I like techy apparel and I like cycling. But while I will wear lycra when I need to, cycling to the store in my tri gear just doesn't appeal to me. Skin tight shorts are at home on the bike, but they get mighty off-putting once you step into Trader Joe’s.
One of my favorite trends in outdoor gear is the way cycling gear companies are making tech gear that doesn't make you look like you're in the Tour de France, bike commuter clothes that perform on a ride, but also look good once the riding’s done.
Idaho-based Club Ride is a cycling gear company that shares my convictions. They’ve been cranking out some cycling clothes that pile on the performance without scrimping on the style.
I’ve been testing out their Go Long shirt ($109.99), and it is the only cycling shirt that I’ve worn off the bike more than on it.
It’s got a neo-western look right down to the pearl snap buttons and slash of plaid across the shoulders. The slim cut is extremely stretchy, thanks to its polyester fabric. I took it to barbecues and ran errands without garnering the attention that a skin-tight cycling jersey would. It drew plenty of comments, but they were all about where I got the awesome shirt. Nobody even realized that it was a cycling shirt. It passed the first test. The real test would be on the bike.
I was worried about wearing a full-sleeve shirt during rides in Redding heat, but the polyester is lightweight and breathable, and the full-length vents along both sides of the shirt kept things cool on a 20-mile test ride. When I’d sweat during a commute, the fabric would soak it up, and it dried out within minutes - no more looking like I was chased by a dog to work. It was a bit chilly during colder rides, but the Go Long has a zipper underneath the snap buttons to help stave off wind chill.
The only thing that betrays the shirt’s true nature as a cycling jersey is its zippered gear pocket in the back. It’s big enough to hold plenty of snacks and it’s got a port for headphones during your commute. I had my iPhone, two Honey Stinger Waffles, and a Brubar in the back with room to spare.
Take a closer look over at Clubrideapparel.com.