Spring has officially arrived but you might as well call it summer here in the Bay Area. With blue skies and daytime temps reaching in the 80s, we completely skipped over arm and knee warmer season. While this isn’t great news for the Sierra snowpack, it does mean I get to spend almost every day on my bike(s). Here is what I am currently wearing.
I am seriously digging Pearl Izumi’s new women’s mountain bike line this spring. Gone are the basic black shorts, instead replaced with color, style, fit, lightweight fabrics, and completely well thought out functionality.
Pearl Izumi Launch SL Jersey ($50): Made from an extremely lightweight, moisture wicking polyester, just throw this mountain bike tank on over your head and go–the sleeveless look is a nice way to even out the tan lines over the course of the summer. A hidden sunglasses wipe on the inside of the hem comes in handy for removing sweat and dust as you shred the trails.
Pearl Izumi Summit Bike Shorts ($70): No dumpy mountain bike shorts here–the Summit shorts are semi-form fitting and seriously flattering with plenty of stretch so you never feel restricted when riding. The minimalist, flat seam, elastic back waist features an internal velcro size adjuster to ensure you never experience the dreaded back gap. Pearl Izumi created mountain bike shorts with numerous inseam lengths–this longer 11″ inseam is one of my favorites. The mountain bike shorts are DWR treated so mud and water tend to roll right off.
Road Bike/Cross Bike
Hincapie Dhalla Jersey ($120) and Short ($110): The Dhalla Series is designed for long, hot days in the saddle. The jersey is made from an ultralight and quick-drying Aerator Plus fabric with a mesh collar and underarm panels–you never feel soggy regardless of how much you sweat. You get the standard three back pockets for storing ride essentials and a gel-gripper on the back hem keeps the jersey from riding up.
The Dhalla Shorts use a combination of moisture-wicking AT2 Force Lycra Power (a minimalistic synthetic blend that achieves a barely-there feel), durable MachSpeed panels, and stretch mesh, all treated with Schoeller’s coldblack finish technology to reflect away heat while offering SPF 50+ UVA/UVB sun protection. These well ventilated shorts hug and move with your body for the perfect on bike fit. The 8.25″ inseam and grip comfort legs keep the stuffed sausage look at bay.
7Mesh Resistance Jacket ($250): While the days are warm, the mornings start out pretty cool in the low 40s. And if Karl the Fog is in town, the coastline can get downright chilly at any time of the day. For those dawn roll outs, I throw on my 7Mesh Resistance Jacket over top of my kit.
Made from Gore Windstopper Active with taped seams, the jacket completely blocks out the cold wind but remains incredibly breathable so that you don’t turn into a clammy sweatbox. To further help with breathability, strategically placed mesh cuff vents allow a small amount of intake by the wrists while air heated by your body can easily exit through always-open laminated scapula vents.
The Resistance Jacket is highly water-resistant–on one volatile weather morning, I was thankful to be wearing it as I careened down the backside of Hawk Hill in the fog and rain, where it was sunny only minutes ago in Sausalito.
I can’t say enough good things about the quality construction and clean lines of all the 7Mesh pieces. When the day heats up, the jacket weighs nothing (only 110 grams) and rolls up small to fit in your back jersey pocket. A single zippered side pocket is big enough to store your phone or a couple of snacks, while the gripper elastic on the wrists and drop waist keep the jacket firmly in place.
I can see myself wearing the Resistance Jacket every day of the Breck Epic this summer.
DeFeet Socks: By all means, never leave the house without first considering your sock game. The crazier the better. How else are you expected to set multiple Strava PRs without #sockdoping?