I have to admit when I first took the Pro Team jacket out of the box it felt way to light to be a winter jacket. On trying it on I had even more doubts, the cut which has a high rise around the front of the waist made me want to keep pulling it down. I thought I had got the wrong size. The fit everywhere else seemed perfect. The neck was snug and comfortable, and had enough of a gap that it wasn’t going to allow my holiday stubble to get caught in the zip. And there it stayed in the box for a few weeks ready for a block of riding over the winter holidays.
On the first ride out (in 32˚F) all fears were put to rest. I should really know better and trust in those that know better. One of my pet peeves about winter jackets is the “bunching” you get around the waist when riding, that often also lets in a nice little stream of cold air. The high cut of the Team Jacket prevents said “bunching” and keeps the jacket snug to the body and therefore warm. The fabric has also a nice stretchy quality to it that also makes it very comfortable to ride in, in fact it is pretty safe to say that you could almost forget you are wearing it when jumping in and out of the saddle. Layered up I was wearing a Rapha Merino base layer, a Gore Thermo Layer, and a pair of arm warmers under the jacket and pretty much stayed warm right down to 26˚F riding at a high cadence. It is not completely rain proof, but even when I got caught out in a light shower it still kept me pretty much dry.
Overall it is a great product, well designed as you would expect, and incredibly practical. I am not going to go into the technical details of the jacket, Rapha do a much better job of that on their site. But having road tested it now for over a week in some frigid weather it is definitely staying in the kit bag. (One sad note: on one ride in a random stream of thought I counted I was wearing 5 out of a potential 8 Rapha products).
With a nod back to the past, and the days when we tied a spare tub under our seats with a leather toe strap, Mopha have come up with this modern interpretation of the tool bag. The roll is made from an oiled canvas, with leather stitched edges, and a choice of white, red or black leather straps. Tools not included, that’s up to you. Nice Christmas present.
Love this brand, especially when they say things like “It’s for people that wonder why everyone is trying to pretend they are going to do first ascents on alpine peaks, instead of celebrating the fact that they are having adventures that are awesome in their own way”. There collection of products is growing all of the time, with a focus on practicality and quality. Their Adventure photo essays are gorgeous.
The next round of kit is in and we have all sizes in all the pieces. There has been a lot of interest so get in there early. And along with the new kit we have started up an online storefront to make it easy to order, pay and check stock. You can get to it here http://elcyclista.myshopify.com/. You will notice when you get in there we are going to be launching a series of new projects this year and into 2012. The first is going to be ARTBOTTLE. We are going to be doing a series of limited edition bibon designs that are going to be so nice you won’t be able to throw them away in the last 2K. We have also had a lot of interest in the photography on our site, so we are going to be selling a selection of prints under the EL Art Projects section. Hope you like the new stuff.
What do you do on a snow day? (yes we are having a very large snow storm here in CT, before Halloween in October – nuts). Well, you start to sort out that massive box of Elcyclista kit that just showed up from Italy! Post coming soon about our new online store.
Since we are on the theme of Keirin racing, this is not a shot by Fredrik from his amazing Keirin essay below. This surfaced on the internet when researching. I bet that room smells amazing, and I can’t think of a better top than a white cotton t-shirt for some sweaty roller work.
Hand made and straight out of Glasgow, a company that seems to have been born out of a necessity. There are a tonne of bag makers out there and no shortage to choose from, but it was the attitude behind Trakke and the great color choices in the products that I like most. They started making bags for themselves when the price point of what was out there was just too expensive. This quickly evolved into making bags for friends and eventually ending up on a stall at the Glasgow market. Trakke bags as a company was born. The bags are handmade in the Glasgow with a lot of care, but what I loved most about them was that while the basic bag shape stays the same, each batch changes and takes in feedback from their buyers. Always in beta is a philosophy we try to believe in as well. The funniest part of the brand is the need to make a brightly colored product, not necessarily for visibility (although it helps) but “because Glasgow is a grey enough place as it is” (Ed: Coming from Northern Ireland I understand this well). True to their roots they have tried to keep the bags as affordable as possible. Free courier delivery in Glasgow, free delivery in the UK, and as low as possible post internationally. The bags start at £50 and go up to £90. Well worth a look.
Find them here: http://www.trakke.co.uk/
I found this store in London last week at 47 Beak street in Soho, turns out they had only been open for 2.5 hours. They describe themselves as “stocking only the most advanced gentlemen’s sporting brands”. Their space is beautiful, and may have the biggest changing rooms I have ever set foot in, handy when you are trying to peel yourself in and out of a wetsuit (no worries, I wasn’t). They stock high quality brands for everything from running to yoga, and riding to Tri. What caught my eye was a beautiful white Canyon Ultimate CF SLX parked in the middle of the floor. If you are going to have a bike for display, that is not a bad place to start. I wish them all the best, it is a hard time to be starting a business, I hope they do well
Looks like Kenny put the green socks in the whites wash again.