Club Ride: The Coolest Men’s Cold Weather Kit

Words by John Caldwell.

 

Why stop riding? The folks at Club Ride Apparel say that you don’t have to stop rolling after prime season when the mercury starts to drop. Club Ride is born and based in a little Rocky Mountain town called Sun Valley, Idaho and they know making highly technical biking clothing that looks as good on the trail as it does in the office and will keep you pedaling into fall’s chill through winter’s slush. As the original designers of bike clothing that can be worn in any situation, each of their products is made with innovation, security, passion, and gratitude. And advocacy for cycling is truly important as Club Ride proudly supports the IMBA, NICA, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Adventure Cycling Association, and the Wood River Bike Coalition. This brand was kind enough to give us one of their signature cold weather kits for long-term testing and we were not disappointed.

Shaka Flannel, $89.95

The first thing you notice when you pull on this ultra-stylish yet technical flannel is how good the fit is for both riding and relaxing. This 6’4” tester found the size L arm and back length to be just perfect whether hunched over the bars or strolling down Main Street. We were given the Shaka in the Dragonfly color combo and must say that it looks great on the trail, in the coffee shop, or at an upscale restaurant for dinner. The brushed snap buttons and subtle zip pockets round out the style factor. Highly subtle reflective accents on the sleeves are an added bonus for riding in traffic and they blend in well.

On the performance side of things, the Shaka is made with Club Ride’s one-of-a-kind moisture wicking mid-weight poly yarn, which keeps the rider warm and dry (especially on descents) when the temps dip into the 40s. Underarm mesh vents and an inner-collar mesh panel help to manage sweat build-up during sustained climbs and the snap buttons allow for customized air intake. Honestly, we expected to experience more overheating while wearing a flannel (as experienced with other brands) during long ascents but were pleasantly surprised by the Shaka. Other technical details include one zippered chest and one zippered rear pocket with media port that can store most of your goodies. As for how this piece holds up to wear and tear, we found after months of riding that the rugged outer fabric stays intact even after the occasional light brushes with branches, tree trunks, and rocks. Just don’t go full on “Jerry of the Day” in it and the Shaka should be good to go for many years of riding. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner.

Fat Jack Pant, $99.95

It can be difficult to find a pair of technical, cold weather mountain pants that are suitable for all situations. Enter the Fat Jack. Made for epic outings on the fat bike in below-freezing conditions in the snow, this pant performs equally as well on dirt and pavement. One of the standouts that you notice while riding is how astonishingly light the water-resistant and thermal material is which makes them ultra-comfy and allows for great freedom of movement while pedaling. Club Ride achieves this phenomenon with their StretchRide10 mid-weight polyester-blend double woven fabric. The cut is just baggy enough to be comfortable while preventing any dreaded catching on pedals, cranks, or derailleur. As for wear and tear, this pant excels in taking all kinds of abuse and should last for several or more years. A water-resistant and wind-resistant DWR finish on the outer keeps the legs nice and warm even when the cold rain or snow starts to fall. And if you wear some long underwear with the Fat Jack you’ll be good to go on days and nights that are well below freezing.

For storage, the Fat Jack is equipped with two zippered side pockets, one zippered rear pocket, and two hand pockets. A media port allows for easy access for those wanting to ride to their favorite playlist. The zips on the two side pockets can also be used for venting. We found this venting system to be somewhat adequate, but agreed that there could be more done in this department as the legs started to get clammy on sustained climbs when temps where pushing into the 50s. For visibility when the day darkens, RideLight Reflective Accents that are oh so subtle provide the rider with added security while riding around town. Overall, the Fat Jack is a high-performance cold weather riding pant with an understated design and tailored fit that looks just as good in civilization as it does when it’s put through its paces on rugged single-track.

For more, visit clubrideapparel.com