Archive for April 29th, 2021

A Classic Spring Rant!

04/29/2021 12:02
wallonne

Vik’s spring rant: Ed Hood has been in conversation with (lectured to) cycling’s Nostradamus – Viktor. He’s not impressed with the finals of Milan-Sanremo, Flèche Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, comes down hard on the older riders and Sky’s ex doctor, plus the price of bikes these days!

fan
Viktor’s Dutch cousin

Some readers doubt the existence of Viktor, PEZ’s resident soothsayer and mentor, they think he’s a figment of my imagination and vehicle for me to make controversial statements. Wrong, exist he does – I have the damage to my right ear to prove it; the phone calls come when you least expect them.

sanremo20
All down to the Poggio

Let’s talk about the most recent call; whilst I love the race, Vik’s not a Milano-Sanremo fan, he reckons the Primavera should start at the bottom of the Poggio and finish on the Via Roma. However, even he had to admit that the finale we had this year, topped off by Jasper Stuyven’s epic victory was the stuff of cycling folklore. But the thing with the Primavera is that there are so many possible permutations once the race hits the Poggio.

sanremo
Stuyven’s Sanremo

This leads me into the first object of Vik’s most recent ire, and one I have to agree with. Flèche-Wallonne; the break goes, is ‘controlled,’ brought back and a huge peloton arrives at the foot of the final climb up to the zoo at Huy. There then follows a slog up the ramp from which a skinny guy who can go ‘deep’ emerges as the winner. It’s tired; move the finish a couple of K over the top so there are more possibilities for the finale or else the 2022 finalé will be just like the 2021, the 2020 one. . .

wallonne
Wallonne – All for the final metres

Vik’s next target was professionals who are past their ‘sell by’ date, Vik brands these riders, ‘imposters.’ However, his rant does have a serious point, as riders slide in to their mid then late 30’s and the wins dry up – Valverde excluded, obviously – they still, ‘get round’ but contribute very little to the races they compete in. One could argue that they’re performing a mentoring role but Vik’s point is that their day is done and they’re denying young up and coming men a ride. The solution? That’s a difficult one; as long as a formerly ‘Big’ rider isn’t embarrassing himself and he’s still attracting the cameras, column inches and social media attention then why would a team dump him in favour of an untried young rider? Answers on a postcard please.

turkey
‘Cav’ on the come-back

And on the subject of ‘older riders,’ Vik is telling me not to get ‘misty eyed’ about Cav’s, ‘rolling away the stone,’ in Turkey and taking four stages. Vik informs me that he beat no one of any standing to win those stages in Turkey. I did point out that Jasper Philipsen, who won two stages, isn’t exactly slow and won the Scheldeprijs just the other week in front of Sam Bennett and Cav. As ever, Vik had his riposte ready; ‘if Cav hadn’t been there at the final of the Scheldeprijs then Bennett would have won that race, Cav’s presence confused the issue, compromising the Deceuninck lead out.’ He has a point, so those who think that the Manxman should go to le Tour in search of that 31st stage win, put yourself in Deceuninck management’s position for a moment. Do you bring Cav along for, ‘old times sake’ and the chance he just might perform or do you put all your eggs in the Bennett basket, the man who won the green jersey in 2020; also winning the last stage on the Champs Élysées with it on his back?

scheldeprijs
Philipsen beat Cavendish and Bennett in the Scheldeprijs

But irrespective of what Cav rides next, yet again Patrick Lefevere has pulled off another massive PR coup at minimal cost. Vik and I share an admiration for the West Flanders Maestro; and another two men who Vik has a lot of respect for are Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador; with their names they could have attracted ‘names’ from the peloton but instead chose to fashion their EOLO-Kometa ProTeam largely from younger riders – they are to be applauded.

basso contador
Basso and Contador

From applause to deafening silence, back in March the papers were full of the Freeman/Brailsford/Sky saga; ‘The Guardian’ devoted three pages to it on Saturday, March 13th; ‘Sky falling in, Freeman’s guilty verdict puts cycling in the dock,’ with the paper’s Sunday incarnation, ‘The Observer’ devoting a further page to the story. There were strident calls on social media for Sir David’s head to be displayed on a spike outside the Tower of London. His reaction? Say nothing, keep his head down and remember the old mantra; ‘all things must pass.’ And before we knew it the Classics came along and there were better things for cycling pundits to talk about. ‘Silence is golden,’ for sure. But like that man Vik says; ‘doctors up to no good on a professional cycling team – what a surprise. . .’

freemen
Ex-doctor Freeman

And it wouldn’t be a proper rant without the price of equipment popping up. The latest hot property to emerge from Australia is 20 year-old Luke Plapp. He was second to Remco in the 2018 World Junior Time Trial Championship and this year beat strongman and four times champion, Luke Durbridge to the Australian Elite Time Trial Championship. Plapp also won a stage in the Santos Festival of Cycling and finished second on GC to Richie Porte – he has five World Tour teams courting him but it looks like he’s going to INEOS on a seven figure deal.

plapp
Luke Plapp

But back to his win in the Aussie TT Nationals; his bike was a Giant Trinity equipped with 3d-printed titanium ‘bar extensions custom made especially for him by small Melbourne firm Sync Ergonomics. The cost? A mere 6,000 Australian dollars – $4,600 US or £3,360 Sterling, yup, just for the ‘bars. . .

sync
Sync Ergonomics

I received an email about the HPS Domestique 1-21 Launch Edition electric bike the other week, weighing in at 8.5 kilos and looking just like any other high end carbon machine with none of the lumps and bumps some e Bikes manifest. I’ve been thinking about the Ribble electric Bike which weighs in at 12 kilos and costs around €3,000 – but 8.5 kilos sounded good to me. However, the price difference for those 3.5 kilos is some 9,000 Euros, the HPS coming in at €12,000 – a Ribble it shall be for me. But even 12 grand is eclipsed by the Czech, ‘carbon filament wound’ tubed Festka Scalatore Disc, a snip at €16,000 – that 20 grand bike is getting closer. . .

hps
The HPS Domestique

The post A Classic Spring Rant! appeared first on PezCycling News.


Categories:PezCycling News

Huawei first quarter sales down 16.5% thanks to Honor sale

04/29/2021 12:02
Chinese telco equipment giant’s carrier business was steady, as its consumer business sales dropped.

Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

LG’s Q1 earnings surge on back of strong home electronics sales

04/29/2021 12:02
The South Korean electronics maker saw demand for its premium appliances recover in major markets.

Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

Samsung’s Q1 earnings buoyed by smartphones and consumer electronics

04/29/2021 12:02
Strong performance in smartphones and consumer electronics offset weakened earnings from its semiconductor business.

Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

Dan Martin ‘stronger than ever’ ahead of Giro d’Italia

04/29/2021 12:02
Dowsett, De Marchi and Bevin support Irishman in Israel Start-Up Nation squad

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Tour de Romandie stage 2 – Live coverage

04/29/2021 12:02
Can Rohan Dennis hang on to his race lead?

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

How to watch the Giro d’Italia 2021 – live TV and streaming

04/29/2021 12:02
Don’t miss a moment of action from the first Grand Tour of the season

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Wizard Works Lil Presto Barrel Bag review

04/29/2021 12:01
A capacious, high quality and nicely designed handlebar bag that won’t take over your bar space

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Giro d’Italia 2021: The Essential race preview

04/29/2021 12:01
Route and rider analysis as Bernal, Hindley, Sagan, and Evenepoel take on the first Grand Tour of the season

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Specialized HyprViz Jersey Review: Go With the Fluo

04/29/2021 0:03
hyprviz

PEZ reviews high visibility cycling clothing including the Specialized HyprViz jersey, bibshorts, long gloves, and over-socks.  Some die hard roadies eschew hi-viz kit because it’s not perceived as very pro (although there are a few teams in the pro peloton that do fluo… notably Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and fluorescent yellow is more often associated with commuters rather than racers.  But this new gear from the Big S might change your mind…

hyperviz

In a world where most of us have to share the road with cars rather than the protective enclosure of the pro peloton, what’s wrong with making yourself more visible and being seen? IMHO, I don’t believe being seen and being stylish on the bike have to be mutually exclusive. My PEZ amigo Ed Hood’s rant has a lot to say about the do’s and don’ts of cycling fashion, but I couldn’t find anything specific about not wearing fluo. So at the risk of incurring Ed’s wrath…

 

Specialized HyperViz Long-sleeve SL Air Jersey – $140

hyprviz

It’s that time of year here in Babylon on the Potomac when the temps can be either cool or warm (sometimes both as the day progresses). So even though the weather is turning nicer, there are days when wearing a long-sleeve jersey (but not a thermal one) is a viable option for skinny ectomorphs who are not quite the hardest of hard men.

Design-wise, the Specialized Long-sleeve SL Air Jersey is like many other jerseys: a main back panel, two side panels, two front panels, full-length zipper, low-cut collar (more mock neck than collar-less), and raglan sleeves. All those panels are serge stitched, except at the collar which uses a bound seam. The back hem of the jersey is elasticized but the sides and front rely on the compression of the material for fit.

hyprviz
The inside back of the jersey has silicone gripper (but it doesn’t wrap all the way around

The back of the jersey features the obligatory three rear pockets plus a secure zipper pocket. A lot of other jerseys have the zipper pocket as part of the right rear pocket, but Specialized opted for putting it in the center. The center pocket is marginally wider (~11 cm vs ~10 cm for the side pockets) so a little extra space to stow an ID, credit/debit card, keys. #marginalgains. I really like the vertical zipper because I find accessing the secure pocket easier from the side than the top.

hyperviz

Of course, what sets the Specialized HyprViz SL Air Long-sleeve Jersey apart from other long-sleeve jerseys (Specialized and otherwise) is the HyprViz. Specialized calls the color Hyper Green (Specialized says it’s “the most visible color on the light spectrum“), which fades to black at the bottom of the jersey. At first glance, my eye saw it as fluorescent yellow. But when putting it next to another piece of clothing that was fluorescent yellow, it became apparent that the HyprViz was just a shade darker and more green than yellow. So call it fluorescent green. But whether it looks green or yellow to your eye, one thing is certain: it’s very visible. It definitely stands out in the crowd. If being seen is the goal, it’s hard to imagine not being seen (unless someone is just totally color blind).

hyprviz
Hyper Green is more apparently green when placed against fluorescent yellow (background)

hyprviz
To aid nighttime visibility, Specialize adds reflective Hyper Green trim at the sleeve ends

hyprviz
Hyper Green reflective trim on the back pockets

Fit (size small for all 5′ 8″ and 130 pounds of me) is what you would expect; meaning form fitting. But not what I would call a second skin race fit on my ectomorph body. Comfortably tight is a better description. The material felt soft and smooth against my skin. But the material is actually relatively lightweight and “airy” (what Specialized calls VaporRize), so in cooler temps I would add a base layer. Not a thermal base layer, but just something to help me ward of early morning chill but not cause me to overheat when the day gets warmer. A good choice for this is the Specialized SL Short Sleeve Base Layer ($50).

hyprviz
Cam-lock zipper: (L) up to zip and (R) down to lock in place

And for my “pasty boy” riding pals who are UV-challenged, the Long-sleeve SL Air Jersey is light and airy enough to wear in warmer (but I’m not sure about out and out hot and humid) weather and has 30+ UPF rating to provide full-length arm coverage and protect from harmful ultraviolet rays.

hyprviz
Full-zip, of course

hyprviz
Almost as light as many short-sleeve jerseys

Specialized HyprViz SL Bib Short – $160

hyprviz

Complementing the HyprViz Long-sleeve SL Air Jersey is the HyprViz SL Bib Short. But don’t worry, the shorts themselves are not Hyper Green.

As bib shorts go, the SL Bib Short is pretty straightforward and conventional, which is a good thing. The shorts part consists of five panels (excluding the wrap around leg gripper sections with silicone dots on the inside) that are serge stitched. The bib part is six sections (serge stitched) using a lightweight, ventilated material. Even though it’s not visible (unless you plan on riding without wearing a jersey), the Y-back bib part and bib straps are Hyper Green that fades to black where it meets the shorts part.

hyprviz

hyprviz
From an actual visibility standpoint, the HyprViz part of the shorts are two reflective strips on the back of the legs

hyprviz
The bib straps are neither seam stitched or laser cut, but are “welded”

Of course, what matters most for any pair of bib shorts is the chamois aka pad. According to Specialized, their’s is a “triple-density-foam Performance Body Geometry Contour 3D Chamois … pre-molded to match the shape of the body for exceptional comfort.” The pad is actually made by Elastic Interface, who make pads used by a number of different manufacturers.

hyprviz
The Contour 3D Chamois is lightly dimpled and has a long center channel for perineal relief

My butt has had nothing but (no pun intended) positive experience with EIT pads and the pad in the Specialized SL Bib Short was no exception. Which is to say that there’s just enough padding to provide a comfortable cushion but not so thick that it feels like I’m wearing a diaper. Also, the padding is more firm/dense rather than “soft,” which I prefer for my contact point with a firm race saddle.

hyprviz
As bib shorts go, these are pretty light

Fit-wise (Specialized spec size small for my dimensions/weight and that’s what fit me), the HyprViz SL Bib Short has comfortably firm compression. The leg grippers grip without squeezing too tight. And the welded bib straps were comfortable (but not as comfortable as laser cut, lay flat straps) over my shoulders.

hyperviz

Specialized SL Bicycledelics Short-sleeve Jersey – $80

hyprviz

Let me start by saying I love the look of this jersey. Definitely on the psychedelic side (hence it’s moniker). If you’re squeamish about wearing “solid” fluo, the SL Bicycledelics Short-sleeve Jersey is a patterned Hyper Green and black (where the black is repeating Specialized “S” logo).

hyprviz
The Bicycledelics pattern is like a hypnotic swirl

Construction-wise, the Bicycledelics Jersey is the same as the SL Air Jersey but with short sleeves instead of long sleeves:

  • A main back panel, two side panels, two front panels, full-length zipper, low-cut collar (more mock neck than collar-less), and raglan sleeves.
  • All those panels are serge stitched, except at the collar which uses a bound seam.
  • The back hem of the jersey is elasticized but the sides and front rely on the compression of the material for fit.

hyperviz
Not ultra lightweight, but still very light

Unlike the SL Air Jersey, the short sleeves are hemmed with a flat stitch seam. Also unlike the SL Air Jersey, the Bicycledelics Jersey doesn’t have a secure zipper rear pocket.

hyprviz
Reflective trim on the rear pockets

Specialized uses its VaporRize fabric for the Bicycledelics Jersey but the fabric in the front panels and the sleeves is a little more “solid.” When you hold it up to light, it’s apparent that the front panels are more opaque than the side and back panels, which are more “airy” like the fabric used thought the SL Air Jersey. So provides a little more insulation that an out and out summer jersey, but still vents/wicks moisture out the back.

hyprviz

Even though it may not be quite as “vented” as the SL Air Jersey, the Bicycledelics Jersey is still a fairly lightweight jersey (it’s light enough and the material wicks moisture away such that I’m confident I could ride it into the summer). So in cool enough weather, I would want a base layer — like the Specialized SL Sleeveless Base Layer ($40). The other thing I might want is a pair of arm warmers — like the Specialized Thermal Engineered Arm Warmers ($50)– that I can always roll down if it gets warm enough and pull back up if the temp cools back down again, i.e., typical spring riding weather.

hyprviz
Arm warmers done properly, i.e., Ed Hood-approved

Fit-wise (again, size small for me), the Bicycledelics jersey fit just like the SL Air Jersey. Which is to say, form fitting but not quite uber tight race fit. That said, if you’ve put on a few pounds/kilos over the winter, there won’t be any hiding them. And like the SL Air Jersey, the VaporRize fabric was soft and smooth on my skin. In fact, the front panels that are more “solid” were probably a little softer and smoother. All in all, a very comfortable jersey that should do well on all but the most scorchingly hot and drippingly humid days (and even then, you could wear it and it wouldn’t be terrible).

hyprviz
Nothing less than full-zip will do

Specialized SL Race Bib Short – $180

hyprviz

This is the one piece of kit in this review that I know Ed can’t quibble with: basic black bib shorts. No HyprViz. No Hyper Green. No fluo.

hyprviz
In the same ballpark as most other race quality bib shorts

From a construction standpoint, the SL Race Bib Short is the same as SL Bib Short:

  • The shorts part consists of five panels (excluding the wrap around leg gripper sections with silicone dots on the inside) that are serge stitched.
  • The bib part is six sections (serge stitched) using a lightweight, ventilated material.

hyprviz
The SL Race Bib Short uses the same Contour 3D Chamois as the SL Bib Short

But there are a few differences. For the SL Race Bib Short:

  • The bib straps themselves are a laser cut, lay flat construction (I’m a fan).
  • The leg gripper panel is wider (7.5 cm vs 5 cm).

hyprviz

hyprviz

The other difference is the fit (but still size small for me). The SL Race Bib Short has firmer compression. Not “sausage”-like. But definitely a noticeably tighter, more race fit (hence the moniker) than the SL Bib Short.

hyprviz

hyprviz

hyprviz
Not HyprViz, but a reflective strip on the seam of the leg gripper panel to aid nighttime visibility

Finishing Touches

If you’re going to go fluo, you might as well go Full Monty and accessorize in fluo.

Specialized HyprViz Prime Series Thermal Gloves ($50)

hyprviz

Don’t let the “thermal” mislead. These are not winter gloves. Rather, according to Specialized, they’re “designed to add some warmth on chilly days.” They feature:

  • Hyper Green Polartec Neoshell is paired with unique reflective trims to drastically increase your visibility to motorists 24-hours a day.
  • Wind-resistant Polartec Neoshell upper staves off wind and chilly weather.
  • Hydrophobic Ax Suede fit palm ensures a confident grip with the bars.
  • Wiretap touchscreen-compatible for easy use of smartphones.
  • Velcro cuff allows for micro-adjustments in fit, so that you can wear this glove under or over your jacket cuff.

hyprviz

I’m a “no gloves” guy in warm enough weather, but the Prime Series Thermal Gloves are great for this time of year if a morning ride starts off cold. They’re lightweight and thin enough (there’s no padding on the palms but I’m fine with that) that they don’t feel too bulky or “clumsy” and can easily be stuffed into a jersey pocket. If I had one (minor) nit: I’d ditch the velcro cuff closure in favor of just elastic. I find that velcro can sometimes snag on jersey material.

HyprViz Soft Air Reflective Tall Sock ($20)

hyprviz

If you’re bold enough to go fluo, you might as well be matchy-matchy with socks. These are similar to many other cycling socks out there in terms of design and construction: a little more compression around the mid-foot, some ventilation in the toe area and across the top, a little extra padding under the forefoot, compression cuffs to keep the socks up. Oh … and they’re tall.

hyprviz

But what makes the HyprViz Soft Air Reflective Tall Sock different is that it’s Hyper Green with a reflective strip along the back (Specialized says: “This part is made up of millions of glass beads that receive and reflect light back to the source, so this reflective band gives you an active, moving element to make yourself more visible to drivers.“)

hyprviz
Reflective strip for added nighttime visibility

HyprViz Reflect Overshoe Sock ($40)

hyprviz

I often refer to this time of year as “Belgian spring” so what could be more appropriate to ward of chill (but not wet) than an overshoe sock?  That’s about as Belgian as it gets. In the “old days,” an overshoe sock was exactly that: a pair of socks (winter wool) worn over a pair of shoes with a hole cut out for the cleats. Functional enough (for the era), but not very elegant and pretty much a one-and-done deal.

hyprviz

hyprviz

Specialized’s take uses modern, abrasion resistant knitted stretch yarn and the socks have reinforced pre-cut holes for cleats and heel pads. That said, it’s still a sock — not a bootie with a rugged/durable sole material — so I’d take care walking around in them. In addition to the being Hyper Green for visibility, the Reflect Overshoe Sock has a reflective strip that runs up the back of the sock.

hyperviz

For when you need a little more warmth than just socks: thoroughly modern but old school cool

To fluo or not to fluo?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ll let these pictures speak to help you decide.

hyprviz

hyprviz

My answer is: fluo. The Specialized HyprViz kit is pro level and pro cut in terms of fit and function. And the Hyper Green is just different enough from traditional fluorescent yellow such that it won’t be mistaken for a construction or traffic crew “safety vest.” But the added visibility provides an extra element of safety, which in the real world I live in riding with cars and in traffic is nothing to turn your nose up at.

hyprviz
A fluo accessory for the times

And if I may, I’d like to encourage my race/roadie pals who aren’t fans of fluo to please be kind to those who choose to go fluo … especially our commuter and recreational cycling brethren. The cycling community is a small enough community as it is. Creating separation within in it is not healthy IMHO. We’re all cyclists and all in this together. I’m reminded of what I wrote in my review of “Ride the Revolution”:

Caroline Stewart is a fully qualified bicycle mechanic who provided support at the 2014 Women’s Tour (Britain) and the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire. If we want to make the sport (not just women’s cycling) bigger and better, we would all do well to abide by her philosophy: “My cycling may not be your cycling, but it’s just as valid.”

Finally, if you don’t think fluo is very pro, this guy might disagree:

contador


Note: PezCyclingNews ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products you see here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper / safe use, handling, maintenance and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

 

The post Specialized HyprViz Jersey Review: Go With the Fluo appeared first on PezCycling News.


Categories:PezCycling News

RSS
Follow by Email