Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Specialized Gear Reviews

I had a chance to try out some new Specialized cycling gear that I wanted to comment on (since nothing else exciting is going on).

The first is the Women's Deflect Hybrid Jacket. I won this jacket as a door prize at OutSpokin's Customer Appreciation Night. I was pretty stoked...not that I really NEEDED another jacket, but I liked the cut and styling as well as the fact that the sleeves zip off and the jacket becomes a vest. I am sorry to say that after wearing this jacket 3 times in different conditions, I am quite disappointed. The biggest problem with it is it's lack of breathability. Even with the sleeves zipped open (similar to pit zips) and the front halfway unzipped, I still got a ton of condensation on the inside of the jacket. While the jacket is indeed windproof and hence, quite warm, once you start doing any aerobic activity you end up soaked from the inside. I found this even happened when I did a base level road ride where my heart rate was generally in the 140s. When I wore it on a misty road ride, it stopped raining for the last half hour of our ride, and when we finished, the jacket was dry on the outside and soaked on the inside. Something is wrong with that picture. Bottom line..looks better on the hanger than it performed out in the field. Some smarter fabric would do much to improve this product.

Next I tried the Women's BG Motodiva MTB Shoe. The sole was good and stiff although the tongue was also very stiff and was digging into my ankle. I'm hoping this issue will go away as the shoes break in..if not I will have to do some trimming. The toebox was nice and roomy, with plenty of room for my Merino Swiftwicks. I noticed the ratcheting mechanism did not seem to work as smoothly as on my Sidi's, so I'm anxious to see if I can actually get the shoes off after a bunch of mud buildup. I haven't spent a lot of time in these shoes, so will report back after they have been thoroughly abused. So far, they seem pretty decent, assuming the tongue softens up a bit.

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