Category: Clothing

Knowing that I’m a huge fan of artwork made of recycled bike parts, my wife got me this great belt buckle for my upcoming birthday (I’m gonna be 25…yeah, 25. And I’m sticking to that number). It’s called the “Cyclone Super Cog” buckle…

super cog

Crafted by Steel Toe Studios in Seattle, blacksmith/artist Erica Gordon makes these buckles out of recycled cassette cogs. Shaped with heat and a big hammer, the cogs are then finished with a variety of distressing and surface-treatment techniques.

If you look very closely, you might see that the cog is an old Campagnolo…my wife knows me too well, indeed, and she made a special request for one from the studio. Awesome!

The buckle is sturdy, yet very lightweight, and helps hold up my “manpris” when paired with a studded belt — you can call me a hipster all you want, but if I hear you, I’m gonna swing my Super Cog right upside your head!

Check out Steel Toe Studios on their Etsy site or at their homepage.

Ok here’s something that KHS Bicycles came up with for 2009, its the TR-101. We’ve posted a video of this bike from Interbike 2008. Vince Calvillo mentioned that this is a new model for KHS and I really think they built an awesome bike that could be used as a great commuter.
khs tr 101
Here’s the specs:

Frame
Reynolds 520 Double Butted full Chromoly w/carrier and cantilever bosses
Fork Full Crmo w/rack bosses
Headset Cane Creek A-Headset
Rims Weinmann SP17 Alloy Doublewall
Hubs Formula Sealed Bearing cassette, QR
Tires Kenda Kwest 700x32c, w/K-Shield Anti-puncture
Spokes 14G Black 36°
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX Shadow
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace 9-Speed bar ends
Chain KMC Z9000 w/Missing Link
Crankset Shimano FC-R453, 50/39/30, Octalink
Bottom Bracket Shimano Octalink cartridge
Cassette Shimano HG50 11-34, 9-Speed
Pedals Shimano PD-M505
Seatpost Alloy Micro-adjust
Saddle KHS Ultra Comfort, Soft Shell
Handlebar Alloy Butted, 31.8mm
Stem Alloy 3D Forged, 31.8
Tape Cushion Tape
Brake Levers Dia Compe #287 for linear pull brakes
Brakes TektroLinear Pull
Color Black
Frame Size 17, 19, 21, 23, 25″

Just refresh your memory, here’s the video.

Moe received an Arctic Heat Cooling Vest last month to test, and the technical specs, activation and his impressions of the vest can be found by reading his article.

After he got a chance to test this vest, he sent it over to me. You see, I had a theory that in a place with higher relative humidity, the vest would stay cool longer (more moisture equals more cooling). Well, we’ve got humidity in spades here in west-central Florida…today’s reading was 75% humidity coupled with temps in the low 90s. It was a perfect day to try out the vest!

As soon as the vest came in the mail, I activated it by soaking it in water for about an hour. Then, once the fabric was fairly dry to the touch, it went into the freezer…where it remained for the next four days.

Here it is straight out of the freezer — oooh, frosty:
frosty

I tried the vest without a shirt underneath at first, but MAN was that cold! A summerweight cycling jersey was the ticket to initial comfort, and the jersey helped to spread any moisture out over my torso.

Sure enough, my humidity theory seemed to pay off — I got about 50 minutes of active cooling from the vest (about 20 minutes more than Moe’s experiences), and the vest could have passively cooled me for another hour or so due to its dampness once the viscous gel had reverted from a hard-frozen to a mushy state. My bike ride was fairly low-intensity and slow-paced, but faster speeds would have only meant more evaporative cooling — it would not have affected the “frozen time” of the internal gel.

I rather liked the vest — on a day like today, the cooling definitely took the edge off the heat, and I was pretty comfortable for most of my recycling ride. The extra weight (almost three pounds) was unnoticed — I was expecting to be aware of a heavy weight surrounding my torso, but that just wasn’t the case. Plus, I got to rock Moe’s “blue Power Ranger” look:

power ranger

I wonder how many freeze/thaw or activate/deactivate cycles this vest will withstand? The reason I ask is that some of the internal channels didn’t feel full of gel, despite a vigorous and lengthy soaking to plump up the dry crystals. In those channels, the fullness tended to congregate over spine and sternum, so that turned out to be the best cooling location anyway…

Anyhow, if you live in a hot, sticky climate, this vest might be just the thing for rides of up to 90 minutes or so. It will definitely keep you cooler!

I wasn’t much of a fan of knickers…that is until I tried the Hoss Ponderosa Knickers. I’m a huge fan of their Ponderosa shorts; I own 3 pairs and I use them to commute and to mountain bike. So, Hoss sent me a pair of their Sienna Plaid Ponderosa Knickers to ride with.

Here’s some technical info about the knickers:

* 8 panel microfiber polyester outer shell is lightweight and durable
* 6 panel polyester/Spandex liner with CoolMax for moisture management and comfort
* CoolMax sanitized chamois with multi-level technology improves comfort by relieving the pressure points between body and saddle
* Adjustable bungee cord closure on legs
* 6 pockets, including 2 side cargo pockets and a rear cargo style pocket with Velcro closures
* Partial elastic waistband with extra secure belt and buckle for comfort and fit
* Rear stretch panel for comfort and flexibility

The biggest reason why I like these knickers is because they cover my knees and they shield the cool morning breeze . Having arthritis, this is a big plus; my knees don’t stiffen up and become sore when I get to work. So how do they feel in the hot afternoons? The Ponderosa knickers breathe rather well, and riding in the hot afternoons is not an issue for me. The chamois is also top notch — it absorbs the sweat and keeps my derrière very comfortable.


Bonus Blue Power ranger Picture

The adjustable bungees do a great job in keeping the knickers’ pant leg away from the chain. I also like their style; they are not super tight and they are not too baggy — the Sienna plaid fabric give these knickers a subtle touch of class.

The knickers are priced very competitively at a MSRP of $69.95, but frankly, for all the features that these knickers offer, I think that the Hoss Ponderosa knickers are an excellent buy.

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.

DSC09978
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.
DSC09979

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.

DSC09988
Lots of pockets. Two in the front, and two in the back.

blackshort
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.