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Joe Draper

Joe Draper

Salt Lake City, Utah

Joe Draper's Passions

Road Biking
Cyclocross
Mountain Biking

Joe Draper's Bio

XC racer, CC Gearhad, Bike Nerd

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on May 21, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Oval isn't for everyone, but everyone should at least give it a shot. If you clock it properly, you'll notice an increase in your pedaling smoothness. It's just that simple! A lot of folks will find that it messes up their rhythm when standing, but it's not particularly difficult to adjust to. The construction and quality of the rings are excellent, but do be aware that they have a very glossy metallic finish. Be sure to let me know if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on May 21, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

We all have a good laugh about the whole N+1 deal, but at a certain point, we all come to the realization that we own a simply irresponsible number of bikes, and that selling the lawnmower in order to free up real estate in the garage is probably going to be the last straw with our significant other. The A frame was a godsend for me because it allowed me to comfortably store 5-6 bikes in the middle of the room. it's incredibly well-build, easy to set up, and it eliminates the possibility of one of your precious machines falling over when someone carelessly tries to extract anything else from the garage.

Now all I need to do is buy three or four more!

Feel free to shoot me a message at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions.

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on May 21, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For years, I used a sub-par store brand repair stand. In my view, my stand simply needed to hold a bike, and as long as it did that half-decently, I was all set. When I finally decided to upgrade to Feedback's offering, it was a game-changer. The stability of the stand alone was enough to win me over, but when you add the quick release mechanisim, and flawless construction, it's 10/10 piece. Full marks for Feedback in my book! Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions.

Thanks!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on May 15, 2019

4 5

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

I think it's safe to say that Lake is one of the most fit-obsessed shoe brands out there. If you take the time to measure out your foot, and follow their recommendations accordingly, your dedication will be rewarded with the perfect fit.

The 237s feature a true full-carbon sole and a leather upper for significantly less than most of the other top-end offerings. I'm very impressed by the quality of construction, stiffness, and high-end BOA dials (as opposed to the entry-level ones they used to spec.) The only downside so far is that the heel is overly stiff and high, and it digs into my Achilles a little more than I'd like.

Look for an update soon!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on April 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Shimano makes great wheels, but they don't typically garner the same attention as their competition at Zipp and ENVE. While I'm not prepared to say that these are better than ENVEs 3.4 or 4.5, or Zipp's 303, I'd say that they're as good as the 302 at a better price, and with tubeless compatibility. For less than $1500, you've got to give these a look. Feel free to shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to speak about these, or other wheels in detail!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on April 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

What's the best compliment I can give to any piece of cycling kit?

That I didn't notice it.

In 99% of cases, the reason that you're thinking about your bibs, jersey, saddle, bar tape, shoes, etc. is that something is wrong. (Your chamois is out of place, your shoes are giving you hot spots, your saddle feels like a brick covered in shards of glass....)

The FR-c Pro jersey is so well executed in every regard that I forget it's there. The cut is perfect, it's accommodating without feeling lose, the materials are soft without feeling watery, the sleeves are actually cut long enough! (Take note everyone else.) I also love the color palette that Giordana opted for. With only the most basic discretion, it's impossible not to look classy!

Size-wise, Giordana runs about a size larger than Castelli, around half a size up from Assos, and a hair smaller than Pearl.

Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on April 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Giordana nailed it on the FR-C line. In my view, good bibs are a function of a chamois, straps, materials, and cut that you forget about when you're riding. The highest endorsement that I can give to a bib would be that I didn't notice them.

I didn't even remember that I was wearing the FR-C bibs halfway through my ride. They're just that comfortable. At first glance, the chamois looks fairly basic, but don't be fooled. It's a proprietary design that Giordana synthesized to complement their line perfectly. Despite it's basic shape, it adheres to your body flawlessly. Giordana also executed the straps well. They're firm enough to guarantee a secure hold, but they're not harsh or abrasive in any measure. The compression on the shorts is fantastically measured as well. Again, it's just enough that it does the trick without being noticeable. The materials used across the leg are also top notch. They have the same premium hand as any other top-end short, but they maintain a durable feel. I suspect that these will hold up much better in the event of a crash than some of the other bibs I've worn.

Criticisms? I think that we're seeing a move away from the mesh across the back, but the fact that it's there doesn't bother me. I'd also note than while the chamois is excellent, I still prefer Assos's offering. Size-wise, Giordana runs about a size larger than Castelli, about half a size larger than Assos, and a bit smaller than Pearl Izumi.

Giordana get's an A+ on the FR-C bibs in my book, particularly when you consider the price. Stop thinking about your bibs and focus on the ride!

Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 27, 2019

4 5

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

After a second winter on the Kickr Snap, I decided to splurge on a direct-drive trainer, and I decided to look into Tacx's take on entry level wheel-off units. After the first couple of rides, I'm impressed. Solid build quality, relatively quiet operation, and helpful startup manual make for a win in my book. Look for an in depth review soon!

Important note, Tacx does not include a thru-axle adapter. Check out item TAC002S to get your disc-brake equipped bike all set up!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 27, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There are a lot of differences between me at my local race, and Nino Schurter representing Switzerland at the World Championships, but my socks aren't one of those things anymore!

These are rebadged Equipe socks, which means light weight, relatively high cut (5 inches or so), and moisture wicking. I can't think of many better socks for summer riding!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

5 5

Ostensibly, arm warmers should be pretty easy. How hard is it to design a tube to keep your arm warm? Assos, being the detail-oriented perfection freaks that they are, went to the next level. I'm not a materials expert, but the ultra-fine fleece material that the used on the interior is MONEY. They also (wisely) opted not to plaster the arm bands with gel. If you get the right size, they should hang on just fine by virtue of compression.

Be sure to shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Chalk it up another win for the folks in Switzerland. This baselayer is everything I wanted all of my other baselayers to be. It's light and airy, but I don't feel like I'm wearing a tissue. It also fits properly, and doesn't bunch up. Do be aware, you might have to jump down a size from what you're used to. Surprisingly, at 5'11 and 165, I found that the 0 was the size that fit best. Go figure.

Be sure to shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I gave these a shot, and while they didn't end up being the shoe for me, they did impress me. Laces have some legit benefits. You'll never have hot spots from poorly distributed pressure, and they are light. The VR90s also have a durable, walkable Vibram sole, which is a nice touch! For me, the width was the deal-breaker. These run narrow, and about a size small (I wear a 43 Shimano/Sidi, and I had to go with a 44 in these.) Eventually, I decided to move on, and they ended up in the hands of my brother, who raced on them for a season. Ultimately, the sole delaminated, so the durability wasn't incredible either.

If you have a relatively narrow foot, and want a light, stiff, and comfortable race shoe, these are the way to go!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's been a couple of months, and I'm still very happy with my crankset! It's been on a couple of rides in nasty weather with no issues, and I haven't experienced any reading anomalies. Five stars from me! Be sure to shoot me an email if you want to discuss in detail!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on February 18, 2019

3 5

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

I don't have anything really terrible to say about the Flywheels. The lens quality is great, and the price point is pretty competitive, but they don't feel as high-quality as Smith's other pieces. I ended up returning them and going for Smith's Wildcats instead, which I've loved!

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Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on February 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

To be honest with you, I'm not sure that this saddle will end up being the right shape for me, but you can't fault Fabric when it comes to quality! The Scoop is well-built and light for the price. Feel free to shoot me a message at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to talk about saddles in detail!

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