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Clothing

ZOIC REVIEW

I have been testing this little ensemble from Zoic for some time now in this sunny California weather. Zoice offers apparel for mountain biking, daily commutes and for women, men and kids! You can read my first impression here.

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I was sent 4 items for review.

First is the Namaste hoody.
yogajacket

From their website:

Namaste Hoody
Cover Up with Style

* Description
* Content/Fabrics
* More Info

Description

* Long sleeve fitted hoody with front pouch pockets, hidden key pockets and screen print detail on inside hood
* Internal MP3 pocket with ZOIC grommet with additional “Streetside” screen print
* Vented Sleeves
* Flatlocked body seams for improved comfort, durability and a smooth non-chafing surface against the skin.
* Chest darts for improved fit and shape
* Wrist cleavage

This hoody has quickly become one of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe! It’s a very stylish piece but you won’t believe how comfy this little jacket is. The jacket is a polyester, bamboo charcoal, and spandex blend. Soft and stretchy. I love that this jacket breathes well, yet is just enough coverage for cool evening strolls. I even wore this jacket for an 8k I ran some time back, in the rain!

Hoody
I’ve received alot of compliments on the screen print on this hoody.

ipodholder
This jacket features a little MP3 pocket. LOVE IT!!

I love the small details in this jacket. The MP3 pocket, the additional screen prints, a hidden key pocket in one of the front pockets! Love, Love, Love it! This is also what I consider to be a very high quality jacket. The stitching is beautiful and the fabric is incredibly durable. I’ve washed this jacket many times over and there has been NO shrinkage or fading of the fabric. All the stitching has stayed in tact also. This jacket actually looks the same as when I first received it. This hoody is priced at $65.00 and is available in these colors:Antique, Blue Moon, Creole, Envy. I don’t typically spend that kind of money on a hoody, but this jacket is definitely worth it. The fact that it still looks pretty new after all these months is a testament in itself that it is going to last a very long time!

Next is the Cuello Tee.
jerseyfront

From their website:

Cuello Tee
Fashion Meets Function

* Description
* Content/Fabrics
* More Info

Description

* Cap sleeve fitted tee with screen printed details on the inside neck, sleeve and back bottom panel.
* Scoop neck collar for a fashionable look in your pursuits
* Chest darts for improved fit and shape
* Flatlocked body seams for improved comfort, durability and a smooth non-chafing surface against the skin

This tee proved to be equally of the same quality as the hoody. Many washes and no shrinkage or fading. This is also a polyester and bamboo charcoal blend. Again, very soft on the skin and it breathes really well. I also wore this tee on a mountain bike ride to test how it does with some serious perspiration. It held up strong and kept me cool!

Backof outfit

What I love about this streetside collection is that these pieces are very bike riding friendly yet they are stylish enough to confidently shop and do your errands. This is a nice classic comfy loose fitting top. Priced at an affordable $40 and available in these colors: Antique, Blue Moon, Creole, Envy.

Next is the Damsel Skirt.
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From their website:

Streetside Damsel Skirt
The Cutest Piece in ZOIC’s History

* Description
* Content/Fabrics
* More Info

Description

* Solid colors are made in lightweight stretch fabric with 92% Nylon/8% Spandex composition
* New flat front waistband with snap/fly closure and added belt loops
* Contoured design lines and back yoke for perfect fit
* 2 Front hand pockets 2 rear pockets
* Liner: Women’s Girl Short Liner
* Removable moisture wicking stretch liner with “barely there” pad
* Pad: Barely There fleece lined pad
* 13″ Center front length- long enough to cover, short enough to entice!

I was really excited to test out this skirt! You can’t deny that this skirt is adorable! The skirt is lined with a removable black short and it is made of a nylon/spandex blend that makes it very stretchy for an attractive fit.

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Lots of pockets. Two in the front, and two in the back.

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The liner is actually really comfy. Its comparable to a boy short type underwear, just a little longer. And it has side snaps on the top to secure it to the skirt if you like.

I love the feel and the look of the skirt. Like the other items, very durable under all the riding. On the bike I didn’t feel like the skirt made it difficult to pedal and it never got in the way. I did feel sometimes the need to pull down the bike short. That may be partially because the skirt and liner runs a little on the shorter side. There is also barely any bike padding, which I really didn’t mind because there were worn for “cruising” around town or my shorter commutes to work. I don’t care for the diaper feeling for my shorter rides.

The only drawback with this skirt was probably the length, as I don’t consider myself a modest mouse but I don’t care for gawks and stares either. And you will get both with this skirt. I even managed a few dirty looks from other gals while out at stores. And I wanted to say, “But you don’t understand, there’s shorts underneath!! This is a bike specific skirt for biking!!” Eh – I just smiled instead. And this attention could be a bonus for bike commuters I suppose. We need all the help with visibility on the roads, and this skirt will not disappoint! Get Jack in a skirt like this and he’ll be sure to turn some heads! 😉

This skirt is priced at an affordable $50. That includes both the skirt and the removable liner, and it is available in the shade seen above (cachi) and a darker version (cub). Despite the “shorter” style, I will still be sporting this skirt around town. I really liked that these are bike specific yet so classy and casual looking to wear while shopping and running errands. It’s nice to have more and more variety for us commuter gals!

And lastly the socks!

From the website:
Dazzle Sock
Women’s Mountain Bike Socks

* Description
* Content/Fabrics
* More Info

Description

Soft, breathable, quick drying, non-bunching sock with ankle height, double layer seamless cuff, & built-in arch support.

Ok, so what could be said about a sock? Well, let me tell you. When I put these on my feet, I said “Oooooohhhhh, these feel good!”. Really soft, and a GREAT arch support. Best socks on my feet thus far. And they matched my namaste hoody and skirt – bonus. 🙂 Priced at $15.

Zoic offers a great variety for both the ladies and the gents! I really loved all the items I have tested out. They may be a little on the pricier side but you won’t be disappointed. The quality is excellent and these pieces will last you a long time. Check out all they have to offer here!

***I also need to mention that Zoic is taking a pro active approach with eco friendly designs. As mentioned above they have incorporated bamboo into the namaste hoody and the tee that I have reviewed along with other items. You can also find organic tees on there website!

Here are some of the benefits of bamboo from their press release:
Integrating bamboo into the woven and knit pieces has numerous comfort, performance and environmental benefits:

¨ Bamboo fabric is softer than cotton with a texture similar to silk.

¨ Bamboo is a naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic fabric.

¨ Bamboo fabric wicks away moisture and dries faster than cotton.

¨ Bamboo clothes can be worn all year round as they keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.

¨ Bamboo fabric protects against the sun with its natural UV protection.

¨ Bamboo is grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides.

¨ Bamboo is a fast growing and self replenishing plant that requires little water.

¨ Bamboo is also a symbol of friendship and resilience.

Green Tuesday: A Simple update

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 www.simpleshoes.com

First Impressions: Zoic

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 Zoic.com.

Wool Wednesday: Basic Black with SWOBO pt. 1

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

Pros:
-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…

Cons:
-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.

Guest Article: Keen Commuter Sandal by Alan Barnard

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: www.keenfootwear.com