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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnson

Salt Lake City, Utah

Connor Johnson's Bio

Howdy! I am an Expert Gearhead who specializes in skiing (resort & backcountry touring, I don't discriminate in my powder hounding), mountain biking, hiking & camping. When I'm not getting lost in the woods, you'll catch me tinkering with my bikes, snappin' photos, and eating burritos.

All of the photos in my reviews are either my own or one's that friends have shot of me enjoying the gear! Check out my latest adventures on my Instagram @connorjuliusjohnson

For any gear questions or adventure advice, give a shout to cojohnson@backcountry.com or call me at 801.204.4547

Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on November 16, 2018

Storage Made Convenient
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up 4 of these for storing my bikes. I wanted something that could easily be moved from my garage to my basement as the seasons change and for them to be relatively portable and easy to use. These were my solution and they've been great so far.

- The 2.5" tires on my Nomad fit fine, but my 2.8" on my hardtail don't fit great. Probably would be better off with the Fat Rakk version for that.
- They fold up and get out of the way if not in use, hard to complain about that.
- Easy to pull bikes out and put them back in.
- They connect together, making it a bit more uniform looking of a rack.

All in all, I've been impressed with them so far!

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 17, 2018

Surprisingly Capable "XC" Bike
5 5

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

I am 5'11" and typically ride a large. I was in Seattle for the weekend and the shop double booked the Evil Wreckoning that I was supposed to take out and the SB100 was the last option in a large. For reference, I rode the X01 build and rode Tiger Mountain (rooty, steep, slick) and Duthie Hill (flowy jumps and pedal powered bike park). C'est la vie, lets get rowdy on a XC bike.

I really should say "XC bike." Its spec'd builds with a Minion DHF in front and Aggressor in rear, wide bars/short stem, and a dropper post. Also - the Fox 34 Step Cast 120mm fork. With that, it is a portly bike, its not light. Not exactly what other brands are typically decking out their XC bikes with. A lot of weight weanies and XC folks are not going to be a a fan of this bike, at least how Yeti spec's it. I loved it.

First off, it does climb well. Its relatively snappy, but just feels efficient. I don't know if I really felt much fast climbing (likely as I'm still on a DHF/Aggressor tire combo), but didn't seem to get as tired. It just keeps cruising uphill. If you were concerned about actually setting some climbing PR's, throw some faster rolling tires.

We joked about how it would ride going downhill when we were hanging out up top. "Giddy'up, could be an interesting ride," I thought. It was in interesting ride - mostly cause it surprisingly smashed downhill. Few sort of hairy sections, but was surprisingly impressed with its downhill performance. Again this may be due to the beefed up components and relatively slack headtube angle, but regardless was pretty stoked on it. It may have also been that the travel is used really nicely and that 100mm does its job well.

It would be really interesting to spec the new Santa Cruz Blur in a similar trail fashion and have a head to head comparison. For someone who typically prefers the feel of a longer travel bike, this would be a super fun bike to rock as a short travel, aggressive bike. I refuse to call it a "down country" bike, but will say it is like a fast, mini trail bike. If that sounds like it suits your fancy, you'd be hyped on this!

Feel free to reach me at cojohnson@backcountry.com or my direct line 801.204.4547.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 17, 2018

Surprisingly Capable "XC" Bike
5 5

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

I am 5'11" and typically ride a large. I was in Seattle for the weekend and the shop double booked the Evil Wreckoning that I was supposed to take out and the SB100 was the last option in a large. For reference, I rode the X01 build and rode Tiger Mountain (rooty, steep, slick) and Duthie Hill (flowy jumps and pedal powered bike park). C'est la vie, lets get rowdy on a XC bike.

I really should say "XC bike." Its spec'd builds with a Minion DHF in front and Aggressor in rear, wide bars/short stem, and a dropper post. Also - the Fox 34 Step Cast 120mm fork. With that, it is a portly bike, its not light. Not exactly what other brands are typically decking out their XC bikes with. A lot of weight weanies and XC folks are not going to be a a fan of this bike, at least how Yeti spec's it. I loved it.

First off, it does climb well. Its relatively snappy, but just feels efficient. I don't know if I really felt much fast climbing (likely as I'm still on a DHF/Aggressor tire combo), but didn't seem to get as tired. It just keeps cruising uphill. If you were concerned about actually setting some climbing PR's, throw some faster rolling tires.

We joked about how it would ride going downhill when we were hanging out up top. "Giddy'up, could be an interesting ride," I thought. It was in interesting ride - mostly cause it surprisingly smashed downhill. Few sort of hairy sections, but was surprisingly impressed with its downhill performance. Again this may be due to the beefed up components and relatively slack headtube angle, but regardless was pretty stoked on it. It may have also been that the travel is used really nicely and that 100mm does its job well.

It would be really interesting to spec the new Santa Cruz Blur in a similar trail fashion and have a head to head comparison. For someone who typically prefers the feel of a longer travel bike, this would be a super fun bike to rock as a short travel, aggressive bike. I refuse to call it a "down country" bike, but will say it is like a fast, mini trail bike. If that sounds like it suits your fancy, you'd be hyped on this!

Feel free to reach me at cojohnson@backcountry.com or my direct line 801.204.4547.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 17, 2018

Surprisingly Capable "XC" Bike
5 5

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

I am 5'11" and typically ride a large. I was in Seattle for the weekend and the shop double booked the Evil Wreckoning that I was supposed to take out and the SB100 was the last option in a large. For reference, I rode the X01 build and rode Tiger Mountain (rooty, steep, slick) and Duthie Hill (flowy jumps and pedal powered bike park). C'est la vie, lets get rowdy on a XC bike.

I really should say "XC bike." Its spec'd builds with a Minion DHF in front and Aggressor in rear, wide bars/short stem, and a dropper post. Also - the Fox 34 Step Cast 120mm fork. With that, it is a portly bike, its not light. Not exactly what other brands are typically decking out their XC bikes with. A lot of weight weanies and XC folks are not going to be a a fan of this bike, at least how Yeti spec's it. I loved it.

First off, it does climb well. Its relatively snappy, but just feels efficient. I don't know if I really felt much fast climbing (likely as I'm still on a DHF/Aggressor tire combo), but didn't seem to get as tired. It just keeps cruising uphill. If you were concerned about actually setting some climbing PR's, throw some faster rolling tires.

We joked about how it would ride going downhill when we were hanging out up top. "Giddy'up, could be an interesting ride," I thought. It was in interesting ride - mostly cause it surprisingly smashed downhill. Few sort of hairy sections, but was surprisingly impressed with its downhill performance. Again this may be due to the beefed up components and relatively slack headtube angle, but regardless was pretty stoked on it. It may have also been that the travel is used really nicely and that 100mm does its job well.

It would be really interesting to spec the new Santa Cruz Blur in a similar trail fashion and have a head to head comparison. For someone who typically prefers the feel of a longer travel bike, this would be a super fun bike to rock as a short travel, aggressive bike. I refuse to call it a "down country" bike, but will say it is like a fast, mini trail bike. If that sounds like it suits your fancy, you'd be hyped on this!

Feel free to reach me at cojohnson@backcountry.com or my direct line 801.204.4547.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 17, 2018

Surprisingly Capable "XC" Bike
5 5

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

I am 5'11" and typically ride a large. I was in Seattle for the weekend and the shop double booked the Evil Wreckoning that I was supposed to take out and the SB100 was the last option in a large. For reference, I rode the X01 build and rode Tiger Mountain (rooty, steep, slick) and Duthie Hill (flowy jumps and pedal powered bike park). C'est la vie, lets get rowdy on a XC bike.

I really should say "XC bike." Its spec'd builds with a Minion DHF in front and Aggressor in rear, wide bars/short stem, and a dropper post. Also - the Fox 34 Step Cast 120mm fork. With that, it is a portly bike, its not light. Not exactly what other brands are typically decking out their XC bikes with. A lot of weight weanies and XC folks are not going to be a a fan of this bike, at least how Yeti spec's it. I loved it.

First off, it does climb well. Its relatively snappy, but just feels efficient. I don't know if I really felt much fast climbing (likely as I'm still on a DHF/Aggressor tire combo), but didn't seem to get as tired. It just keeps cruising uphill. If you were concerned about actually setting some climbing PR's, throw some faster rolling tires.

We joked about how it would ride going downhill when we were hanging out up top. "Giddy'up, could be an interesting ride," I thought. It was in interesting ride - mostly cause it surprisingly smashed downhill. Few sort of hairy sections, but was surprisingly impressed with its downhill performance. Again this may be due to the beefed up components and relatively slack headtube angle, but regardless was pretty stoked on it. It may have also been that the travel is used really nicely and that 100mm does its job well.

It would be really interesting to spec the new Santa Cruz Blur in a similar trail fashion and have a head to head comparison. For someone who typically prefers the feel of a longer travel bike, this would be a super fun bike to rock as a short travel, aggressive bike. I refuse to call it a "down country" bike, but will say it is like a fast, mini trail bike. If that sounds like it suits your fancy, you'd be hyped on this!

Feel free to reach me at cojohnson@backcountry.com or my direct line 801.204.4547.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 17, 2018

Surprisingly Capable XC Bike
5 5

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

I am 5'11" and typically ride a large. I was in Seattle for the weekend and the shop double booked the Evil Wreckoning that I was supposed to take out and the SB100 was the last option in a large. For reference, I rode the X01 build and rode Tiger Mountain (rooty, steep, slick) and Duthie Hill (flowy jumps and pedal powered bike park). C'est la vie, lets get rowdy on a XC bike.

I really should say "XC bike." Its spec'd builds with a Minion DHF in front and Aggressor in rear, wide bars/short stem, and a dropper post. Also - the Fox 34 Step Cast 120mm fork. With that, it is a portly bike, its not light. Not exactly what other brands are typically decking out their XC bikes with. A lot of weight weanies and XC folks are not going to be a a fan of this bike, at least how Yeti spec's it. I loved it.

First off, it does climb well. Its relatively snappy, but just feels efficient. I don't know if I really felt much fast climbing (likely as I'm still on a DHF/Aggressor tire combo), but didn't seem to get as tired. It just keeps cruising uphill. If you were concerned about actually setting some climbing PR's, throw some faster rolling tires.

We joked about how it would ride going downhill when we were hanging out up top. "Giddy'up, could be an interesting ride," I thought. It was in interesting ride - mostly cause it surprisingly smashed downhill. Few sort of hairy sections, but was surprisingly impressed with its downhill performance. Again this may be due to the beefed up components and relatively slack headtube angle, but regardless was pretty stoked on it. It may have also been that the travel is used really nicely and that 100mm does its job well.

It would be really interesting to spec the new Santa Cruz Blur in a similar trail fashion and have a head to head comparison. For someone who typically prefers the feel of a longer travel bike, this would be a super fun bike to rock as a short travel, aggressive bike. I refuse to call it a "down country" bike, but will say it is like a fast, mini trail bike. If that sounds like it suits your fancy, you'd be hyped on this!

Feel free to reach me at cojohnson@backcountry.com or my direct line 801.204.4547.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 17, 2018

Go Fast, Stay Comfortable.
4 5

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

I am 5'11" and have a 32" inseam. I rode a large and it fit well. I rode the build on item number WLY001T, but should give you a good frame of reference however you decide to build your frame up!

First of all, I need to give the disclaimer that I am first and foremost, a mountain biker (you may have already picked up on this with the SPD pedals on here). I am not a road biker, though you will occasionally find me on board one (especially if I can get on board a sweet build like the one I was on). So if that doesn't scare you off from the rest of the review, read on!

At first I was worried the reach was a bit long for me on the large - maybe in the drops a touch, but ended up fitting really well after spending a bit of time on it. I was really impressed with the attention to detail that Wilier put into the frame. Lot of neat features: disc or rim brakes, a barrel adjuster built into the frame, Actiflex damper, an aero style bike that is comfortable to ride.

Which brings me to my first point - the Actiflex damper. The bike is surprisingly snappy and fast feeling, despite feeling smooth and dealing with road vibrations. Its not the lightest bike, but still feels quick. Whether this is the carbon , the Actiflex damper, the 28mm tires, or a combination of all three, it rides really nicely. With that said, I do slightly worry about the longevity of the damper - would be nice to see a long term durability test on it for a bit of peace of mind.

The components on the build I rode were exceptional and spec'd to match the Cento10ndr's frame quality - eTap, Mavic Cosmic Carbon SL wheels and Yksion Pro, Sram Red HRD disc brakes, all worked well. I personally would set it up tubeless and potentially with 30mm tires as it can fit that wide!

If you are considering a endurance bike that rides fast and have the versatility to build exactly how you want, look no further, the Cento10ndr is a top contender for you!

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 17, 2018

Go Fast, Stay Comfortable.
4 5

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

I am 5'11" and have a 32" inseam. I rode a large and it fit well. I rode the build on item number WLY001T, but should give you a good frame of reference however you decide to build your frame up!

First of all, I need to give the disclaimer that I am first and foremost, a mountain biker (you may have already picked up on this with the SPD pedals on here). I am not a road biker, though you will occasionally find me on board one (especially if I can get on board a sweet build like the one I was on). So if that doesn't scare you off from the rest of the review, read on!

At first I was worried the reach was a bit long for me on the large - maybe in the drops a touch, but ended up fitting really well after spending a bit of time on it. I was really impressed with the attention to detail that Wilier put into the frame. Lot of neat features: disc or rim brakes, a barrel adjuster built into the frame, Actiflex damper, an aero style bike that is comfortable to ride.

Which brings me to my first point - the Actiflex damper. The bike is surprisingly snappy and fast feeling, despite feeling smooth and dealing with road vibrations. Its not the lightest bike, but still feels quick. Whether this is the carbon , the Actiflex damper, the 28mm tires, or a combination of all three, it rides really nicely. With that said, I do slightly worry about the longevity of the damper - would be nice to see a long term durability test on it for a bit of peace of mind.

The components on the build I rode were exceptional and spec'd to match the Cento10ndr's frame quality - eTap, Mavic Cosmic Carbon SL wheels and Yksion Pro, Sram Red HRD disc brakes, all worked well. I personally would set it up tubeless and potentially with 30mm tires as it can fit that wide!

If you are considering a endurance bike that rides fast and have the versatility to build exactly how you want, look no further, the Cento10ndr is a top contender for you!

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 9, 2018

Tried and True in a Plus Size
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have this on my Niner Sir 9 as a front tire and absolutely love it. Its hard for me to add more to what hasn't been said in the reviews below, but here's what I've found so far.
- On a Raceface Affect Plus (40mm internal rim width), the 2.8" tire is true to size.
- Plenty of traction and the wide DHF has plenty of bite. I personally run my front tire around 15-18psi depending on what and where I'm riding, though I probably like riding with a touch higher of many people with plus size wheels. Rolling speed isn't phenomenal but I'd take the traction and reliability over speed any day.
- Durability has been great so far. My hardtail isn't my daily driver of a bike, but do ride it enough to say that the tire has plenty of life after 400 miles on it!
- I am currently running a Rekon 2.8" as a rear tire, but may pick up another DHF or DHR to replace it.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on October 9, 2018

Add Some Flair to your Bars
4 5

I got these to match the purple Fox decals and Deity pedals on my girlfriend's Yeti 575 and they're great! They've held up well to use and abuse, are a rad color, and I personally like that they have the little moto style protector along the thumb. Plus they're lock on, pretty hard to beat on that!

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on September 17, 2018

Protect Yo' Chest!
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wear this for rowdy riding - shuttle or lift access DH primarily. I bought the S/M size and have a 39" chest. It fits well, plus there is a plenty of adjustment.

Just like any other piece of body armor or protection, its not necessary but provides great peace of mind. I have taken some pretty hard slams that this helped me from getting beaten up more than I did. I don't normally wear a neck brace, but like that this is compatible with one.

As for actual riding in it, I wouldn't mind pedaling a touch with it, but its not ideal for a long climb. With that said, its definitely low profile and it's not a hassle to have on for any sort of descent with it!

One feature that would be way cool would be an integrated GoPro chest mount with it. Might epoxy one on myself though!

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on August 28, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Ditto on Andrew's review below - many water bottle cages do not fit on my Santa Cruz Hightower (size large) and this works great. Can finally fit water bottles in, but because of the frame design can only fit smaller bottles in. Not Lezyne's fault though! No issues with losing bottles though, works great. Light and cheap side loader!

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on August 22, 2018

Jack Of All Trades, Master of None Tire
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I mounted the Magic Mary up front and the Nobby Nic rear on an Industry Nine Trail 245 wheelset on Niner's Sir 9. I'll be honest, I've had negative experiences with the durability of Schwalbe tires in the past, but wanted to give them another chance in trying out their Addix compound. I tested them in the Salt Lake City foothill trails and Park City trails that had mostly flow trails with a bit of chundery descents. Mostly dry or tacky conditions. I've put in just under 100 miles so not exactly a long term test but at least gave me a good sense of how they performed.

Schwalbe advertises the Nobby Nic to be an all arounder tire that excels in a variety of conditions and think that's a pretty spot on description. Its relatively light, has decent side knobs, and rolls relatively fast. It's also historical been the tire I tend to destroy quickly, but keeping an open mind with trying out the Addix rubber compound.

As a rear tire, cornering was decent with it. I appreciated that full 2.35" but the Nobby Nic didn't quite bite as much as I would have loved for it to have when railing corners. At no point did I feel out of control on descents, but wouldn't have minded something that packed a bit more of a punch in terms of tire tread. It did brake pretty well though With smaller center tread, its certainly a fast rolling tire, which was welcome for the relatively smooth and flowy Northern Utah trails. Those knobs still give enough traction to be able to clean stout climbs without compromising.

With that said, the worry of long-term durability and puncturing the tire was on the back of my mind. There was considerably more wear on it (not too surprising for a rear tire) than the Magic Mary and think it would be pretty beat up after another 100 or so miles. I've had other tires that have lasted easily double the mileage I put on before showing as much wear. The good news is I did not puncture this time around, even if it is anecdotally speaking.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on August 22, 2018

Big, Bad, Burly, Rubber
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I mounted the Magic Mary up front and the Nobby Nic rear on an Industry Nine Trail 245 wheelset on Niner's Sir 9. I'll be honest, I've had negative experiences with the durability of Schwalbe tires in the past, but wanted to give them another chance in trying out their Addix compound. I tested them in the Salt Lake City foothill trails and Park City trails that had mostly flow trails with a bit of chundery descents. Mostly dry or tacky conditions. I've put in just under 100 miles so not exactly a long term test but at least gave me a good sense of how they performed.

The Super Gravity casing is definitely pretty stiff of a casing so I was somewhat surprised that setting them up tubeless had tried to no avail with a high volume pump. It was a cinch with a compressor though. They held air off the get go and didn't burp air at all.

My typical go to and gold standard for a front tire on both my hardtail and full suspension is typically the Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5"€. The Magic Mary is definitely a comparable tire, though both excel in certain conditions. Being that Utah typically ends up being fairly dry, I spent more time on loose over hardpack. Fast rolling is not a quality I would give the Magic Mary, no surprise there on a meaty tire like this, but honestly did feel that it was a bit faster rolling than the DHF. I ran them at 24 psi and found that to be the sweet spot for trail riding. No hesitation smashing into turns and having the tire hook up without any fear of washing out or loosing traction. The big square knobs did the trick. I did not get a chance to ride this in wet conditions, but I would imagine that would be where it would really shine.

I was pleased to see that I had no issues with durability with the Magic Mary in terms of punctures or tread wear. The Super Gravity casing did its job apparently - at the weight of 1165g that I weighed it in at, it's a tire that should do its job and not puncture easily. It'll be interesting to get a couple hundred more miles and time in the desert to see if it continues to hold up well.

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