OPL Gear Test: Club Ride Cycling Apparel

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Image: Lauren rocking the Deer Abby Jersey and the Horizon Short

By: Lauren Liebling

Club Ride of Sun Valley, Idaho, believes that no one should suffer the shame of sporting Lycra at happy hour.  Instead, they provide us with a line of functional riding attire that transitions to a casual evening out.  Did they miss the mark, or are their clothes as rad on the trail as they are downtown?  Read on to find out.

Club Ride Women’s Horizon Shorts

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Short-shorts had their moment, and that moment has passed.  Bring in the Club Ride Women’s Horizon Shorts to combat the unflatteringly short garments of yesteryear, and enjoy riding in something that’s actually functional and stylish.

To test I wore these shorts for as many days and in as many applications as possible until my friends politely requested that the shorts get washed.  Four days of mountain biking, three days of road riding, two days of hiking, and several happy hours and barbecues later, the shorts met detergent and the verdict was in.

The first time I slipped on the Horizon Shorts I was impressed with their construction.  They are made with BambX bamboo fabric which is really wearable; It’s the perfect combination of light, stretchy, and structured, without being “swishy.”

The pockets have zippers and are smartly located on the sides of the shorts, so you can pocket things while on the saddle without worry that they might fall out.  I was able to comfortably hold a cell phone, car key, ID, cash, and lip balm while on a sweltering ride outside Golden, CO.

Keeping modesty in mind, the waist features a “No Crack Back” that’s slightly higher than the front.  The difference isn’t tremendous, but when tackling a technical descent I was relieved to find that the rider behind me wasn’t getting a sneak peak, and afterwards, perched on a backless bar stool in Boulder, CO, my hands were free from tugging at the hem of my top.

And my favorite feature of all; because the Horizon Shorts are designed to wear over a liner they’ve got room in all the right places, but don’t make you look or feel like you’re wearing a diaper come five o’clock. They fit nicely over my spandex bike shorts for longer rides, but without a built in chamois they are wearable all of the time, not just when pedaling.

The Verdict:  Structured with a little stretch, these shorts are tough enough for the most rugged of rides, and paired with a pit-stain-free top they’ll earn lots of frequent flyer miles in your wardrobe.

MSRP: $79.99

OPL Pro Price: $47.99

Buy on OPL here

Club Ride Women’s Deer Abby Jersey

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When I think “cycling jersey” I think of all of the over-logoed, unflattering tops that I’ve donned over the years because they’re what I’m supposed to wear on a ride.  With the Deer Abby jersey, Club Ride has shifted my opinion of what a cycling jersey should or could be.  While testing, I found myself wanting to wear this top all of the time- a good sign for any product in the lineup. The Deer Abby has all of the functional features of a cycling jersey with the cute details of you favorite tee.

Club Ride manufactures this top out of Sheer2Dry fabric, which I love because it is soft and less “techy” looking than most jerseys on the trail today.  It wicks and dries quickly, and while it didn’t smell like roses after a weekend of riding in the heat, it performed better than other synthetics in the anti-odor-absorption department.

The cap sleeve is a nice compromise between the freedom of a tank and the sun protection of a tee.  My shoulders remained un-chafed and sunburn-free after a long ride wearing a pack.  And to test the versatility of this piece I also wore it running.  Although I normally prefer tank tops to anything with sleeves, my arms felt totally unrestricted in stride.  I tried putting an IPod in the back pocket for my workout, but it bounced around a lot in the deep teardrop pockets.  Better to use the pockets for a house key or an ID if you’re running.

The Jersey has two rear pockets that are back lined with contrasting fabric for an extra funky detail.  While riding I carried snacks, gloves, and a phone- no sweat.  The pockets are deep enough that I didn’t worry about my belongings falling out, even though there is no elastic to thwart the escape of a rowdy protein bar.  The sides have just a hint of rouching, and the back of the jersey has an unexpected deer print between the shoulders; it’s girlie, fun, and one of my favorite details of the top.  The Deer Abby also has some small reflective details.  By no means do they replace bicycle reflectors and lights for riding near auto traffic in the evening, but kudos to Club Ride for incorporating details to promote cyclist safety.

The Verdict:  I wish all cycling jerseys could be as cute and fun to wear as this one!  It sure would save me lots of space in my closet.

MSRP: $59.99

OPL Pro Price: $35.99

Buy on OPL here

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