Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Game changer

In addition to my personal transformation, I've found a handful of products that have transformed my opinion on what equates a good purchase in cycle goods. These days so much emphasis is put on equipment that you sit on but what about the equipment you wear, or if you've been following this blog, the fuel for the engine. Over the past 4 months I've been blown away by the quality of three goods in particular.

The first, which I've talked about before is the Castelli Body Paint short. This revolutionary short is made from one piece of fabric which makes it disappear on the body but the bigger piece of the story is Castelli Progretto X chamios. This one component, available on the Free Short as well, will change the way you think about cycling shorts forever. Never have I worn a short that is as comfortable as this on any distance you want to throw at it. I've ridden 100 miles on pavement, 90 miles on gravel and everything in between and in total comfort sans chamois cream. I've never caught myself thinking how much a like a short mid-ride, but I do in this short.

Recently, I also acquired a pair of our Capo Custom shop shorts and to my delight, they are on par with the Castelli's as well. Not quite as high tech a pad as the Castelli but overall the short is amazing. One unique feature of the Capo is the extra wide, 8cm folded cuff. The width allows Capo to get away without the bulky gripper found on most shorts and the increased comfort is immediately apparent.

Both the Castelli and Capo shorts will run you in the $180-$250 range, pricey yeah, but when you consider you'll get a minimum of three seasons, probably more, out of these shorts the pill is easier to swallow. Name any other part on your bike that you'll get three plus years out of that give you the same increase in comfort?

I've saved the best for last. So you can't swing $180 for a pair of shorts. Well you have to spend $115 on a pair of compression tights. I've selfishly kept these little gems to myself for a while now. Yes, they're that good. Two months ago I picked up a pair of Skins Sport compression tights. I bought them a couple days before my first century of the year. Upon returning home, I cleaned up and immediately put on the tights and although the maximum benefit is gained within four hours post workout, I think I kept them on all night. The follow morning my legs felt awesome. Going up stairs was a breeze, I could hardly tell I rode a century the day before. I was sold. I've been wearing them like pajamas ever since. Rarely a day goes by that I don't wear them at least for a few hours. The idea is the slight compressive effect helps push blood towards the heart thus increase circulation thus increasing oxygenation to the muscles thus speeding recovery. Believe it works. If there's one product you buy this summer, get compression tights, you're legs will thank you.

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