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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpson

Salt Lake City

Nathan Simpson's Bio

Kook on the run. Grew up in Vermont. Lived all over; Tahoe, Breckenridge, Tetons, PNW. Raced bikes, crashed bikes and worked on a lot of bikes. UBI certified professional mechanic, DT Swiss certified wheel builder, Level II ICP certified MTB instructor. My first love is MTB and pedaling to the best decent. Also a fan of adventure rides off the pavement and sometimes with camping stuff. Always looking forward to the next ride and working towards the next big trip!

Nathan Simpson's Passions

  • Mountain Biking.
Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on November 18, 2019

Clip-in perfection... seriously.
5 5

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

I got a pair of these to try on and my initial impression is - a truly perfect fit as expected from Sidi - I am about a US 9.5 and the 43's fit perfect - better in fact than any Giro or Five Tens that I currently own. (Giro chamber and Impact pros eaten by the dog...). if I was in the market of replacing a pair of clip-in style shoes these are about as perfect as I could dream of. If you are looking for clip-in shoes stop reading this and buy them or call your gearhead to get some on backorder! Easy in and out, great lace cover and I like the looks. the gaiter is a shop divider (disgusting to some gearheads - haha) but in person, it is comfortable and would definitely keep out dust and debris.

My criticism is: this is not a flat or clip-in shoe as advertised. if you want a true flat shoe you will have to look elsewhere - sadly. the cleat cover is more durable than most but I see it becoming damaged under a lot of riding with flat pedals. it is rubber and does not key into the sole in any way as it is just held into the shoe by the cleat screws.

Sidi please make this exact shoe in a dedicated flat shoe!

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on November 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I just got these for my new Ripmo AF. Tacky rubber and comfortable profile and contours. Love the subtle taper, all-mountain slip protector and different cushioning for grip and resting your hands. Definitely on my top 5 grip list. PNW Components is a cool brand to get behind as well!

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on November 18, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I had been eying this jacket since before I worked at competitive cyclist and was just another year-round rider in Bellingham, WA. Jackets were always a tough and expensive way to keep protected in the elements and often times I have been disappointed. As I worked here and have been riding in drier conditions this was my #1 recommendation to anyone looking for a jacket that was riding in temperate winter conditions or riding zones that could be ridden in the wet.
Anyway – I finally pulled the trigger on a fall and winter kit and got the jacket (picked up the Flexair pant as well). I am super happy with the fit – its slim but not racer tight I got the large and have about a 41.5-inch chest. Arms are perfect in length and the drop tail fits well in the riding position. It’s actually comfortable enough that I have been wearing it around town and on the dog walks. I shied away from the insulated jackets as I tend to run pretty warm so would have be to be in some really cold conditions to run the Fire products unless I ran cold, was fat biking or doing some high elevation shuttles.
The inside fabric is soft-ish to the touch so no worries throwing this over a SS jersey without the plastic feel. The outer fabric is also soft so the jacket moves quietly with you. The also added some tougher material on the forearms for extra abrasion resistance. Right now I’m riding it more as an outer layer and wind protection as we don’t have much rain this time of year.
I have not had a chance to test the rain protection but they have used TruSeal in their past jackets and it has worked well.
Would I love a clever hood on this? I sure would but the times that I ride in a full downpour is pretty limited these days and a hood is always divisive in the over or under the helmet conversation and most people just leave them to flap in the wind anyway especially if riding a full face.
Because the zipper is coated to close out any water just be careful when getting in and out – I feel if you were to rush the zipper you might have some problems.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on October 31, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The features are great! color and graphics on point as usual. I do share the criticism on the plastic molded velcro tabs. For the fit these are pretty straight - I had to adjust the waist as small as possible which may have helped lead to the velcro tab issue. The legs are slimmer for me. I would have ordered the next size down to keep the waist in place.
My measurements:
true waist: 36"
hips: 42"
Thigh: 23"

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on October 31, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I got this jersey over the summer and was really impressed with the qualities and details. The neck opening was really comfortable. My only issues were in the fit department. I ordered the jersey expecting it to be more of a race cut or slimmer fit. I am traditionally a large so that's what I ordered. After receiving it I wish I had ordered a medium. My chest is 41" so if you are on the fence and want a slimmer fit size down and if you want a looser fit go with your traditional street size.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on October 12, 2019

Do NOT OVERLOOK this BIKE
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This bike is so fun. it pedals amazing and feels like it has have more travel than advertised. For the rides I took this bike on I was constantly surprised and pushed to find the limits of this bike. If you live in a zone that does not have the super gnar and are still drawn to bigger bikes - get this and go crazy. Just check out the 50to01 crew riding these bikes!
Side note - this bike can also be ridden as a very composed trail bike and rescue you when you don't make good choices.

Note on Santa Cruz's take on plus tires: I think they nailed the 2.6 on a 37mm rim. this combo is still fast enough feeling that they dont feel like little full plus (2.8) but still offer considerablely more traction.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on October 12, 2019

Added to the collection.
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

You know Yeti Cycles - a primo bike with a racing heritage. I test ride an SB 150 right when they were released about a year ago. I was initially torn between the 130 and 150. But, as soon as I felt how good the 150 pedaled compared to other long-travel bikes I have ridden in the past - it was easy to choose the extra suspension for the descents! This bike always feels composed. On the climbs, it does not complain even with out of the saddle efforts and I realized its not a sports car on the climbs but I have zero complaints thanks to the great peadling geo. Obviously this bike is more about the descents and it delivers. This thing rides some of the steepest trails like it doesn't care - providing excellent confidence to try a new line or trial that you have been thinking about all season. People will always say a bike this big is not nimble or flickable - but I beg to differ get this thing up to speed and because of the confidence inspired by the bike I feel like throwing it around when other people are riding the brakes. Now if I can only get more time to ride I'd love to try and tire out this bad pony.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on August 14, 2019

Another solid/versatile Patagonia win
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have been riding the 3L EVOC race hip pack for multiple seasons and have found very little issues with it and has been my #1 recommended hip pack for a while. I have recently been really impressed with Patagonia bike offerings and would highly recommend the Dirt Roamer jacket for emergencies or cool weather rides. So when I saw these were available and talked to a customer who had purchased one I was excited to give the pack a few test runs.
1st off - hip packs have become super popular as many people are looking to get more material off their back for better ventilation and comfort. A lot of accessories and clothing have also become more packable and versatile lowering the number of different items you need to bring with you to stay prepared on the trail.

Things I loved:
-The volume of the pack is perfect. fits the full bladder, dirt roamer jacket, trail tools really well and I like to bring a mini pump, shock pump, and tube along on all my rides.
-Carries my knee pads with the extra straps hidden in the accessories compartment
-Fits 2 bottles plus the bladder in case you want to bring it on bigger rides or use without the bladder - or fits a spare tube rather well... If you are going with a full bladder and 2 bottles might be time to think about keeping the pack.

Things to consider:
-I am 5'11" and felt that the bladder tube was a bit short - I ha to remove the hose from the routing to get enough length
-the hose clip to hold it in place is simple and gimmick-free - however, I flipped it upside down to make it easier to clip back in place with 1 hand.
-My customer wished this came with some compression straps to hold the weight closer to her back or compress the bag when not full.

Overall - great pack and a great option for your local laps!

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on July 3, 2019

Ultimate trail brakes
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have run a lot of brakes over my life as a mountain biker. As far as disc brakes go I have run multiple iterations of Sram/Avid and Shimano brakes. Some have been a bust and others have been very reliable. As I have progressed as a biker I have moved to more reliable models that offer more power. To be honest I thought I found my dream brakes in the Hope Tech 3 V4 and they will always hold a special place in my heart for finish and color but I digress.

This spring as I was building my new SB150 I immediately chose to put code brakes on the build list. Since those brakes came out people have really flocked to them for reliability and power as well as the modulation that Sram is known for. I am happy to report that they worked flawlessly. The new bleed process using the bleeding edge tool is so easy to make your brakes feel crisp and get a consistent feel at the lever! I do know the codes are meant for mean stopping power and is why you will see it on many a DH bike or enduro machines. I have noticed it is a go-to trail brake for many riders as well I think mainly due to their durability and consistency.

However, when I had the chance to have our very loved Sram rep provide me with the opportunity to run the new G2 ultimates and even have him offer to install them himself, you bet your keister I jumped at the chance. Now that I have run the brakes for nearly a month I am willing to admit that I am smitten. Not only did I get the bling treatment with the oil slick hardware but these brakes have an amazing feel at the lever, provide outstanding modulation (if that is your thing), Provide what feels to me nearly as much power as codes, are lighter, come with color options, the contact point engagement dials actually do something and the pad retraction is amazing - no out of the box piston lubrication (yes, I was a mechanic before working as a Gearhead).

So my final verdict is this: if you are building a trail bike with us or upgrading your bike put these on. You may have to do some finagling to get the bolts but you might be happy enough with the grey or black colors to choose from.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on June 25, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Saddles are personal. Admittedly I'm not too picky when it comes to MTB saddles. SDG sent some of their new Radar saddles over to us to try out when they were launched this spring. I was building a new Yeti SB150 and thought it would be a great time to test this out. Quite honestly I forgot I was testing a saddle which in the end is maybe the best compliment you can give a bike seat. The other thing to consider is the value - this saddle comes in at 1/2 the price of comparable saddles.
As far as fit is concerned this is not pushing in some crazy new direction. the flat profile allows you to move around as needed. the sides roll off nicely to not interfere with pedaling and the base of the saddle allows for enough flex and cushion to remove pressure points and give you the hammock effect while riding.

Great value.
Reputable MTB brand.
No complaints.
Still on the bike.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on June 25, 2019

4 5

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

Devinci rolled through this spring with their full demo fleet and this was the bike I really wanted to try. We have a short but fun test loop in the hills above SLC that is a great test of bikes climbing, traction, handling, and playfulness.
My 1st impression was that the bike (size Large) is fairly conservative in the reach department. I am just under 6' with a 31ish inseam. My daily driver at this point is a large Yeti SB150 which is a bike that has gone the way of extreme reach measurements along with bikes like the Evil offering. I do tend to wish I had purchased a medium at times for this reason… anyway. The troy is not a bike that feels short but is noticeably less stretched out for me. it does have a stiff and responsive feel at the pedals and bars and does make you as a rider feel like a bike is ready to attack trails at any speed. Even their team rider Keegan Wright has chosen to ride this bike over the longer travel Spartan as he feels it is a faster bike that responds better to his inputs.
Speaking of stiffness – this bike employs 157 super boost to keep the rear end stiff and the frame itself is stout. The bike means business and while having an efficient feel while employing the very progressive feeling Split pivot suspension design this is going to be the trail bike that looks for rougher terrain under the piloting of someone who wants to both find the biggest and demanding rides. Due to the frame consideration this bike is a set it and forget it when it comes to set up. No bolts will come loose and it can take a beating.
If you are an aggressive riding looking at longer rides or if you are looking for a bike to progress your handling skill that isn’t afraid to get scratched this bike would be a very cool bike to consider. I would put this in the category of Evil offering, Yeti SB 130LR, Pivot Switchblade, Niner RIP RDO.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on May 1, 2019

Cycling specific jacket from Patagonia
5 5

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

We all know and love the products from Patagonia and the dirt roamer jacket has just advanced to one of my favorite jackets for riding. When 1st trying the jacket on I was instantly impressed with the cycling specific fit of the jacket. A lot of jackets out there try to maintain arm mobility by creating excess room in the biceps and shoulders creating extra fabric that tends to flap in the breeze - these are close to the body but the pattern still allows for plenty of mobility on the bike. So they nailed it on this front for me.
Hood: Fits over my Smith Sessions helmet really well. Patagonia made the face open snug to block out wind and weather as well as a hood flap - but it is comfortable thanks to some elastic hemming that takes up any slack or gives you some stretch for those on trail look backs.
Sizing: I have been riding in the medium jacket which allows for a light jersey underneath but not a lot of room for any additional insulators if that is what you are riding in. So if you do plan to ride this with more layer or want a casual fit go a size up or follow your t-shirt size. My measurements are about 41 or 42 inches around the chest, 33 inches around the narrow part of my waist for reference. If you are using the jacket for just riding I am really happy with the medium. the arms are plenty long enough as well.

Love:
-Cycling specific fit
-small details at wrists to provide extra cover to hands and seal out weather
-well thought out and good fitting hood
-lightweight, quiet and breathable fabric
-DWR coating worked really well during light rain and trail splashes

Want:
-small chest or side pocket for storing snack or having the phone camera ready while doing reviews
-elastic at the bottom hem or 2-way zipper to accommodate for larger derrieres :)

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on April 24, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This is a set and forget component. As a real OneUp fan it was a no brainer to add this to my bike. Dropped chains are mostly a thing of the past but it's nice to have a small, light and simple assurance it definitely won't happen especially if you are drawn to the rougher terrain and high-speed chatter.

Installation video:
https://vimeo.com/136780128

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on April 24, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Put this on my new Yeti SB150 and swapped in a 170 air spring - with the 42 offset this is a dream fork for my ride. I do love the sensitivity of these forks. I am still working on dialing in the high-speed compression after my first fist full of rides but such an easy fork to ride and set up.
We have a lot of customers drawn to the golden forks that ride amazingly well - as well, but Kashima is not the end all be all if you don't maintain or fully dial in your suspension. Rockshox has done a lot of work to reduce friction (especially with the new 2020 forks) and increase sensitivity as well as add additional features for the home mechanic - such as the cassette lockring tool removal of the top caps to remove both the air spring and damper top caps. When maintaining your fork be sure to look for some high-end fork fluid like Motorex and SKS dust seals to get the fork even smoother!
Worth noting - my came with 2 volume spacers installed. with my weight, riding style and bike 2-3 are about perfect.

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Nathan Simpson

Nathan Simpsonwrote a review of on April 24, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

This tool is not on my must-have list! It goes in my pack for trail rides and I use it as a Bench tool as well. you can even opt to get the torque caps for it and it can be a precision installation/bike build tool. I used the ratcheting often but also really enjoy using the handle end as well for longer reach needs and initial spin in for some mounting bolts. With the included tire levers and chain tool there isn't much this cannot accomplish regardless of where you are.

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