Text version of the review below:
Ah yes! Riding season is upon us! As the trails dry out and the air gets warm, it’s time to suit up to get rad (or not) in the saddle. We tested bike kits from Club Ride, FlyLow, Zoic, and Dakine to help you find the right setup for your kind of riding. From mellow strolls to hardcore hammering, we’ve found the gear for you.
Warning: looking this good may inspire you to ride beyond your ability. We say, send it! These kits can endure any and all over-the-handle-bars events.
Club Ride is a Sun Valley-based company built on the idea that technical gear can and should double as stylish lifestyle clothing. In 9 years, founder Mike Herlinger has built a brand that designs gear to seamlessly from hot trails to a cold drink while operating on such values as passion, gratitude and equality. Bike commuters, lunch riders, and trailgaters rejoice!
The Bandara/Ventura kit is the commuter’s dream. Outfitted with three pockets, RideLight™ reflective accents and, most importantly, a matching color scheme, the pieces work best as a pair but perform individually as well. Made of stretch, double-weave (primarily polyester) fabric, these knee-length shorts offer UV protection, water and dirt repellency and a seamless crotch gusset. One of my biggest worries with looser-fitting bike shorts is that they will fall down when I’m leaning into a hill. With these shorts, that issue became moot. Club Ride’s NoCrackBack™ waistband rises just at the small of your back to avoid flashing innocent bystanders. Additionally, anyone (i.e. All Women) who tends to fluctuate in size based upon yearly fitness, these shorts have an interior waistband adjustment that adds or subtracts about half a size. While I can’t attest for how I looked while riding my bike, I can say that I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of my truck and couldn’t help but think that these were “good standing pants,” which means good things for grabbing a meal in town after a ride.
And now the Bandara. The beautiful Bandara. Its amenities include underarm and side panel venting, RideLight™ reflective strips, UV protective fabric, and a stretch plaid fabric. In contrast to your typical plaid shirt, it is shockingly breathable, light, and flexible. The Bandara’s true value, though, is in its moisture wicking. This shirt won’t just dry out between the trail and the office, but between climbs during a ride on a hot day. If you wear a pack while you ride, fear not, sweat stamps will not remain on your back longer than a minute after you dismount. You could wear this shirt from your commute, to your workout, to a meeting and not have to change, which is a shame, because it’s cowboy snaps are pretty fun to fling open, but you’ll just never have to.