Review: “Cool weather casual” kit from Club RideOriginally posted on February 8, 2018 at 1:51 am
Gravity Flannel – $100
The Gravity Flannel from Club Ride has all the aesthetic qualities suitable to both hearty frontier folks and the casual Friday crowd, with functional highlights that make it easy to do just about anything in.
Constructed of a polyester/flannel blend, the Gravity has the strange quality of being quite structured, meaning it holds its shape well while remaining slightly stretchy. It also dries quickly and is insanely warm. Because of the density of the weave, the shirt keeps out a good portion of inclement weather and keeps your own body heat in, making “regular flannels” feel much less effective by comparison. Layer with some form of undergarment and a water/wind resistant outer shell and you’re set for all but the most wintery of winter days.
The snap closures down the front, on the front pockets and on the sleeves are quick to engage and/or disengage and hold fast when in use. I never actually used the zip closure back pocket for anything other than the obligatory “will my phone fit in here?” test (it does), mostly because I’m a creature of habit and having my personal accoutrements anywhere other than where they should be sends me into a mild panic. Otherwise, the zipper performs well, and the pocket could conceivably hold any number of small objects such as keys, the aforementioned phone, wallet, handkerchief, etc. Or you could just put these things in your pants pockets like a civilized person, ignore the strange edifice altogether and be on your way.
A few other highlights include underarm venting and reflective accents. The underarm vents act as a sort of built-in climate regulatory system and probably helps keep you from boiling alive, given how warm the flannel is otherwise. It also helps further articulate the arms when riding, alleviating the uncomfortable bunchy-shoulder mess of other, less superior shirts. Reflective accents have been added in the form of a small, tasteful Club Ride “CR” logo on the back, just below the collar, and a small strip running the length of the left hand cuff.
The Gravity comes in any color you want, as long as the color is Olive green or Rust red, and is available in sizes from small to extra large.
Shift Jean – $70
The Shift Jeans are comfortable, everyday use pants that leave you missing them when you need to wear something else. Constructed of a midweight cotton-polyester-lycra blend, the Shift is just stretchy enough to remind you they aren’t your middle school Wrangler’s, while robust enough not to feel dainty. On the bike they move well, bending functionally to fit the activity, and off the bike, they retain a decent level of hardiness, like regular jeans.
The waistband is well made and is more generous in the rear to conceal any unwarranted access to your hindquarters. This extra bit of fabric has been gifted the name “NoCrackBack” by the good folks at Club Ride, who obviously have a sense of humor.
The Shift’s come with four standard pockets, all of which are there to serve you generously, as well as a fifth, zippered pocket on the left leg, which could hold any number of illicit or recreational accessories.
Reflective accents have been added to several places to give you a sense of safety. A small strip down the aforementioned accessory pocket, and a seam strip on the inside of the drive-side pant leg. The only head scratcher for me is why bother with the drive side leg reflective-ness? Drive side is (most commonly) on the right, while most traffic comes from the left (in the U.S.), thus making the strip on the right leg sort of pointless. Still, better to have them there than not at all, I suppose.
Available in Raven (pictured) and Charcoal (think all-over acid wash), the Shifts are great jeans, despite my poking fun at some of their idiosyncrasies. They come in waist sizes 31-38 and the only length that matters, 33.