Pearl Izumi Pursuit Thermal Bib Tight Overview

Please check out my video on the Pearl Izumi Pursuit Thermal Bib Tight.

I apologize for the actual video quality on this one. My camera battery died prematurely because it was out in the cold weather and I really wanted to get some content out. I shot on my iPhone and of course YouTube compressed the sh*t out of it.

ANYWAY…

These bibs are such a well thought out design. Everyone questions me on why I love bibs so much, well they are extremely comfortable and these make it super easy to be able to use the bathroom without fully de-robing. The drop-tail is a game changer and now rivals my favorite halter style design on competing brand’s bibs.

The fleece lining is soft and cozy, the outer layer of the tight has a water resistance and just the right amount of bio-viz reflective hits for when the sun sets early. The mesh is also soft and finished nicely with the right amount of stretch, yet snug compression for the bibs to stay in place.

I’ve had some qualms with PI’s quality on some of their entry level clothing in the past, but the Pursuit Thermal Bib Tights have thus far won me over. I’m looking forward to putting in some proper miles in these and reporting back with a full review of how they’ve performed.

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Thanks for reading and as always, see you on the path!

Cap City Trail Recon

Madison often boasts that its bike paths are cleaner than the streets after a large snow storm. That’s usually the case when referring to the Southwest Commuter path, Madison’s most used bicycle path that runs through the isthmus (downtown).

We can’t really say that for the Capitol City Trail. For those not familiar with Madison’s route set up, the Capitol City Trail is a route that extends past the major SW Commuter Path and heads out to the South Eastern burbs and then back into Madison near the Alliant Energy Center. (You can then continue back into downtown or ride the lake loop through Monona.)

It’s not maintained as regularly as our beloved SW path, but is still a nice ride. Today I decided to take a journey on it to not only get a lunch ride in, but to also report on the conditions. Starting from the Verona frontage road the trail was hard packed snow and ice. Not terrible, but not amazing either.

Riding downhill was a little sketchy in some spots, but overall it was decent conditions. Hardpack is a lot of fun to cruise on with knobby or studded tires. The overall view was very beautiful. The path is surrounded by trees on either side, so it doesn’t melt as fast as some of the other  trails. The trees looked untouched and there is still significant snow on the ground around the trail.

capcity

I did happen to come across some ruts, skate ski tracks, loads of animal poo (seems folks think they don’t need to pick it up in the winter?), and even a frozen possum that seemed to have passed somehow on the path. (poor thing)

The new studded tire (I only use one on the front right now) performed amazingly on the hard pack. It cruises a lot faster and smoother than on dry road, that’s for sure! In areas that had deeper snow or a bit of slush, having a loaded back end helped greatly. I have a fairly heavy saddle, a rear rack, and a half loaded pannier when I ride. I treat snow commuting much like snow driving. Keep weight in the rear, take it slow around corners, keep eyes on the trail to pick the best line of riding, and if I start to fish tail or slide…just power through it and DON’T PANIC or hit the brakes!

stud

I rode about a 3 mile stretch of the trail before I had to take to the streets to hit my destination. From the point of where I started to ride the trail, all of the offshoots had been plowed or cleared to some capacity, but for some reason the junction I needed to ride up wasn’t. I had to hop off and do a minor amount of trudging before I could get back on the bike. I’m glad I had my Bogs on! (They make for great winter riding boots btw. Future review?)

roadblock

A minor annoyance in an overall pleasant ride. It seemed like the maintenance crew just kind of decided to call it good enough.

I’m considering checking out the trail conditions in a few days after the weather warms up. Forecasts are calling for up to 40 degree weather, so there may be some slushy conditions ahead for daily path riders.

On my way back to work I decided to ride on McKee, which was not as pleasant as the ride on the trail. I didn’t have much time to enjoy the scenery, but it’s a straight shot to the work place. There was a huge headwind and my studded tire made the bike ride like a slow moving tank. Cars were also not feeling very  generous when I was trying to avoid chunky snow debris in the road.

If you’re looking to hone your winter riding skills with a serene environment, I would highly suggest checking out the Cap City Trail in the next couple of days before the snow starts to turn into muck!

Side note: Today I decided to wear regular poly/cotton socks, Bogs, regular stretchy skinny jeans, a short sleeve Road Holland jersey, the new Surly long sleeved jersey, my Patagonia down jacket, Ibex balaclava, Pearl Izumi long finger gloves, and my helmet. In the morning when it was 19 out, my thighs were the only part of me that was cold.

During lunch and on the ride home I was pretty warm up top so I unzipped the top two layers and wore the balaclava as a neck gator. I probably could have dropped the down jacket, but I wasn’t in the mood to stop and take it off.

I’m happy to report the PDW fenders kick ass and I have no issues with interference like I do with full length fenders. I also removed my usual Crank Brothers Candy pedals and installed the VP Vice flat pedals. They have an awesome, wide platform with tons of grip. There will be full reviews as the season progresses.

Also, a BIG shout out to all the new followers. We’re happy to have the support. Please e-mail us with suggestions, comments, etc. We want to continue to improve upon the site 🙂

-Cassandra

 

45NRTH Polara- First Impression

QBP santa showed up today with goodies in tow. The box practically filled my office cube when it was dropped off. I opened up the box and took a look at our new 45NRTH Polara tires.

45NRTH
Tires rarely look pretty straight out of the box. This set was pretty dirty looking, but that’s just cosmetic.

The first thing I noticed was the tread. 45NRTH boasts that the tread creates lower rolling resistance while also shedding snow/ice. We shall see how accurate those claims are! The tires have 110studs which seemed like a good middle of the road number without going overboard. There were some options that had up to 240 and some as low as 74. The bike path gets cleaned fairly regularly so I didn’t want to ride on something so extreme.

If we were country/small town folks with back roads to travel, the 240 would have been a good option, but we’re spoiled here in Madison. The bike paths are usually cleared before the roads are!

tread

The next item I looked at was the listed size (I couldn’t seem to remember if they were 35 or 38c) they are 700×35 as you see here:tiresizeI don’t have a digital caliper on hand to measure that, but they look around that size. Actual contact on the ground varies by rim width/depth anyway.

I also checked the pressure recommendation. The 60-65psi range tends to be favored in our camp, but again it will depend on how the tire seats and rides. tirepsiThe one thing that kind of shocked me, but probably shouldn’t have, was I found the Innova logo on the side of the tire. I had assumed 45NRTH had actually designed a specific tire of their own, but it turns out the Polara is basically Innova’s Tundra Wolf tire. Slightly disappointing, but it’s not much different than Planet Bike sourcing LED lights and slapping their logo on them, even if they had little or no actual product development. That’s not to say they don’t develop ANY products, but there are some standard designs that pretty much anyone can put a logo on and call it their own. innova

It’s a pretty common practice in the cycling industry, so no hard feelings 45NRTH. If I had seen that in store rather than online I probably would have opted to try something else that seemed more of THEIR design, but maybe Innova manufactures all of their tires? If anyone has any insight on that it would be appreciated.

Not working in a shop every day means little exposure to some of these newer products/companies. Note to us: go visit a crap load of new shops in 2013!

Overall I still think the tires are nice. Studded tires don’t come cheap, even when you get the opportunity to purchase through distribution and we highly believe in, you get what you pay for. It’ll be fun testing them out the next few weeks. We’ll report back and let you all know how they work out!