Archive for Apparel

Keen, Now with SPD

Well, maybe it’s been Keen with SPD for years; I’m not sure.  But Keen, the sandal (and more) company, make a cycling sandal that takes an SPD cleat:

I love Keen sandals, but usually can’t wear them.  Something about the toe box just doesn’t work on my foot.  But wouldn’t these be great for summer recreational riding?  Or hey, in winter you could just tuck your wool-clad feet into these babies.  Oh yeah!


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Not Impressed, EMS

Fewer than a half-dozen wearings, and the pocket of one pair of my cycling shorts has pulled apart:

Why?  Since I sew, I can tell you exactly why:  Eastern Mountain Sports didn’t require that the raw edge of the fabric be properly finished.  These synthetics unravel like mad if not treated properly, and the person who sewed this pair cut the seam allowance too close.  Since the fabric was not treated to prevent raveling, the pocket lining just went to pieces.

Acceptable in a $25 pair of Target shorts?  Sure.  On a pair of $75  EMS cycling shorts?  Umm, no.

Otherwise, I love these shorts.  I sew; I’ll repair them.  But I’m not impressed.

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Hi-Vis Middy

I spotted this reflective vest in a post from 2009 on a website called {frolic!}, and loved the idea:

I couldn’t buy it, though, since the company that sells it is nowhere to be found.  Also, I’m a daytime rider, and need florescence more than reflectivity, so I carved up a couple of IKEA safety vests, and turned up with this:

Yes, it’s more eccentric than chic, but highly visible, and a lot of fun.  Also, I can cycle in summer in wearing only a sports bra underneath, yet still get a cup of coffee without looking undressed.  Mesh on the sides, and a long front zipper, keep the vest cool on really hot days.   It’s large enough to wear over jackets, too, thanks to the adjustable belt.

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Padded Shorts

Even when I started taking longer rides, I had a little trouble taking myself seriously.  (Hey, I know I’m not Lance Armstrong!)  When I was riding on a cushy recreational saddle, it never occurred to me to consider wearing bike shorts.  But, then, it never occurred to me that longer cycling runs might require a better cycle seat, either.  I was just wearing whatever athletic wear I had around.

The new saddle changed my mind.  It was quite comfortable, but, like most inexpensive models, didn’t have any gel padding.  I’d  need to wear that.  I picked up a pair of these EMS Shadow bike shorts:

I bought them on closeout; I don’t know whether EMS is discontinuing them or simply changing the design a little bit, but they are what I wear now.  They’ve got a nylon/spandex shell that’s light and comfortable, yet looks like something you might wear, say, to pick up groceries, which is what I do sometimes, wearing them.  They’re a lot more “townie” than skintight spandex.

The padded liner is made of wicking fabric, and it snaps out.  I like that, because sometimes I make my exercise wear, and I’ll be making a couple of skirts for summer.  This liner will snap right into whatever I make, and I’ll be good to go.

The waist has adjustable tabs (never a bad idea), and the fly closes with a zipper and a snap.  There’s a zipper pocket on each leg; I keep my phone in one, and my ID in the other (though I also have my name and emergency contact information in my helmet, too).

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