Club Ride Joy Ride Capri

Vital Rating: (Good)
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Club Ride Joy Ride Capri - Raven
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Tested: Club Ride Joy Ride Capri & Wheel Cute Jersey

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Courtney Steen // Photos by Brandon Turman

Yay bikes! Yay post-ride food and drinks! Now a third cheer, wait for it, clothes that go straight from the trail to the pub! Some obvious things I love about mountain biking include the fresh air, the adventure, the self-satisfaction of climbing to some great views, and the rush of shredding downhill. Another thing I love about this sport is the culture that seems to go with it. When I started mountain biking, I made some great friends. We’ve raced together, been study buddies, drinking buddies (those two often concurrently), and we have also reunited from far and wide for Thanksgiving-turkey powered mountain biking in in Moab, UT.

After riding, we often go out for some refueling food and refreshing beverages. Not wanting to romp around town in full lycra, I’ve awkwardly changed in the car, done the towel wrap with some near losses, and even had a designated skirt for changing under. Everyone has some parking-lot method they’ve adapted in order to Houdini into or out of their riding and street clothes. We can say goodbye to those days with their moments of near indecent exposure. There are now trail-riding clothes functionally and stylishly designed to go straight from the trail to wherever you’re headed next or vice versa. One of the front-runners of this clothing revolution is Club Ride Apparel. Born in Sun Valley, Idaho, these trail and commuter clothes were made to meet the needs of the cycling and the happy-hour enthusiast alike. Recognizing myself in that description, I picked up an outfit that caught my eye and proceeded to test it with all the diligence I could muster...

Club Ride Women’s Joy Ride Capri Highlights

  • Lightweight PowerWeave stretch, wicking fabric
  • Seamless crotch gusset
  • Side and rear-zippered storage pockets
  • Quick-dry for moisture control
  • Reflective accents
  • 16-inch inseam
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Colors: Raven & Caravan
  • MSRP: $89.99

Club Ride Women's Wheel Cute Jersey Highlights

  • Lightweight Sheer2Dry burnout, breathable, wicking fabric
  • UV Protective stretch fabric - UPF 20
  • Crew neck short sleeve tee
  • Reflective accents
  • Sport fit
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Colors: Ivory or Steel
  • MSRP: $49.99

Initial Impressions

I hate pants shopping. Like a variation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, things are too tight here, too loose there, too long, too short, etc. Putting on the Club Ride Capris, I breathed a sigh of relief. They fit. With a 16-inch inseam, the two-way stretch lightweight PowerWeave fabric just passes my knees. The bottom 6-inches overlaps behind the knee and has a little bit of flare. A bit of style meets functionality. Between the overlap and slight flare, there may be room for some lightweight kneepads. I don’t wear pads trail riding, but I know others who do.

There are five pockets total: two open hand pockets, two zippered back pockets, and one zippered side pocket, all constructed from mesh material to stay cool despite the extra layers of fabric. An internal adjustment system built into the waistband works by moving elastic strips between two buttons on either side of the body. All seams are overlock stitched with non-elastic thread, and the hems are finished with a pink-purple hem tape on the inside. A splash of color not normally visible from the outside.

Shirts are easier to fit into and buy. I have five times more tops than bottoms in the closet for this reason. The Wheel Cute Jersey fits like a t-shirt. I like that and the overlapping wheel pattern. It's lightweight, not too snug, and of good length. My lower back should stay covered when I hunker over on the bike. A touch of femininity, thin elastic strips sewn into the side seams create subtle ruching. It’s a little something extra keeping it from being just a plain-Jane jersey.

These two articles I will easily wear around town, to the coffee shop, to the store, or out for a casual meal. That’s all well and good, but let’s get down to brass tacks. How will they make the transition from the street to the trails?

On The Trail

When the clock chimed let’s-go-ride-o’clock, I was eager to see how the Joy Ride Capri and Wheel Cute Jersey went from sitting at a computer to pounding out the miles in a saddle. Can we have the best of both worlds, wearing one outfit all day, without compromise? While we were unloading bikes and tying shoes, I was asked if I wasn’t going to change to ride. "Why my good sir, these are my riding clothes." Apparently a testament to the fact that these clothes don’t look like standard trail clothes.

The jersey made the transition fine. The length and fit were as good for riding as they were for wearing around town. I appreciate it keeping my lower back covered. Some of our rides were on trails where sand and little rocks would fly up from my tire and down the back of my shorts. This was a bother while wearing other shorter jerseys. When I rode those trails in the Wheel Cute Jersey, I wasn’t a rolling gravel pit by the end of the ride. The lightweight fabric felt as cool as you could ask of a shirt without it being transparent. On a warmer spring day around Phoenix, AZ, I was plenty comfortable. These features are pretty much all I could hope for in a jersey.

They might have been a big hit when I was in junior high, but this is my first pair of Capris. Surprisingly they pedal well. It didn’t feel like I was fighting the PowerWeave stretch fabric. The thread used, in particular at the lateral connection just above the knee, could have been more elastic though. These stitches feel tight around the thighs while spinning the cranks. The overlapping design at the bottom of the legs is an effective design, though, helping to eliminate any bunching behind or tightness over the knee. On a warmer, more humid California day however, they did feel like they were a bit much on an extended, uphill grind. I folded back the bottom 6-inches over my thigh and exposed a little more skin for temperature regulation. So far I’ve only done this once. But hey, it’s not always hot out. On cool early morning and late afternoon rides, the Capris are grand. I actually prefer them to shorts on cooler days.

Some people wear packs and some people pocket. I pocket. Except for what I can strap to my frame (water bottle, tube, and CO2 cartridges), I pocket everything for most of my rides. My distribution in the Joy Ride Capris was an OtterBoxed iPhone in one hand pocket, a tool and keys in the other, and my Chapstick and tire levers in the little pocket along the thigh. Once loaded up, I became quite uncomfortable. The items in the hand pockets migrated toward my groin while pedaling or walking. This is not a good area for random bulges and not comfortable for pedaling. Awkward turtle – in ma’ pants.

So far, I have not wiped out in this gear. Given the longer inseam of the Joy Ride Capri, I hope to be well protected if I end up hitting the dirt or getting wacked by some bushes though.

My final discovery out on the trail, perhaps the most important to some ladies looking to buy a pair of bottoms, is waist fit. When it comes to the woman’s body, there are all these terms bouncing around: apple, pear, triangle, square, round, curvy, thin, petite, plus size, athletic... whatever. You know your body and what works for it. I tend to have issues with my big thighs, narrower hips, and thick middle. Luckily the internal adjustment system of the Capris allows room to play with the waistband size. I have both sides down to the tightest setting. Even so, I sometimes struggle to keep Victoria’s Secret a secret out on the trail due to the design of the Capris. The added weight of stuff in the pockets doesn’t help. Frequent stops to pull up your pants are inconvenient, and trying to pull them up while riding is darn right hazardous. These babies need some help staying up.

Things That Could Be Improved

The Wheel Cute Jersey is a pretty straightforward item. I don’t have any suggestions for improvement. I do have some ideas to improve the few problems I encountered with the Joy Ride Capri however.

As mentioned in the previous section, it would be nice, particularly at the lateral stitch above the knee, if there were a more elastic thread used on the Capris. This would relieve the tightness around the thigh when pedaling. The fabric is a two-way stretch; it makes sense to pair an elastic thread with it, at least in the direction of stretching.

Pockets to hold small items? Check. Hold said items on a good location of the body? That’s a negative Ghostrider. The shape of these hand pockets is like a bell-curve in statistics, inverted. From the deepest part atop of the thigh, items can move freely from the outer seems to the fly where the pockets are sewn in. A more popular design for pockets is the equivalent of these chopped in half. It keeps things to the outside and tops of the legs where it is more comfortable though reduces cargo space. I hand sewed a quick basting stitch down the middle of the pockets to keep things to the outside of my leg where it is more comfortable. Despite the size reduction, I could still fit my encased phone dubbed “The Brick” just fine.

The waistband/internal adjustment system is the last area I suggest improvement on. Some women may have no issues with these Capris staying up, but others may share my struggles. The waistband of the Joy Ride Capris is comfortable because it's stretchy. This also seems to be the problem. The circumference can be decreased by a couple inches using the internal adjustment, but there is so much stretch it doesn’t make much of a difference. The waistband needs a better balance of the comfortable stretch and a rigid structure so the elastic waistband adjustment can build enough tension. Another problem I experienced with the internal adjustment system was the buttons uncomfortably digging into my sides when sitting. The buttons should either face away from the skin or be replaced with something else. Velcro could conceivably be used inside like the current adjustment system if it were low profile enough, maintaining the sleek exterior appearance.

Long Term Durability

I haven’t had these two Club Ride items for very long. Even after a few rides however, I’ve noticed pilling on the Wheel Cute Jersey near the under arms. I hope it doesn’t become too bad or spread across the entire jersey.

The fabric of the Capris is still looking pretty good, but I am noticing wear on the threads in the stitching. There is a thread along the leg seam that has already broken, and a couple stitches have come undone. Given this apparent wear after such a short time, I am concerned these Capris will deteriorate prematurely. Especially for the price tag, I would hope they would last longer. Only time will tell if they will hold for the long term.

What's The Bottom Line?

Both of these items are good for around town and on the trail. The comfortable Wheel Cute Jersey kept me covered and was lightweight enough to stay cool on my rides. It is a fun, cute jersey. I like it for everyday wear and for riding.

In addition to the Joy Ride Capri, I have a pair of Club Ride Freedom Shorts. They also fit pretty well and have belt loops I can use. Like finding your go-to store for jeans that fit, Club Ride might be that for my riding clothes. Though the Joy Ride Capris may be short lived in the stitching, need the internal adjustment system/waistband redesigned, and have hey-is-that-a-multi-tool-or-are-you-just-happy-to-see-me pockets, I won’t let them gather dust from disuse. They will still gather trail dust. They are a good cut, good fabric, good weight, good for pedaling, good looking, and will serve well on days not quite meant for shorts or tights. I can wear them all day, go on a ride, and keep rocking them after the ride if I want to. Club Ride has a good design and construction here, but there are a few improvements that could make the Joy Ride Capris even better.

Visit www.clubride.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Courtney Steen has been hitting the dirt on two wheels since 2007 when she started riding mountain bikes in college. She raced alongside her collegiate cycling team in every event from XC and short track to downhill and mountain cross, scoring several podiums, fist pumps and shiny medals along the way. A dream trail for this girl would have lots of down, some fast and flowy, and like the sprinkles on a cupcake, some fun technical sections to keep her on her toes – we’re talking mountain biking after all, not cruising a sidewalk. Courtney currently lives on the road with her boyfriend in a 5th wheel toy hauler loaded with bikes, traveling from one mountain bike mecca to the next in search of the best trails North America has to offer. Anytime she's on a bike and in the dirt, she has two thumbs up and a big smile.

Specifications

Product Club Ride Joy Ride Capri
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail
Rider Women
Shorts Type Shorts
Material 16" Inseam, Lightweight PowerWeave Stretch, Wicking Fabric, Reflective Accents
Pockets 2 Hand, 2 Zippered Back, and 1 Zippered Side
Vents N/A
Size XS, S, M, L, XL
Colors Raven, Caravan
Miscellaneous
Price $89.99
More Info

Club Ride Website

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