Category: Clothing

I had my Simple Shoes Eco S for almost a month, so how have they held up to my use (and some abuse)?

Since I mostly ride with clipless pedals, the Simple EcoS shoes see mostly errand or cruising duties. Since I can’t wear sneakers at work (except for casual Fridays), I wear the shoes when I get home and during the weekends.

The Good: The shoes survived a downpour when I was caught in an unexpected storm, there was no damage or shrinkage. I also used the shoes on a Sea World visit; that meant 12 hours of walking. My feet were tired from walking but the shoes were very comfortable. While riding on platform pedals, the rubber soles (made from recycled tires) grip the pedals very good; there was no slippage.

The Bad:The only bad thing that I found about the shoes is that since I do so much stuff with them, the beige portion of the shoes has become somewhat ugly due to the dirt.

I think that the Simple Shoes would make a great Father’s day present, I’ve already asked for my next pair:

so make sure you put them on your list!

For more info or to buy a pair (free shipping on some shoes!) visit

It sure is nice to see more and more companies catering to the commuter women. Some time back Zoic sent me a little ensemble from their Streetside collection to test out on the roads. I had to wait for it to warm up a bit around here, but sunny days are back and so are my skirts! Yea! I was really blown away when I heard about this company. I love the whole earth friendly clothing line they have here. Zoic has been known for their mountain biking clothing lines, but now make clothing for the ladies that commute or just love to ride their bikes everywhere!

First is the Zoic Namaste Hoody:

I cannot express enough how GOooodd this feels on the skin. Immediately I was impressed with the feel and loose fit of this hoody. Very comfy. I have received lots of compliments on this hoody. And my favorite part about this hoody is the materials it’s made from. 62% poly, 12% spandex and 26% Bamboo charcoal. How cool is that? Bamboo!!!

I also received the Zoic Streetside Damsel Skirt:

I love how feminine and fun this skirt is. Also very practical with the removable short liner. The material is a nylon/spandex combo.

I am testing out the Cuello Tee also.

This is a really functional tee that pairs well with the damsel skirt and hoody. Perfect for a casual ride and trip to the store.

And last but not least, some sweet socks:
The womens Dazzle Socks!

These are super cute and let me just say one thing: arch support. It’s a beautiful thing!

I love how nice everything coordinated together and am looking forward to getting some wear out of these items! I’ll have my full review up in a couple of weeks. In the meantime check out some of their other adorable pieces at

This Wool Wednesday is a real treat, not only are we reviewing a killer product but Stevil from Howtoavoidthebummerlife answers some questions about Swobo and wool! First, the review!

SWOBO Men’s Short Sleeve Merino Jersey

The Look
When this jersey came in, I was all oohs and ahhs. The black version of the jersey is a no nonsense sharp looking jersey. It’s classy and low-key with subtle contrast stitching to create the lines of the jersey. Restraint seems to be the guiding principal here. No giant Reese’s Pieces on this baby.

The left sleeve has SWOBO embroidered on it and that’s it. This jersey has nothing to prove but gives you a little wink to let you know you’re wearing some quality threads.

The Wool

The feel of the wool is soft right out of the bag. No breaking in or washing in necessary. I’ve owned some older wool jerseys and some early jerseys from Portland Cyclewear that really took a wash or two to get the wool soft. Not so here. The hand is smooth and plush without being overly thick.

The weight of the wool makes it pretty flexible. I did a few long rides in the jersey in temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to the upper 70-s and it performed well. Again, it really depends on your riding style. You could probably wear it lower if you hammer and keep your body-heat up. The nice thing about wool is that even if you’re sweating in it, it will keep you warm. You could also wear it into the 80’s and 90s if you have the zipper down and aren’t completely hammering.

The Fit

For me, I ordered a size larger so the fit is a little looser. I’m not a racer. I’m a commuter and a bike tourist. This really makes it flexible. The extra room lets me wear a featherweight or midweight wool baselayer underneath and coupled with some arm warmers and gloves, I’m good to go into the 40s without the bulk of a jacket.

Does this make a great commuter jersey? Heck yeah. Its flexibility with temperature, coupled with the fact it won’t stank when you get to the office is a great mix. Plus, it doesn’t look like Photoshop vomit. You can ride in the street without feeling like a big sweaty billboard.

Am I going to bring it on my next bike tour? You better believe it. You can wear wool for several days without washing and it won’t be odoriferous like your plastic tuxedo jersey. Plus, it’s black, and it won’t stain as easily :) The jersey also has pockets on the back to carry your phone or snickers for the long ride home.

Pros and Cons

-All around great jersey for racing, commuting and touring…can’t go wrong with basic black
-Stank protection…nuff said
-Soft out of the bag…no breaking-in needed
-Performs great in a wide temperature range
-Nice, understated styling you Philistines…

-Wool ain’t cheap…price may be a bit of a barrier, but this could be mitigated by the fact you don’t have to buy as many jerseys since you can wear it over and over

Get yours here.

Alan Barnard runs Recumbent Blog…really nice photos if I may add. He sent me his review that should get commuters’ attentions.

keen commuter

Cycling sandals have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and for good reason: they’re comfortable, light, convenient, and walkable. I’ve been wearing Shimano sandals for the past 18 months and I find them to be far more comfortable than traditional cycling shoes, both on the bike and walking about. As Sheldon Brown put it, “These are my very favorite footwear. In the summertime I go for weeks on end without ever having anything else on my feet. Far and away the most comfortable cycling footwear ever.“

I too love my Shimano sandals, but I always felt they’d be better with a closed toe box (a la Keen) to keep my toes a little warmer in the winter and provide some protection in the event of a crash. Consequently, I was excited when I caught wind that Keen was coming out with a “Shimano Killer�? cycling-specific sandal.

Called the Commuter, Keen’s new bike sandal features a full length SPD compatible plate, a thermoplastic urethane cleat tap plate, and an upper that is nearly identical to Keen’s ever-popular Newport H2. (The Newport H2 is half sandal, half trail running shoe, with open straps and a treaded sole similar to traditional sandals, but with an enclosed toe box for protection.) The Commuter goes a step beyond the Newport with a stiffer sole and more compact tread pattern to narrow the overall profile, resulting in greater crank clearance and a more positive pedal/shoe interface (don’t let the narrower outsole scare you; both sandals are built on the same men’s “D�? width last).

The narrower profile is key. My Brompton is outfitted with platform pedals (a necessity due to the nature of the little folding beast) and I found the Newport outsole to be far too wide, with crank interference on the inside and a feeling of tipping off the pedal to the outside. The Commuter, on the other hand, with its narrower profile and stiffer sole, perfectly mates with a standard width platform pedal. There’s also ample clearance with clipless pedals, even on low “Q�? cranks like I have on my Tour Easy (this was a bit of a problem with the Shimano sandal). So, whether you’re of the clipless persuasion or, as Grant Petersen puts it, you prefer to pedal “free�?, the Commuter is a good fit.

Even with an enclosed toe box, the Commuter feels more like a sandal than a shoe. It’s well ventilated and the upper is supple and easily adjustable using Keen’s unique “bungee cord�? lacing system. They can literally be slipped on and off in seconds while being plenty secure for road riding. You do pay a price for the Commuter’s cycling-specific features. Even though it’s not a bad sandal for short walks and even a bit of light (very light) hiking, the wider and more supple Newport is far better for long walks and more demanding conditions. That said, the Commuter is probably the most walkable cycling-specific shoe on the market.

The Commuter successfully combines the ease of use, comfort, and walkability of a sandal with the stiffness and toe protection of a cycling shoe. Because they’re built with the same high quality and attention to detail that is typical of all Keen products, they should provide many seasons of trouble-free use. And who knows, with their enclosed toe box, you might even be able to get away with wearing them around the office!

For more information: