Hoss Technical Gear’s Stallion Shorts Review

April 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Gear

When I first got on my bike wearing the Hoss produced Stallion shorts, I swore—in both good and bad ways. On one hand, I cussed at myself for all the rides I had been on without a pair of mountain biking shorts; for all the discomfort I endured in the name of fitting in with or paying my dues to the greater mountain biking community (I thought I was enculturating myself…or earning my stripes by appreciating the purity of the ride in the absence of technical gear). On the other hand, I swore as a kind of reflex—a reaction to the astonishing comfort I felt the first time I took the saddle. Bottom line…these are a great product.

But let’s rewind this review. Before I ever took these riding shorts to the trail I had to have some sort of initial reaction to them, right? I must have had an original judgemental moment, a commencement of thought and possibly of opinion. Well, I think that moment went something like this; “Holy good-lookin’ shorts Batman!” Yes, these shorts have style. They have what I call post-ride functionality; they beg you to wear them, not just on the trail, but beyond it, to your favorite post-ride gin mill, a BBQ brisket and ribs lunch, or just around the house for the remainder of the day (I have done all three).

The Particulars

I did have some concerns as I held them out in front of me. I was immediately struck by the fact that yes, these are definitely a multi-function short; especially since the essential riding component—the padded spandex compression piece—is removable. Admittedly, at first glance this feature looked a bit odd. The shorts are essentially a two-in-one combo. The inner piece is attached to the outer shell at the hips by two thin, fragile strips of fabric with two small button-fastened loops. If you’ve ever seen Transformers, the inner piece hangs from the inside of the outer shell’s waistband like the mangled Megatron hangs from helicopter cables just before he’s dropped into the ocean. By prompting such a comparison, this feature immediately raised some durability concerns. “There is just no way these shorts will stay together when I ride,” I thought. It turns out these straps are really more of an organizational feature as they literally keep the two pieces together. Once I figured out that this odd and frail-looking suspension was not permanent—that the pieces were meant to be worn together but not attached at the hip (literally) — I felt much better about their durability. Twenty miles of testing under their belt, they have to this point held up perfectly.  Read more

A Jacket for All Occasions

January 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Gear, Gear

sophia jacket 274x300 A Jacket for All Occasions The package came in a regular brown box, but once open it’s meticulous wrapping in red tissue paper made it seem like a Christmas present forgotten for weeks. At least, it even felt that way. The jacket was soft as I ran the soft baby blue fabric over my hands, wondering was this truly a bike jacket, or something I was expected to wear out next weekend with my friends? In lieu of a Christmas card, there came a letter direct from the owner or Harlot Clothing Company. In it she thanked me for this, the review, but went on to brilliantly explain to me the content of my “present”, The Sophia jacket. However, in only a few hours of wear it was evident that she didn’t need to convince me of this jacket.

I was somewhat familiar with Harlot clothing company as this past summer I was looking to eek out of my lycra riding shorts and in to something more mountainous and less road biker. The only bump in bike clothing shopping was finding women’s specific clothes that fit a womanly, sporty figure and not your “average woman.” Because at 5 foot nothing I am still in shape. I run marathons in the winter and race mountain bikes in the summer. I coach the girl’s tennis team and run circles around our boy’s baseball team in the winter. Athleticism is not a question in my life and there is no denying the genes of my family. Hips, thighs, curves, I am every “match.com’s” desire. Hence why I wanted away from the lycra and into something with a little more fabric. Here came Harlot.

I started with their shorts last summer. An elastic waist won me over coupled with padding that left you feeling as if your seat bones were bare as opposed to feeling as if an adult diaper was strapped to you. It’s not your ordinary biking short. They are fitting, yet stretchable, and hugging yet breathable. And again, as with the Sophia Jacket, you can wear them while you kick back with a beer after a satiating ride.
The Sophia Jacket offers all this and more. Immediately after opening, like a kid at Christmas, I threw it on over my sweaty running clothes and took the dog out for yet another run. It has all the additives of a biking jacket including being longer in the back to cover it all as you hunch over the bike as well as having longer sleeves. Yet, the look was blended into a checkered soft shell on the outside that could easily be worn out for happy hour on Friday. Add the cozy fleeced inside coupled with a higher collar and you have yourself a comfortable jacket for the biting winds of the changing seasons.

The jacket fit and it fit well. Versatile does not even begin to explain the first day (the earlier paragraph only described the evening I spent with it) I had with my Sophia. I wore it at 5 am for my run in 20 degrees with a thin wicking shirt underneath and managed to stay warm and dry. Surprisingly, after a quick whiff of it, I realized it still smelled new and I was able to wear it to work as an extra layer for when the heat shut off in my classroom (one must love public education). Coworkers complimented me before I even had a chance to brag about my new digs and by the afternoon I was wearing it to coach the tennis team all the while basking in compliments from high school girls and other coaches. Undoubtedly, it is one rugged, cozy, warm, yet sleek and stylish all at the same time.

The Sophia Jacket is not your average Christmas present, which makes it all the more exciting. There is no doubt that Harlot is coming up with innovative, comfortable, versatile outerwear for active, adventurous women that goes beyond what we have ever expected. It has taken into account the details that we forget including a longer backend, pocket on the sleeve, and fleece collar and of course their insignia red star that reminds you that this is one tough chick wearing it.

To view a 2009 Harlot catalog and order your own Sophia Jacket, visit www.harlotwear.com

Innovations Powered Inflation Kit/MTB Review

January 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Gear, Gear

genuine innovations powered inflation kit mtb Innovations Powered Inflation Kit/MTB ReviewI went riding today with my friend Matt at Blankets mountain bike trail located in Woodstock, GA.  It was another day of riding in the rain and getting muddy.  Having my clothes covered in mud from the ride I got the itch to go visit The Bicycle Doctor as I decided it might make sense to buy another pair of shorts.  I wanted to get some Hoss Technical Gear riding shorts, however Scott was out of my size so he had to order them for me.  I wasn’t satisfied leaving Scott’s store empty handed so I asked him for his recommendations on a Co2 Tire Inflator and a Chain Lubricant product.  I trust Scott so I purchased what he recommended.

This review focuses on the Co2 Tire Inflator he recommended, Genuine Innovations Powered Inflation Kit/MTB.  Innovations, Inc. headquarters is in Tucson, Arizona and their products are made in the USA.   On their website, they claim they are #1 in Co2 Inflators, while I’m not in a position to verify this claim I will make one observation, they sure seem to have the widest selection of any Co2 Inflator company that I’ve come across.  Read more