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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlister

Salt Lake City, UT

Josh McAlister's Passions

Mountain Biking
Road Biking

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

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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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 25, 2019

4 5

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

Your first thought upon seeing a $2400 set of Crankbrothers wheels might be confusion, anger, shock or some combination of the three. However, these are not the Crankbrothers wheels of the past with strange spokes and a penchant for failure. They have completely rethought the idea of a wheelset, tuning each wheel separately instead of slapping the same rim on front and rear and calling it good. As innovative as this idea seems, I just cannot tell the difference between other high-end wheelsets in this category. They are just as stiff and compliant as my Reserve wheelset (which is a great compliment). The Project 321 hubs offer excellent engagement at a reasonable noise level, which I would place somewhere between DT Swiss and RaceFace Vault hubs. The rims themselves mount up easily with a tubeless pump.

With the advances made in carbon wheels, it can be tough to differentiate yourself in a crowded field of competition. Crankbrothers have made significant progress and the Synthesis is an excellent wheelset, just perhaps not quite worth the price tag.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 24, 2019

4 5

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

Having ridden the previous 27.5" build of the DeVinci Troy, I wasn't entirely sure the Troy 29 could maintain its flickable and playful handling. I was happy to have been proven wrong during a recent demo. The bike climbs efficiently for a model in the trail category but really shines on the descent. Like most big wheel bikes, the 29er platform really boosts the confidence of the rider when plowing through technical lines. However, unlike most 29ers the Troy still has plenty of pop and will leave you smiling after the end of a long ride.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 21, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This bike will inspire more confidence to chose the harder line, take that jump or pin that turn at max speed. The geometry coupled with the tracking and stability of the Fox 36 lends itself to a very controlled ride. I did find myself wanting a livelier, more playful feel at certain points - especially after having ridden the new SB130 - but ultimately that is not what this bike was designed for. The end user should enjoy rowdy descents, will prioritize stability over pop and not care much about weight.

While the Switch Infinity system does well to maximize traction and minimize pedal bob, this bike is still quite a monster truck to push around. In riding a long travel bike with a 51mm offset fork, I finally understood the switch to shorter offsets with the newest crop of enduro 29ers. The front end of the bike tends to wander when riding up technical climbs, which, might not matter to you, but bothers a dirt roadie like me who loves to chase the KOM.

All in all, we offer a great package with this bike but I would make a few key substitutions.

1. Descendant 35mm bars - way too harsh

2. WTB Volt Saddle - way too much cushion for pedaling comfortably. If you plan to tackle a lot of elevation gain, I'd look for a better saddle.

All in all, the SB5.5 is a confidence-inspiring big mountain crusher. You won't be going fast on the way up, but most riders won't care. The reward of the descent will more than make up for it.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 14, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The best pieces of cycling apparel are the ones you forget about and the Dirt Roamer shorts are just that. The incredibly minimal fabric breathes and moves with you effortlessly on the bike. No belt loops, velcro straps or extra pockets to get in the way. Personally, I think their main function is to put another layer of fabric between the dirt and your expensive road bibs you wear as "liners." If you're a dirt roadie that wants to fit in with the long-travel crowd, look no further than these shorts!

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 12, 2019

Ride It - You Won't Care About the Looks
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The search for the perfect saddle is often a long, expensive and uncomfortable journey. Save yourself some time and effort - choose Selle SMP. Yes, their funky looks might dissuade you initially but I assure you it serves a purpose (and no one can see the saddle when you are riding!)

After a few rides tweaking my fit, I don't think I'll ever go back. I put in longer miles more comfortably than any other saddle I have owned or demoed thus far. Having the right chamois helps, but I would posit that using an SMP saddle could mask the discomfort of all but the cheapest bib shorts.

The Blaster was the best choice for my narrow sit bones and preference for minimal padding. However, your needs might be different. Please reach out to me directly if you have questions regarding selecting your SMP saddle or fitting one to your current bike.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 11, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The Megatower and the Bronson may have gotten all of the attention this model year, but I would submit that the 5010 deserves a little bit more love than it has received thus far. This bike is a blast!

I had abandoned the "27.5+" platform a few years ago due to the increase in weight and rolling resistance. You can find all of the confidence and traction in a modern 29er, but it would seem that I had overlooked 27.5x2.6. Paired to the Reserve 37 rims, I felt the 5010 was almost as fast as a comparable big wheel bike while retaining the nimble handling 27.5 wheels are known for. The rest of the build kit on this bike is spot on. Fox suspension is simple and easy to dial in, Guide RSC brakes offer great modulation and X01 shifting is as crisp as ever.

Let's face it, most of us don't need long travel bikes. What we need are efficient trail machines that can do just about everything. The 5010 is a middleweight that punches well above its class and is absolutely worth your consideration.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 3, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

...and yet I still give 4 stars. Why? Because Wahoo remains the most user-friendly GPS computer on the market. While the Roam does not have enough features for me to justify the differentiation between the regular Elemnt, it would still be my pick for a rider considering their first GPS computer.

Let's address the most marketed features of the Roam: Navigation. Most of the on-board features still rely heavily on a bluetooth connection to a smartphone running the Wahoo app. Integration with third party apps has increased significantly and I can now build and sync routes with Komoot (my personal favorite). I found the re-route feature to lag a bit and often not work at all when on unfamiliar trails/roads. Route to start is a pretty simple function and works as advertised. All in all, I could do with a little less reliance on a smartphone and more mapping features contained solely within the GPS unit.

The new color screen is noticeably more crisp than the grey scale screens of the Bolt and Elemnt. I never had an issue reading data fields even when scrolling through a full data screen and although I've never needed the durability and impact resistance of Gorilla Glass; I figure you don't need it until you do.

Wahoo continues to make simple and reliable GPS computers - which means you probably don't need the Roam if you already have an Elemnt or Elemnt Bolt. That said, if you're looking to make a change from the big G then this is the GPS unit for you!

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on June 3, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Much like the NX-G Bibs, you'll slip into the matching jersey and forget it's there. A few key call-outs are the camlock zipper, seamless sleeves and micro mesh ventilation. The fabric is light, but not delicate. The fit is slim, but not restrictive. Overall a solid piece that I will reach for any day the temps are on the rise. Pair with a sleeveless FR-C Pro baselayer for maximum moisture management.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on May 28, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For a $199 bibshort, Castelli severely misses the mark here. Yes the ventilation is excellent for those hot and humid days, but at this price point there are exceedingly better options.

The Progetto chamois is a very good chamois on its own, but placement of it here leads to bunching and a feeling of overall discomfort. I find myself constantly readjusting mid-ride to find a comfortable position. The straps bunch up and are a little on the short side for me at 6'. Obnoxious to say the least.

Were Castelli to re-design the Inferno with more premium fabrics, this bib could be an excellent hot weather piece. However for only $25 more I will ultimately go back to the exceptional FR-C Pro Lyte from Giordana.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on May 23, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Patagonia has long been the go-to for sustainably made performance apparel in the outdoor world and they've finally made an entrance into cycling. The Dirt Roamer is the perfect jacket to keep stashed away - ready to make an appearance when conditions turn less than ideal. I found it breathable enough to keep on when pedaling in cooler temps without feeling clammy or overheating.

The fit is a bit larger than expected, but as this is a piece of cycling apparel the end goal is a trim fit with minimal fabric to flap around in the wind. Size down from your normal Patagonia size (MD -> SM for me).

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