Archive for category clothing
Check out Levi’s Commuter Bike Shop site for more information.
Some of you might be of the school of thought that any jeans are riding jeans, why spend top dollar just because someone’s labelled them ‘cycling” jeans? Is it a form of hipster trap? Why do I even want to ride anywhere in jeans? These are valid questions. Here’s why…
I rarely wear anything besides jeans unless I’m going for a ‘proper’ road ride. I live and work in a town which is a perfect size to get around by bike, and as a result I have worn clean through the arse area of the following jeans: Seven For All Mankind, Superdry, 2x pairs of G-Star, and my Hudsons are getting dangerously close. I love my jeans and these were all rather nice ones… It’s depressing when they go, and it’s pretty much impossible to fix. (I have tried, both with a sewing machine and with iron-on patches) The G-Stars in particular were useless – a new pair wore through in less than a year!
A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Creux Cycling – an Australian urban cycle clothing brand – and fairly rapidly decided I wanted to own everything they made, especially their jeans. At a glance they just have a style I love, and on closer inspection they’ve considered everything to make these the ultimate legwear for living and riding in.
Fortunately while at Bespoked Bristol a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the man behind (iL) Soigneur who has been hand-making really lovely musettes since 2011, and doing rather well at it. (iL) Soigneur now stocks a selection of Creux gear here in the UK and I took away a pair of the men’s and the women’s jeans to see which I’d get on with the most.
(Size info: I’m testing the Men’s Small and the Women’s Large (12), most of my jeans are a size 29-30 waist. My waist is 29 inches, and my hips are 40 inches)
The men’s version of the Soigneur Jeans are, on me at least, a slim fitting straight-leg cut which fit comfortably around my waist, higher than most of my jeans which are all low rise cut, these come to about an inch and a half below my belly button. The lower legs are just loose enough to turn up a couple of times to avoid your bike chain, but I couldn’t roll them up any higher than in the pictures. When riding, I prefer the men’s because of the higher waist. It feels just right in the bike position, no pants on show.
The women’s cut has a lower rise, and a much skinnier leg. I LOVE how these look when I’m walking around, but when I’m riding I found that once they’d loosened up a bit, they were coming down a bit too low at the back. It’s no biggie if your shirt is tucked in, but if not; PANTS CITY.
The fit is really quite different from the men’s, and I’m surprised by how well the men’s cut fits me – I do not have boyish hips. So it really comes down to your preference – do you want slim straight leg or skinny leg? Higher waist or low rise? Both are super comfy on and off the bike.
Two things I love about turning these jeans up: The cyan coloured tape sewn over the seams on the inside looks ace, and on the men’s version, the large reflective Creux logo inside the right leg, which massively increases your visibility in the dark. Never mind products with a tiny bit of reflective piping here and there, there’s nothing better than a huge block of the stuff to catch driver’s eyes. Plus it looks freaking cool. It’s not there on the women’s, no doubt because they’re a lot skinnier so you can’t really roll them up.
Both versions are very slightly stretchy, but to be honest I think they could be stretchier, because it’s such a heavy weight denim. When these jeans first go on they feel heavier and stiffer than most jeans. Unsurprisingly though, after wearing these for a few days they loosened up a fair bit, became less tight around the waist, and altogether more and more comfortable as the days wore on.
The denim itself is such a big feature of these jeans, it feels so tough that I can’t imagine ever wearing through the arse section. Even if the bum was one layer thick I don’t think I would – but as it happens Creux have built in a double layered seat, complete with lightly padded chamois! I was a little concerned this would feel bulky and even too warm, but when I’m not riding I just don’t notice it.
Then there’s the Schoeller NanoSphere treatment, which is unbelievably valuable. Living in the UK, if I waited for it to stop raining, I’d barely ever get to ride so I don’t tend to shy away from wet weather. After all, skin’s waterproof, right? Turns out these jeans are too. Close enough anyway. I live a short distance from work, but even a short distance will soak regular jeans through if it’s pissing it down as it often does. I’ve sat at my desk for several hours with wet jeans, patiently waiting for them to dry out after the 5 minute ride in. It takes about 3 hours, I’ve timed it. So since testing these jeans out, I’ve had it rain on me a couple of times, once while riding, not overly heavy rain, and once when it just absolutely shat it down for 5 minutes, so I went outside and sat in it. Just to see what would happen.
I’d say that in extremely heavy rain, 95% beads and splashes right off you, and 5% begins to dampen the jeans. Dampen, mind, not soak. I came back inside, brushed them off and sat at my desk, and within 10 minutes the jeans felt completely dry again. My hood stayed wet for the rest of the day.
The men’s jeans have a few little features which the women’s jeans don’t have, although I’m not entirely sure why. There’s an extra pocket on the right hip which is much easier to dig into then the front pockets when you’re sat down, there’s a little loop for keys on the left side waist band, and there’s a D-lock holding loop on the back, which is pretty handy if like me you often pop into town without a bag.
The only thing to be aware of is that these jeans are very heavily dyed, and it will transfer to your pale coloured couch. I’m hoping that it will wash off the cushion covers. I’m told the denim is designed to fade with use, so I fully expect a lot of loose dye to come out in the first wash which will probably stop the couch getting any worse.
There’s not much else to add, so I’ll summarise by saying that, like me, you can test these jeans out without buying them because (iL) Soigneur is offering a no quibble try before you buy scheme. So if you’re still not sure, try them out for yourself! I for one will be putting my money where my mouth is and buying them. I’m just not sure which ones…
Screw it. I want both.
This concept helmet includes headlight, turn signal and brake light.
I’ve never really understood yoga pants. I’m not sure I’m supposed to. For a while I wasn’t even really sure what yoga pants were, then my wife discovered Lululemon. So, now I know and I’m broke.
All reports are that yoga pants are the most comfortable pants a woman can wear in public. This is why the world is suddenly filled with women who have never practiced yoga but are always dressed for a pop-up yoga class. It’s also, I think, a major reason why there’s a dress code at my office.
Last winter I splurged and bought myself a pair of wool cycling tights from the now defunct Lab-Gear. This winter, I’m beginning to understand just how women feel about yoga pants. I never want to take them off.
If it were acceptable for a guy to wonder around in what amounts to a pair of long underwear, I probably would. I’ve worn them under jeans at softball games and to the snow. I’ve worn them on my bike, of course.
In the winter, anyway, I couldn’t live without.
Pop by Lab-Gear’s new venture, Eleven Vélo. I’m not sure you’ll be able to convince them to make you up a pair of wooly bottoms, but I’m sure they’ll have something you’ll love.
It’s bike month and we’ve not even made a single post. What is wrong with us?
The good news is we (at least some of us) are still riding our bikes and stuff. The bad news is that our real jobs of been occupying way too much of our time. But I’m resolved now to get on here and post something a couple of times a week. So, you know, keep checking back.
When I was young and attending a Catholic high school swearing was frowned down upon by the deans (so was walking around with an untucked shirt) and I came up with the idea of replacing the “uck” with “unny papers.” It seemed incredibly clever at the time and nobody seemed to question it when something happened and I said, “oh, funny papers.” Then I went to college and started using the “uck” part again.
Now that I have small children who tend to repeat everything I say, I try to avoid that nasty word again. And I do, mostly. Happily, while getting dressed to head home the other day I stumbled upon an incredible alternative to swearing that also captures my exact sentiment. I stepped into my bib shorts, pulled them up and realized the bib was all twisted. “Oh, twisted bib shorts.”
TWISTED BIB SHORTS!
So, when I tried to remove the pedals from my wife’s bike and broke the wrench (yes, I was turning it the right way) I yelled, “TWISTED BIB SHORTS!”
Of course, now my kids are going to have to explain Lycra to their friends.
Lab-Gear got their start in 2001 with the idea to locally create cycling apparel for mountain bikers (and roadies) that was different than what was available. Since then the Sydney, Australia company has grown and offers clothing for both on and off the bike. Lab-Gear set us up to create and review the “semi-custom” Merino J jersey.
Here I go again throwing out some apparel jargon, “semi-custom”. What is meant by “semi-custom” is that you pick the fabric and thread color, as well, the measurements of the jersey. Lab-Gear makes owning a one-of-a-kind jersey easy and straightforward and with a few clicks of the mouse, you’re done. You have ten fabric colors to choose from, you can have short or long sleeve, quarter or full length zipper and for safety, reflective strips. You can see from the screen shot (as of 4/17/12) each jersey panel (orange color) can be made as you see fit.
The Merino J not only is handmade, it is made out of, wait for it, 100% Australian superfine Merino wool. If you’ve never owned Merino wool clothing you must change this dilemma as soon as you can. Why you ask? Merino wool has specific natural attributes that make it perfect for cycling. Not only is it soft, it regulates body temperature, wicks moisture from your body and unlike cotton, maintains warmth when wet. Merino wool, as most wool does, contains Lanolin, which has anti-bacterial properties.
Above is the photo sent with my order confirmation showing the panels for my jersey about to be cut.
As I unwrapped the jersey from its package, I couldn’t wait to see what I had created and how it fit. Being a tall, skinny guy, fit is always something I end up sacrificing either in arm length or trunk width in jersey’s. So being a “semi-custom” jersey I had this going for me and the fit was great. I opted to go with the full length zipper, which led to my only qualm is that the full length is slightly more robust and so bunching occurred in the stomach area, as if I was hiding something while in the crouched position. Beyond that minor item, the jersey kept me warm and dry through rain storms and cold rides. Even on warm ride, when sweating, the Merino worked its magic and kept me from feeling sweaty and gross. The Merino J held up well on continuous laundering, which is washing on delicate cold setting and line drying. Color has stayed true to the original over the three month review. For owning a one-of-a-kind, designed by you, handmade for you jersey for $115 (US Dollar) you really can’t beat it. As well, shipping costs from Australia to the US is not that bad paired with a quick turn around time, you are set.
A friend sent me a message yesterday suggesting we meet up for a ride and that I teach him the secret of cycling pants. I’m not exactly sure what he was looking for (a explanation of why we wear Lycra? Or some secret to finding the right pants?) so I’m going to make a few assumptions, including that he meant “shorts.”
Like finding the right tire pressure or lubing chain or quality bearings, cycling shorts are all about FRICTION. Specifically the attempt to minimize FRICTION. When it comes to tire pressure or chain wear or crappy bearings friction is that annoying little beast that makes everything just a bit more difficult (of course a certain amount of friction, specifically between the tire and the tarmac, is required, but too much is…well…too much). Things are a bit more…urgent.
Just ask Tom Boonen.
Of course, a good pair of shorts offers other benefits, but none of them matter quite as much as the reduction of friction. So, buy a pair of shorts that fit and, for the love of everything good, get rid of the plush saddle.
Okay, well, they aren’t so much leaked, as official, unofficial product shots of Twin Six new 2012 knickers or for our UK readers, three quarter pants. They will be available this March in Pavement (black) and Gravel (tan/brown) for about $120. Couple of cool things about the construction of the pants is they are made from post-consumer recycled plastics with a PFOA and PFOS free DWR coating, for water repellency. They offer deep zipper pockets, articulated knee’s and highly reflective appliques.You can ride on or off the bike and look good doing it.
Coming soon, check out Twin Six’s facebook page for a limited, one off, cycling caps made from their left over jersey fabric by Walz Cycling Caps. There are currently only 100 or so left, one will be posted each week for purchase. Truly one of a kind!