B47A1906_1 WM

Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers Review

B47A1906_1 WMIt really hit me when I lined up at Kutztown Cross, why I love these legwarmers. We were waiting for the one minute to go call, and I stood there, my legs comfortably wrapped in my Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers. Next to me, another rider was struggling to get his legwarmers off without taking off his shoes.  He was panicking that he was not going to be ready.

B47A1907_1 WMAnd there it was, the one minute to go call. I grabbed one last sip from my bottle, unzipped my vest, threw it to the side, reached down to my ankle, unzipped my right leg, then my left, threw them to the side, hit the start on my Garmin, and I was ready to go. The other guy was still fighting with his leg warmers. At 30 seconds, he finally had them off, threw his vest to the side, and was back on his bike just in time for the whistle.

IMG_2320_1 WMLet’s go back to an hour earlier. Before my recon laps, I zipped up the Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers over top of my bib shorts. This is something big for me, since I ride in Giro Empires for both cross and the road. Other leg and knee warmers are a pain to slide on and off over my shoes, and I don’t have the ability to just pop my shoes off on a whim. Even leg warmers that have a partial zipper, are still a pain to get off over your shoes. The last thing you want to do is have to worry about what you are wearing when you are a minute out from a race, just ask the guy that was lined up next to me.

IMG_2322_1 WMThe other great feature about these warmers is the fabric. The Thermolite material has a fleece back that feels soft against your skin and keeps you warm. Even in low to mid 30 degree temps, they kept my legs toasty during recon, warm ups, and just standing around waiting for my race to start. They are also treated with a  Repel TEFLON fabric protector to keep them water repellent when the conditions get soggy.

IMG_2325_1 WMDuring the recon lap, I paid attention to the comfort of these warmers. I was a little worried about the zipper, and how it would feel on the side of my knee. When wearing them correctly, the zipper sits on the outside of your legs, but even when pedaling or running, I never felt it rub or any flexibility issues with the fabric. The warmers actually stayed in place pretty well, even sitting on top of my bibs.  A bit of silicone grippers keep them from falling down from the thigh or riding up from the ankle. There is even a reflective bit printed on the back of the calf for those early morning commutes or evening training rides.

So let’s recap. Full length zippers for easy on and off, warm, comfortable material that stands up to the elements, silicone grippers to keep them in place, and a bit of reflective, I don’t think there is much more that you can ask for when it comes to a leg warmer. With a $49.99 msrp, the Endura Thermolite Full Zip Legwarmers are right in line with other well made legwarmers on the market that do not include a convenient full length zipper.


Drinking Jacket

Zane Lamprey’s Drinking Jacket, The Ultimate Cyclocross Spectating Accessory

Drinking JacketYes, this isn’t really a cycling specific product, but I couldn’t pass it by. Zane Lamprey, formerly of the shows Three Sheets and Drinking Made Easy, and hosting the upcoming show, Chug (11/24 at 10:30PM on Nat Geo), recently launched a Kickstarter project that could possibly be the perfect heckling jacket for cyclocross.

Ownership tag
Ownership tag

Zane knows a few things about drinking. His show, Three Sheets, chronicled where and how to drink in many locations around the world, and even the local methods of beating the Sunday morning hangover. Drinking Made Easy took viewers on a tour around the US and Canada, exploring domestic drinking culture. Chug, another one of Lamprey’s Kickstarter projects, will again take viewers on a train ride around the globe to experience local customs, food, and of course, drinking.

Bottle opener zipper pull
Bottle opener zipper pull

So, about the jacket. First off, while they call it the Drinking Jacket, it is more of a Drinking Full Zip Hoodie. The 80 cotton/20 polyester blend will keep you warm, but might not be the best in rainy conditions.

Koozie pocket and sunglasses holder
Koozie pocket and sunglasses holder

ID and money pocket

Beer Mitts
Beer Mitts
The hidden flask and metal detector-proof flask.
The hidden flask and metal detector-proof flask.
Hook and zipper flap
Hook and zipper flap

Like a well thought out Rapha jacket, the devil is in the details. Who’s got a bottle opener? You do, the zipper pull. Where do you put your drink when you are standing and trying to eat? In the neoprane lined koozie pocket on the chest. There is a pocket on the sleeve to hold your ID and cash, and beer mitts to keep your hands warm and give you plenty of grip. When you don’t want the mitts, just roll them back into the cuff. They even included an ownership tag where you can add some contact info and offer a reward in case someone finds your jacket. If you are looking for something a little stronger than beer, the jacket has a hidden flask pocket (metal detector-proof flask is optional).


Backing levels start at just $1, and $75 gets you a jacket in sizes XS-XXL. If you need a XXXL or XXXXL, you’ll need to add another $20. If you want the flask, you’ll need to pony up for the $100 option. Lamprey will also be hosting parties in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. If you want to be a guest, pledge $500, and you’ll get a jacket, a flask, and two tickets to the party. For $1,000, they will send you two jackets, two flasks, and you’ll be invited to attend a private dinner with Zane, and get VIP tickets for two to the party.

With 31 days left, they’ve already raised over $36,000 of their $50,000 goal.  If the project can hit their stretch goals of $100,000 and $150,000, red and black will be added respectively.

If you are planning on heading to Victoria Island for SSCXWC15, then grab one now before your chance to back the project runs out. Who knows, maybe we can even get Zane Lamprey to show up! The project closes at 8PM Eastern, on December 22nd.

The Drinking Jacket Kickstarter

MTN-Qhubeka gets UCI Pro Continental license

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are happy to announce that the UCI has confirmed the renewal of our Pro-Continental Licence for the 2015 season. After the procedural review conducted by the UCI and Ernest & Young, the license has been granted to our African team for the 3rd consecutive year now. This is the first step completed in becoming the top Pro-Continental team in 2015.

Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
“The registration process is time consuming and needs to be done right to maintain your credibility and sustainability with the UCI. Our partners MTN, Samsung and Qhubeka are incredible and continue to support the team in all areas that culminates in a greater sense of purpose. 2015 is going to be our biggest season yet with new partners coming on board, a new team look, an awesome team line-up and exciting races we have not done before.”

On the back of receiving the great licensing news from the UCI, we also received the fantastic news that the ASO has invited Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung to its season opening events, the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman. Both events have become key fixtures on all the World Tour teams’ calendars and to be included in both these tours next year is a prestigious occasion for our African team.

Brian Smith – Interim General Manager
“It is great to see this team grow from strength to strength and to carry on into its third year at UCI PCT level. We have brought on some very talented riders from outside of Africa to help spread the word around the world about the great work of Qhubeka, and retained many of our very talented African riders. I believe that this rich mix of experience and youth will light up cycling in 2015 and beyond.”

“The main target for the team and its partners is the Tour de France in 2015. To be invited to Qatar and Oman by the ASO (organisers of the Tour de France) confirms to us that we are going in the right direction. These events are very important races for the team and we plan to go there and race hard. It sets up a year that could be a very good year for the team as we continue to create history for African Cycling. Bring it on!”

Current 2015 Team MTN-Qhubeka Line-up
Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus, Natnael Berhane (ERI)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Songezo Jim, Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter, Nicolas Dougall, Louis Meintjes, Johann van Zyl (RSA), Youcef Reguigui (ALG), Adrien Niyonshuti (RWA), Gerald Ciolek, Andreas Stauff (GER), Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)
Theo Bos (NED), Tyler Farrar (USA),  Serge Pauwels (BEL)
Stephen Cummings (GBR), Edvald Boassen-Hagen (NOR)
Matthew Goss (AUS)


Argonaut announces Partnership with Above Category

Argonaut Cycles is proud to announce a new relationship with Above Category in Sausalito CA. As Argonaut continues to grow as a custom carbon fiber specialist, it’s important that consumers have access to the brand. Ordering a custom bike can be a daunting process, and Above Category’s entire goal is to break this barrier down.

To celebrate the partnership Argonaut and Above Category commissioned Brian Vernor to make a short film spotlighting both brands and their dedication to the custom market. Ben Farver, owner of Argonaut Cycles said, “Chad and the Above Category staff are committed to putting customers on their dream bikes. It’s a perfect fit for Argonaut, and we are proud to be in such great company.”

Above Category owner Chad Nordwall commented, “Our loyalty to the products we believe in has led to deep relationships with their creators. This personal connection with the people at Baum, Mosaic, Pegoretti, Pinarello, Q36.5, Campagnolo, Zipp and now Argonaut, allows an unparalleled level of insight and service.”

About Argonaut Cycles: Ben Farver of Argonaut started making steel frames in Portland OR in 2007. In 2010 Farver switched materials and began building custom carbon fiber frames made by hand in the USA. Argonaut controls every step of the process making the tooling, as well as the frame parts themselves in the USA. Argonaut recently won Best In Show at NAHBS, (North American Hand Built Bicycle Show) becoming the first carbon builder to receive this prestigious award.

About Above Category: Chad Nordwall established Above Category, almost 10 years ago, to share the very best in Cycling, Performance and Design. Located in Sausalito, California with a world wide customer base, they offer cyclists a select range of superlative cycling products with which they have first-hand, intimate and extensive experience. After pushing products to their limits, they are loyal to only products that are the finest in their class and provide customers with unmatched understanding, knowledge and service.
Above Category inquiries should contact matt@abovecategorycycling.com
Chad’s Argonaut Spec List:
  • Campagnolo Record 2015 Groupset with with standard (36-52) crank and 11-25 cassette
  • Campagnolo Bora 50 Tubular wheelset
  • Chris King I8 headset
  • Fi’zi:k Cyrano 00 bar
  • Fi’zi:k Cyrano R1 Seatpost
  • Fi’zi:k Arione R1 seat with braided carbon rails
  • Continental Competition 25 tires
  • Speedplay Titanium pedals

SRAM announces partnerships with Roompot/Orange and Velocio

SRAM announced two new partnerships for the 2015 season today.

Most notable is a title sponsorship with Velocio to form the Velocio-SRAM Pro Cycling team. While Cervelo will be providing the frames, SRAM will equip the team with drivetrains, while Zipp will provide both wheels and Service Course bars, stems and posts. SRAM subsidiary Quarq will also provide power meters.

“It’s exciting to see the growth of women’s racing, Velocio-SRAM is absolutely one of the best run programs, and we’re proud to enhance the level of our support,” said SRAM President Stan Day.

“SRAM has been a huge supporter of the team since we started working together three years ago and especially this year in our search for new partnership. We’re excited to be growing our collaboration with a great brand that supports women’s cycling,” stated Kristy Scrymgeour, Team Director.

Team Roster:
Alena Amialiusik (BLR)
Lisa Brennauer (GER)
Karol Ann Canuel (CAN)
Tiffany Cromwell (AUS)
Elise Delzenne (FRA)
Barbara Guirischi (ITA)
Mieke Kröger (GER)
Loren Rowney (AUS)
Tayler Wiles (USA)
Trixi Worrack (GER)

SRAM also announced that they would partner with the all-Dutch Roompot/Orange Cycling Team for the 2015 season. The newly created UCI Pro Continental team will use SRAM groupsets, Zipp aerobars, road bars, stems and seatposts and Quarq power meters.

Roompot/Orange brings bright kits and new energy to the pro peloton and to the Netherlands, a nation rich in cycling heritage. The team of Dutch riders, staff and partners brings together experienced leadership with young pros with a goal of developing a new generation of champions.

“Setting up a new professional cycling team from scratch requires a lot of hard work and a clear objective in mind. Our objective is to give opportunity to young talented Dutch riders to develop themselves into winners,” Team Manager Henk Schipper said. “Having the best possible equipment is key to success. We are extremely happy with the support of SRAM. Being able to compete with the lightest components available is a clear advantage for our riders, which will boost their morale. In return, we hope to be able to give meaningful feedback to the SRAM product development team. As a team we look forward to a successful partnership with SRAM and we can’t wait the season 2015 to begin.”

“We found it impossible to miss on the chance to partner with a project with this much potential and enthusiasm,” said Patrick Brandwagt, SRAM BV General Manager. “SRAM has operated a Dutch office for 20 years, so joining with the staff and riders of the new Roompot/Orange Cycling Team to race on SRAM group sets, Quarq Power Measurement and Zipp controls is an extra special thing.”

Key riders include:

  • Johnny Hoogerland – 2013 National Road Race Campion of the Netherlands; fan favorite; former polka-dot jersey wearer at Tour de France.
  • Marc de Maar – 2014 stage winner and second overall, Tour of Norway.
  • Raymond Kreder – 2014 1st Tour de l’Ain – Stage 1 Doucier – Montrevel-en-Bresse
  • Dylan Groenewegen – 2014 Under 23 Tour of Flanders champion; promising young sprinter.
  • Tim Kerkhof – 2014 Dutch Under 23 National Road Champion.
  • Mike Terpstra – Consistent top 10 finishes; younger brother of Paris-Roubaix champion Niki Terpstra.


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