Sea Otter: Club Ride’s new mountain biking apparel and InnerWear line
Club Ride Apparel had an extensive display at the Sea Otter Classic and they have some cool ideas for chamois and bike specific “InnerWear“. We also take a look at some of their popular current models like the Billy Bob sleeveless jersey and some combos for both men and women.
InnerWear – time based padded underlayers for men and women
I’ve known Club Ride founder and main man, Mike Herlinger personally for several years and I covered one of his earliest appearances at the North American Handmade Bike Show back in 2011. Since then, Mike has been very busy building up one of the strongest (and often imitated) styles in mountain bike clothing. It seemed interesting to me that Club Ride would be paying so much attention to something that is often overlooked, when it comes to buying apparel. But just because it’s an afterthought, doesn’t mean it’s not important. Club Ride has a completely new program that they call “InnerWear”. They believe in it so much that they have trademarked that name. InnerWear was created to simplify the way people can sell and buy liners. Typically it’s unknown and people don’t know what makes a good liner and how they should work. Club Ride simplifies this by basing their padded under layers on an hour ride time system and their InnerWear offerings are sold separate for the majority of their collection.
When I mistakenly asked, “So is it just different thicknesses of padding that make the different levels of comfort?” Mike was quick to point out, “Thickness really has nothing to do with it, it’s all about what’s going on inside the chamois. Open and closed cell foam will behave differently and serve different functions. If you get a really thick and squishy chamois, it’s kind of like your pillow…it feels good right when you get it, but very quickly it starts to compress. The open cell foam loses itself and then drops down and becomes no benefit at all.”
Mike continues, “So what you’re really tring to do (with your chamois) is to try and reduce the frequency of the road noise or trail noise that’s coming up through the bike, through the seatpost and saddle into the rider’s butt. That’s what really makes it uncomfortable the next day, it’sthat vibration frequency that gets transmitted. So when you use closed cell foam it changes the frequency and a gel changes it even more. Like how a carbon framed bike changes the road noise frequency into longer distance wavelengths.”
The one hour chamois takes the traditional athletic brief approach. The Men’s version is called the Johnson. This chamois is meant for a one hour ride time, the padding is 3mm thick and it is a lightweight chamois for shorter rides or for riders who may not change out of their bike clothes immediately.
For a two hour ride time, that rider would use Club Ride’s Gunslinger chamois with 8mm thick, dual density foam (open and closed cell). This chamois has a Coolmax liner and it uses an all mesh material so it’s nice and breathable.
For a 3 hour ride time, we go to a gel/foam combination like what is used in the Woodchuck. This chamois has 8mm thick foam with gel inserts all through the back side. It does have a bit of stiffness to it so you don’t compress it down after 5 or 6 rides and then it’s done. This material will stay nice and comfy for a long while.
(Check out this short video of Club Ride CEO, Scott Montgomery going over the highlights of the InnerWear retail display.)
On the Women’s side of things, the Jewel is a bikini brief style chamois with more of a Calvin Klein style approach. Club Ride wanted to add some fashion to the underlayer to make it fun. Instead of all black, they have black and molten reds. Mike says it’s like “wearing polka dot or striped undies, it doesn’t show but you know you’re rockin’ it.”
The Women’s 2 hour chamois is called the DamselCham (boy brief style with accented waistband) and the 3 hour is called the MontCham with a more traditional style but with gel inserts for extended riding time.
Club Ride also thought of the bike shop owner’s when they created this whole Innerwear system. It is designed to help retailers consolidate into a few square feet a compact but informative display. Mike finishes by saying, “Nobody is doing anything anything like this. Here at Club Ride we decided to make it good, make it right, make it fun and let’s make it clear. That’s our goal.”
Billy Bob – sleeveless jersey is cool and comfy
Although far from new, if there was one piece that defines the entire Club Ride collection, the Billy Bob is it. Mike explains, “The Billy Bob is what Club Ride is all about. The social aspect of riding and having fun on a bike. Let’s not take it too serious, it’s not always race day.” The Billy Bob started when Mike took one of his original jerseys and decided to cut the sleeves off of it and found that it was amazingly cool and comfortable. With some input from fellow Idahoan, Greg “Chopper” Randolph, that riding sleeveless was indeed killer, the Billy Bob was born.
The Billy Bob is made from a lightweight, wicking, quick-drying fabric and has UV protection (UPF 30). It has side panel mesh venting, a rear zippered storage pocket with media port and RideLight reflective accents. It comes in the one color shown in 4 sizes (SM, MD, LG, XL) and retails for $69.95.
Continue to page 2 for more on Club Ride’s Rialto jersey and Phantom shorts for men and the Deer Abby jersey and Freedom shorts for women. »
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