Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Head to Toe

It struck me that there seemed to be at least as much focus on clothing and accessories at Interbike this year than on bicycles and components. Not that I am against cycling clothing. I support the idea of looking nice and being comfortable on the bike. That said, I felt that for all of its variety, most of the clothing exhibited was deeply unsatisfactory. Put simply: too much embellishment, not enough substance. While I obviously appreciate aesthetics, I wish there had been a greater focus on construction, fabrics and other meaningful aspects of garment and footwear design. Still I'd like to mention some tidbits from the show that I found noteworthy, interesting, or funny.


Pace Cycling Caps
There were lots of manufacturers exhibiting cycling caps, but not all caps are created equal. While some consider the cycling cap to be a novelty item, for me it performs the very real function of soaking up sweat and keeping the sun off my forehead (applying sunscreen directly to the forehead makes it leak into my eyes). And a good fit is key, so that the cap does not shift under a road helmet. For me that means 4-panel construction, which not many manufacturers seem to offer. Happily, one of the first booths I happened to walk by was that of Pace Sportswear - the makers of my favourite cycling cap (white cotton, 4 panels, rainbow stripes, perfect!). Lots of bike shops carry Pace caps. They are simple, classic, inexpensive, and happen to fit my large head just right. What I didn't know was that the caps - all Pace clothing in fact - are made inhouse, in California. I also did not know about their background. The Colombian-born founder and cyclist, Jorge Saavedra, began making custom caps for Campagnolo in 1978. Does this make them one of the oldest cycling cap makers still in business, I wonder? In any case, it was great to meet the manufacturers of one of my favourite pieces of cycling clothing.

Swrve Cycling Caps
Swrve had another flattering 4-panel design on display in a variety of muted colours and with the interesting addition of reflective ribbon. These too are California made, at prices that won't break the bank. 

Swrve
I was intrigued by the experimental fabrics at Swrve: tissue-thin summer weight wools, as well as silk and linen blends. In my experience, it is fairly difficult to come up with a truly summer-weight wool blend for a hat, but this feather-light fabric felt promising.

Carradice Cape
Moving downward, one trend I am noticing as far as cycling clothing for commuting, is a growing mania for capes and cloaks (see Iva Jean, Cleverhood). The waxed cotton cape from Carradice is classic and beautiful, though on the heavy side. While I appreciate the capes aesthetically and envy those who wear them gracefully on and off the bike, frankly I am terrified by their expanse of fabric and never fail to get tangled in the ones I try. I would love to see more normal, lightweight, breathable raincoats adapted for cycling.

Brooks England
The dramatic, paratrooper-esque cloaks in the Brooks booth were certainly show stoppers, and I've just learned that their new Cambridge Cape retails at $160. Other outerwear pieces are pricier. Generally speaking, I must say there has been some behind-the-scenes backlash against expensive outerwear. I appreciate the work that must go into the high-cost products, and I appreciate them being out there as conceptual/ inspirational pieces. But there need to be more options on offer that are a step below the haute couture price range that much of the classic cycling rainwear seems to fetch.

Swrve Crotch Gusset!
Swerving back to Swrve on the theme of trousers, they were the only manufacturer I saw displaying cycling pants with a proper crotch gusset. I might have to try a pair of these soon, as well as their cordura-blend jeans. As far as clothing for transportational cycling, Swrve definitely impressed me the most overall with their combination of fabric innovation, technical features (tailored, vented jackets) and "this looks like normal clothes" aesthetics.

Riyoko Urban Bike Wear
Examplified by the Riyoko booth was the trend for colourful, "spunky" bike fashion. I notice that ideas of women's urban bike wear tend to involve leggings and arm warmers. And I get it: Leggings are stretchy; arm warmers add versatility to a short-sleeved outfit. But it's a very young look and few grown women can wear this to work unless they are in the creative or fitness industries, or maybe IT. Still, I like their lace leggings and tailored jacket.

Capo Women's Line
And as far as women's roadie clothing, the brand that stood out for me was Capo. The new women's line looks nice enough (black, white, navy, or Giro-pink with subtle colour accents), but what got my attention were the technical features. For starters, Capo is one of the best at preventing "sausaging" effects at the waist and thighs by using wide elastic bands. Further, there is no polyester in the tops or shorts, only nylon/spandex blends - which means those sensitive to polyester but not lycra (more common that the other way around) can wear them against the skin. But my curiosity was really peaked by the description of the abrasion-resistant weaves used in the new line. I have a baffling talent for destroying my cycling clothing, especially shorts, by snagging it against everything in sight. So something like this - if it really works of course - would be pretty useful.

Capo Women's Line
Also - and probably this is just the contrarian in me, as I've never been a fan of pink - I found myself drawn to this pink cycling jersey. The colour has now gone so dramatically out of favour with women's cycling clothes manufacturers, that no one wants to touch it. Yet Capo takes a stab at it - and manages to make the pink look aggressive rather than girly. But colour aside (it is also available in black and white in fact), the jersey is interesting in that it is made of a complex mesh that feels like all holes when you have it on, yet does not look transparent. I am curious how it would feel in comparison to the lightweight wools I now wear. 

Cafe du Cycliste
Also represented was the trend for what I would call hybrid road/urban wear - roadcycling clothing that is made to kind of, sort of pass for European street clothes. Some of the merino and striped jerseys from Cafe du Cycliste looked rather nice, but my concern is that the urban touches will diminish the garments' preliminary function as roadcycling clothing while still not truly passing for "normal clothes" off the bike. While I haven't tried anything from Cafe du Cycliste specifically, I have some samples from VeloBici and Vulpine that I will review in that context soon. 

Giro Polka Dot Theme
As far as cycling gloves, the trend I saw - at least for women - was for a greater selection of lightweight full-finger gloves, such as these from Giro's new women's line. I like the idea, because the tips of my fingers always manage to get burned or scraped somehow when I am on the bike for long, but in the past my hands have always gotten too hot in full-finger gloves. I'll try some and see if they do any better than the ones I tried 3 years ago.

Giro Polka Dot Theme
And if you are wondering about the polka dots, this was actually a huge aesthetic theme at Interbike. Also, stripes. And the colour purple. It's as if manufacturers all brainstormed and came up with the exact same answer to the question of "How to replace pinks and florals in women's clothing?" But I tease. To be honest I actually like the stripes and polka dots. As far as the purple, it depends on the shade. 

Darn Tough
One clothing trend that was impossible to miss was the colourful explosion of cycling socks. It seems like every sock manufacturer suddenly decided to introduce a cycling-specific design, and at the same time every cycling-related company decided to add socks to their line of accessories. Everywhere I looked, I was greeted by socks and more socks, stunning in their variety of fabrics, textures, thicknesses and colours. Cycling sock lovers rejoice, for these days we are truly spoiled for choice.

Darn Tough
As far as wool cycling socks, the manufacturer that truly wowed was Darn Tough - made in Vermont, USA. That was just a small swatch of their sock display in the previous picture; their new line of lightweight cycling socks is impressive.

Save Our Soles Cycling Socks
More aggressive in its styling, Save Our Soles presented a floor-to-ceiling display of cycling socks in every wild pattern imaginable. This company is like the Hallmark card of athletic socks.

Save Our Soles Bottle Guard
They also displayed these wine bottle guards. You know, for those times when you're carrying a wine bottle home from a club ride in your bottle cage. 

Velo Orange Socks
Promotional socks were popular as well, including these new wool-blend ones from Velo Orange

Compression Socks
One trend that I hope someone could explain to me, is the compression socks. People were wearing them, in all sorts of crazy colours. 

Compression Socks
With otherwise normal outfits. While walking around the floor of Interbike. Thoughts? Seriously, I am not making fun - I just want to understand!

Outdoor Demo
As far as cycling shoes, everyone was talking about the new Fizik line, with its streamlined looks and feather-weight construction. With my romance with clipless pedals in full swing, I am open to being swept up by some fantastic new shoe. But the thing is, my Mavic Cyclo Tours weigh 360 grams, cost $100, feel great, and are in great shape after nearly 6 months of wear - including getting soaked in the rain and caked in mud several times. That pretty much keeps my eye from wandering. 

Interbike Fashions
While I've probably confused and frustrated some of you by mixing up commuter and roadie attire, I was impressed to see that Interbike kept them separate. While last year there was one fashion show (here is my coverage of it), two separate shows were held at this year's event: one for "city fashions" (commuting) and the other for "technical fashions" (road and mountain biking). I stopped by the latter, and it wasn't bad: The announcer named the manufacturers, and the models' backgrounds were nicely tied into the narratives (I think all were racers or endurance riders). I think that having separate shows for these categories was a very logical solution.

Interbike Fashions
It was also neat to see the designer Sheila Moon modeling her own clothes.

Interbike Fashions
Of course a discussion of clothing at Interbike would not be complete without acknowledging the Vegas Glamour Girls hired to promote some of the products. They were very friendly, very nice to me, posing for pictures and doing their job. Reactions to these ladies (from both genders) were mixed - some were drawn to them, others embarrassed to go near them. The outfits ran the gamut from string bikinis to shiny rubbery rompers. Oh and compression socks with heels! Well, that's Interbike and Las Vegas for you. 

57 comments:

  1. It's funny how the way a person looks - beautiful or ugly - gets them into trouble. The woman in the last photo seems like a perfectly lovely person.

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    1. I am a stunningly handsome man, but it never occured to me to get clients to buy my advice by presenting it to them with my shirt half off.

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    2. Matthew - maybe you should give it a try and report back? But seriously, guys, this is a can of worms. My view: People get paid for their brains and their muscles, so why not boobs. How good of an idea this ultimately is for Interbike specifically is a separate topic.

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    3. I think the biking community should be as accepting and open of all people as society at large, so more power to the model and to all of the other participants in the event. I don't see why anyone should feel embarrassed to be around her or anyone else for that matter as long as they do not disrupt or discredit the event in any way.

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    4. The "45" girl in the last photo displayed a top that meets important criteria to me: visible tops (bright colors for day w/reflective elements for night). The bright/reflective elements don't have to be the whole garment, but should be accent panels that are large enough to be seen.

      Another wish - slip-on rain pants that will fit over regular pants. My rain pants are either/or; yet if I go somewhere that I don't want to look like a bicyclist when I get there, it would be nice if the rain pants fit over my slacks.

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    5. Thomas - The problem with the models' presence at Interbike specifically is that it suggests a male target audience while also sexualising the event. This has the potential to alienate female attendees as well as those of both genders who simply feel that a sexualised environment is not appropriate in a professional trade show. Leaving personal opinions and moralising out of it, from a business POV Interbike needs to re-evaluate what kind of target market they are going for.The bike industry used to be a boys club, and the glamour girls made sense. Nowadays, maybe not so much. They are getting a lot of complaints.

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    6. These words should never be allowed to exist together anyway:

      Vegas
      Bicycle trade show

      This boob thing is so puritanical; look at Moon's gams and tell me that's not sexier than 45's boobs.

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    7. I see, Velouria. Fair enough.

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    8. I don't think it will change anytime soon, nor do I think it should. The Shelia Moon photo suggests she also knows how to use sex appeal. Great!

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    9. The Glamour Girls are inappropriate for the context of Interbike, and very sexist, condescending towards women, the whole gamut. Sexualizing an event about bicycles meant for men and women. I am sure Velouria's concern has nothing to do with snobbery or being mean. Of course they are probably great people. Tradeshow staff should be hired for interbike because they themselves are interested in cycling for example. And why hold Interbike in Vegas? Seems a strange place to hold a bicycle tradeshow.

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    10. Somewhat apropos this discussion, you might enjoy the latest bikeyface post.

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    11. ThomasSeptember 26, 2012 6:07 AM
      It's funny how the way a person looks - beautiful or ugly - gets them into trouble. The woman in the last photo seems like a perfectly lovely person.

      I’ll say!! Perfectly lovely!

      ThomasSeptember 26, 2012 1:18 PM
      I think the biking community should be as accepting and open of all people as society at large, so more power to the model.

      Yes! Very open!

      QuincyclistSeptember 26, 2012 1:19 PM
      The "45" girl in the last photo displayed a top that meets important criteria to me: visible tops (bright colors for day w/reflective elements for night).

      Very visible!! I tell you that, were I a driver who saw her riding along as photo’d, I’d skid to a stop!

      Patrick Moore, who finds such earnestness more wonderful than any satire – and who thinks, for the record, that such booboisity is vulgar.

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  2. Great write up in your series of reports on the visit you made to interbike. Better than the pros from Bikeradar, well done. Have you condidered adding bike journalism as well as bike design/production to your future professional endevours?

    Pictures are great as always although the pretty model in the last picture might have forgotton to zip her jersey up. Possibly she is demonstrating some new cycling airbag safety models?

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  3. Thanks for these reports on new products! Very helpful.

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  4. FYI, Capo used to make bicycles. I bought one used in California back in about 1986, still have it, though now it is rattle-canned lime green. 531, doubled-butted, originally outfitted with Campy parts. I ought to get it a proper powder coat; I didn't want to put a lot of money into it until I was sure it would work okay.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr2chase/sets/72157631627317948/with/8026293833/

    And I don't get the compression socks, unless this is part of appealing to the really-older-cyclist market. Maybe the very-very-many miles per week cyclists use it to tame their veins? Beats me. Maybe the compression socks stay up a little more reliably than the other kind?

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    1. I like the looks of that Capo. You ever consider a subtle black or white pinline around the lugs?

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    2. I might, when time and money present themselves (we have a kid in college). Rattle-can worked better than I had expected (good instructions on the internet, hooray) but in the end that is a rather soft and delicate finish. When all the other projects are done (cabinet doors, lights for daughter's bike, replace hub on venerable 3 speed) the right thing to do is get that bike a proper finish.

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  5. I have a couple of pair of Swrve pants. They are well made and comfortable ridingwear. Not normal looking enough for many offices, but certainly fine for weekends and cooler weather riding.

    The only problem I have with them is the pocket material patterns are so cool I get caught between the longing to share and the need not to appear dorky.

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  6. Compressions socks -- because only calves need recovery. After digging deep my ass hurts; need my ass compressed.

    Pace caps are great in their new synthetic (shock!) blend. Breathes and wicks a lot better than cotton imo. You're not allowed to wear the rainbow stripes, didn't anyone ever tell you that? Oh yeah that one guy did.

    Breasts but no string bikinis? Equal oppty representation please. Now if I could only get my eyes off the 45...

    You know most of these items you'd like to try are synthetic...

    Swrve seems to have come far from their Carhartt-fabric beginnings.

    The Capo pink jersey looks proper, like the Giro leader's mixed with a Worlds'.

    I'd like to see lots of short-fingered gloves with no padding that are extremely durable, good for road rides and in town. Basically sun protection. All full-fingered ones are too hot for me here.

    Who changes cycling shoes after 6 months? Fashionistas. Mine have been crashed, multiple pairs of cleats, maybe 13k miles, still going strong though the velcro is sad.

    No men's non-Carradice cycling capes?




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  7. I'm all for the clothes. People in this industry spend an enormous amount of money to get us to buy bicycles. I rode my Biancchi exclusively for almost 30 years. Where is the prophet in that. I still see lots of perfectly good bikes from the 70's tooling around. Clothes however wear out faster than chains (nowdays maybe not). It seems like the possibilities for the well clothed cyclist are endless. Public sells lots of clothes not designed specifically for cyclists. How clever is that? (more clever than the fenders on their bikes)

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  8. You're right, this all looks like a real load of crap. Still, an opportunity for the Glamour Girls to make a living.

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  9. I have used Brooks (and one other brand of)leather saddles for almost 20 years now, and I think they're wonderful.

    Unfortunately, Brooks has decided to promote itself as a "premium" manufacturer--perhaps inspired by Ti Swifts that sold for $300 a few years ago on eBay. The result is that some of their products get ridiculous prices. $310 for a messenger bag? $280 for a RAIN CAPE??? (Prices from Wallbike.) I *think* I saw a cycling jacket/coat approaching $1,000 from Brooks at one point (yes: http://www.brooksengland.com/catalogue-and-shop/clothing/john+Boultbee+Clothing/CRITERION+Cycling+Jacket+GENTS/).

    I suppose that for those who can afford a Shinola bike, that's not so bad. But for the vast majority of people who ride bicycles, this looks more like class warfare.

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    1. I don't like to criticise the price of something unless I know how and where it is made. I am glad when companies support tailors and other artisans whose handwork by necessity results in high prices. But what I am saying is, there need to be other options. Every work-appropriate, cycling-specific raincoat I see seems to be at least $300 and that's just not accessible.

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    2. That's my point. I would have no problem paying a good deal of money (assuming I had it!) to someone who custom-fit a cycling jacket for me. But the Brooks products are sold S-M-L-XL. They're not bespoke or tailored to the buyer. I can't argue with the importance of skilled labor, but I have trouble believing that the material and labor in a canvas messenger bag (even with leather trim!) justify a $310 price tag.

      More generally, I think we are in agreement as to the need for affordable cycling clothing.

      Burley used to make a bike-specific rain jacket that came in at about $120. I own one (it was what amounted to, for me and my family [who are by no means poor] a rather costly gift). Of course, Burley no longer produces these...

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    3. After speaking with a Brooks rep, I've made a correction to the post: The specific piece pictured here is actually a new Cambridge Cape which retails at $160. Other capes and jackets they sell are indeed more expensive, including pieces that retail at $1,000+.

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  10. There are medical reasons why some people wear compression socks, including while standing up and working retail. These socks usually look the part, too, so perhaps the new designs are appreciated.

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    1. But why at Interbike, not InterWorkingRetail? Except for the racers who get the weird monster veins, biking helps the circulation in your legs, right?

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  11. Oh no, it's happening all over the place, is it? I've seen a few people walking around with garish, attention grabbing compression socks, and I thought it was just another example of why Vancouver won the bronze medal for worst dressed city in the world.

    Sigh. In my heart of hearts I believe it is our sacred duty, each of us, to leave the world a more beautiful place than we found it. So much work to be done...

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  12. Re the compression socks: I understand their medical/ cycling recovery functions. What I meant was, they also seem to be a fashion statement now? I've noticed that cyclists (not even necessarily roadcyclists) will wear them just for fun. At Interbike visitors were buying them, or taking free samples, and then just wearing them around the show. No one was doing this last year, but suddenly it's like the cool thing to do to wear these things everywhere...

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    1. I totally get the compression socks.....they're fun!!

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  13. RE shoes: Are the 360g for the Mavic shoes for the pair?? That would be really light! How walkable are they? I'll probably have to replace my Louis Garneau shoes next season and was unpleasantly surprised by the weight of most of the shoes I picked up at the MEC store. Dominators were far from the worst offenders...

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    1. That is correct! I don't think you can beat that for the price.

      They are SPD shoes (which I use with the Crankbrothers system) and are pretty walkable on pavement and dirt. They are also very comfortable to wear; I wish I had non-cycling shoes that felt this good.

      I've been told jokingly by some of my cycling buddies that my shoes aren't "pro" because they don't have the ratcheting mechanism, but I think they are just jealous :)

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    2. Great! If they're wide and long enough for my sasquatch feet I'm pretty sure I'll buy them.

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    3. That was the best part of the post for me! I'm sorta' on the lookout for walkable cycling shoes that aren't the heavy lugged MTB kind. Would prefer to have leather, but that is hard to find. Thanks for the lead on the Mavics!

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  14. I find all the clothing interesting, but none of it really works for me. What's great are rock/mountain climbing pants (I tend to like Kuhl) as they have articulated knees and a gusset, light and very hard wearing. Ibex makes some decent pants too and both are significantly cheaper swrve and other cycling specific pants, I've never been at a point in my life where I can drop $150 on pants. Plus I can find some that actually fit.

    Cycling specific pants are cool, but they only seem to come in sizes for skinny short(er) people. I'm more interested in not chafing and something that fits rather than a fold out reflective pocket.

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    1. But rock climbers aren't as athletic or need as much a range of movement as bicyclists.

      Bikest - one who makes a show of riding a bike in a subtle, bike-forward fashion way.

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  15. I'm with you on the rain wear. There are cheap capes in neon colors, there are the carradice capes in neutral colors, and then the brooks with the tiny reflective strips.

    I don't understand why there isn't anything in Illuminite, which is a normal office appropriate color, but which lights up like neon in headlights. I also would like to see lighter weight raincoats that cover to the knee (for sitting upright on a city bike).
    My Nau Shroud of Purim covers my knees, but it's too heavy for warm weather.

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    1. The Nau Succinct Trench is my raincoat for temps in the 40F-70F range, though I would not have bought had it not been on sale. Some reflective touches and a colour other than black would be nice as well.

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  16. "Still I'd like to mention some tidbits from the show that I found noteworthy, interesting, or funny." Great feint, Velouria, as you sucker punch us with one of your most entertaining posts yet just chock full of entertainment and insights. I've already ordered something here that (as usual) I would have overlooked, not even to mention thanking you for your inimitable, enlightening perspective. Jim Duncan

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  17. What? No MEN in string bikinis?? (joke)
    About the compression socks. Is that really what they are? Sure they are not just knee socks? When were they in fashion last time? 60`s or 70`s? I remember the housevives used them with a dress that just came down to where the socks stopped. Lack of colour, often overweight- or at least unfit... Oh dear, the horror, the memorys..
    bad(taste)mother

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  18. I just bicycled through my local college campus and what caught my attention was the number of women wearing colorfully designed rubber rain boots. All sorts of patterns and colors. We've only had brief showers and they seemed totally unnecessary but there you have it...they were everywhere! I suspect I'll see some of those cool compression socks at tonights cyclocross event :)

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    1. Those boots are all over northern Europe, has been for several years. They use them in rain and sunshine. Some are easily up to £200,-

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  19. I'm a big fan of the Swrve clothing. I wear the cordura jeans everyday. On and off the bike. They have multiple weights of wool for their cycling caps for different weather too. Tough to beat their stuff. Thanks for the info on the Darn Tough socks. I'm going to look into those.

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  20. A couple of things I would really like to see:

    First, cycling caps for people with very small heads. Most seems to run in the 23/24" starting range and fit up from there. The two companies that you linked to make great looking caps, and have several that I would buy in a heartbeat, but would be enormous on my little 21" head.

    Second, I would LOVE it if someone would make a lightweight rain jacket that was long enough to cover knees when riding an upright bike. But not just that. I want for someone to sell it at a price range of no more than about $50. Because if it costs much more than that I will bloody well just make it myself! ;)

    Love all the crazy bright colorful socks though! I'm a sucker for fancy socks.

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    1. Have you tried a 3-panel cap from Little Packages? The one I have is pretty small.

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    2. Thanks for the link! I was actually just looking at her hat patterns on Etsy. I've wanted to try making my own cycling cap for a awhile now. I see she offers the pattern + notions in a kit, which is handy. Her ready made 3 panels are pretty close to right for me. They range from 21.5-22, depending on color/style. However, she makes custom caps! So, yay! I may still buy her pattern and give it a go.

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  21. ColOmbian, not ColUmbian. That is all, sorry to nitpick. Lovely posts lately as usual.

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  22. Compression socks as a trend? Or dorky knee highs? I couldn't stand wearing socks all the way up to my knees unless they were near 100% wool. My fear of socks comes from probably the very thing compression socks are meant for. My legs and feet tend to get swollen so I get sock band big time on my legs. It feels uncomfortable, and the high stretchy synthetic content of socks tends to make my feet feel tight and stuck, they don't breath, seem to affect circulation and then I get really cold feet. Even with super thick mountaineer socks I want to see socks that have high wool contents and are soft and loose. Did you see anything like that?
    I worry about all the clothing appealing to consumer consumption instead of needs. Most clothing you already own is suitable for cycling, but we do need pants, base layers, socks, jerseys, socks, gloves and rain wear! Like, we need some better rain gear. I love the idea of capes, but they seem overly precious and fear being blown into the air by strong winds. I have yet to see a photo of anyone wearing the carradice cape, so don't know if it would fit, or work.
    stripes and polka dots for women? No, not for me.
    Cycling specific pants, yes those are of value.

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  23. I rode a double century in my favorite Capo compression socks yesterday. Very comfortable.

    Regarding shoes, I rando with guys who are still wearing 10-year old Sidis. The straps and other pieces are all replaceable and the (vegan) lorica uppers are extremely durable. As long as you discard the stock insoles, you can't go wrong with them and they're available in three widths. The excitement for the new all Boa shoes is everywhere.

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    1. Amen! Sidis, especially 10 year old Sidis in black, are the best. Personally, I don't mind the stock insoles.

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  24. The Hilltrek Cycling Double Ventile Jacket, a reprise of the old Bertram Dudley Greenspot jacket, remains the best cycling rainwear. Price is somewhere between the couture and the everyday. Handmade in Scotland. Made to measure available. You will only need one in this lifetime. www.hilltrek.co.uk

    You will never see the ladies from Aberdeenshire at Interbike.

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  25. At a certain point in my life, I got tired of cycle-specific clothing, in part because I got too old and fat for lycra. But I also got tired of the garish color schemes and more-racer-than-thou mentality behind it.


    Somehow I find something overly self-conscious in cycle clothing that tries so hard not to look like cycle clothing. I'd like to wear things that are elegant and interesting as much as anybody would, and I like not having to change clothes at work. But most of the "cycle-clothing-but-it-really-isn't" items always have some detail or another that announces "I am bikewear after all, wink, wink", and does little more than to wearer--and the trust-fund hipsters of Williamsburg-- to be impressed with themselves.

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    1. You are my kind of cyclist, Justine!

      (My fave cycling "tights": Levis 513s; fave cycling shoes: Whatever I'm wearing at the time.)

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  26. Does anybody make pants like Swrve for women? I'd be thrilled to find some jeans I can cycle in, or some wool pants (not knickers) cut for a woman's shape that are hundreds of dollars. I just ordered a pair of Boure thermal pants; will see how that works out, but I really wanted some decent looking wool pants. Can't wear guys pants, too much difference between hips and waist.

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    1. Betabrand makes cotton cycling work pants for women. I'm thinking of getting the red ones. (http://www.betabrand.com/bike-to-work/gray-womens-bike-to-work-pants.html)

      I've been on the hunt for work pants and the pickings for women are pretty light. I just bought a pair of Lululemon (i know, i know) commuter pants in a lovely dark purple. They are currently on sale.

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    2. The Betabrand pants look nice and I like that they're made in SF (my hometown) so I might try to find some to try on. They didn't say anything about a gussetted crotch, though, and reinforced seams sound painful ;-)
      I'll see if I can't find them in a brick and motor -- thanks for the tip!

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