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Andrew T

Andrew T

Salt Lake City, UT

Andrew T 's Bio

As a recovering triathlete, habitual roadie, and aspiring cyclocross racer, there isn't much about bikes that I don't love talking about. Luckily for me, that's pretty much what my job entails. Feel free to chat, call, or email any questions that you might have.

In addition to cycling, I love traveling, sailing, photography, and getting caught in the rain. I'm not into yoga.

Contact me directly at:
Atierney@backcountry.com

Chat Request: Andrew T.

Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on July 1, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

I recently picked one of these up after riding home from work on my scooter in a trashbag. While certainly cheap, and kinda-sorta effective, I decided it was time to buy a raincoat for the first time in my adult life. When this new challenge arose, I invested several hours perusing the offerings of Backcountry.com because, frankly, where else would you turn in a time of crisis and opportunity such as this. My criteria was simple; fit my 6'3" frame ,look better than a trash bag, fit better than a trashbag, and repel rain. Needless to say, this jacket checked all of those boxes and more. The styling heralds back to that of Gordon the Fisherman, and the material is heavy, but in a good way. The hood is sufficiently large for the dreadlocks of an angsty teenage rastafarian, but slim and stylish enough that it won't blow off with a gust of wind on the set of HBO's Mad Men. The details, including buttons on the sleeves to tighten up the wrist, are a nice touch to an otherwise bare essentials rain coat. The jacket seems to be just as appropriate dodging rain from your car to the bar door as it would manning the helm of an 18th century schooner in the north Atlantic, albeit a bit more comfortable than the Grundens of yore. Next time a storms a brewin', I'll don my southwest rain hat, slip into my boots, and head out into the weather with the confidence of an old, salty, seaman. Best of all, apparently Helly Hansen is a cool brand, and the purchase garnered a resounding "yes" from my super attractive and stylish fiance. I can't wait for the first time it rains so I can update the review once I've actually used the product, but for now, I can only dream of what adventures we'll share together.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on June 1, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I bought these shorts based upon my great experience with the commuter jeans and commuter trousers. The full length pants from the Levi's commuter series are awesome, and I wear 511's in a 34 and they have always fit well. For some reason, these shorts fit surprisingly tight in the leg. As one reviewer said, most cyclists with developed quads will probably find these to fit poorly. The waist and seat of the pants is not bad, they are just very skinny legs. Levi's just came out with some redesigned commuter trousers, and those look to be a little better cut. That said, the quality and craftsmanship is just what you'd expect (in a good way), and for cruising on the townie or fixie to a bar, you'll fit in right alongside the rest of the hipsters. For the sale price, I'd buy again.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on May 11, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have to admit that when it comes to bib shorts that you are going to sit in for hours on end, I'm not usually looking for the best bang for the buck. I'm typically interested in the best pad for my butt. That said, these De Marchi bib shorts definitely delivered, particularly given their price point. The Italian striping is classic, and the lazer cut leg grippers do their job well. Fit wise, they are not exceptionally compressive, and fit more in line with Louis Garneau than Capo or Giordana. I'm about 6'3", and 180 in race form but closer to 195 right now, and the large worked well. If and when these wear out, I might well pick up another pair for rides when I know my apparel is likely to get thrashed. Three stars only because these are admittedly not on the same level as the higher end De Marchi offerings.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on May 11, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recent picked up this jersey because I really liked the different styling of the hounds tooth sort of aesthetic. Fit wise, it is looser than a race cut jersey, but not as boxy as you might see with some of the club-cut options out there. The zippered pocket on the back is a nice touch for stashing your ID or credit card in a secure spot since they won't likely be removed mid-ride. My inaugural ride was a 106 mile gravel road race with temps in the low 80's and the jersey preformed well, although something like the Castelli Aero or Giordana FormaRed jerseys would have been a more breathable option. I was not entirely in podium contention, and figured the "Turismo" moniker was more in line with my ambitions for the event. I gave it 4 stars only because there are a small number of cooler looking jerseys and several more technical jerseys, but this is a great option for the price and purpose.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on April 19, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently signed up for a gravel road race infamous for making even the great Ryan Trebone of cyclocross fame get off his bike at one point. Needless to say, I knew it was time to mull over my equipment selection. With SRAM's wi-fli on the road side, I could get up to a 32, but by combining this x9 with a SRAM Rival shifter, I could run a cx crankset and get an 11-36 on the back. This works great, and with the clutch feature I was even able to run it as a 1x for a short time without issue. installation is intuitive, and the cage lock is a nice feature for removing wheels. This is a great, low cost option for adding a few useful gears to the fray.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on April 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Chains are a pretty basic piece of equipment, but a broken chain can leave a little cloud of doubt every time you put a little energy into the pedals. SRAM chains seem to work time and again, and I love that they come with a masterlink for easy installation and cleaning. There are certainly lighter and schnazzier options out there, but the PC1031 is a trusty favorite of mine.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on April 19, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Replacing hoods is probably one of my least favorite operations to a bike, down there with overhauling coaster brake hubs. Fortunately, these SRAM hoods are pretty easy to set up with minimal muscle and maneuvering. I picked up a pair of the white hoods to accent a mostly black bike, and I'd like to think it looks pretty good. I've been impressed with how clean SRAM's white hoods stay, although the same can't necessarily be said for the white tape. I'm saving that for a race, where it will likely be cycled out once it's been used and abused.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on March 20, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I bought this stem to pair with my Enve Handlebar, and both have proven to be great purchases. The finish on the stem is immaculate, and has a beautifully understated look to it. The clamping area of the stem affords a snug fit for the Enve bar, but not so tight that it mars the paint. It is as stiff a stem as I will ever need, and respectably light.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on March 20, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been fortunate enough to own several carbon bars, and several really good ones at that. Previously, ZIPP Countour SL bars were probably my favorite. That all changed when I got my hands on an Enve handlebar and stem. Before even riding the setup, I couldn't help but notice that the finish was far superior to any other cockpit I've seen. The paint work is immaculate, and the tolerances for the stem/bar interface is snug but not tight. In terms of the ride, the bars are stiff and efficient, but dissipate road chatter fantastically well. There is a lot of buzz about deflection in bicycle magazine product reviews, and in most cases you are forced to choose between a more compliant bar with greater deflection to absorb bumps, and a stiffer bar with better power transfer. This is a no compromise option, which I suppose should be expected at that price point. The cable routing is nicely done, and the bar end caps are a nice flourish.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on March 20, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up the lobo few weeks back before a weekend in Moab, and so far have been impressed with the product. I love the minimalist design, and the pockets have enough space for a cell phone, tools, wallet, sunscreen, and a spare tube. If I'm careful, I can even fit my flask o' whiskey. The straps are not terribly padded, but afford great mobility on the bike, and I have been able to do some pretty technical descending without needing to buckle the waistband. My only gripe is that the pack doesn't possess the cool factor of something like a Poc or Ergon pack, but then again neither do I.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on February 21, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Since the introduction of SRAM Rival group, I've always considered it a slightly lighter brother of Shimano's 105 group. Both are marked by their excellent reliability and durability. There are certainly lighter options out there, but its tough to beat the price/quality of Rival. These Rival brakes come with an easy to use barrel adjuster, simple finish, and replaceable brake pads. This is an easy upgrade from lesser OE brakes, and would be perfectly at home on an otherwise SRAM Force or even Shimano equipped bike. Not much more to say about brakes other than that they stop well without second thought.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on February 21, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This Castelli Risvolto cap really does keep your noggin warm. I keep one tucked in my back pocket for most winter rides since coming down from the mountains can be chilly. I really like the warmth and, for what its worth, the styling is pretty cool. I have a medium sized head (literally, a medium in most any helmet), but I still found this cap to be a little tighter than ideal out of the box. It fits cleanly under a helmet, but it took a little breaking in despite being one size fits all. As much as I had aspirations of looking cool off the bike in the coffee shop, this cap is a little too racey for post-ride apparel in my opinion so I'll stick with a beanie. All said, a useful piece of apparel, and would buy again.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on February 21, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

These gloves are awesomely warm, and have been a welcomed addition to my cycling repertoire. If I had any complaint, it would actually be that they can be a bit too warm above 50 or so. By design, they don't breathe terribly well, so if you start climbing there is the potential for a case of the clammy hands. Conversely, the lower temperature limit for me is the low 30's. Excellent construction, fits well, and has that classic Castelli styling.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on February 19, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I tend to bounce from helmet to helmet, trying as many of the different options out that are available. From all of the helmets that I have worn, this is hands down the best one, and I was excited to see it come available on the site. In addition to its good looks, the retention system is secure and easily adjustable to accommodate a variety of head shapes. I'll admit that the leather chin strap seemed like an unnecessary embellishment, but after having had one for the past few months, I don't know that I could go back. I wear a medium in Giro, Lazer, and Louis Garneau, and the medium fits well in the Kask.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on January 11, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I have used almost every tape out there, and seem to always revert to cork tape. I like the ease of wrapping it, the amount of cushion, and like that the cost is low enough that I dont get too bummed when I have to buy new tape when it wears out. My go to is almost always the Arundel cork, so I figured I'd give this gecko tape a swing. Initial impressions are good; it wrapped with ease, but seems even a little more padded than the cork. I'm not typically one who seeks out thick bar tape, and I like that this provides noticeably more padding than most fizik tapes without the added bulk of some of the thicker Lizardskins tape. Time will tell about the durability, but chances are I'll just pick up another sub- $20 roll of arundel and move on with my life.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on January 11, 2014

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I recently picked these up as a spare set of tights for some winter training, and although the quality of the tights and materials are good, the fit is a bit odd. I'm at 6'3" with a 34" waist. My race weight is about 175, and although I'm a bit north of that right now, I've only had one pair of XL bibs that fit better than larges. The straps are fine for my height, and the lower leg is tight, but the the material bunches almost to the point of being baggy in my crotchal region. It may simply be that i am not as endowed as I thought I was, but its is the first time in a while I've considered trying a medium. I do like the zipper on both the chest an ankles to make getting it on and off easier and to accomodate for warming temps on rides.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on December 27, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It seems that much of the buzz in cold weather cycling is around shoe covers and gloves, but the neck gaiter is by far the most under-appreciated accessory. When paired with a wind vest, it extends your riding well into the fall. When paired with a winter cycling cap and jacket, you cover pretty much every crevice that cold can creep into on winter rides. The best part is how you can roll it up over your face or down to your neck to account for changes in temperature (ie, when you're climbing, descending, etc.). You do have to take off your helmet to remove the neck gaiter if it gets too warm, but this is hardly even a consideration in my book. Since its just as important to look good on the bike as be comfortable, its nice that the black on black Giordana graphics don't conflict with other brands of jackets, jerseys, etc.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on December 27, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I picked up a pair of these after a slushy, messy ride in the snow here in Utah. After some finessing the straps into position, these worked great on a ride with about 2 inches of fresh snow and some existing slop from plows. I went ahead and got the XL for my cross bike, and they work well with my 700x32 continental clincher tires. Although these do a fantastic job of eliminating rooster tail, I would recommend pairing them with something like the nanoflex bib tights if you are riding while it is actively raining/snowing.

I give them 4 stars only because the set up was not as straightforward as would be ideal. 4 quick screws and a few straps don't present too much of a battle, but it took a few tries to nail down the arc of the fender.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on November 7, 2013

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

A cycling cap is as classic a part of cycling as a frame pump. Even though I can't endorse wearing a cycling cap to coffee shops, that extra layer on your head and visor over your eyes really helps as it gets a little chilly or the precipitation starts to fall. Cycling caps don't work great with all helmets, but its nice to have the option. Giro's cap is as good as any, and has great styling to boot.

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Andrew T

Andrew T wrote a review of on November 7, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've never been a fan of heavy, syrupy sports drinks, but those have traditionally been the most readily available source of on the bike hydration aside from some high quality H20. Fortunately, I was turned on to Scratch labs about a year ago by some coworkers in my LBS, and have been loving it ever since. The all natural ingredients are simple, effective, and easy on the palate. I only wish they came in something bigger than a 1 pound bag.

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