Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cold and Wet Weather Bike Wear: Giordana's Roubaix Bib Tights and Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey

Dressing for a northeastern winter ride. Giordana thermal bib tights.
Winters are somewhat of a brutal affair here in the NYC/Metro area. Add in a bit of precipitation like snow and you have a valid reason to park your bike and stay home. All the same, if you're like me, you LIKE to ride and if I'm dressed right, I don't mind the cold weather. That's why I was so interested in trying a pair of bib tights this year. Yes, I have the usual thermal cycling tights with the built in chamois but after trying Giordana's Gita Women's Bib Shorts (Road ID), two years ago, well let's say I'm a bit spoiled! You can read my review of these phenomenal bib shorts HERE.  I also wore a full Giordana FR Carbon Kit for my first Rapha Women's 100 Sportive. So let's start with the Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey which completes this cold weather cycling kit.

Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey and Roubaix Bib Tights
Silverline Women's Long Sleeved Jersey
I have a few thermal cycling jerseys but some of them are a bit too thick and do not give the freedom of movement I'm looking for. They also don't allow moisture to wick away as well as they should. The Silverline Women's Long Sleeved Jersey features ERG200, which is a new moisture transferring winter fabric. The inside of the jersey is SO soft due in part to the brushed inner surface which effectively traps warm air next to your skin. The full zip front offers a taller collar for extra insulation. There is reflective piping down the back and three open rear pockets which are easy to access.


Bottom hem of the Silverline has a gripper band.
The bottom of the Silverline has a gripper band which helps keep the jersey down when you are in the drops. The overall styling and accents on this women's cycling jersey are incredible. One of my favorite features in a cycling jersey is a zippered rear pouch which the Silverline does not have. This is a minor gripe as the rear pouches are very easy to get at. 
I was out in the rain in it today and it was extremely comfortable to wear, keeping me quite dry. However for a major downpour I would wear something more water repellent as this jersey's forte is primarily beating the cold. It's a tricky trade off because you will often sweat more in a completely waterproof cycling jacket/jersey. The Silverline Jersey seems to offer a happy medium between the two. This jersey has their patented WCF (Women's Contour Fit) so it is very aerodynamic. Made in Italy. 

Gore Bike Wear's Countdown Windstopper Lady Vest
You can also top this jersey off with a windproof shell like this Countdown Windstopper Lady Vest from Gore Bike Wear. Once you heat up, take it off and stuff it in your jersey's rear open pouch. Works great for road work when you are expending a lot of heat and energy.


Giordana FRC Roubaix Bib Tights
Giordana FRC Roubaix Bib Tights
This is my first pair of bib tights but as I mentioned before, I've already had the pleasure of wearing Giordana's Bib Shorts with their uniquely comfortable chamois system. The W Cirro Omni Form Insert is included in Giordana's top of the line tights/bib shorts as it offers varying thickness throughout the chamois. Aloe Vera is permanently incorporated into the upper most layer of the pad which helps head off chaffing before it happens. The chamois has a second layer of memory foam with a waffled texture which aids in aeration.

Aqua Zero Seat Panel 
This is the area of your tights that is usually the "receiving end" for rain and puddle splash ups. Giordana has thought of this with their Aqua Zero Seat Panel treatment which make the tights quite water resistant.
Giordana Jersey and Bib Tights drying after being in the rain.
Fit and Feel
The inside of these Italian made bib tights are soft brushed like the Silverline Jersey so they are a dream to wear. Even the straps have the same brushed softness detail. I'm a size 6 so that corresponds to a Medium in these bib tights. While getting into some of my bibs requires using a shoe horn, I found that these weren't that much of a struggle. The ankles have reflective zippers which makes them even easier to get on and off. They are very lightweight yet warm for very cold days on the road. The black fabric has a UPF of 50+ blocking out 98% of UV radiation. 


Giordana Roubaix Bib Tights in the rain
The coldest I've ridden was about 28 degrees. When you factor in windchill, the skin feel is going to be even frostier, like 5-10 degrees colder. This winter kit would be ideal for about 3540+ degrees. If I need extra warmth due to wind, I would add a cycling vest and/or thin Merino Wool base layer like this Outdoor 160 Shirt by Bluey Australia. Wool is naturally wicking and so would work well with the Silverline Jersey's moisture managing fabric. 
I did an 8 mile ride in 41 degree weather with substantial wind and was comfortable with the Silverline Long Sleeved Jersey, a wool base layer and Windstopper Vest (shown above). I did have to stop halfway and take off the vest but overall I was very comfortable!


Bluey Australia's Outdoor 160 Merino Wool Baselayer
These pieces are really a necessity if you plan to ride this winter. It can be raw and foreboding out there and being exposed to the elements is no ride in the park. Bib Tights also prevent wind from blowing up your back and chilling your core.


Riding in this kit in sunny but windy 41 degree weather.

A cold weather cycling kit like this from Giordana can be the difference between enjoying the road vs freezing to the pavement. See all of the current Giordana cycle wear at GiordanaUSA.com or GitaBike



Don't let this be YOU this winter.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

XTreme XTraining's Top TEN Holiday Gifts

So GoPro? No, eXpo Mini Action Cam this Holiday Season!
Sometimes it's difficult to get just the right gift for someone who enjoys the great outdoors or exercising... or both. Here at XTreme XTraining, we love to get outdoors for a fresh air workout! So here are some very cool things that have made the top of my Nice Not Naughty List for Christmas. These will help outdoorsy types and fitness freaks enjoy themselves all the more (hey, I should know). So here we go with XTreme XTraining's Top 10 Holiday Gifts for 2014!

For the Running Man (or Woman): Ear Buds That Don't Fall Out
A morning run or walk is going to be that much sweeter with some beats along. The Jaybird Bluebuds Ear Buds work with any Bluetooth capable device and are virtually sweat-proof. No long cables or wires to get tangled in either. See my complete review HERE. Visit the Jaybird Sport Website for more models and styles.


Jaybird Bluebuds have a decent 8 hour run time
For the Outdoor Adventurer/Film Star: A High Resolution Action Camera
With the release of the Hero4, everyone wants a GoPro this year! Really? Not when there are better quality and more competitively priced action cameras on the market. The Pyle Audio eXpo Mini Action Cam has a crisp 20 mp resolution and takes still photos even while you are shooting video. Comes with all the GoPro-ish mounting gear for underwater filming, cycling, skiing, jumping out of a plane...all that exciting stuff! See it at PyleAudio.com


eXpo Mini Action Cam filming in its waterproof case.
For the Night Rider: A Bicycle Tail Light that Flashes From A-Ha! to zZz
You'd never think of a bicycle tail light having swagger until you've seen this. Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light is the perfect night time companion to every messenger and seat bag with a blinkie loop. Flashes brightly in A-Ha! zZz and Rock Steady modes with two 0.5 watt LEDs on board. Your giftee will thank you for this versatile bright tail light that helps them stay visible and come home safely. Check it our at Portland Design Works


Danger Zone hitching a ride on my Detours Madison Bag
For the Footloose and Fancy Free Hiker: Crampons that Don't Cramp Your Style
When the weather turns a bit icy and dicey, many runners turn in their sneakers for fear of loosing their grip on the trail. I carry mini-crampons with me for back country hiking because they are very lightweight and relatively easy to remove. These FreeSteps6 by Hillsound remind me of my Kahtoola Microspikes in that the stretchy upper brace (elastomer harness) goes over most any shoe or boot for extra traction. These stainless steel spikes work as chains do on your car tires! Perfect for: winter walking, trail running and hiking. Neither these or the Kahtoolas come with a carry pouch which you will need when removing them after a snowy or icy run. Check them out at the Hillsound Website.


FreeSteps6 Mini Crampons by Hillsound
For the Competing or Touring Cyclist: A Way to Stow It
You know the guy. He's always in full kit and on his way to the next Grand Fondo.  How about that couple who signs up for the spring bicycle tour around Martha's Vineyard every year? Well either one of these groups of cyclists will FLIP over the Bike Cube Deluxe from Mountainsmith.



More than enough space for organizing your: cycling shoes, helmet, gloves, energy bars, cycle wear. As the name implies, the cube shape makes it perfect for traveling in the trunk or back of your van. Has a large folding pad to rest your feet on during a shoe change or whatever. VERY well thought out it is luggage for cyclists. See the Bike Cube Deluxe at Mountainsmith


Mountainsmith's roomy Bike Cube
For the Sporty Shutter Bug: A Camera Bag for the Outback
If someone on your list has a Digital SLR camera but is constantly leaving it at home during a hiking trip, this is the perfect present for them. The Swift FX camera bag holds my Cannon Rebel T3, the lens and several compartment separated accessories like a speed light and tripod with ease. Can be carried with the shoulder strap, top handle or strapped on in "lumbar pack" style for easier hiking. Has an quick access zippered outside pocket and is made of water resistant fabric with a waterproof coating. Check it out at Mountainsmith.com


Mountainsmith Swift FX Camera Bag

For Those Who Eat and Run: A Cutlery Set to Go
If someone on your list is careful about their diet yet likes to travel or even bike commute they can take along something to eat AND some stylish cutlery to eat it with! This Baladeo Outdoor Knife Cutlery Set has: a spoon, fork, locking knife, corkscrew, bottle opener and flat head screwdriver. Designed by Marco S. Salgado it comes with a magnetic closing nylon case that can be slipped on your belt for hiking. When I travel, I pack this with my lunch. The fortunate person on your list will think about you each time they (neatly) eat a meal away from home! Get it at Campsaver.com

Eating on the run? Cutlery to go from Baledeo!

For Someone Who's Always Getting Caught in the Rain: A Pocket Weather Tracker
If someone you know is constantly at the mercy of the elements and never seems to know what they are up to, this is the perfect gift. Unlike your cell phone app, a Kestrel Weather Meter tells you the conditions where you are in real time. The best your cell is going to do is give the conditions from the nearest weather station which could be many miles away. The Kestrel also calculates wind speed which is really important for outdoor activities such as cycling, running, skiing and boating just to name a few. A weather tracker also keeps you up on: temperature, relative humidity, wind chill, barometric pressure and more. See all the Kestrel models and features available at the Nielsen-KellermanWebsite

Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker at REI's Mountain Bike Course
For The Toxic Friendship: Green Drink Delivery or A Power Blender with Punch
Everyone is talking about green drinks and detoxing this year. Some are even delivered to your door like this service from NYC Chef V. If you are in the NY/Northern NJ area, you can purchase this service for yourself or someone else for the New Year to start the year off fresh.


NYC Chef V's Green Drink Delivery Service

For Those Who Like to Mix Things Up
A power blender like a VitaMix or the TriBest Dynablend 1.2 hp Power Blender shown below allows one to have a complete lifestyle change. Makes whole food juices and chops, grinds and purees just like a food processor. A gift like this is very empowering because it gives a person so much more control over their dietary choices. Has presets for controlled blending, chopping and liquefying with an easy to clean glass pitcher. See it at TriBest.com


TriBest Dynablend Power Blender

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Transitional Bikewear - Novara Baker Bike Jacket for a Windy 40 to 50 Degrees

Trying on the Baker Bike Jacket at The Women's Story
Fall is quickly turning to winter so you may need to update your cycle-wear to adapt to the dropping temperatures. Added to this is the fact that the days are shorter and often a bit dismal and gray which is much like the day I went for a ride in the Baker Bike Jacket. You may not be quite as visible on the road under those conditions. So now is the time to go warm and bright.

Novara Cycle Wear is a REI Label of high quality pieces that look great both on and off the bike. I first saw the Baker Bike Jacket at The Women's Story Media Event at Crystal Springs Resort, NJ this past June. Part of their Fall 2014 collection, they offered fresh designs and built in reflective threads for increased night time visibility.

Baker Cycling Jacket Features: I was really drawn to the design and colorways of the Baker Bike Jacket as shown here in a highly visible Electric Blue with 360 degree reflective piping around the shoulders and down the back. Quilted without actually being a "puffer" it has comfy stretch panels and knit cuffs/neckline to keep the cold wind out. I found myself quite toasty on my bicycle when the temperature was between 45-50 degrees. Keep in mind when you are doing about 18-21 mph, you have to factor in wind chill. This jacket is highly wind resistant however due to the synthetic fill and quilting so no problems there.

49 Degrees for my Baker Bike Jacket test ride
Flexibility The stretch panels also give you more flexibility on the bicycle especially when riding down in the drops. The zippered pockets and front zipper operate with only one hand. 

Inner pockets and quilting throughout
Invisible zippered rear pouch with reflective piping all around.
Women's Baker Bike Jacket by Novara

Features - The Baker Bike Jacket has two invisible zippered pockets deep enough for your cell and a Mp3 player. Inside the jacket are two inner pouches which neatly kept a few tissues close at hand. The stretchy ribbed hem of the jacket stayed in place during my ride and kept the cold air out. This is an REI exclusive so check out The Baker Bike Jacket online at their website.
Amare Helmet & Matching Full Fingered Gloves: by Giro

Baker Bike Jacket Details:

  • Shell fabric and lining are made of 100% recycled polyester
  • Outer shell fabric is water resistant, wind resistant to 50 MPH, and rated UPF 50+
  • Quilted with lightweight, warm polyester-fiber insulation
  • Breathable stretch panels along sides, cuffs and hem
  • Piping along front and back yokes glows brilliantly in headlights or streetlights at night
  • Large back pocket has horizontal zipper
  • Zippered hand pockets
  • Dropped tail adds coverage while on the bike
  • The women's Novara Baker Bike Jacket transitions easily from bike paths to city sidewalks