We still have 1-2 more months of winter in the northern states. My dad resides in Yuma, Arizona and would call 40°’s winter, but whatever your cold tolerance is, baselayers can be a key component to enjoying the outdoors. Baselayers need to wick away moisture in cold temperatures and should be lightweight and fit snugly against your skin but not restrict movement.
Sizes available: XS-XXL (MD reviewed)
The Garneau Drytex 2004 Women’s Pants are lightweight with a 4-way stretchable peach skin fabric. What the heck is peach skin fabric?! The fabric has a fuzzy texture like the skin of a peach. The bottoms are moisture wicking, have an antibacterial treatment and feature a few reflective stripes.
The 1.5 inch elastic waistband is designed to stay up while being active. I’ll admit to having become a little schluppy this winter and found the elastic to be very snug and definitely not going anywhere. No matter if I was biking, jogging or hiking, under a mid-layer or under an outer layer, these did not fail me in warmth.
I like everything I own to be multi-useful. With base layers, I want to be able to wear mine as tights under a dress for quick changing after an activity or sleep in them if it’s too cold (or I am too lazy to change). They were almost to warm to sleep in, which isn’t a bad thing if I was camping in the cold. With the large branding on the lower right leg, I had to bust out the tall boots to make them work off the bike, but that also isn’t a deal breaker.
After 8 weeks of use and washing, the material has started to pill in the token wear spots: knees and arse. But there are no tears, no sweat sag and no reduction in warmth. They are high quality for a baselayer legging at $40. The Drytex 2004 pants are available in men’s and women’s cut and Garneau gets bonus points for going up to a XXL in both.
Sizes available: XS-L (MD reviewed)
This long sleeve baselayer is a Merino Wool and Polyester blend with moisture-wicking qualities. The material percent distribution varies throughout the top, with a micro-waffle type construction to help wick away those notorious sweat areas: back and under the arms. There is a more stretchable Lycra material along the back of the arm to the elbow for handlebar reaching without feeling like you are about to hulk out the back of your top.
There are thumb loops that are a simple stretchy loop with a 1/4 inch width that looks like it could be uncomfortable but felt fine even when wearing 3 layers of clothes. Pearl Izumi has this long sleeve baselayer rated at 20°-40° temperature and the top performed well in these temps. Even in the mid-teens, I was never concerned about my body temperature while being active. As a higher end baselayer top priced at $90, it got the job done well and looks and feels like it will last a few years of steady wear.
The contest you are trying to enter has ended, congratulations to the winner Ben Liu of Costa Mesa, CA
The first flat pedal shoe designed to handle the abuse of all-mountain terrain with the confidence, control, and comfort you need for all-day riding. This extremely lightweight shoe uses a premium dual compound Vibram® Megagrip sole for instant pedal engagement combined with long-wearing rubber at the toe and heel. Seamless bonded upper construction delivers unmatched comfort and lightweight durability for hours of riding.
Complete the survey below by 11:59 pm February 21, 2018, to be entered to win. We will choose and notify a winner the following day. Some terms and conditions apply, but don’t they always? Open to U.S. residents, only. Sorry, but that’s not our choice. – If you are on a mobile device, click here to take the survey.Tweet Print
Here are a few random tidbits we found on our second day of roaming the floor at the last Interbike in Vegas:
Pearl Izumi says that the Versa line is “bike clothing specifically made for nothing specific,” meaning that it was designed for riding but bridges the gap between road, mountain and urban styles and is casual enough to wear around town and not look like you just rode your bike. The lineup includes short and long sleeve shirts, quilted hoodies, jackets, baggy shorts, long sleeve pants, a tank top and liner shorts in both men’s and women’s styles. The fall pieces are available now, while the other items will be rolling out in the spring.
Pinhead is an anti-theft system for the entire bike, including locks for your components as well as your frame. Options include quick release and thru axle wheel locks, seatpost collar locks and headset locks. When you buy a Pinhead lock, you’re given a special key code that can then be used to make duplicate or replacement keys, and one key can be used to unlock all the locks on your bike, even if you buy them all at different times. Locks can be bought separately or in the complete package for $160.
The iOmounts Nomad is a magnetic mount designed for bicycle handlebars to keep your smartphone handy if you’re using it for navigation or otherwise need it in a visible location while riding. Stick one side of the magnetic mounting system on the back of your phone case or whatever else you want to mount (GPS, bluetooth speaker, etc) and strap the other side to your bars. The strap mount fits anything a half inch to two inches in diameter and the magnets are definitely seem pretty strong (I tried to pull them apart on the showroom floor and barely could). The Nomad retails for $55.
Osprey really stepped up their duffel bag game this year with the addition of two different families of bags – the Transporter series and an organizational series that consists of the Trailkit, Snowkit and Bigkit. The Transporter bags are designed so that you can just throw everything inside and go, while the other three offer more organizational pockets. All these duffels can also be used as backpacks and at first glance seem to be very durable and water resistant.
Road Runner Bags are all handmade to order in Los Angeles and cater to messengers, commuters and bikepackers. The company creates a diverse line of products ranging from hip packs to backpacks to bags that can mount just about anywhere on your bike. Most of its bags are constructed from heavy duty cordura but it also uses X-Pac (same material as what is used on bags like Revelate Designs, for example) as well as other materials on occasion. Bag colors can be customizable when you order.
Arsenal Cycling launched recently with a set of synchronized lights that can be attached to multiple places on your bike or person to help motorists gauge distance and aid in visibility. The set of four lights (three red and one white) are connected via bluetooth-like technology and if you change the blink pattern or turn one light off, they all change with it. The full light set comes with several different mounting options and a charger that allows you to charge all four lights at once with one USB port and retails for $150.
By Adam Newman
Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Vest – $80
Ah yes, the cycling vest, or gilet if you’re so inclined. It’s an exceedingly useful but often overlooked bit of kit. Rarely does the ambient temperature or your body remain static throughout a ride, so on goes the jacket, off goes the jacket, on goes the jacket, etc. A vest like this is perfect for the cruise down to the start of the group ride, the chilly descent down the backside of the mountain or the ride home after a post-ride beer.
I like this version because it’s a little nicer looking than the all-one-color style you usually see. Since so many of the times I’m wearing a vest are that annoying border temperature between warm and cold I appreciate the vented back panel and big back pocket to stuff my hat or gloves into as things warm up. Unzipped you’d hardly notice it’s there. Plus it packs into itself so it’s always handy when you need it.
There’s nothing really mind blowing about this version of the classic cycling vest, but it certainly checks all my boxes.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Aero WXB Jacket – $165
Pearl Izumi was one of the first brands to offer high-vis cycling apparel and considering how sketched out I am riding on the roads these days, I’m glad it’s back in style.
I can’t even tell you how bright this jacket is. There’s no way to capture its retina-searing pinkness in a photograph. Pearl Izumi says its molecules actually vibrate in sunlight. I have no idea if that’s true but staring at it too long might result in your brain jiggling.
Part of Pearl Izumi’s BioViz line—read more about BioViz in our story on page 40—this jacket isn’t just bright, it’s practical too. A thin, waterproof layer, it’s perfect for keeping in your jersey pocket just in case. The long tail and extra long sleeves mean it will keep you covered and won’t slow you down. Because of its slim fit I wasn’t able to layer it over a heavy sweater or anything—this is for go-fast rides only. It also doesn’t offer much in the way of features—there’s no pockets or anything—but sometimes less is more.
Like many true waterproof jackets, the temperature I’d ride this at is lower than you might expect, as it breathes, but not super well. Be careful when temperatures rise as you’ll end up soaked from the inside in your own sweat.
This jacket is also available in Screaming Green, and in a short-sleeve version. Dunno how that works. I’d also love to see this color make its way onto a more relaxed-cut version for layering over street clothes for commuting.
The promotion you are trying to access has ended.
Pearl Izumi has partnered with us to giveaway a pair of P.R.O. Escape Bib Shorts! Enter to win below.
The all new P.R.O. Escape Shorts were engineered from the ground up with one goal in mind: all day in-the-saddle comfort. Luxurious fabric with minimal seaming hugs your body like a second skin. Raw edge leg openings create a smooth transition from short to skin that looks and feels great. The new P.R.O. Escape 1:1- Chamois uses a patented two-piece design to deliver support without bulk, and only the best materials and construction to maintain breathability. But when you ride in these shorts you won’t think about those details, you’ll forget about what you’re wearing and focus on the road ahead. If you haven’t tried a Pearl short recently, now is the time, and if you’re a devoted Pearl rider, these will be the most comfortable shorts you’ve ever worn.
Complete the survey below by 11:59 p.m., April 05, 2017 to be entered to win. We will choose and notify a winner the following day. Some terms and conditions apply, but don’t they always? Open to U.S. residents, only. Sorry, but that’s not our choice.
If you are on a mobile device, click here to take the survey.Tweet Print
I have been wearing Pearl Izumi cycling clothing for nearly two decades. It is straightforward stuff that holds up well over time, and the company offers many items at a more affordable price point than several of the smaller boutique brands. So I was more than happy to spend the fall riding around in the Sugar Thermal Tights and ELITE Thermal Hoody, two items that excel in cool temperatures.
ELITE Thermal Hoody – $120
If you’re not one to dig into reviews, I’ll summarize this one for you in one sentence: Since I received the ELITE Thermal Hoody a couple of months ago, I haven’t taken it off.
At first, this garment seems exceedingly minimal for its price tag. No side or chest pockets, no thumb holes (which is fine; I don’t like them, anyway) and no fancy mixing and matching of materials. What it does have is warmth without weight, incredible coziness and multi-sport versatility for those of you who are also runners, hikers, climbers, etc. Or, just wear it all winter around your uninsulated house at 5,600 feet, as I am also doing.
Layered under a windproof jacket, the ELITE Thermal Hoody is comfortable on the bike in a wide range of temperatures—down into the 30s for hard efforts on the road or trail and up into the 60s for cruising around.
The hoody is made of thermal fleece with a smooth outer face that has proven to be moisture-wicking, as claimed. The shoulders are reinforced with slightly thicker fabric and are so far holding up under my penchant for riding everywhere with a pack. The fitted hood is ponytail compatible and fits under a helmet, and the rear zippered pocket is extra large and deep. My only minor complaint is that the zipper pull is tiny and hard to find with gloved fingers.
This garment has a flattering fit that’s more designed for moving around in everyday life in that it’s not tailored for an aggressive, hunched-over cycling position. The length satisfies my long torso and long arms.
If, like me, you dislike anything pink, know that this hoody also comes in a pleasant green and reliable black. Retail is $120 and sizes range from XS to XXL.
Sugar Thermal Tights – $85
The Sugar Thermal Tights are soft, stretchy and just plain comfortable with no weird fit issues, and the six-panel anatomical construction means no seams to rub the inside of your thighs. The tights are on the longer side, which I appreciate. Though I have short-ish legs, I’d rather have a little spare fabric than cold ankles. Ankle zippers allow for venting on warm days. The wide waistband is soft and forgiving. My only (very minor) complaint is that the tights have a big tag in the back, rather than printing the garment info directly onto the fabric.
The Women’s Tour 3D Chamois is labeled as being for “enthusiast to intermediate riders” that ride one to five times per week. I found the chamois a little thin for my preferences of rock-hard saddles and longer rides. On the flip side, because the chamois isn’t diaper-thick, the tights fit nicely under a pair of soft shell pants for my winter fat biking adventures and don’t feel awkward when walking around a coffee shop after a ride.
The suggested temperature range of 55 to 65 degrees is just about right. I rode the Sugar Thermals down into the 40s on sunny days and felt chilly at first (the fabric is not windproof), but comfortable once my muscles warmed up. If you’re exerting yourself under the sun, I think you could move the temperature range toward the colder side about five to ten degrees.
The tights have a small reflective design on each calf and come in all black or black with a big, “screaming yellow” panel down the back of each leg. The panel’s placement isn’t the most flattering to the figure but slimming fashion is not the reason you buy high-viz clothing, now, is it?
The tights come in sizes XS to XXL and retail for $85.