First Impressions: 45NRTH Wolvhammer

IMG_2321In preparation for winter riding, I picked up a set of 45NRTH Wolvhammer cycling boots. I have and love an older set of Specialized Defroster boots but for extended rides in the teens and lower, my feet get cold. Personal temperature control is something that is unique to individuals. My feet just happen to be wimps.

I am impressed with the build quality of the boots. They appear to be a well thought out piece of gear with an emphasis on quality materials and craftsmanship. They fit well with no unpleasant wear spots or hot spots.

The boots top strap holds the boot closed around your leg with a Velcro strap.
IMG_2325 IMG_2326 The front of the boots feature a hook to allow for the use of gaiters.
IMG_2327 IMG_2328The boot is actually made of an inside boot within an outside boot, although they don’t seem to be taken apart. This allows the inside boot materials to focus on warmth and the outside boot materials to focus on being waterproof, which they 100% are. Note the boot’s use of a draw string for tightening. It works well without adding unnecessary complexity. I also love added ease of putting the boot on with the orange hook strap on the back.
IMG_2331IMG_2335The added benefit of 45NRTH including their Jaztronaut inner soles, which are claimed to completely stop any coldness from transferring from the sole or cleats to the inside of the boot. The technology is crazy. How crazy? It’s used by NASA. That means it’s good enough for this guy.
IMG_2333The boots Velcro tag on the zipper of the outer boot is a very nice feature. It ensures the zipper stays where you leave it.
IMG_2336I’ll provide more info on how they perform and stand up as time passes. Now we just need some snow…

Boot Update: (1/12/2014)

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

Gore ALP-X 2.0 Jacket Review

IMG_0385Since purchasing the Gore ALP-X 2.0 Jacket I’ve spent a lot of time wearing it. I’ve worn it on hard training rides, easy rides, and warming up for racing. This lightweight jacket features Windstopper fabric and removable sleeves making it useful in a wide variety of riding conditions. Coupled with a SmartWool NTS Light 195 base layer, I have ridden comfortably in temperatures down to 30º F. On the other end of the temperature spectrum, I have worn the jacket over a lightweight sleeveless merino wool base layer well into the 50’s. The jacket’s Windstopper material is great. It keeps the wind off of your skin without the need for added bulk or weight to do so. I am told the material while not waterproof, will keep you dry in a drizzle or light rain for a while.

The first thing that I noticed about the jacket is how lightweight it was. I was a little skeptical on its ability to keep me warm with the lack of bulk. I would come to find out that the jacket provides all the warmth I would need, and do so without carrying around the bulk I have come to expect in normal outer wear. This is a testament to how well put together the Gore products are.

The jacket’s fit is snug. The Gore rep explained that the Gore products are designed to be able to be worn in combination allowing a medium inner layer to fit inside of a medium outer layer without bunching, something that I appreciate.

IMG_0370The removable sleeves add even more functionality. The zippers used here and throughout are top-notch.

IMG_0378The back of the jacket features three pockets. The center pocket is vertical and the two side pockets are side entry with zippers for added security.

IMG_0379The Gore ALP-X 2.0 Jacket has handled everything I have thrown at it thus far. The lifetime warranty appeals to me, providing trust that the jacket will be a good investment. I think the diversity of the jackets usage will make this a commonly used piece in the future.

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

2013 PSI-clocross Cyclocross Race

IMG_1527This past weekend I joined the Bloomington Cycle & Fitness Racing Team at the eighth race of the 2013 Chicago Cross Cup series. The sun was shinning but the weather was still colder than the previous weeks race.

The course was 2.2 miles of hard. Hard. The race had a great mix of elements including off camber turns, singletrack, “Heckle Hill”, long straights, and technical turns. This was my first week racing in the cat 3 race after a mid-week cat up. I had a great time, and thought the racing was a little more business as usual with less chaos, but also a lot harder competition. I ended the day in 37th out of 58. I’ve got work to do :)

The images can be used for personal use (with credit given), but no professional or commercial usage without prior consent.

READ MORE & FULL GALLERY >>

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

My Intro Into Gore Bike Wear

IMG_0381Bloomington Cycle & Fitness recently held a Gore bike wear clinic which was timed great for me as I needed to revisit my fall and winter riding gear. I have wanted to expand my cold weather riding gear as I think the right riding gear is as important or more so than the bike you are riding. In the past I have ridden all winter, but have used gear that was aimed at skiing such as Under Armor Cold Gear and been less than thrilled with the experiences they provided. I have heard great things about Gore products, and wanted to see if it the hype was warranted.
2013-10-25 19.36.26I picked up a variety of gear aimed at riding in the cold. I wanted to have my bases covered in riding from 60’s to the 20’s and possibly colder. Coupled with a combination of Smart Wool base layers, I bought two jackets that can be worn separately or worn in combination.

Gore ALP-X 2.0 Jacket
IMG_0370Gore Tool Glove
IMG_0080Gore Universal Headband
IMG_0404Gore Fusion Tool JacketIMG_0390Gore ALP-X GT Glove
IMG_0092
I’m going to refrain from a full review of any individual piece of gear until I spend more time with each of the them. I will say that in the past 10 days of use, I’m very happy with all of it so far!

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!

2013 Campton Cyclocross Race

IMG_0263This past weekend I joined the Bloomington Cycle & Fitness Racing Team at the seventh race of the 2013 Chicago Cross Cup series. The weather was sunny and somewhat warm for most of the day. The course was a mix of long straights, wooded singletrack, and off camber muddy turns to enjoy while racing.

There was a large group of tents and hecklers around one of the muddy sections. The mud was a factor early in the day. It provided an abundance of entertainment for the hecklers, but by the time I raced in the Cat 4’s, it was negotiable. In my race, I had a good start and won the hole-shot for the first time this season. I finished 10th for the second time this Chicago Cross season. I’ve continued to enjoy my first cyclocross season and look forward to more racing, mud, heckling, and smiles.

The images can be used for personal use (with credit given), but no professional or commercial usage without prior consent.

IMG_0108 IMG_0256 IMG_0289 IMG_0267 IMG_0276 IMG_0129 IMG_0187 IMG_0202 IMG_0233 IMG_0118

Enjoy what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right!