Free 2-Day Shipping on Orders Over $50
Joe Draper

Joe Draper

, Gearhead

Salt Lake City, Utah

Joe Draper's Passions

Biking

Joe Draper's Bio

Competitive cyclist, BC Gearhead, and outdoor lover. Live to race XC Mountain, road, and cyclocross. Love to suffer.

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on April 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Shimano makes great wheels, but they don't typically garner the same attention as their competition at Zipp and ENVE. While I'm not prepared to say that these are better than ENVEs 3.4 or 4.5, or Zipp's 303, I'd say that they're as good as the 302 at a better price, and with tubeless compatibility. For less than $1500, you've got to give these a look. Feel free to shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to speak about these, or other wheels in detail!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on April 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

What's the best compliment I can give to any piece of cycling kit?

That I didn't notice it.

In 99% of cases, the reason that you're thinking about your bibs, jersey, saddle, bar tape, shoes, etc. is that something is wrong. (Your chamois is out of place, your shoes are giving you hot spots, your saddle feels like a brick covered in shards of glass....)

The FR-c Pro jersey is so well executed in every regard that I forget it's there. The cut is perfect, it's accommodating without feeling lose, the materials are soft without feeling watery, the sleeves are actually cut long enough! (Take note everyone else.) I also love the color palette that Giordana opted for. With only the most basic discretion, it's impossible not to look classy!

Size-wise, Giordana runs about a size larger than Castelli, around half a size up from Assos, and a hair smaller than Pearl.

Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on April 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Giordana nailed it on the FR-C line. In my view, good bibs are a function of a chamois, straps, materials, and cut that you forget about when you're riding. The highest endorsement that I can give to a bib would be that I didn't notice them.

I didn't even remember that I was wearing the FR-C bibs halfway through my ride. They're just that comfortable. At first glance, the chamois looks fairly basic, but don't be fooled. It's a proprietary design that Giordana synthesized to complement their line perfectly. Despite it's basic shape, it adheres to your body flawlessly. Giordana also executed the straps well. They're firm enough to guarantee a secure hold, but they're not harsh or abrasive in any measure. The compression on the shorts is fantastically measured as well. Again, it's just enough that it does the trick without being noticeable. The materials used across the leg are also top notch. They have the same premium hand as any other top-end short, but they maintain a durable feel. I suspect that these will hold up much better in the event of a crash than some of the other bibs I've worn.

Criticisms? I think that we're seeing a move away from the mesh across the back, but the fact that it's there doesn't bother me. I'd also note than while the chamois is excellent, I still prefer Assos's offering. Size-wise, Giordana runs about a size larger than Castelli, about half a size larger than Assos, and a bit smaller than Pearl Izumi.

Giordana get's an A+ on the FR-C bibs in my book, particularly when you consider the price. Stop thinking about your bibs and focus on the ride!

Feel free to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

(1)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 27, 2019

4 5

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

After a second winter on the Kickr Snap, I decided to splurge on a direct-drive trainer, and I decided to look into Tacx's take on entry level wheel-off units. After the first couple of rides, I'm impressed. Solid build quality, relatively quiet operation, and helpful startup manual make for a win in my book. Look for an in depth review soon!

Important note, Tacx does not include a thru-axle adapter. Check out item TAC002S to get your disc-brake equipped bike all set up!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 27, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

There are a lot of differences between me at my local race, and Nino Schurter representing Switzerland at the World Championships, but my socks aren't one of those things anymore!

These are rebadged Equipe socks, which means light weight, relatively high cut (5 inches or so), and moisture wicking. I can't think of many better socks for summer riding!

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

5 5

Ostensibly, arm warmers should be pretty easy. How hard is it to design a tube to keep your arm warm? Assos, being the detail-oriented perfection freaks that they are, went to the next level. I'm not a materials expert, but the ultra-fine fleece material that the used on the interior is MONEY. They also (wisely) opted not to plaster the arm bands with gel. If you get the right size, they should hang on just fine by virtue of compression.

Be sure to shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large

Chalk it up another win for the folks in Switzerland. This baselayer is everything I wanted all of my other baselayers to be. It's light and airy, but I don't feel like I'm wearing a tissue. It also fits properly, and doesn't bunch up. Do be aware, you might have to jump down a size from what you're used to. Surprisingly, at 5'11 and 165, I found that the 0 was the size that fit best. Go figure.

Be sure to shoot me an email at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small

I gave these a shot, and while they didn't end up being the shoe for me, they did impress me. Laces have some legit benefits. You'll never have hot spots from poorly distributed pressure, and they are light. The VR90s also have a durable, walkable Vibram sole, which is a nice touch! For me, the width was the deal-breaker. These run narrow, and about a size small (I wear a 43 Shimano/Sidi, and I had to go with a 44 in these.) Eventually, I decided to move on, and they ended up in the hands of my brother, who raced on them for a season. Ultimately, the sole delaminated, so the durability wasn't incredible either.

If you have a relatively narrow foot, and want a light, stiff, and comfortable race shoe, these are the way to go!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on March 1, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

It's been a couple of months, and I'm still very happy with my crankset! It's been on a couple of rides in nasty weather with no issues, and I haven't experienced any reading anomalies. Five stars from me! Be sure to shoot me an email if you want to discuss in detail!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on February 18, 2019

3 5

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

I don't have anything really terrible to say about the Flywheels. The lens quality is great, and the price point is pretty competitive, but they don't feel as high-quality as Smith's other pieces. I ended up returning them and going for Smith's Wildcats instead, which I've loved!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on February 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

To be honest with you, I'm not sure that this saddle will end up being the right shape for me, but you can't fault Fabric when it comes to quality! The Scoop is well-built and light for the price. Feel free to shoot me a message at jdraper@backcountry.com if you want to talk about saddles in detail!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on February 4, 2019

5 5

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

These are the first glasses that have slightly eroded my Oakley-loyalty. The lens quality is excellent, the fit is sublime, and Smith finally got the message that the large-faced among us need a proportionate set of shades. I've always been impressed with Smith from a performance and value standpoint, but their aesthetic was a little.... over-understated?

The Wildcats have turned that around for me. As an additional shot across the bow at Oakley, Smith also throws in a secondary lens.

More updates will follow!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on February 4, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If ride for any significant amount of time, it's probably well-advised to carry around your gear in a sleek saddlebag, lest bulging pockets render the aero-benefits of your expensive jersey null. May I suggest doing it right the first time around, and investing in Silca's Premio seat roll? It'll hold the extra tube, levers, Co2, etc. that don't fit comfortably into your jersey, and it's unique wrap design will prevent them from providing you with unwelcome percussion line to accompany your ride. Silca knows how to do it right! Be sure to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on February 4, 2019

4 5

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

Camelbak does it right. The fit, materials, and features of this vest are exactly what I'd expect from Camelbak. For a little bit of insight, I'm planning on using this for the True Grit mountain bike race in Southern Utah. My normal Camelbak rides up a little too much on the descents, so I needed to find another low-profile solution. More updates to come!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on January 22, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been endlessly impressed with my Strumprinz jacket. Full disclosure; I live in a relatively dry part of the world (Salt Lake City), but I've taken this out on a couple of winter road excursions with wet roads, and I was blown away. I can only imagine how well it would perform in a true downpour. You're not going to find another jacket that will truly keep you completely dry, and breathe this well. From the taped seems, to the fitted cuffs, to the perfect cut, I honestly can't formulate any criticism.

Be sure to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

(0)

 

0 Comments

Joe Draper

Joe Draperwrote a review of on January 22, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size

I've been endlessly impressed with my Strumprinz jacket. Full disclosure; I live in a relatively dry part of the world (Salt Lake City), but I've taken this out on a couple of winter road excursions with wet roads, and I was blown away. I can only imagine how well it would perform in a true downpour. You're not going to find another jacket that will truly keep you completely dry, and breathe this well. From the taped seems, to the fitted cuffs, to the perfect cut, I honestly can't formulate any criticism.

Be sure to reach out to me directly at jdraper@backcountry.com if you have any questions!

(0)

 

0 Comments