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Michael Walker

Michael Walker

Salt Lake City, Utah

Michael Walker's Passions

Road Biking
Snow Skiing
Mountain Biking

Michael Walker's Bio

Born and raised in central Illinois, I have always enjoyed sports and the outdoors since I was a kid. Although stick and ball sports were my focus for most of my teenage life, the last few years my active life has began to revolve around bicycling and snow skiing. In particular, mountain biking has become my latest outdoor passion. I have a couple college degrees earned in Illinois and was ready for a big change, so I looked out west where I only visited for snow skiing a couple times a year. As Midwesterners know, the icy ski hills in Wisconsin and singletrack in central Illinois are fun but have their limits. So, I decided to launch my professional career here with Competitive Cyclist to work in an industry that I enjoy playing in.

Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on May 31, 2018

4 5

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

This bike was a ton of fun in Moab on some pretty gnarly terrain. Coming from an XC background, I had some pretty high expectations demoing a significantly bigger bike. I was impressed with the stability while descending rocky terrain. The big wheels rolled over rough sections well and was pretty quick on last second descents. It handled drops on slickrock well and climbed steep pitches just fine for a slack bike. I wouldnt use this bike as an everyday trail bike but would be happy throwing a leg over it when I am looking to have a fun timeon more technical terrain. For the price, its a great value bike and would recommend. I did damage the rim which caused a flat, but the rest of the bike got the job done.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on May 15, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

What a fun bike to do multi surface adventures on. This bike truly can handle just about any discipline of riding well. It isn't meant for conquering one expertise of riding , but can be taken out for any sort of adventure and be fun.

Steel is real, but on the heavy side as expected. For someone thinking of a race bike, this won't be the best option, but is suitable for many other riders. I did a few mixed surface rides starting out on pavement and on to gravel and singletrack and the fun factor was there. The compliance of the steel frame was noticeable and cornering felt relatively springy and had some pop. I rode it like my hardtail and it can get down some loose and rocky technical trails no problem. And, the classic and clean look of the thinner tubing looks great.

I found myself in the drops on the singletrack descents for the extra leverage and the 160 rotors with Rival brakes stopped me on a dime even for not being the best out there. The loose and rugged singletrack was not as bad as I anticipated for only having 33mm tires, but would suggest going wider if you plan on doing significant singletrack miles or steep descents.

One of the best and most unique things about this frame is all of the rack mounts for the true adventure rider. With mounts on the fork, top tube, and seatstays, it's ready for week+ long self supported tours with the right accessories and gear. If you ever think you might be interested in that, its nice to know the rack mounts are there.

For the price, you get so much value and versatility in the bike. It won't break the bank and has the ability to do just about anything. At 5ft10in, the 56mm frame I demo'd was too big, so I would go with the 53 if I were to buy the bike. Who doesnt like a handy Swiss Army Knife added to their collection.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on May 11, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

In the same family of Castelli, Sportful makes some solid products and differentiates itself in a couple ways. For a gravel/multisurface jersey, I am happy with the piece for how expensive it is. It has a quality feel and secure pockets in the back with plenty of room to stuff nutrition and accessories for the long haul. The jersey feels durable, you won't have to worry about thin material stretching out and wearing quickly over time. I like the tame colors, definitely not going to stick out like a sore thumb like some bright high vis road jerseys in Castelli's lineup. I took this jersey gravel/mountain biking a couple times and the relaxed fit was comfortable for the weekend spin. That being said, it fits similar to Castelli, so at 5ft9 155lbs, the Medium fits almost perfect. For someone who has a bike for every condition and a jersey that can be worn anyday, this one fits the bill. I recommend.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on May 11, 2018

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Being my first pair of Assos bib shorts, I had some pretty high expectations -I would say I am satisfied overall. My first impression of the bib shorts was the quality and thickness of the materials. I own other bib shorts that are lighter in weight and thinner fabrics, but these keep you cool just fine in hot weather and have a cooling effect against a breeze. I like how the straps sit wide outside of your chest, moreso than most other bib straps which can cause comfort issues. In the riding position, Assos has proven their bottoms feel just right; No tension or irritation after a couple hours in the saddle. The chamois is great, it's soft, ventilated, and is plenty thick at 8mm surprisingly. At 5ft9 155, the Medium is a slightly big on me and doesn't quite fit as snug as I would like. The leg grippers would probably do their job better and not slide as much if there was more compression. That's the only reason I give them 4 stars. Other than that, I have no complaints and recommend these bib shorts for someone looking for one of the best they can find.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on May 3, 2018

5 5

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

My first impression of this bib short is a positive one. With Giordana carrying bib shorts more than twice the price of this bib, I expected there to be noticeable differences in quality but I found otherwise. The Cirro chamois is a really nice pad with two small differences from the Cirro S. You can see some ingrained stitching on the Cirro but when using it, you cannot feel them at all. The thickness of the chamois is a couple mm less thick, but still is plenty of padding for century+ rides. I am a heavy sweater and the chamois does a nice job wicking away sweat to the outside and away from the center.

The fit is definitely not as tight as the FRC's and NXG's. The Silverline's are still compressive around the knee but are more relaxed into the mid section. There is definitely room and flexibility if you are looking for something that will accommodate someone with a bigger midsection. The straps on the Silverline are really comfortable and do their job of helping the bib stay in place. At 5ft9 153, the bib fits about perfectly.

A small detail I really like is the leg grippers. They aren't those aggressive silicon grippers that come on other bibs that can cause irritation on longer rides. You don't notice they are there but do not slide up and down during the pedaling motion.

The bib is a quality piece and feels slightly thick, so I am curious to take them outside on a 90 degree day to see how breathable and comfortable they are. On first impression, I am impressed and happy with the bib short.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on April 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Craft makes some great baselayers and this one is no exception. It does seem to help you stay warm when its cold and breathes well when its hot. Haven't been able to take it out in the extreme heat, but a breeze helps cool you down when you're heating up. It is extremely lightweight and you can barely tell you are wearing it. Craft runs pretty big. At 5ft9 153lbs, the Small is just about right, a tad on the big side. It will stretch a little bit after a few wears. Highly recommend this baselayer as you can wear it all year round so pick one up

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on April 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Lightweight, breathable, stretchy, comfortable - everything you are looking for in a tech jersey. The Celium kit is killer and all XC riders should own one. I didnt think I would appreciate a simple top this much, but theres nothing not to like about it. At 5ft9 153lbs, the Medium fits perfectly. I highly recommend.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on April 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I like this short for a lot of reasons. I wanted something I could ride cross country style trails in that was lightweight and comfortable over my bib and road liners. These fit the bill. Like the rest of the 100% Celium line up, the shorts breathe well in the heat and can handle sweat. The laser cut edges, perforations, snap button, pockets, cord adjustable waste are all well constructed and show quality. The cord system is unique and works better than a velcro adjustment. I am 5ft9 153lbs and a 30 fits good, but not perfect. When standing straight up, the shorts go down to the middle of my knee cap and stay slightly above the knee when riding. They tend to loosen up and sag at the waist line when I ride with food or my phone in my pocket, but if I tighten the cords a lot this fixes the problem. Otherwise, the shorts tend to grab my seat when getting in and out of the saddle. For someone looking for a lightweight hot weather short with a slim fit, give these a try.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on April 22, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have two pairs of these gloves and have had enjoyed using them on the road, gravel, and dirt. They are lightweight and breathe well in the heat with perforations to help ventilate. The grip is great when the gloves are dry or soaked with my ESI Chunky mtb grips. As you can see from the pictures, the pointer finger has silicon grippers that add much needed grip when grabbing the brakes and shifting on a road bike. The glove is pretty stretchy and is easy to slide on and off when needed and is touch screen compatible for a phone or computer. The Velcro strap is well constructed and high quality. I have about a dozen rides on one pair and they have not shown any signs of wear and tear yet. This is a great minimalist glove that can be used for all kinds of riding that looks great. I am a true medium in most gloves and this glove is no different in fit.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on April 3, 2018

5 5

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

I tried these wheels for a day on an Alchemy Eros and was very pleased. They lived up to their name and are a great option for a high value carbon rim without breaking the bank in comparison to some others in a similar category.

For a mid depth rim, it handled wind gusts well and maintained speed with the aerodynamic profile. Paired with 28's, they felt great handling rough roads and cornered great. and a good all around wheel. I was a bit worried about braking while descending down the canyon, but had plenty of control and predictability. For reference, I am 5'10 155lbs. The rims felt really solid when sprinting and held their own. This is a solid overall wheel that does everything well from climbing to aerodynamics. I recommend these wheels.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on March 31, 2018

5 5

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

I took this bike out for a demo ride and came back impressed. My biggest curiosity was how the Ti frame would feel, and i was pleasantly surprised. Comfortable without sacrificing other desired qualities in full carbon race bikes.

I rode one of my regular routes that has a good mix of climbs and descents, which is typically on my aluminum Trek Emonda. This bike was definitely faster and more compliant. A couple hours in the ride when descending downhill at 30+ mph through some broken pavement, I could really feel the perks of the Ti frame. It was more comfortable and gave me a better sense of confidence. 28mm clinchers added to the plush ride and confident cornering. But, don’t forget this is still a race bike. The geometry made steady handling and was ready to pounce when you need to make a move. The Enve carbon fork is a nice touch to stiffen up the front end.

As expected, the shifting was flawless and perfectly on point. My next road bike will have electronic shifting, Di2 is just too sweet.

The bike climbed really well. I was curious going into the ride with only a 25T in the rear, but I never found myself looking for more when I usually use it. This bike is no slug. Sprinting out of the saddle felt solid and responsive.

This is a bike that is great for the long haul on endurance rides when you want to counter fatigue. It is a modern race bike that has the benefit of high quality Ti comfort. Alchemy has their Eros bike dialed and I am pleased with it. At 5’9, the 54cm frame felt a bit on the small side. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions at mwalker@backcountry.com or 801-204-4678. I am more than happy to chat.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on March 23, 2018

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Let this stuff on your muddy/salty bike for a couple minutes and let it soak in. It makes cleaning your bike a quicker and easier experience. Spray it on all parts of your bike and see your bike shine like its new. It does a surprisingly good job around the hard to reach cracks in your drivetrain helping increase the longevity of your bike. I recommend trying out if you have not yet.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on March 19, 2018

5 5

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

I had the pleasure of demoing this bike for the True Grit 50 mtb race in St. George, and I was thoroughly impressed. Simply put, this bike can handle just about anything you throw at it. Packaged with the DW-Link suspension system, the bike pedals well as expected. On long and rocky climbs, the bike didn’t try to wander despite its somewhat slack geometry. The tires stick to the ground without the tendency to spin out on steep loose climbs. Being accustomed to my xc hardtail, I was still happy with how it climbed.

Descending was a blast. My confidence grew the more I descended through rugged rock gardens and never felt myself needing more for the trails I was riding. With the 2.4 mountain king front tire and Fox 34, it went downhill like a true trail bike. I felt plenty stable and the bike was playful enough to make last second adjustments in an emergency.

I was curious how I would like the Pro Koryak dropper post. It performed just fine and competes with other more expensive droppers. The guide brakes with 180 rotors had plenty of stopping power and worked like a charm.

There is room to throw a 20oz water bottle in a cage below the shock, but it was a bit tight for my liking during a race. The Ripley LS is a nice option for someone who rides all kinds of terrain and appreciates a light trail bike that descends well. The GX build doesn’t break the bank but still has the ability to compete with higher end bikes that are a little lighter. At 5ft 10in, the Medium seemed to fit me well. For any questions, call me at 801-204-4678 or email me at mwalker@backcountry.com.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on February 10, 2018

3 5

This is a nice post ride option to feed your body what is needs after workouts. I am not a big fan of the Apple Berry flavor with water, but didnt expect it to taste great anyway. If you are looking for a great tasting recovery option, you may want to opt for something like Skratch, which basically tastes like chocolate milk. The chocolate flavored Vega products are the way to go, stay away from the fruity options.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on February 10, 2018

4 5

Out of the protein and recovery Vega drinks I have had, the All-in-one has been the best tasting. It doesnt leave a weird after taste like the proteins sometimes do and tastes just fine with water. The taste was better using regular almond milk. For less than 200 calories per serving, it satisfied my hunger urges and feel good after drinking it. The French Vanilla was my least favorite between the Chacolate and Mocha.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on February 10, 2018

4 5

Overall, this is a good tasting protein powder. First time I used it, I did not add enough water and it made for a weird chalky consistency. Compared to other proteins on the market, it is just average but still good considering it is Vegan. I have used it a couple times after hard workouts and it seemed to help speed my recovery.

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on November 20, 2017

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

So many things to like about this jacket. Like Scott says below in his review, this is a phenomenal jacket and the nicest cold weather piece I own. The quality is unmatched as you would expect from Giordana. It has a lot of small details to appreciate from the reflective paneling on the back, fleece collar, to the Giordana lettering on the inside. The details are more noticeable on the blue jacket with green trim. There is a nice small zip pocket on the left size big enough to fit my iPhone 7 no problem that keeps it from bouncing around on my ride.

What I was most impressed with this jacket is how breathable it is when doing intervals. It is like the chameleon of jackets when it comes to temperature change…if that makes any sense. What I mean to say is it has the qualities to keep you comfortable in all sorts of conditions and temperatures and adjusts as needed. The sweat and moisture you produce is wicked away and vented out of the jacket keeping you cool when charging up a canyon. The eVent technology in this jacket is amazing! With many traditional jackets, you end up soaking in your own sweat and get cold when the sun goes away. This is jacket keeps your temperature steady and skin dry so you have one less factor to worry about on your ride. It monitors your heat and sweat output and adjusts accordingly to keep you comfortable, it’s awesome.

When heading back down the canyon with a constant wind, it prevents you from being chilled from the sweat you worked up - totally windproof. It is DWR coated too so no worries if you hit some rain. 50 degrees F overcast with some showers in the radar? Wear this solo. 25 degrees F and need to hit the road for 4 hours? No problem, pair this with base layer or two and it will keep you warm. For as warm as it keeps you, I must say it is quite light and not bulky at all.

I am 5’10” 155lbs and the medium fits me perfectly. The material is pretty stretchy, I have room for up to two base layers underneath. It is a comfortable jacket that fits slim, but not extremely tight. From the racer putting in frequent and hard efforts in to the weekend warrior looking for base miles in cold temps, this is a great option. Do yourself a favor and invest in this, you will not be disappointed.

Please to reach out with any questions!
Michael Walker - Customer Account Manager
801-204-4687.
mwalker@backcountry.com

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on November 15, 2017

5 5

At first glance, this jacket screams visibility and reflectivity all over the jacket. Even in regular light, the Super Black and P-10 Membrane combine to make this jacket pop in unlike any other jacket I have seen. Just because it isn’t highlighter yellow doesn’t mean you won’t stick out like a sore thumb while on the road. Although Capo has done a great job of making reflective materials, it has the warm, flexible, and water/wind repellant qualities allowing it to go toe to toe with the highest quality all around jackets on the market. This a breathable piece with perforation strategically placed all over helping make this nice option for high intensity efforts. I could see this jacket being worn down into the high 30’s to low 50’s. The small zip pocket on the back center pocket is water proof, so you can ride in the rain with a phone or other valuable item

Capo’s Padrone collection is form fitting and known for its high level of on the bike performance and comfort. The jacket is stretchy and mobile but still a slim fit for the race crowd. Although it is stretchy, the material feels extremely durable. At 5’10” 155 lbs, the Large was fit nice with some extra room in the upper arms and the ability to layer underneath. I could probably fit in a Medium as well. The jacket is very comfortable in the bike position. This is one of those jackets that feels a little strange walking around upright but when getting in the drops, it fits perfectly around your body.

This jacket is designed for a serious crowd who really wants to be seen on the road. It is a fine Italian made jacket loaded with high quality features, you won’t be disappointed.

Feel free to contact me with any questions!
Michael Walker - Customer Account Manager
801-204-4687.
mwalker@backcountry.com

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Michael Walker

Michael Walkerwrote a review of on November 10, 2017

5 5

For the avid weekend warrior to the professional XC rider looking for a light, comfortable, and protective jacket, this piece is for you. It’s a high quality mtb jacket with lots of attention to detail to make this a fantastic shell. Here are a few nice features to glamour over. First, the zipper. Not usually something to get excited about, but very heavy duty and waterproof. The abrasion resistant sleeves are shaped to fit over top of a glove and cut longer on the topside by a half inch for a better fit. Underneath the outer shell of the sleeves are elastic cuffs that prevent the sleeves from being loose or flappy while allowing mobility. For ultimate ventilation, POC put 5-6 inch open vents on the sides and laser cut holes underneath the arm pits. They are strategically placed to allow airflow without sacrificing protection from the elements. The pockets on the back have flaps that go over them to prevent water from getting in and the waterproof zip pocket in the middle has plenty of room for a large cell phone. The claimed wait is 270 grams, but find this hard to believe. It is easily packable into a jersey pocket for an endurance ride.

While shredding single track, staying athletic and agile on the bike is essential and this jacket’s stretchy fabric is very mobile allowing for that. At 5’10” 155lbs, the Medium fit me well with room for one or two base layers under the regular fit. For riding in true winter conditions, I would consider sizing up to the large to fit a thick soft shell underneath. It is a great jacket - light, breathable, durable, and ready to shred in the bad weather. Every mtb rider should own this.

Feel free to contact me with any questions!
Michael Walker - Customer Account Manager
801-204-4687.
mwalker@backcountry.com

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