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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlister

, Gearhead

Salt Lake City, UT

Josh McAlister's Passions

Snowboarding
Climbing
Biking

Josh McAlister's Bio

Recent transplant to the Wasatch Front.

Spend my time riding on two wheels and trying not to fall off rocks. Consider me your expert for all things climbing and cycling related.

Email: jomcalister@backcountry.com
Phone: 801-204-4682 ext 2412
www.instagram.com/mcalister_josh/

Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on May 20, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs small
Size Purchased: 43

If you want one pair of shoes for multiple duties from gravel to DH, look no further than the Rascal. You'll find enough stiffness from the sole for efficient power transfer while retaining enough grip and walkability for those hike-a-bike moments we all try to avoid.

The upper is incredibly stiff, so prepare for a pack-in period. I expect these shoes will keep their shape for a long time. I find the lace and strap system to be a little clunky and the toe box to be small, but other than that the fit should work well for all widths E and narrower.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on May 13, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

When MIPS came onto the scene, many were skeptical of it's claims and the increased price tag. Now, a few years down the road, most protection companies have adopted their technology into their lineup but only POC has improved upon it. SPIN offers a new level of rotational forces mitigation for repeated impacts, lessening the consequences of the big crash you'll hopefully never have.

The Ventral fits incredibly well, offering excellent ventilation and adjustment. The only downside for me and my large head is overall profile - it is not a small helmet. However, the safety benefits far outweigh the issues of vanity. I doubt I'll trust another brand with my brain for a long time.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on May 1, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

For those of us with larger heads, the struggle to keep the overall profile of your head low can be a struggle. The Trace does an excellent job of offering necessary protection while keeping your head from looking like a mushroom.

Fit is spot on for slightly oblong heads, but should fit the majority of folks quite well. Excellent ventilation and killer color options for this season. All in all a great helmet for road cycling, especially if you get some Smith shades to match.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on April 25, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Polar has been playing third fiddle in the fitness watch game for some time now, so I was pleasantly surprised to have the Vantage V outperform many of my expectations for a premium GPS watch.

What sets this watch apart for me is the entire Polar ecosystem. Once you make it past the slightly clunky setup, you'll never want to take the watch off. Multi-sport athletes will be able to capture every performance metric available from one input. With sleep, workout, daily activity and recovery tracking, you'll have a well-rounded view of your overall fitness as an athlete. Battery life is impressive, thus alleviating any need to adjust the GPS refresh rate to maximize run time.

The overall "footprint" of the Vantage on your wrist is small, which is a huge improvement over the small pucks that other watches offer. Bonus points for the retaining notch to hold the excess wrist strap in place.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on April 25, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: 9

If you've tried on any pair of Hokas before, you'll know the characteristic smooth roll they give your gait with each step. The Sky Arkali is no different, but offers something a little different compared to their mega-cush running shoes.

The comfort is still there in spades, but the foam thickness has been toned down. You'll find yourself gliding over the trails; confident in each step with no sign of fatigue in sight. Each step is secure thanks to the VIbram outsole's incredibly tacky rubber and aggressive lugs The integrated ankle gaiter keeps out debris and allows you to lock in your heel with an adjustable strap. If you're looking to walk/hike/approach comfortably in just about any situation, look no further than the Sky Arkali.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on April 23, 2019

Quality
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: 9

I've had the Ergo grip gloves for over a year now and have thoroughly enjoyed the quality and performance over the other options available. Most gloves in this category prioritize breathability above all else and it usually results in flimsy product that won't last a season.

The suede palm offers secure grip while the mesh back vents off excess heat - even in the dead of summer.

Pick Hestra if you want a pair of gloves that will last you year after year.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on April 18, 2019

Keep Pedaling
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: Runs large
Size Purchased: 42.5

The MX237 is your do-it-all, hammer down, last for years caliber of off-road shoe. I have thoroughly thrashed my first pair and they keep holding on. They are stiff enough for allroad duty on my gravel bike, but maintain enough flex for the days when I need to walk my mountain bike.

The rubber outsole has the grip to keep traction on rocks and roots - more so than a comparable Sidi, but not quite the same as a true Vibram outsole. Fit is a little large for the size, so prepare to go down a half-size from your normal shoes to achieve a performance fit.

All-in-all the MX237 is a great option for folks hammering out miles on their trail/gravel bikes.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on April 18, 2019

Look Good, Ride Good
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

The helmet game is a crowded field, but certain models repeatedly make their way to the top year after year. In addition to having some of the best colorways, the A2 has one of the best fits for any mountain helmet I've tried. I have a larger head that is slightly more oblong than round and I have no issues with pressure points in a size XL/XXL.

With great coverage and excellent ventilation, you'll find yourself charging with confidence and comfort wherever your ride might take you.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on April 10, 2019

3 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've been religious about washing my waterproof/water resistant technical gear for years with Nikwax products. While they are a tried and true product, I was always a little put off by the amount of water I had to waste with two separate loads for washing and then waterproofing. Granger's process seems to solve for the water waste, though I can't help but wonder if a 2-1 product is really adequate for both cleaning and re-applying DWR. Moisture does not bead up and roll off like it does with other products.

Cleaning is a cinch, but when it comes to the dryer I really don't like to leave my expensive clothes in the heat for very long. Perhaps this is the trick for fully-activating the water repellency, but I'd rather not bake my technical shells. I think I'll go back to the two-stage process from Nikwax.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 27, 2019

5 5

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

Look good, feel good, go fast!

Aside from the NX-G series, it doesn't really get much better than this. Just because you don't race in a skinsuit doesn't mean you won't feel like a pro putting in miles with this jersey.

Fit is trim, but flattering. No excessive fabric around the waist and minimal seams mean you'll barely notice you have something on. All in all a great jersey to keep your closet stocked with.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 26, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 00"
Weight: 155 lbs
Size Purchased: S/M

It may seem counterintuitive to put on extra layers in an effort to stay cool, but that's exactly what you should be doing with this piece. You'll find the fit to be snug, but not restrictive.

I've been wearing this piece as a shoulder-season layer (40-60 degrees), though I'm sure I can comfortably wear it throughout most of the summer.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 20, 2019

Matchy-Matchy
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Not much I can say to improve upon the previous reviews. If you're building a bike from the ground up, save your self some hassle down the road and start with the best.

Anodizing is perfectly done as well - add some flash to your ride and avoid being just another black bike.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 20, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The 30mm variant of the Threadfit series may not get as much attention as other King bottom brackets, but for those of us who need it (Cinch) there is no better option. After a few rides to "break in" the bearings, you'll wonder why you ever skimped on such a crucial component.

Make sure your install goes smoothly with the CK bottom bracket tool (Item #CKG0027) and be sure to check the appropriate bottom bracket conversion kit (No. 21, 23 or 24) for your frame and crankset combo.

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions!

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 13, 2019

Classy
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I've always loved the look of randonneuring bags, but never felt like committing to the handlebar mount. The Rando bag from Restrap is the best of both worlds. Easy front of bike access to all your gear, but securely mounted to a rack instead of the handlebars. The mag lock system is easy to mount and offers smooth removal of your bag, but is a fairly large eyesore on your rack without the bag. That said, you'll find so many reasons to use it there will be no need to remove the bag.

All in all, the Rando is a solid bag with excellent organization, pack volume and stability.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

(Temperature) Regulation Is A Good Thing
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 00"
Weight: 150 lbs
Size Purchased: Medium

Patagonia delivers again with breathable insulation for all your active pursuits. Wear on its own for maximum temperature regulation or pair with a shell when things get nasty.

Standard alpine fit - arm length is long, but not too long. Hood can accommodate smaller helmets, but also fits well underneath if needed.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on March 11, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

If you love to charge hard and not look back, then these are the bindings for you. You'll rip down the mountain with confidence, knowing the power you throw down will be transferred through your bindings.

That said, with all this stiffness comes a few drawbacks. I don't feel as connected to the board as with other bindings in this performance range.

I'd still pick the Drive if you need your board to respond quickly in whichever situation you find yourself.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on February 20, 2019

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

POC touts the SPIN system as a significant improvement over MIPS and while I don't doubt it, this review mainly deals with fit and function.

I found the Obex to fit my large head quite well while presenting a flattering low profile - something most helmets struggle with. Adjustments are easy to make and the vents allow enough airflow for all but the warmest days.

The brim of the helmet did not integrate well with my oversize Julbo goggles, which were pressed down on top of my nose. My other gripe would be the buckle system. At this price point, I'd expect a better system like the mag-lock options on other performance helmets.

All in all, POC makes a solid winter helmet with excellent safety features that could improve on a few minor details.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on February 19, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size
Size Purchased: Large

Assos continues to put out the highest quality kit money can buy and their accessories are no exception. I've used my pair almost daily this winter and cannot see myself selecting a different pair of gloves (unless temps drop below 30).

The fit is spot on. At first the cuff seems too tight, but if you use the reinforced pull tab slipping them on is a cinch. Fit is not roomy, but tight enough to maintain control over your bike when shifting, braking and any other bit of bike handling you might have to do. Padding is minimal but still appreciated.

I would advise a comfort range of 30-50. Anything below 30 would require a liner and you might not be able to fit one. Above 50 and your hands will be too warm and clammy. I wear a size 9 in most numbered gloves and a large was the perfect fit for me.

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Josh McAlister

Josh McAlisterwrote a review of on February 7, 2019

Improve Your Efficiency
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Absolute Black was my first foray into oval chainrings and I have to say a lot of my initial hesitations were immediately dispelled. The clocking of their rings is perfectly set to where you'll notice minimal change to your pedal stroke. Be sure to check your frame max chainring clearance and whether or not you'll need the boost-specific version of this chainring.

The Cinch direct mount system offers an easy install. Improve the efficiency of your ride with an oval ring - you won't go back.

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