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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

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on April 22, 2019

Light & Unique Integrated Bar/.Stem
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Being that I was among three employees to buy the exact same SB150 (color, build, & size), I figured I'd give my new bike a bit of unique bling and drop some weight in the process. These were the solution and they really are pretty neat. I've only got about 7 rides in on them, but have survived a week of desert riding and here are my initial thoughts.

- They are pretty dang light. With a claimed weight of 290g (for the 50mm version), the 40mm clocked in at 271 grams. What I figured is the best comparison is to look at this vs an Enve M6 Bar /Stem combo as they offer it in a 40mm stem length and 780mm width bars also. They clock in at 85g and 190g respectively, for a total of 275g. For a 271g actual vs 275 claimed weight, the difference of 4g is nothing to me.
- If they weigh roughly the same, it brings about the question of price - the Hixon costs $329 vs the Enve bar/stem combo being a stout $450, Though the Hixon bar is not a cheap options, it is a clear winner in terms of price when looking at a comparable alternative.
- There is a downside of not being able to adjust the roll to your liking. It worked out that they fit me great and are close to what the original bar/stem came with the Yeti. Not a downside for me, but could be for some folks. I'll post a photo of what it looks like with a "normal bar/stem combo" put on top of it for reference.
- I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but use a torque wrench, for your own good. Only two bolts on the entire thing, make sure they're clamped securely and to the proper torque spec.
- Stiffness of the bar feels pretty on par with other carbon bars and all mountain stems (ie a bit wider of a face plate). 780mm width is ideal for an all mountain bike and the 40mm is pretty short, but feels great on the longer reach of the SB150.

Its not a total game changer and it is expensive, but its also pretty dang cool. Sort of makes it seem like a hammerhead shark is riding around on the front of the bike. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a way to drop a touch of weight and have people ask you why your bars look the way they do while out riding.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on April 9, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So, there hasn't been a review on these in over 2 years, but gonna jump back into the fray - these brakes are awesome. If you're building up a new bike or giving a current bike an upgrade, these are an awesome option to give plenty of stopping power. I threw them on my All-City Gorilla Monsoon after finding a deal on cable actuated Rival shifters.

I've only had them for several hundred miles, so can't give a full review on long term durability or long term issues, but they've been consistent, powerful, and easy to get dialed in. Like someone noted below, make sure you are getting the correct size and that they will fit on your frame. Pre-bled to perfection, I have not needed to bleed them yet, hoping that its as straight forward as it seems! Modulation seems decent and power when needing to grab brakes, even just with one finger.

If you're needing an upgrade from mechanical disk, but dont want to upgrade the shifter either, they'd be a great option for your commuter, cyclocross, gravel, even road bike!

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on April 8, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I threw these on my Gorilla Monsoon for grinding some gravel up (its all sand thanks to my gravel grinding) and these bars specifically helped in that. I wanted a wide bar that flaired slightly and felt that the Cowchipper was sort of like Brian from Office Space, just too much flair. The Cowbells have been perfect so far and didn't have to pay an arm & a leg either.

They aren't the lightest option out there, but I am throwing them on a steel gravel grinder/monstercross bike with 2.2" tires on them, not exactly concerned about weight.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on April 8, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There's a few things that I'm generally looking for in a dropper post lever: ergonomically feels right, has a nice swing action to it, and is relatively easy to set up. Nails all three pretty spot on with this!

It works with pretty much all cable actuated droppers (whether dropper has cable head at bottom of post or at lever), though you should review the chart that John posted below to see whether going "Light Action" or "Regular" is the best option for you.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on April 8, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I put this on my gravel/monstercross bike and its been pretty decent. Here's what I've noticed about them so far.

Pros:
- Has a great feel to them. They are grippy to hold onto and so far haven't gotten gross with dust/dirt. I plan on riding it in all conditions and want to be able to hold on when its wet or muddy out. They seem like they are able to be cleaned easily if need be.
- Look very impressive. I went with the black/oil slick bar ends and they do look pretty awesome on the bike. There are a lot of other color options if you do want some colorful pop to the bike.
- The tape really does stretch nicely and looks great. Funny to include that as a pro, but really is nice.

Cons:
- Price, without a doubt. There are some very nice alternatives for half the price, but the included aluminum bar ends are a nice touch (though I will note, the "oil slick" is more of a purple)
- Wouldn't mind it being a slightly thicker bar wrap.
- Don't include a precut piece of wrap for under the brifter. There should be plenty to be able to cut a piece off, but for the way that many people wrap bars, would be nice to be included.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on April 3, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Not really much more to say here, folks! When I wrote this review, there were 128 other Reviews that have given this a five star review, it's great. I've also used the Stans Race Sealant, but honestly this does the job great. Never had any really issues - anything that the normal Stans couldn't seal wouldn't be able to be sealed by the Race option either.

Do yourself a favor and grab a bottle to have around, never hurts to have some spare sealant. Would recommend also grabbing a Stans Sealant injector (SNT0016) and a Park Tool Valve Core Remover (PAR0273) to make it easier.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on April 3, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I tried both the 32 and the 34 and both fit pretty odd to be honest. I initially bought the 32 as I normally do wear a 32. Pretty tight in the waist, no big deal, I'll size up. Bought the 34, fits in the waist, but still pretty snug feeling in the crotch. I felt like an 80's rock star who's wearing some tight leather pants when I put these on.

I really did want to like them. The material is great and would be awesome for bike park laps - would probably be able to fit kneepads under nicely and are moderately slim around the ankles.

If you had a shorter inseam, you likely would be able to pull these off. But for most people, do think that the smaller inseam is not going to make for a comfortably fitting DH pant.

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Connor Johnson

Connor Johnsonwrote a review of on March 25, 2019

Seem Legit So Far
4 5

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

I haven't actually pedaled in these (have to love a long winter) so take this with a grain of salt. They seem like the real deal though. I threw these on and they fit great - the actual fit feels nice, but also seem like they will pedal well. Probably will feel pretty warm, but feel very protective without overly bulky.

The straps seem secure and the protection seems like it should protect my knees great from general trail riding. Not sure if Fox does this with all of their knee pads, but it comes with a mud guard/fender included in the packaging, nice touch. I'll update with a real review once I've been able to actually ride in them for a bit.

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