with or without loves, and stays clean without developing any sticky residue. The Arundel Rubber Gecko tape fits the bill, and looks goood on the bars to boot. Some people have expressed concern that the diamond pattern on the tape could be to rough against the skin, but I have not found that to be the case. This tape is great for pulling on the bars, or riding rough dirt roads. Highly recommended.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on December 14, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I set up my multisurface road bike with a long-cage Force 1 derailleur, a 10/42 tooth XX1 Cassette, and a 38-tooth chainring. With that gearing, I can claw up some very nasty and loose dirt climbs, but still have gears for leisurely riding on pavement. The only thing I have sacrificed is the ability to mash a big gear on paved descents to get my speed above 40 mph, but I can live with 38! the Force 1 drivetrain is smoother and quieter than any drivetrain I've ridden, including top offerings from Japan. The Front derailleur is unlikely to go extinct, but for a lot of road riding, a 1x11 drivetrain is a fantastic choice.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on December 14, 2016

One Jacket, November-April
5 5

The Castelli Alpha Jacket is my favorite piece of clothing for Winter and Spring cycling. On the coldest winter days, I’ll pair it with a Castelli Flanders Base layer, heavy gloves and a neck gaiter. On wet days, with a mesh base layer, neoprene gloves and Nanoflex knickers. And on a sunny-but cold spring day, I can even wear it next to the skin with no base layer. When I wear the Alpha, I appreciate the flat cuffs, jersey-like fit, and the secure zippered pockets. Castelli made this jacket extremely useable for riding year-round.
I would note that the jacket can feel small when you put it on. I’m 5’10”, 200 pounds, with a 43 inch chest and a 36” waist. I wear the Alpha in XL, and when I put it on I pull the two sides together to zip it up. The fit is not relaxed, but once I’m on the bike with my hands on the handlebars, the arms are the right length and the fit across the chest is more relaxed. The trim fit means that the wind is sealed out and the jacket does not flap or make noise at speed. I encourage people to order according to Castelli’s size chart and wear the clothing tight.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on December 14, 2016

Affordable XC, Gravel, 'Cross Wheels
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Mercury handbuilds all of their wheels in Ogden Utah. I've ridden these wheels all through the fall and early winter on my 1x11 multisurface road bike. I've run 32mm tires at 65psi and 45mm tires a 35*-50 psi. I've been very happy with the tubeless performance of the wheels, Setup was a bit of a challenge, as they did not include tubeless valves or tape, and i needed a comperssor to seat the 32mm tires. The 45mm tires seated with a floor pump. ONt the road and dirt, the wheels ride well and hold up on rocky descents without the benefit of suspension. I would not pair these with a mountain tire larger than 2.2 inches.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on December 14, 2016

Fit is IT
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have been on a quest for the perfect winter cycling gloves, and the Castelli Boa may be the best I have tried. Other waterproof/breathable gloves can be very difficult to put back on after taking them off, since the opening is small and the lining is separate from the waterproof/breathable membrane (looking at you, Gore-tex and Hipora) Castelli addresses this by using the excellent OutDry membrane, which is bonded to the shell an lining and feels like a single layer of material, and with the Boa closure. The wrist of these gloves opens wide, and then cinches down for a very trim fit.
I have worn them on a couple of rides now, both road and trail, in temperatures down to the low 30s. I have honestly not thought much about the comfort of my hands while I have been riding. They feel neither too warm or too cold. When it comes time to take off the gloves to take a photo or eat a snack, the ordeal I'€™ve experienced with other gloves is a distant memory.
I usually wear gloves in either large or XL, and I got these in XL, as I don't want winter gloves that are too tight. Thumb and middle fingers are perfect, other fingers are a tad long, but the function of the glove is unaffected. I expect I could fit a thin liner underneath for sub-freezing temps.
Castelli has a thin laser-cut cuff on most of their jackets, which slides under the long gauntlet of the Boa glove exceptionally well. Wrist gap is a thing of the past!

I'm the Castelli Brand Ambassador for Competitive Cyclist and Backcountry. If you have questions about Castelli or other winter cycling clothing, call me at 801-736-6396 x 4076 or email me at mnelson@backcountry.com

(1)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 20, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

After being interested in oval chainrings for a long time, I decided to try this one on a cross/multisurface road build. I paired a 38-tooth oval ring with a Force 1 crankarm and an xx1 10-42 cassette. After a few rides I can say that the oval ring doesn't feel much different at higher cadences, but when things get steep and the spin tuns to a trudge, the oval ring works as billed and drives the back wheel more consistently than the conventional round-ring drivetrains I'm used to. installation is simple, and the bulky 2-peice spider and ring of the Force 1 drivetrain is replaced with a light and simple direct-mount chainring. the 1x11 drivetrian is exceptionally smooth and quiet. If you're swapping out rings on a SRAM 1x11, I can't see any reason not to try the Absolute Black RAM CX Oval Direct Mount Chainring.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

As far as I can tell, SRAM makes no claimabout the heat dissipation abilities of the Centerline X versus the all-steel Centerline rotor. but I have to think that the aluminum spider of the Centrline x would do a slightly better job of pulling thermal energy away from the braking surface. At any rate, these come in 6-bolt or Centerlock, and have done great for me on the trail! They're the preferred choice with SRAM Guide, Level, and road disc brakes.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The Ergon GE1 grips may be the most comfortabe grips I have used on mountain bikes. They have a teardrp-shaped cross-section under the pointer and middle fingers, and flare out to a larger round diameter under the ring and pinky fingers. They put softer grip compounds in just the right places. the single alloy collar keeps them locked in place, without using any hard material outboard. thest grips are comfortable even if you ride at the very outside of the bar. the GE1 grips will be a great upgrade for any Mountain bike.

(1)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The leading tubeless sealant is latex-based with a little amonia mixed in to keep things flowing freely. As a result it smells something like housepaint mixed with glass cleaner, an aroma that no one would describe as pleasant. Continental Revo Sealant is synthetic, and has an inoffensive piney scent. It flows well through a valve with an injector tool, seals tires easily and persists for several months. As with all tubeless sealants, shake well before using.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The FOX Racing Shox 36 Float 29 160 HSC/LSC FIT is:
- A life preserver.
- A get-out-of-jail free card.
- A jetpack.
- A hall pass.
- A lightsaber
Go into that rock garden carrying too much speed, or not enough. Choose that bad line. Land flat. This is the fork that will let you keep it together.

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

This freehub body is just the ticket for SRAM 11 and12-speed cassettes. It fits Niner-branded wheels, and doesnt' break the bank. That makes it a winner in my book!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 13, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

For several year I have used chamois cream to keep comfortable in bike shorts. I had settled on Assos, as it was widely acknowledged to be the benchmark for products of its type. But this year, I let curiosity gt the best of me and picked up a container from another brand. I was disappointed with the consistency and durability of that product. I used part of the tub but it has been relegated to the back of the medicine cabinet. I'm back to Assos!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 3, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Competitive Cyclist has the best method around for custom bike builds, but the orange decals on Fox Factory forks don't look the best with every color scheme. The Fox Racing Heritage Decal Kit comes in a range of colors to match just about any setup. Pour a beverage, watch the instructional video, and get coordinated!

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on September 3, 2016

Modern Volume and Resolution
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Traditional floor pumps hail back to the days of 6-day races in the velodrome and rock-hard tubular tires. Most of them have skinny barrels and gauges that go up to astronomical pressures that no one approaches anymore. 170 psi? I can't even imagine putting that much air in a tire! The Mountain bikes in my stable have tires 2.4 inches wide or bigger, , and will never see pressures greater than 20 psi. The Blackburn Chamber HV Floor Pump is higher volume, with a gauge that reads to 50 psi, so it inflates big tires fast, and reads much more accurately than most pumps that are made for skinny tires and high pressures. I can put 17 psi in my tires andgo for a ride, and if they're too firm I'll dial it back to 15 psi next time! The wide knurled aluminum pump handles are a nice touch, and the gauge has the single-pound increments that plus-and-fat-bike riders need. I would say that Blackburn didn't go far enough with the 50-pound gauge--they could have made a big gauge that only went to 25 or 30 psi. I'll hold on to my old pump for road tires, but or everything knobby, the Blackburn chamber HV is my go-to!

(0)

 

Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on August 26, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Knee pads are semi-consumable--it is a mistake to buy a pair expecting them to last forever. Better to buy them and put them down in the dirt, and get a new pair when they blow out. These fit well, offer good coverage, and stay in place. And they cost less than a new back tire.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments