Specialized Joins Competitive Cyclist
Josh McAlister avatar

Josh McAlister

Salt Lake City, UT

Josh McAlister's Bio

I discovered life on two wheels during the summer of my sophomore year in college. My brother talked me in to racing triathlons and I did so competitively for two years. After injuring my shoulder, I dropped to solely riding on the pavement and dirt of North Texas and Oklahoma.


Since moving to Utah, I primarily ride (mostly climb) the epic trails of the Wasatch Front. I love a good long sufferfest with the reward of a nice flow-y descent. When I'm not riding, I can be found climbing rocks and honing my snowboarding skills.


Give me a shout regarding any of the aforementioned activities, I'd love to talk to you about them!

Email: jomcalister@backcountry.com
Phone: 801-204-4682 ext. 2412
www.instagram.com/mcalister_josh/

Josh McAlister's Passions

  • Mountain Biking,
  • Road Biking.
Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on April 22, 2020

OG Gravel
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Ibis may have been early to the game with their dropped chainstays and internal 31.6 dropper routing, but by no means does that make the Hakka obsolete now. The current frameset has gone through a few tweaks, but it remains one of the fastest and most capable gravel bikes on the market.

Set up with 700c rims, you can expect to smash all of your local segments while swapping out for a wide 650b wheelset will offer plush confidence over chunky terrain. The frame is stiff, sure, but that is what you would expect for a performance gravel frame. If you wish to smooth out the ride, I'd suggest starting with a 650b setup and grabbing a carbon seatpost.

I haven't had a chance to try out the Hakka's bike-packing capabilities, but I am minorly annoyed with the lack of mounts. Aside from that, I have no complaints with an otherwise excellent gravel bike offering from Ibis.

Contact me if you'd like help setting up your own custom Hakka build!

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 15, 2020

Great colors, good performance
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

iSSi offers some great value and color options, especially at almost half the price of other comparable carbon road pedals. The pedal platform offers a wide surface area for great power transfer - bolstered by the stiffness of the carbon body. For the money you can’t ask for that much, but I did find the bearings to be lacking. Even after a break in period they were not very smooth, but other than that they are a great way to accessorize your bike with good performance and great color options.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on February 24, 2020

Excellent Seatpost - Have Patience
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I chose the Zero 25 when putting together my custom build as I wasn't entirely sure if I'd need an offset seatpost. I wanted the flexibility without having to first try an expensive seatpost that wouldn't work for my bike fit and the Zero 25 fit the bill. This feature wasn't entirely necessary as I left it in the zero offset position, but I still appreciated having the option. The cradle mechanism is admittedly a bit clunky to set up, but after the rails are mounted adjusting the setback and tilt is a breeze. My Fizik Arione R1 Open saddle rails interfaced perfectly with the clamp. I could not speak accurately to the compliance of the post as my steel frame deadened most, if not all, chatter.

3T has some helpful videos on YouTube to walk you through the initial setup here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hUPmXqvMSY&t=54s

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on February 20, 2020

Matchy-Matchy
5 5

iSSi (QBP's in-house brand) makes an excellent pedal for whenever you don't want to spend much, but still want quality and the ability to match your bike's colors. The bearings spin smoothly, the pedal platform is wide enough for my 9.5 shoes and the pins have a nice bite. In the event you do wear out your bearings, iSSi offers a bearing refresh kit to keep everything spinning smoothly. Great bang for your buck!

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on February 6, 2020

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The applications of a lightweight, sleek and comfortable seatpost are almost limitless. Cane Creek continues to make some of the best products in cycling with their ee line and the eeSilk is no exception. At first, it was a little tough to notice a substantial difference between it and the carbon seatpost on my steel gravel frame, but after going back to a full rigid setup I missed the smoother ride. I could see this post working well in several applications with the widely compatible 27.2 diameter (with other shim options available). While it wasn't completely necessary on my steel frame, the eeSilk would be perfect for a commuter riding on less than optimal roads. It might add a few grams to your build, but the increased comfort will transform the way your bike rides.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on January 30, 2020

Not As It Seems
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A quick review of the geometry and visual inspection of this bike would understandably lead one to assume it just won't work. I admit feeling highly skeptical when I saw the first press releases concerning Evil's foray into the drop-bar world, but thankfully I was quite wrong. Every concern I had about the Chamois Hagar was assuaged the moment the rubber met the dirt. The bike pedaled efficiently, didn't flop around on steep climbs and absolutely charged downhill.

If you have felt that most modern gravel bikes still borrow too much from road bikes, then this is for you! Wide bars, upright body positioning, and a long wheelbase all combine to make for the most stable ride I've had without suspension.

The long tubing and raked out fork certainly take time to visually adjust to, but I believe Evil is on the cutting edge of what the "allroad" genre is all about. As is the case with most ideas that push us forward, you can't knock it till you try it.

At 6'00" I comfortably rode the MD with a 50mm stem.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on January 3, 2020

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This little watch punches way above its price, offering a multitude of features and customization. Battery life often exceeds a week with daily use (workouts, constant HR monitoring, GPS, etc). Thankfully as battery and GPS technology has progressed, watches have gotten smaller and smaller and the Forerunner 45 is no exception. It fits nicely on my wrist and isn't restrictive or inconvenient to wear. The Garmin Connect companion app is incredibly full-featured - offering a complete perspective on your health with sleep metrics, net calories, body battery and even a very accurate estimate of your V02 max.

All in all the 45 is a great watch if you're looking for a well-rounded picture of your physical health and wellbeing for a very attractive price point.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on December 16, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Kinetic was late to the direct-drive smart trainer scene, but it certainly wasn't without reason. They wanted to bring something special to the table and the R1 certainly accomplished that. Instead of a rigid bike that barely flexes when riding, this trainer allows for a great deal of lateral movement that accurately mimics an actual on-road feel. It actively forces you to focus on core stability while improving your pedaling performance. Unfortunately, this most unique feature causes the R1's performance to fall short the moment you get out of the saddle.

The aforementioned genuine road feel immediately turns into a noodly wobble when you start to put the power down. The front end of the bike wanders and you no longer feel dancing up Zwift's virtual peaks.

The setup of the trainer itself is very easy and integrates seamlessly with Zwift, but until this glaring issue is addressed the R1 will take a backseat to the likes of Wahoo and Tacx.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on November 21, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Let's agree on one thing: nobody "loves" riding the trainer. It serves a means to an end, but that does mean it has to be miserable. Adding a Kickr Climb to your Wahoo training ecosystem will noticeably improve your trainer experience with a better simulation of actual riding. With that said, there are a few scenarios where the Kickr Climb isn't very useful. If you train with ERG mode, the trainer does not react to the inputs on Zwift. Elevation grades, drafting boosts and any other extras that can be found in Watopia will not affect the Kickr and therefore the Kickr Climb. You can manually adjust the gradient with the bar-mounted remote, but that can be easily forgotten when you're in the middle of a hard effort. In spite of this minor drawback, the remainder of your rides and races on Zwift (or any other software) will be a blast with the Kickr ecosystem in full control.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on November 20, 2019

Never Settle Again
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Impero frame pump has made a comeback along with the resurgence of traditional round steel tubes on most custom frames. Do yourself a favor and round out your dream build with this highly capable bit of kit. Handles high volume & high-pressure tires with ease and will surely bump your ride up to "super nice."

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on November 19, 2019

Great Trainer*
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Wahoo was the first to kick off the smart trainer craze and they’ve certainly got an edge on the competition. An entire training ecosystem has been built around the Kickr, Kickr Climb, Elemnt Bolt and Kickr Fan. You can immerse yourself in the virtual pain cave and never touch pavement, but let’s be honest...trainers are for training. You can only distract yourself so much before you remember you aren't outside. With that said, the Kickr is a great tool for improving and pursuing your goals as a cyclist.

Setup is fairly easy with the Wahoo App and pairing with training software like Zwift is fairly easy, but this is also where I ran into some issues (and I’m not entirely sure this is the Kickr’s fault). Be prepared for a few Bluetooth connectivity issues if you're using the full host of Wahoo products. I'd often have to reset the system when trying to keep my Kickr, Kickr Climb, Tickr HR monitor and Quarq all reading properly. In the interest of consistency, I used my Quarq for power readings but I found the Kickr to be quite close in terms of accuracy.

All in all the Kickr offers a great training product, realistic road feel and a hassle free setup with an included cassette.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on November 12, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

You would be forgiven for doubting the performance of the new Perfetto RoS gloves. At first glance, they barely seem more substantial than a liner, but the resemblance ends there. The new Gore Infinium membrane is incredibly effective at blocking out the elements and the Roubaix fleece liner is warm enough to keep most hands comfortable down to the mid 30s.

The gloves only consist of three pieces and offer the most "sock-like" fit of any technical glove I've worn. I normally wear a 9 in numerical sizing and the large gloves fit perfectly.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on October 16, 2019

4 5

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

As a dirt roadie who prefers to ride in lycra all the time, I rarely reach for a pair of baggies. However, when the moment calls for it I like my over shorts to be low profile, offer plenty of stretch and breathe well. The Traze series from ION definitely fits that bill. The taper and cut is optimal for the riding position, but you could definitely get away with wearing these shorts after a ride. The inseam sits just at the knee and waist band offers plenty of adjustment.

All in all great shorts for those who like lightweight minimal apparel!

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on August 15, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

In trying to pinpoint the major differences between what Bryton has to offer vs. the other guys, for me it boils down to iOS and Android. Sure one will be flashy and streamlined, but you're paying a premium for design and not necessarily function. This is not to say Wahoo and Garmin don't offer a solid product, but for those of us early adopters who like to try something new then I believe Bryton has a lot to offer.

The first thing you'll notice when you power on is how quickly the system is up and running. A superlight operating system allows the Aero to boot up in just seconds with GPS acquired and sensors paired. Screen personalization is on-par with the competition and you can view as much or as little as you'd like. After you finish a ride, you'll find the data to be incredibly accurate as Bryton has access to American, European, Chinese and Russian satellites. The companion app is a little basic, but as most of us push data to Strava this is a secondary complaint for me.

My only complains with the Aero are unique to this model and not necessarily the others. 1. Button placement could be a bit better as the bottom two are inconveniently located when mounted. This leads me to 2. the Aero computer mount itself. At the moment, there is no option for aftermarket mounts. The included mount is a decent alloy, but something as personal as a GPS computer should have options for personalization instead of leaving users with a proprietary part.

Other callouts are the impressive battery life (two weeks of riding and still at 60%), great value and stellar software support. Bryton makes great GPS computers for those who don't want to break the bank or sacrifice performance!

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on July 1, 2019

Reynolds Redemption
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For many with the previous edition Reynolds carbon wheels, their experience with them could be described as agonizing at best. Broken tire levers, stuck on the side of the road and sadly abandoning the concept of road tubeless as a whole. Wheelmakers have done consumers a disservice by failing to standardize tubeless dimensions, but the AR41x is a step in the right direction. I was able to seat my GP5000 TL tires without a tire lever or a tubeless pump - massive improvement!

Now for what really matters - the ride. The AR41x manages to capture lightness, speed, and a smooth ride quality all in one affordable package. On a recent ride, I subjected the wheels to 9300+ feet of climbing through mixed surfaces with no mechanical issues or discomfort from riding poorly maintained roads. The carbon was stiff but vertically compliant and returned every bit of power I put into it.

These wheels are a great first step at elevating Reynolds back into the upper echelons of carbon wheel technology at a very competitive price.

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