What’s in my Gear Bag? - Jason Fryda, Essentials Product Line Manager
Fall is one of my favorite times for mountain biking. Leaves are changing, the air is crisp and dry, and summer thunderstorms have subsided in Colorado. This is important because I can lazily roll out of bed and do an afternoon ride without fearing the wrath of the heavens while enjoying the last few weeks of riding in the high country. This is my go-to riding kit for fall trail shredding:
Launch Kicker Shorts: These are my favorite shorts in our mountain bike collection. Super stretchy, unrestricting while pedaling, and the longer inseam is very All-Mountain. What is All-Mountain you may ask? Well, that is up for debate. I’ve read a few media outlets call it ‘All-Marketing’ because we’re all just mountain bikers. That is true, we’re all just mountain bikers, but the reality is mountain biking has become really diverse in an already very diverse world. Mountain biking in CO can be something totally different in the Midwest or in Europe, and the bikes and apparel follow suit.
Here at Pearl Izumi, defining our MTB clothes into XC and All-Mountain collections helps us describe, in one simple term, the state of mind the product is designed for. That is for All-Mountain, you and/or your riding are a little more rad than cross country, but not as big as gravity. In the end, we are all just a bunch of mountain bikers, but a little guidance never hurt anyone.
Transfer Cycling Liner: A new S11 product, these are designed to replace worn out liners in your MTB shorts, to be layered underneath your street clothes for the city commute, or for underneath chamois-less winter tights. They combine our Elite MTB chamois with Minerale fabric, which means they dry really fast. And the 9” inseam is the same as a regular short, so they’ll hold up your warmers just fine. I used to be a bib guy with my baggies, but for long sweaty grinds, I like the fact I have one less layer underneath my hydration pack. They are also nice and compressive so I don’t miss the bib straps for keeping my chamois in place.
Thermal Knee or Leg Warmer: Whether I wear the knee or leg really depends on how cold it is outside. I’ll usually opt for the knee. They are sized to go down mid calf and when you combine them with the Elite Tall Wool or Elite Thermal Wool Socks, you have nearly full coverage.
Transfer Lite or Transfer Baselayer: Here again is weather dependant whether I wear a Transfer Lite or Transfer basealayer. I like wearing a baselayer in the fall because if it is a bit chilly, I can zip down my jersey and not have my bare chest exposed to the cooler air. Usually this where I’d hear the, “With your chest hair, surprised you need a baselayer” comment from the peanut gallery, but believe it or not, I am evolved just enough where the hair on my chest doesn’t really insulate.
Launch LS Jersey: I love this jersey. The sleeves are stretchy enough for you to roll them up to your elbow if the sun is out. And the deep front zip allows me to vent while climbing, and then a taller collar when you zip it up for the descent. I have both colorways, but I probably wear the black with the baby blue and white stripes 90% of the time. I love me some baby blue.
Stockton Jacket: Although the thunderstorms have subsided, experience crouched beneath trees wet and shivering during a thunderstorm has taught me to never leave my rain jacket at home. It might be a little extra weight in the pack, but being prepared helps me be a lot less scared if the thunder and lightning does roll in. I love the Stockton because it is highly stylish (1st consideration), but also because the sleeves are long enough and scalloped to keep my wrists from getting soaked, the collar is tall enough for me to tuck my chin in on a rainy descent, and the hood is tall enough to put over my helmet to keep rain from falling down my back on the climb. This jacket may be in our Front Range collection meant for beer runs and happy hours, but I find it to be a damn good MTB rain jacket too.
Elite Tall Wool Sock: Tall and comfy and my feet won’t freeze if I go through the odd stream crossing.
Launch Gloves: One of 5 new PI MTB gloves for S11, the Launch is one of my favorites. We mixed breathability and protection with a n awesome lightning bolt theme and out came the Launch Glove. I’ve worn these from Whistler to Colorado to Moab and can’t be more excited for when all you Facebookers out there can have a taste this coming Spring.
X-Alp Elite Shoes: Also new for S11, these are my full time MTB’ing shoes. Traditional Performance oriented upper with our ultra hike-able X-Alp bottom. In CO, mountain bicycling and hiking go hand in hand if you intend to have an adventure and explore a bit. And if you’ve done an hour long hike-a-bike to access the goods in performance style MTB shoes, you’ve done one too many. Brian Lopes and Rad Ross Schnell have been riding these shoes all summer as well (Lopes one the Air DH at Crankworx wearing them). Speaking of Rad Ross, did you see his single speed world champs bike complete with BMX style top tube protector? So choice. You can pick up Rad Ross and Lopes’ shoes this spring as well .
Post Ride kit: If I didn’t have the luxury of rolling into my garage and sitting in my chamois post ride(which in Boulder happens a lot), below is my après ride (Yes, that just happened), burrito eating on the drive home, frosty swilling when I get home kit.
Organic Cotton T: Nothing beats this T. So soft, so sustainable and so many sweet designs to choose from.
Launch Jacket (Baby Blue): Tall, fuzzy collar. Need more be said? This thermal riding jacket was originally a Spring 10 product but was put on hold. I snagged a sample and when the mercury dips ever so slightly, it’s all I wear. Look for it in our line next fall.
Pearl Seek IV Trail Shoes: Trail running is the main purpose for my Seek IV’s but they are also my daily duty, office, and everything shoes, including my post ride sneaks. I like!
Elite Tall Wool Sock: Fresh pair if I remembered.
Jeans: Whatever hit the magic combination of low price and aesthetic my wife likes at the Nordstrom Rack.
You didn’t see underwear in the post ride kit, did you? Not a mistake!