4li2k73z Share your Vital activity on Facebook (More info)
close

Lucent's Product Reviews

Added a product review for Xpedo Spry Pedal 9/12/2014 12:53 PM
C138_xpedo_spry_pedal_gold

Tested: Xpedo Spry Pedal

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

Xpedo has been making mountain bike pedals for quite some time, and they are especially known for their more or less radical out-of-the-box designs. With the new Spry flat pedal, they look to offer one of the lighter and thinner pedals on the market at an affordable price. At just 260 grams and $79 for the pair, we were eager to put a pair to the test to see how they measure up.

Xpedo Spry Highlights

  • 260g per pair
  • Magnesium body
  • Cromo spindle
  • 2 cartridge bearings
  • 1 DU bushing
  • 28 straight pins per pair
  • Size: 106 x 100 x 11-mm
  • Colors: Gold, Black, Red, White
  • MSRP: $79

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the obvious first thing you notice is how ridiculously light and thin these pedals feel in your hand. At 260g PER PAIR, their combined weight is close to the weight of some single aluminum pedals on the market, and even lighter than some of the plastic pedal offerings out there. At just 11-mm thin, you'll benefit from that extra bit of ground clearance as well.

The finish on the pedals appeared to be of high quality and they spun buttery smooth in my hand. The 7 pins per side looked to be reasonably sized, but not long to the point where my shins would start to quiver in fear. The pins are not installed with an allen key, but with a tiny wrench which is included in the box. Xpedo also generously throws in an extra 10 pins for good measure.

On The Trail

As with most pedals, your shoe choice is a crucial factor when it comes to grip and comfort. For this test, I used my trusted, 3-seasons-old Five Ten Freerider shoes. My feet tend to sit a little more towards the outside of pedals when I ride flats, but thanks to the generous size of the Spry's platform I never felt like my feet were hanging off the sides. The Freeriders are pretty flexible shoes, but I also didn’t notice any pressure points from the pins, nor did I notice the bulge of the axle at all.

Mainly because of the slightly rounded shape of the pins, I was able to make small foot adjustments without having to completely take my foot off the pedal, even with the Five Tens. On XC trails my feet were rarely bounced around and they never left the pedals either (aside from the odd intentional foot-out corner), but on DH rides I was wishing for a bit more grip through some of the chatter. One additional aspect to note is that the pedals have enough resistance to not spin on their own, something that the dirt jumpers would definitely appreciate.

Things That Could Be Improved

I would like to see 1 or 2 more pins on the pedals, as well as a slightly taller and thinner pin option for those DH days. The Spry is perfect for XC and dirt jumping, but I felt like I needed just a little bit more grip for when things got hairy.

Long Term Durability

The first things to go on pedals are usually the pins, especially here on the East Coast where pedal strikes are common with a low and slack bike. I haven't had that many pedal strikes, but the Sprys have held up quite well to a few hearty run-ins with rocks. The large diameter pins that Xpedo utilizes have also proven very resistant to shearing. Additionally, I appreciate the fact that since they are removed and installed with a wrench, I won’t have to dig out old dirt from an allen insert when it comes time to remove them. The bushings are still going strong, spinning as smooth as a DJ’s turntable at an Interbike afterparty. The choice of lightweight magnesium for the pedal body does come at a price, as it is softer than aluminum. Based on my experience with the Sprys so far, I'd expect them to show a few more signs of wear compared to their aluminum counterparts after a season of DHing.

What's The Bottom Line?

If you’re in the market for flat pedals for your trail bike or dirt jumper, the Spry should be on your list of options to consider. In my opinion, Xpedo really hit a good balance of comfort, grip, and durability with this pedal, and at $79 for just 260 grams per pair, they are a very affordable and cost-effective way for those looking to shed a bit of weight on their bike as well. If it's monster grip for DH you're after, probably best to keep looking.

For more information, head over to www.xpedo.com.


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Gloves 8/26/2014 1:34 PM
C138_monitor1.0_black

Tested: Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Gloves

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

Lizard Skins looked to expand their product lineup of grips, bar tape, body armor, and frame protection with the Monitor 1.0 gloves. The aim here was to create a lightweight and minimalist glove with ample tech features without the added bulk. We grabbed a pair and hit the trails for a couple of months to let you know how they succeeded.

Lizard Skins Monitor 1.0 Highlights

  • Articulated fingers
  • Knuckle gussets
  • Seamless material integration
  • Clarino palm
  • Touch screen compatible
  • Available sizes: S-XXL
  • MSRP: $42 USD

Initial Impressions

The first thing I noticed on ride #1 with the Monitor 1.0 glove was the super supple and soft Clarino palm material. Clarino has the smooth feel of suede and the strength of leather, without the drawbacks of the real thing since it maintains its characteristics when wet or after washing. And since Clarino a tough material, Lizard Skins is able to make the palm super thin.The material along the top of your hand is equally thin and minimal which I personally enjoyed. Additional tech features such as gusseted knuckles and touch screen pads on the index fingers round out the Monitor 1.0 gloves.

On The Trail

Being someone with small hands, I really enjoyed the fact that the fingers aren’t too wide and that the material doesn't bunch up under the knuckles. The Clarino in the palm is one of thinnest and most comfortable I’ve experienced in a pair of gloves, it ALMOST feels like you’re pulling a Blenkinsop and riding gloveless. The material covering the top of your hands also breathes extremely well and I never noticed my meat paws getting sweaty even on hot & muggy summer rides. And for those that are concerned about posting your Strava times or Instagramming your ride, you’ll enjoy the touch-screen friendly index fingers.

Things That Could Be Improved

The Monitor 1.0 gloves have a Velcro wrist tab which you’ll either love or hate. I would prefer to have a slip on glove so there’s less bulk and no Velcro strap digging into the top of your wrist when your hands are bent. I found that if the tab wasn’t lined up perfectly, I could feel the exposed Velcro on my skin which is a slight annoyance. Lastly, the price point is a bit higher than most gloves on the market, and although I assume this may have something to do with the high quality palm material and the touch screen fingers, it still bears pointing out.

Long Term Durability

Despite stretching out a bit compared to the initial ride, the Monitors are still holding up quite well without any tearing or visible distress to the palm area and fingers after a few months of riding. All the seams and stitching still look new and the only real sign of wear are the missing rubber grippers on the finger tips. They wore off after a few rides, but to be honest I’ve almost never come across a glove where this doesn't happen.

What's The Bottom Line?

I really enjoy the fit, comfort, and breathability of the Monitor 1.0 gloves. My current arsenal of gloves has been relegated to storage in favor of these until they will become too worn out for riding. If Lizard Skins could drop the price a bit they would get a bump in our star-rating, as it stands now they have themselves a real contender in the glove market - but one that comes at a premium.

For more information head on over to www.lizardskins.com.


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Giro Cipher Helmet 8/8/2014 10:01 AM
C138_giro_cipher_helmet_matte_white_black_blockade

Tested: Giro Cipher Helmet

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

by Justin Schroth

Giro has long been in the head-protection game in various action sports, producing some of the best technology and features available for riders today. With the Giro Remedy being a crowd favorite for many years, Giro now looks to further step up their game with the new Cipher, aimed at the DH and Enduro crowd in need of a lightweight and well-vented lid at a price point that won’t break the bank.

Giro Cipher Highlights

  • Integrated P.O.V. camera mount
  • Tool-free, bolt-on visor
  • Channeled ventilation at browline
  • Emergency removable pads
  • X-Static® anti-microbial padding
  • D-Ring buckle system
  • TuneUps™ audio speaker pockets with O-Snap™ cord management
  • Fiberglass shell with EPS liner
  • Custom injected gaskets around goggle port and neck roll
  • Vinyl Nitrile-lined chinbar
  • Fit Kit™ fit system
  • 8 vents with internal channeling
  • MSRP: $200 USD

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the Giro Cipher looks sleek, stylish, and streamlined without giving you that bobblehead look. At 1180 grams, the helmet doesn’t weight much more than some carbon fiber helmets on the market (there's about 100-150 grams in it, depending on the model you compare it to). Although lightweight, the helmet feels solid and has impressive rubber molding details around the goggle port and bottom openings.

Giro also includes a dedicated GoPro/Contour mount that is designed to break away in a hard crash. On the topic of eating it, the helmet doesn't feature the Eject system but the cheekpads are specifically designed to be removable to help with getting your lid off safely after a serious digger.

For those who enjoy rocking out to the beat while getting their shred on, the Cipher is specifically compatible with in-helmet speakers, like the TuneUps system from Giro/Skullcandy for example. The speakers slide into specifically designated pockets in the cheekpads. Finally, the pads and liner are removable for easy washing, and treated with an antimicrobial agent to avoid you getting your dome-funk on.

On The Trail

For the first ride, I noticed the helmet was a little tight around the ears/cheeks, but after a few days of DH laps the pads broke in and the helmet became very comfortable. Snug enough to hold steady without any pressure points around my dome. Coming from a larger moto-style lid most recently, it was nice not noticing the weight of the helmet when riding. The bottom rear portion of the Cipher is low-profile which makes it a very neck-brace friendly helmet, and I never felt restricted when looking upward on the steeper stuff.

With 8 vents, including large intake vents along the brow, the helmet breathed very well even on an upper 80’s day. The large enduro-inspired goggle port not only allows for a great field of vision and an easy fit with a range of goggles, but also keeps the air flowing when you’re charging hard and mouth-breathing like a champ.

Things That Could Be Improved

Although I like the idea of a designated GoPro mount on a helmet, the break-away design that Giro went with has some play in the mount which does not provide a super stable platform - as a result it can cause shaky video. Additionally, Giro offers the Cipher in a wide range of flashy color combo options, but I would also like to see a few more subdued colorway options.

Long Term Durability

Although I haven’t had any crashes with the helmet, the construction seems solid with apparent attention to detail that you’d expect from helmets costing almost twice as much. I’ve had helmets where the manufacturer had skimped on quality visor hardware or chin-straps, but on the Cipher these look and feel solid. I expect Giro's latest to last me many seasons barring any bad crashes!

What's The Bottom Line?

The Cipher is a sweet option for those looking for a lightweight enduro/DH capable helmet that looks great, breathes well, and is neck-brace compatible. The MSRP runs $200 but I've seen it go for around $180 which is certainly a very good price for a helmet of this quality.

For more information, head to www.giro.com.


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Dainese Rhyolite Body Armor Jacket 7/10/2014 8:52 AM
C138_dainese_rhyolite_jacket_back

Tested: Dainese Rhyolite Jacket

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

Review by Justin Schroth // Photos by Justin Schroth, Dave Smutok, and Ryan Thibault

Dainese has long been in the body armor game and carries with it a reputation for creating some of the best protective equipment on the market for those who love to point their wheels downhill or twist the throttle to the red line. When I first cut my teeth on downhill in the late 90s, it seemed like the go-to protection for pro racers was the Dainese Gladiator or Shuttle Pro full body suit, but it carried with it a pretty hefty price tag for a weekend warrior like myself. In addition to price, the biggest hurdle to overcome when convincing riders to wear body armor was the restrictive feel and over-heating that most of us encountered on a hot summer day. Dainese has looked to tackle both of these issues with the new Rhyolite Body Armor, aiming at hitting a balance between proper protection with breathability and comfort in what remains a premium offering.

Highlights

  • Back protector - Crash Absorb® memory retention material certified to EN 1621/2 Level 2
  • Elbow and shoulder protectors - Pro shape coupled with Crash Absorb® certified according to the EN 1621.1 standard.
  • Protective structures are extremely flexible and contour to the body shape
  • Removable sleeves
  • Silicon insert on the waist
  • Perforated protective structures
  • Breathable jersey
  • MSRP - $299.95 USD

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the first thing you’ll notice is the flexibility of the Rhyolite Jacket's padding. The Crash Absorb® material used throughout is similar to the D30, in that it remains flexible to conform to the shape of your body, but then stiffens upon impact. Getting into the Rhyolite jacket was quite simple and easy. The sleeves are open in the armpit and didn't make me feel like I was trying to put on a wetsuit.

On the Trail

The jacket seemed to conform to the shape of my shoulders and chest quite easily, and felt more like a compression top instead of a turtle shell floating around my back, arms, and shoulders. The back protector is composed of two independent layers that are able to slide back and forth. Combined with the silicon band around the inside waistband, the Rhyolite jacket rarely shifted or rode up on my torso. Although there is no cutout for the rear portion of a neck brace, the pads are pretty thin and I didn’t see much of a decreased range of motion when looking up (note that this really depends on the helmet/brace combo).

One thing I enjoyed was not having a kidney belt waistband digging into my love handles as I rode, but this may be a toss up as you do lose the protection in that area with any major impact. Zip off sleeves were a VERY welcome treat on the Rhyolite jacket, especially for those trails that might not require the full elbow protection, or when looking to cool down on the way up.

Things That Could Be Improved

Although not as warm as other body armor I’ve tested, the stretch material covering the inside/outside of the Rhyolite jacket is a tight weave and ventilation could be improved a bit with open mesh material in some areas like the chest, rear, and side panels to allow for more airflow. On a low 80s day I was still pretty warm after a few hot laps at Highland Mountain Bike Park (shameless plug). I also wish the rear back protector extended down a few more inches to help cover the lower spine better. And finally, at $300, the Rhyolite jacket is near the top of the price range of similar body armor jackets.

Long Term Durability

Although I have thankfully had no all-out crashes wearing the Rhyolite body armor yet, I’ve put my shoulder and forearms into some smaller trees while riding and was not phased by the impact. All of the seams are strong and properly stitched with no loose strings and I have no doubts that true to Dainese's reputation the Rhyolite will hold up to many seasons of abuse.

What's The Bottom Line?

Compared to some of the other body armor I’ve owned over the years, this has to be of the most comfortable and least restrictive body armor jackets I’ve worn for a day of downhill - and all this without making me look like a hockey player. While not offering the full protection of a hard shell suit, this is a great middle ground for those looking for a bit more protection without sacrificing riding comfort.

Visit www.dainese.com for more information.


About The Reviewer

Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Lizard Skins DSP Grip 5/5/2014 2:38 PM
C138_lizard_skins_dsp_grip_black

Tested: Lizard Skins DSP Grips

Rating:

The Good:

The Bad:

Overall:

Review by Justin Schroth and Joel Harwood // Photos by Justin Schroth

Lizard Skins recently applied their DuraSoft Polymer (DSP) technology to their mountain bike line, allowing them to create a grip that does not require an inner plastic sleeve or lock-rings. The result is a grip that is super lightweight with a soft feel and thin profile.
 Previously the DSP material was used to make bar tape for road bikes, touting improved durability, increased shock absorption and superior grip in all conditions. Curious to see how the DSP grip stacks up against a sea of other options, we mounted a few pairs and hit the trail.

DSP Grip Highlights


  • DSP (DuraSoft Polymer) material

  • Available in 8 colors (black, white, blue, red, pink, green, yellow, and orange)

  • Available in two thicknesses (30.3mm and 32.3mm installed diameter)

  • 130mm in length
  • Includes end plugs and double-sided Feather-Lite Lock Tape
  • Total weight: 27 and 30 grams for 30.3 and 32.3mm diameters
  • MSRP: $30

Initial Impressions

Out of the box, the first thing you'll notice is how light the grips are, coming in at nearly 1/3 of the weight of most lock-ons. Installation involves the simple process of cleaning your handlebar, applying the provided double-sided tape, spraying both the tape and inside of the grips with glass cleaner, and twisting on the grips into position and letting them dry. Here's a video overview of the process:

The DSP grips use a foam base layer to absorb vibrations, and the DuraSoft Polymer surrounds the outside area where your hands grasp the grips.

On The Trail

For someone with smaller hands, the thin profile of the 30.3mm grip proved to be a welcome comfort, even on long cross-country rides without any arm pump or hand fatigue. The thicker 32.3mm grip would likely suit those with large hands well.

Without a layer of leather and padding between palm and grip, gloveless riders might be a little pickier. After a couple of months of riding these grips, we’re happy to report that they also suited bare hands just fine.

This grip has three traits that make them worthy. First, the absence of lock-rings on the outer edge offers more comfort to those who may hold the edge of the bar, or even overlap onto the palm slightly. Second, the lock tape technology results in a palm friendly, smooth surface with no pressure points to irritate bare skin. Lastly, regardless of the smooth surface these grips seem to remain sticky with a surprisingly amount of traction whether they are wet or dry. No worries about having to hold on too tight while riding in the wet or when your palms perspire.

Although the method of using double-sided tape to install grips seemed quite strange, they surprisingly never twisted, even after a few rocky "death grip" East Coast downhill sections and a wide variety of weather in British Columbia.


Things That Could Be Improved

The installation process will leave most scratching their heads on how to remove them, especially for those who want to swap grips between bikes or need to remove grips to install or remove brake levers and shifters. It's easy to see that removal will be much tougher than simply loosening lock-on clamps, and at best will require an air compressor, more glass cleaner, and a new set of Lock Tape to remount them afterwards. For this reason it would be nice to have a few extra pieces of Lock Tape included with the grips. Worst case, seeing as they didn’t move at all while riding, you may need to use a utility knife for removal which could be tricky with carbon bars.

In addition, one of four end caps on our two pairs of test grips fell out seemingly easier than normal after buzzing a tree through a tight section.

Long Term Durability

With black gloves the grips started to darken slightly after only a handful of rides. It didn't affect the feel or grip and is only a minor cosmetic concern.

What's The Bottom Line?

The thin diameter, grip, and comfort with or without gloves make the Lizard Skins DSP Grips very enjoyable. The only downside is the inability to quickly remove them, and a cost that's equivalent to many lock-on alternatives. If you are looking for a lighter set of grips with a bit of squish and a thinner feel than anything else on the market, then the Lizard Skins DSP Grips might be right up your alley.

Visit www.lizardskins.com for more details.


About The Reviewers


Justin Schroth has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years, experiencing first hand the evolution of the industry from thumb shifters and MCU cartridge forks to carbon fiber frames and single-ring all mountain bikes. As an East Coast rider, he loves trails with a combination of jumps, technical downhills, and the occasional loose corner for some foot out action. With a Mechanical Engineering degree, Justin's instinct is to always consider how it works over how it looks. After many years of racing the Northeast Norba and Collegiate series, Justin hung up the race plate and his diploma to go behind the camera at Lucent Productions, creating mountain bike video content for several clients such as Highland Mountain Bike Park.

Joel Harwood has been playing in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia for the last 8 years. He spends his summer months coaching DH race groms in the Whistler Bike Park, and guiding XC riders all over BC. He dabbles in all types of racing, but is happiest while blasting his trail bike down trails that include rock slabs, natural doubles, and west coast tech. On the big bike he tends to look for little transitions and manuals that allow him to keep things pointed downhill, rather than swapping from line to line. Attention to detail, time in the saddle, and an aggressive riding style make Joel a rider that demands the most from his products. Joel's ramblings can also be found at Straightshot.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Hincapie Tour LTX Pants 2/21/2014 6:36 AM
C138_hincapie_tour_ltx_pants

Hincapie Tour LTX pants

Rating:

The Good: Stretch fabric keeps you feeling unrestricted. Wind proof material

The Bad: Could use a few small zipper pockets // No chamois provided

Overall:

Tour LTX Pant Features

  • 4-way stretch Adavanced LTX Wind Repel™ fabric moves with the body while providing unparalleled wind protection
  • RegulatorTek™ with Thermocool™ optimizes body temperature regardless of activity level
  • Ergonomic articulated knees for a tailored fit and freedom of movement
  • Auto-locking, zippered leg openings facilitate easy layering over shoes
  • Seamless gusset eliminates short seam overlap
  • Elastic draw cord adjustable waist
  • Reflective treatments for high visibility
  • MSRP $110

As you can see from my epic Van Halen inspired split kick, the pants were anything but restricting. As far as warmth goes, the wind proof material helped keep my chicken legs toasty warm from start to finish.

I'm undecided if this is a bad thing, but the pants are unpadded so you'll have to wear your favorite chamois of choice to keep your bits protected. I'd also like to see maybe one or two small zipper pockets for chapstick or a phone for those that can't help but Instagram their ride of the day.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Hincapie Black Ice Gloves 2/21/2014 6:34 AM
C138_hincapie_black_ice_gloves

Hincapie Black Ice Gloves

Rating:

The Good: Warmth of a winter glove without the bulk

The Bad: Runs slightly big // Overkill for fall riding, best used for winter/cold rides

Overall:

Black Ice Glove Features

  • Insulated, windproof/water-resistant laminate blocks out the elements
  • Special Dry Hand lining helps move internal moisture away from skin
  • Chamude palm with silicone logo gripper provide excellent feel and a more secure grip on the bars
  • Silicone gripper wraps around side panel for no slip shifting and braking
  • Reflective piping across glove top for improved low light visibility
  • Anti-pill fleece nose wipe area on thumb
  • Glove clip helps keep gloves together for easy storage
  • MSRP $70

The Black Ice gloves gave the warmth of a winter glove without feeling like I was wearing hockey gloves. The perfect amount of insulation kept my hands SUPER warm throughout the ride and I never had any issues shifting or braking. The silicone on the palms and fingers kept me connected and always in control. The fleece thumb nose wipe is a nice touch, and I def put it to use on our chilly ride.

The Medium gloves were a tad bit roomy for me so it might be helpful to try them on before purchasing. For fall riding you could probably go with the Power Winter glove model from Hincapie as I think these would be TOO warm for fall riding.

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Hincapie Arenberg Zero Jacket 2/21/2014 6:19 AM
C138_hincapie_arenberg_zero_jacket_back

Hincapie Arenberg Zero Jacket

Rating:

The Good: Cut perfectly for riding position // Very warm

The Bad: Would benefit from two zippered pockets // No use for rear pockets if riding with a pack

Overall:

As I packed up the car and filled my Camelback, my wife looks at me and says "You're wearing just THAT to go riding?!". The mercury read 37F as I loaded up, so I figured if this Hincapie gear could keep me somewhat warm on a cold day like this, it would perform amazing on a crisp fall day!

Hincapie has a strong reputation in the road cycling & triathlon industry for manufacturing high end bibs, tights, jerseys, etc. and their XC gear isn't any different. At first glance all the gear looked solid and well made, but we all know the real test happens on the trails. For me, the true sign of great cold weather gear is that you stay warm without effecting performance and mobility.

Arenberg Zero Jacket Features

  • Textured, 4-way stretch MTX Wind Repel™ fabric provides a conforming fit and insulation from cold temperatures
  • HyperOptic Roubaix™ reflective treatment for superior visibility
  • Super Roubaix™ back panel for added warmth and breathability
  • Weather protective center front 2-way zipper with internal storm placket
  • Enhanced ergonomic design improves riding comfort and element protection
  • Three generous back pockets
  • Weather protective hem, cuffs & collar seal out the elements
  • MRSP $200

Just like the baselayer, having gear with the body's riding position in mind helps with fit and comfort. I never felt like I was stretching out the arms to reach the bars and the material had some stretch to it...which helps when you're a husky Medium like me!! As far as warmth, with the combined baselayer I was surprisingly VERY toasty on our snow ride, even during short stops to take pictures. The zippered cuffs were also key for tucking the gloves into the sleeves for a nice tight seal on warmth.

For someone that always rides with a hydration pack, I typically have no use for rear pockets unless I wore it out on a road ride. I'm all about hitting up the pub after a ride, so I would have also liked to see small zipper pockets on the front to stash keys and a phone.

I was honestly VERY surprised how warm and comfortable I stayed throughout the ride. I would go as far as saying that on a reg fall day, if you layered the Merino baselayer with the Arenberg Jacket you'd probably be TOO warm. But with some proper gear like the Hincapie lineup, many of us in the Northeast could extend our riding season at least another month!

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Hincapie PowerCore Merino LS Baselayer 2/21/2014 6:17 AM
C138_hincapie_powercore_merino_ls_baselayer_riding_jersey

Hincapie PowerCore Merino LS Baselayer

Rating:

The Good: Cut perfectly for the riding position // Very warm

The Bad: Merino Wool is pricey

Overall:

As I packed up the car and filled my Camelback, my wife looks at me and says "You're wearing just THAT to go riding?!". The mercury read 37F as I loaded up, so I figured if this Hincapie gear could keep me somewhat warm on a cold day like this, it would perform amazing on a crisp fall day!

Hincapie has a strong reputation in the road cycling & triathlon industry for manufacturing high end bibs, tights, jerseys, etc. and their XC gear isn't any different. At first glance all the gear looked solid and well made, but we all know the real test happens on the trails. For me, the true sign of great cold weather gear is that you stay warm without effecting performance and mobility.

Powercore Merino LS Baselayer Features:


  • Super-fine ADV™ Merino Wool is itch free and naturally antimicrobial.
  • Every fiber contains thousands of tiny little pockets that trap air to insulate against the elements.
  • Naturally porous Merino wool fibers give off a small amount of heat as they absorb and transport moisture away from the skin, preventing chill.

  • Wool and polypropylene fiber blend increases dry time to improve comfort, recovery, strength, and durability.

  • Fiber’s unique chemistry and bacteria resistance naturally suppresses odors caused by human sweat.

  • Ergonomically fitted body and gusseted side panels provide a contoured, conforming fit.

  • Elongated body, comfort fit cuffs and smooth flat-lock seaming ideal for layering.
  • MSRP $80

It's obvious that the Powercore Baselayer is made for cycling, cut to fit perfectly and never felt like I was stretching it out when reaching for the bars. With the extended back seam, I could keep it tucked in without it riding up on me keeping out those pesky unwanted drafts. And as with most Merino baselayers, it's super soft, wicks away moisture and isn't one bit bulky.

As will all high end Merino wool products, you'll pay top dollar. But in my opinion, they are worth their weight in gold!

I was honestly VERY surprised how warm and comfortable I stayed throughout the ride. I would go as far as saying that on a reg fall day, if you layered the Merino baselayer with the Arenberg Jacket you'd probably be TOO warm. But with some proper gear like the Hincapie lineup, many of us in the Northeast could extend our riding season at least another month!

This product has 1 review.

Added a product review for Vital MTB Stack Hoody 3/15/2010 3:01 PM
C138_101460920_1268264420

Vital in the hood.

Rating:

The Good: Soft, comfy, and my sexy points went up 10 points.

The Bad: My gfriend keeps stealing it. Had to get one for her.

Overall: You ain't cool, unless you pee your pants.....AND have a Vital hoodie.

This product has 4 reviews.