gear shots august 8th 2022 wickflow
GEAR SHOTS

Gear Shots: Week of August 8th

Date Aug 9, 2022
Reading time
Sutro shorts

Olive branch Chrome shorts in fern fields.

Chrome Sutro Shorts

Chrome has been around since '95 when they made their first bike messenger bag 10 years after Mr. 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon dazzled us with Quicksilver. They are all about gear for being active in the city but these shorts work just great in the forest. Chrome describes the Sutro as a from city to trail and back again short. Whatever their marketing claims, these are nice fitting shorts with proper pockets, a thick, maybe too thick for hot weather, 4 way stretch material that is a quick dry stain resistant material. The waist band has flex and velcro tabs for size adjustment. The fly has a button and a snap closure. The front pockets are sized well; however, the one higher side zip pocket while working for securing items are placed a bit too front and side for my liking. I prefer a pocket placement on the side and behind the leg similar to the 7mesh glidepath shorts I tested. The other side pocket is great for the phone as it is lower and placed on the side and a bit on the hamstring.

These shorts seem durable, they are comfortable and if you like wearing shorts in cool conditions they are perfect. As for their claim that they are great for the trail and the city I concur - these have come in handy off the bike as well, except during our heatwave. Personally, if the mercury dips below 20c I am wearing pants to ride. Above that I use the Schwartz... shorts. Since the shorts arrived the weather has either been too hot for the thick material or I have been wearing pants with the spring cool temperatures. On the 5 or 6 rides I wore them I was reasonably pleased with the Sutro's performance.

-Trevor Hansen

Chrome Sutro shorts // 165 CAD / 130 USD


IMG_7129
troy lee a3 helmet 1

This photo showed up in Ryan's Troy Lee A3 review, but it was too good not to use again.

Ryders Pangor antiFOG Glasses

Goggle-glasses? Shield sunglasses? Whatever you want to call this trending style in cycling eyewear, every manufacturer seems to be offering their take on it. Ryders enters the fray with the Pangor - available in five lens shades, including two that feature their antiFOG coating.

The cylindrical lens offers a huge field of view, free of distortion or glare. The yellow shaded antiFOG lens is a must have for year round riding in the PNW, and remains impressively clear and free of condensation on even the dankest of days. For those days that aren’t so dank, the lens offers UV400 protection. The frame is constructed from a tough thermoplastic called Grilamid TR90, while the nose and temple pads are made of sticky, hydrophilic rubber that keep the Pangors locked to your face on rough terrain.

I’ve owned several pairs of Ryders glasses over the years, and have always appreciated the unbeatable value they offer. Coming in at a fraction of the cost of similarly featured, high-end eyewear, the Pangor is an excellent option in high coverage, goggle-esque riding glasses. The Ryders website claims a “medium” fit for the Pangor, but I would comfortably recommend these to anyone seeking a large fit as well.

-Ryan Walters

Ryders Pangor antiFOG // 89 CAD


Wickflow Sweat Control Headband

The brow pads used in helmets are not designed with sweaty people in mind. They will absorb a certain amount of it, and then release it whenever saturation overwhelms them, or if pressure is applied, which is always at the worst time, like the bottom of a steep roll-in or rough sections of trail. Those moments are exactly when you need to be able to see, so having a bunch of sweat dropping into your field of view is not a nice thing to deal with. Traditional headbands of any sort have the same problem - they all get saturated eventually and then ditch that sweat when you are least expecting it.

Wickflow Sweat Control Headbands don't absorb your sweat, instead, they're designed to redirect it away from your eyes and face. Wickflow owner Steve Boyce is an engineer whose experience designing writing instruments like fountain pens gives him a unique perspective on how liquid moves between surfaces and mediums. His patented design is simple and ingenious: first, sweat from your head is attracted to the small gaps in the single-ply nylon band, and it runs along the material until it encounters the channel formed by the silicone strips in the band. Those channels direct the sweat behind your ears, where it either meets your chin strap, or runs down your back - either of those outcomes is far better than having it run down your forehead into your eyes or glasses, or into your mouth.

The simple design means that Wickflow headbands have no stitching or hem - all they are is a single layer of performance nylon fabric with one or two thin silicone strips across the front (depending on which version you choose). They won't make you hot, and the thin design means no issues with fit or interaction with your helmet or eyewear. You can machine wash them on a cold, gentle setting, but I have found that a quick rinse in water with a bit of mild soap does the trick.

I used Wickflow during every stage of last year's BCBR and it has become essential equipment for me on any ride where the temp is over 20ºC. I recently forgot to pack it for a two-ride trip and was reminded what it was like to have sweaty glasses and to be tasting sweat tinged with sunscreen: Bloody awful. I have one tucked in each of my riding bags, but they work equally well if you're a runner or for other sports where sweat management is a problem, like Moto, tennis, etc. Total no-brainer, especially for the price.

-Pete Roggeman

Wickflow Two Track Performance Headband 2-Pack // 25 USD


Lifestraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze 650 ml Bottle w/ Filter

One bottle is enough for my rides of two hours or less, except in summer. For long rides, or hot ones, or when the dog comes along (at 50 pounds, Gordie goes through 3-500 ml an hour on a warm day) I need a solution for more water. Obviously, I could just carry a pack, and sometimes I do, but the hotter it gets, the less I enjoy that prospect. When I know I'll be encountering a water source, carrying a filter of some sort is a great option.

Even better: Lifestraw's Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Bottle with an integrated filter. It fits into a hip pack easily, but also works in stash pockets found in bib shorts by the likes of Specialized, Rapha, 7Mesh, and others. I usually start the ride with the bottle empty (a full one on the bike to start), and then fill it when I encounter a stream or lake. The beauty is that I can then use it to refill other bottles (both mine and others I'm riding with), and continue riding with it empty (if space is at a premium) or full. It'll process 3 liters of water per minute, so it's a quick pit stop and everyone's bottle is full and ready to rip. Of course you can carry a portable filter attached to a small pump, from the likes of MSR, that takes up a similar amount of space in your pack, but I like the flexibility of having a 650 ml container attached to this filter (it also comes in a 1-liter version). Obviously this will also be perfect for hiking and other time spent outdoors.

Like the original Lifestraw, the Collapsible Squeeze Bottle protects against 99% of bacteria, parasites, and microplastics - but not viruses - so depending on where you are riding, that's something to be aware of (always check your water filtration needs based on your location). For forest and mountain riding in my neck of the woods, this is perfect. The membrane microfilter will last for up to 2,000 liters before it needs to be replaced at a cost of 18 USD.

-Pete Roggeman

Lifestraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze 650 ml Bottle w/ Filter // 33 USD

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Comments

hbelly13
Raymond Epstein
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+6 Pete Roggeman Deniz Merdano Kos TerryP dfish Tremeer023

I am huge fan of the Wickflows and have turned many onto them. They it make so I can ride in the swampy, soup-thick humidity down here in Georgia without my eyes and glasses getting drenched in minutes. A couple of tips: Do Not put them through the wash as they will be destroyed. I simply wring them out, spray them with an essential oil mist (pick a scent you like/add about 20 drops to spray bottle filled with water and shake before lightly spraying) and let them air dry. This BTW works incredibly well for armor and things that are a PITA to put through the wash. Second, wear the Wickflow band low on your forehead so the bottom is just above your brows. The front pad of your helmet should sit firmly against the band as it is not that effective if your helmet is loose. Lastly, when it's really hot and you are sweating like a pig tip your head up, push on the front of your helmet and the sweat will be directed to the sides past the silicone bead. Repeat as necessary.

Reply

albert03
albert03
1 month, 2 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Bought a pair of Wickflow headbands based on this review.  Worked pretty well so far, and I was also impressed with the minimal packaging.  Specifically, they mailed them in a simple paper business envelope.  Nice job.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month ago
0

Great to hear they're working out!

Reply

chacou
chacou
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+3 4Runner1 Pete Roggeman NewGuy

Love that Lifestraw bottle, it gets a lot of use here.

Reply

4Runner1
4Runner1
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+2 Pete Roggeman NewGuy

Buying one asap. Looks like it will fit nicely in my frame bag.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 NewGuy

It'll easily fit in a frame bag with lots of room to spare.

Reply

TerryP
TerryP
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Can you remove the filter and use just the bottle if the need arises, or is the filter & nozzle all one unit?

Reply

kos
Kos
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+2 Pete Roggeman TerryP

"The brow pads used in helmets are not designed with sweaty people in mind."

I'll throw out an amen on that. Ordered a pair of what I'll call the sweats-like-a-dog headbands.

Thanks for the lead!

Reply

cerealkilla_
jdt
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Gaaaahhhh. Checked the Wickflow site - no shipping options for Canada. Can you indicate were you were able to pick these up? I've tried the Halo headbands which worked great, but were too tight, and ended up functioning like one of those stunts where people put a bazillion elastics around a watermelon.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I checked with the owner stave Boyce and he said there shouldn't be an issue - he ships everywhere. Send him a note if it's still not working but he can send them out in an envelope so shipping should be cheap and easy.

Reply

kos
Kos
1 month ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Got a couple Wickflow headbands. Highest marks. I've always sweat enough that nothing really allowed me to climb/ride truly hard xc with glasses. Now I can. Highest marks!

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I bought a couple of the one silicone band Wickflow headbands. It doesn’t really do anything for me. I just overwhelm it with the amount of sweat I produce.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Check Raymond's tips above and see if any of that is helpful. There are a few things you need to get right for fit and positioning, maybe a tweak will get you there.

Reply

TomM
TomM
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Has anyone tried both the Wickflow and the Halo II headband?  The Halo works for a while in really hot weather for me then it gets overwhelmed.  I'll give the Wickflow a try if someone has found that it works noticeably better than the Halo.

Reply

zombo
Zombo
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+2 Andrew Major Andy Eunson

The sweat buster is the only device I haven't really overwhelmed and I sweat a ton.  I'll pop it out of my helmet and maybe ring it out once if it's over 90F but for the most part that's not necessary.

Reply

andy-eunson
Andy Eunson
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 Pete Roggeman

Not any better in my experience. Sweat buster actually works longer but may not fit under all helmets depending how snug your helmet fits as the Sweat Buster is thicker than many stock liner stuff.

Reply

kos
Kos
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I've done the Halos -- every kind they offer -- and just ordered a pair of Wickflows, so will report back.

The Halos are great until they get saturated, then no bueno.

Reply

trouty
James Graham
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

Ordered a pair of Ryders shades the other day based on their appearance in an earlier post here, and I have to say their customer service is embarrassingly bad. It's obvious they are one of "those" online retailers that offer zero customer support and drop ship their wares straight from the Chinese/Taiwanese factory when you place an order from their site. 

Asked for an order cancellation seconds after placing my order on their website (found the same glasses for $30 cheaper on Amazon), and have still received zero response from customer support one week later, and they even shipped them to me. Gee, thanks guys... The glasses I received from amazon are fine, but I do not expect the slightest bit of customer support in the event they break or I eventually need replacement parts.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

That's too bad to hear. A lot has changed there over the years but in the past we knew a lot of folks there and they were really focused on customers and quality. It'll be a bummer if your experience is the new norm.

Reply

rwalters
Ryan Walters
1 month, 3 weeks ago
0

I'm 99% sure that Ryders has their headquarters / distribution warehouse in North Vancouver. I know I've been there in the past, so I'm assuming that's still the case. I can't speak specifically to your experience, but I've never had any issues with any of their eyewear - certainly not anything that would be considered a warranty issue.

If you're the type to sit on your glasses and break them, and then expect warranty, then you might be better off paying $250 for Oakleys?

Reply

trouty
James Graham
1 month, 3 weeks ago
+1 tmoore

The Ryders aren't my only pair of riding glasses. FWIW, they're turning out to be great for this summer's sunset/low light rides to avoid the 100deg days... However, I don't put $90 glasses in the "if it breaks, toss them" price point. 

I've sent Tifosi's in that cost a fraction of that after I took a trail pebble to the lens. Almost instant, real CS staff response, no questions asked. More or less same process for much pricier Costa Del Mar and Oakleys (albeit with a substantial repair cost for the Costas).

Sorry about the dropship assumption, that may be wrong. But I still haven't heard a thing back from them about a return. Will I even be able to return these? Jury's out. It just sucks my first impression of their company, as much as I agree with the review of the glasses themselves, is clouded by a virtually absent customer service when I had an issue.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
Pete Roggeman
1 month ago
0

Hi James, they do have a number listed on the site that you could try contacting: 

1.800.665.2903

Maybe that'll help?

Reply

darkins44
Mark Larson
1 month, 2 weeks ago
0

Just ordered some Wickflow Sweat Control Headbands!  Thanks for the heads!

Reply

Marcky
Marcky
1 week, 4 days ago
0

Pete - Many thanks for recommending the Wickflow! I sweat a lot on my head and had wet glasses and sweat running down my face all the time which made me stop and rinse my helmet pads after every climb. Once I started wearing the Wickflow no more issues at all! Really a great product totally worth its money! And speedy and cheap worldwide delivery!

Reply

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