BikeCommuters.com

Tag Archive: bike clothing

Commute in a suit?

Most of us have met commuters who need to dress a bit more formally around the office, and must carry their dressier clothing via pannier or Monday-morning car delivery. While there are a variety of ways to bring a suit to work, sometimes the best solution is to just wear it. After all, in other places like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, cyclists don’t really see a need to get dressed for the ride in anything that isn’t regular work clothing. It works for them, and it can work for us.

Enter Parker Dusseau, a men’s clothier based in San Francisco. They’re making a “commuter suit” with a lot of details bicyclists can really get behind.

commuter_suit

The suit checks a lot of boxes…performance fabrics, deep pockets, hidden reflective trim, pit zippers, etc. Best of all, it LOOKS like a suit. Too much “commuter clothing” turns out to be fancified jeans or other attire not suitable for a more formal work environment.

suit_commute

The Parker Dusseau pieces are available separately, and there are corresponding shirts and even chinos for less formal affairs. More information available at Cool Hunting or by visiting the Parker Dusseau information page.

Review: Twin Horizon Cycling Flannel

Editor’s note: A while back we received a flannel shirt from Twin Horizon that was made just for cycling. We asked for an XL, but once it arrived, realized that this shirt had Asian sizing (the company is based in Shanghai). So, their XL was more like an American Med/Large. Needless to say, it didn’t fit. So, I recruited one of our MtnBikeRiders.com Team Racers to help me out with the review. Here are Bryan Doney’s thoughts on the garment.

Initial Impressions
The second I saw the Twin Horizon Cycling Flannel, I had some mixed feelings. The version of it we received was green and orange, which is a color combination that I really wasn’t excited about. Also, when I was told it was an extra-large I was a little surprised considering that it fits me perfectly — I am 5’ 9”, weigh 130 lb., and usually wear large-sized shirts. However, when I put it on, the cotton fabric the flannel was made out of was really soft and non-irritating to the skin (unlike some flannels I have experienced in the past). I also noticed that it had three holes near the armpit region on each side for extra breathability, but while standing there I really did not notice much of an improvement over the t-shirt I had been wearing earlier.

The shirt has three pockets, one on the lower right portion of the back, and one each on the left and right chest region. I don’t carry a lot with me when I ride, but I’m sure you can stuff your keys, money and a cell phone in these pockets. With all of these things in mind, I decided I would take it out for a ride to see how the flannel works.

During my ride

The day I took it out riding, the temperature was in the low to mid 80s and it was mostly sunny; solid riding weather. However, I noticed while stand around or while I was airing up my tires, I got hot relatively quickly in the flannel. No surprise there; who really wears a flannel while it’s in the mid 80s? Anyhow, this changed very quickly when I got onto my bike and started riding. I found that it breathes just as well as any of my riding jerseys — even better than some of them.

cycle flannel

Another thing to think about, if you did get warm while riding, you can vent your shirt by undoing a few buttons. Though I did not crash during my test rides, I can imagine that because the material is a bit thicker than that of my jerseys, it would provide some protection and help prevent road rash. After riding with the Twin Horizon handmade flannel for the last few months, I’d have to say they’re well constructed shirts; no stitches came undone at the seams and the fabric was durable throughout the testing period.

Though the flannel was tested during warmer months, this would make a great riding shirt during cooler weather. The plus side of this product is that you look normal; you won’t arrive to your destination in a loud cycling jersey, but instead you roll in looking like a regular guy. That is something a lot of commuters can get behind!

Would I recommend this to anyone that rides bicycles? Yes — not just cyclists, but anyone who is into action sports, too. It is in general a great piece of apparel that is very effective at achieving breathability, flexibility, and comfort. Go over to twinhorizon.com and order one… I know I will (when you do, just keep in mind that they run small, so go up a size). The Twin Horizon Cycling Flannel retails for $56.00 USD.

We’d like to thank Bryan for helping us out on this review.

Our Review Disclaimer

Review: Ergon HC1 Gloves

As part of my duties as a member of the Ergon USA 2011 Commuter Team, I get to try out some brand-spanking-new products from the Ergon lineup. A few weeks ago, Ergon sent me a pair of their new HC1 gloves from their “Performance Comfort” series of products.

IMG_1373s

Here’s a bit about the gloves directly from Ergon USA’s website:

The new Ergon HC1 is a short fingered glove, especially designed for use with the Performance Comfort series of grips. The glove features flexible yet robust mesh material for ventilation of the back of the hand. The thinly padded palm and fingers allows for increased feel and the benefits of Ergon grips not to be restricted. The ball of the hand has a slight increase in cushioning material for better pressure relief of this sensitive area.

The gloves retail for $35.95 and are available from Ergon’s online storefront.

As mentioned, they are made primarily of a lightly-padded mesh material on the top and a leather palm. The thumb area is made of a suede-like microfiber material. The mesh tops are not unlike the material used to make modern running shoes…and the mesh does a pretty good job at ventilating the hands, even in the heat.

Despite Ergon’s description, I can detect no padding whatsoever in the palms. Some portions of the palms have doubled material for durability, but as far as I can tell, that’s it. As they are designed as a system to be used with Ergon’s ergonomic grips (such as the GP1 BioKork grips, reviewed here), padding really isn’t needed. With those grips, the HC1 gloves are supremely comfortable. I often ride drop-bar road bikes for recreational and commuting purposes, though, and although I experienced no hand discomfort on rides up to about 30 miles, some people with more sensitive hands may want a bit more padding to protect delicate nerves.

IMG_1374s

Unlike a lot of other gloves on the market, there are no “grippy” parts (silicone strips and the like) on the gloves, save for tiny strips at the tips of the fingers. The gloves are slightly scalloped here, creating little “tabs” at the ends of the fingers. Those tabs and silicone strips are there presumably to aid removal. That’s rather handy, too, as these gloves are a bit snug. Word to the wise: if you look at Ergon’s sizing chart and are right at the cusp between sizes, go for the next larger size. Ergon makes sizes to fit a lot of hands, from extra-small all the way through XXL.

IMG_1377s

The gloves stay on with a simple hook-and-loop wrist closure. The strap is slim and unobstrusive, something I greatly prefer in a cycling glove as I move my hands around a lot. I do NOT like to get hung up on bulky straps. You can see in the picture just above how narrow and simple the strap is.

Do you get a runny nose when you ride? I sure do…even when it is super hot out. And I sweat a lot, so I really value gloves that have a decent “wiping surface”. This, perhaps, is where the HC1 lets me down. The thumb is made of a soft, nose-friendly microfiber…very “suedey”. But the area is cut a bit narrow for my tastes, and on either side it is bordered by a woven nylon material that is much rougher to the touch. The seams connecting these two materials are scratchy, too. Wipe with caution, or your nose and lips will be sore. I’d like to see a revised seam layout for this area, a more generous wiping area, or even a different choice of material (terry rather than microfiber). This is a pretty big deal for me; while it doesn’t ruin the overall picture for me, it makes these gloves not be my first choice when I am going out for a serious/strenuous ride. I’d still choose these gloves for shorter rides or for trips not requiring much in the way of sweat or effort…you know, like my commuting trips. Gotta protect those hands on the way to the workplace!

DSC05856s

My overall impression of these gloves is fairly favorable — they are well-made from good materials, simple, and effective for those of us who don’t need a lot of padding (or who are already using Ergon’s excellent grips). But, they’re not for everyone…the lack of padding and the nose-wiping weakness might be a deal-breaker for some. Be careful choosing the size, watch those seams against your noses, and things might just work out.

Be sure to check out Ergon USA’s website for information on their many other products, and stay tuned for further adventures with new goodies I will hopefully get my hands on to test.

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.