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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on August 2, 2016

5 5

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

I rode the new Tallboy with 29 inch wheels at a Santa Cruz Demo event at Park city Mountain resort. I'm 5'10" and opted for a large bike. I rode the Tallboy a week after demo'ing a large Santa Cruz Hightower with 27.5+ wheels. I wanted to get a sense of what was different about the two bikes.

I was pleasantly surprised to see some trailbike touches on the build, the stiffer fox 34 and Maxxis Minion front tire inspired confidence in the dry-and-loose conditions of the day. On the climb, the Tallboy felt better than older Santa Cruz models I had ridden. where previous VPP models had some wallow while at low speeds, the Tallboy (and other newer SC models) ride high in the shock, and feel nice and sensitive to small inputs. I chalk this up to the revised pivot locations, and the larger-volume air canister on the shock. I'm not a spectacular climber, but enjoyed my journey up the hill. I felt no need to flip the switch on the rear shock to firm up the rear end.
When the time came to point the bike downhill, the bike steered precisely and rolled well. I did notice a need to check my speed as I came into rough sections of trail I could have plowed through at full gas on the Hightower.

So, after riding both, the Tallboy is and an enthusiastic climber and a confident downhill cruiser. The Hightower is a capable climber and a downhill charger. Choose accordingly! If you'd like to talk mountain bikes, or any other type of cycling gear call me at 801-736-6396x4076 or email me at mnelson@backcounty.com

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Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on June 9, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Fox has had the Ranger shorts in their lineup for years, and the refinement shows. the fabric is light, the fit works, and the style draws compliments whether they are worn on or off the bike. Ample pockets mean there are plenty of carry options. My waist measures 36 inches, but my jeans are a 34. The size 34 fits well on these as well.

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Mike Nelson

Mike Nelsonwrote a review of on May 24, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

These gaiters are made to work with Giro's Alpineduro boots, and they work very well. Putting them on is lik putting on shoe covers. They are fitted and require some decisive effort. But once in place the keep rain off the laces, and snow and dirt out of the boot cuffs. Good for nasty weather riding!

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