Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Want It Wednesdays: Rapha Oversocks

Well, it's still "winter", even if the weather outside doesn't indicate such, so there's still not a lot to report riding-wise. I hit a bit of a hiccup this month when the student activities information system that I've been working on developing for the past couple of years finally went live at the beginning of the month, but not before churning me into a stressy tailspin during the weeks immediately before and after the release. Things have calmed down now, and while my big winter base-training block didn't come off as perfectly as I'd hoped, I still got some good work in. Now I'm a mere 2.5 weeks away from my first race of the season, the Sub-9 Death March. From my first couple of attempts at pre-riding the course, I know it's going to be a long, hard day, but I think Val and I will still fair pretty well amongst the women's teams.

So with my last month of bike-related stuff condensed into a single paragraph, I now present you with my latest Want It Wednesday object of desire, Rapha Oversocks. Cyclocrossers know this brand as the title sponsor for newly-crowned U.S. Champion Jeremy Powers' team, and the discipline's more hip aspirational luxury brand (leave the Assos and their terrible women's clothing designs to the MAMIL's). I'm probably just caught up in the marketing ploy like everyone else, but I've bought into the hype about the quality and design, and the soft, understated (often pink-trimmed) colorways do appeal to me. I both love and hate that they've pulled pink further into the CX mainstream; the stuff is sooo cute, but I resent JPow making it cool for dudes to rock pink hoods.

Anyway,I do occasionally find myself trolling their site to see if they've release the *PERFECT* women's bib shorts yet. No luck so far, but they haven't released any bad ones, either, so I'm holding out hope. Their women's 3/4 bib knickers look nice, but I'm not that big on fleece knickers. In my opinion, if it's cold enough for fleece, it's cold enough to cover your shins. So once the women's page is perused, I move on to the pink-trimmed accessories section. Since my all-pink Defeet Slipstream oversocks are getting pretty worn, I find myself eyeing these beauties, which are twice the retail price, but still relatively affordable for Rapha:

The Slipstream booties have served me well for three(?) seasons now, but I've always thought they were a little too short. They don't even come up to the bottom of my leg-warmers. I like the height of the Rapha oversocks, and the fact that they are mostly black with a just a little bit of pink flair, which is much more appropriate for an item of clothing that will see most of its use on cool, usually wet spring days, where the likelihood of road spray is high.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Want It Wednesdays: Women's G.S. Panache Bib Short

After a few months of super regular posting in the form of Monday morning race reports, I was a little worried about keeping up with material through the winter. My training-related activity since my last post can pretty much be summed up by saying that I've been picking up a lot of heavy stuff frequently, riding a fair amount of base miles, and this past weekend I went on a Sub-9 Death March recon ride with my Speedway Wheelmen teammates that would have provided some good photo opts had I not been riding myself cross-eyed trying to keep up. I suppose I could post another Lady Gaga video (Eh, eh, there's nothing else I can say), but I'll spare you that. So in the interest of finding something to post through the winter, I've decided to participate in Want It Wednesdays.

Long-time readers will know that I've been in pursuit of the perfect pair of bib shorts for years, and that a couple of years ago, I got pretty close. I actually did get officially perfect bib shorts and lycra knickers from Voler as part of my 2011 Velo Bella clothing order, and even though I changed teams, I still ordered a pair of bibs from the 2012 Velo Bella order as a back-up pair. Unfortunately, the 2012 bibs were radically different in a bad way (FAIL!). On the Speedway Wheelmen side, we are using Pactimo, so I just shelled out a big chunk of change to make sure we met the team minimum on the women's custom version of the bibs I reviewed a couple of years ago. On the pair I have at home, the cut and design were good, but the chamois was a little weird and ill-placed. We'll see how the new team bibs work out.

Anyway, all of this got me wondering if there were greener pastures in the women's bib world that weren't available when I really dug into this a couple of years ago. (What's Katie Compton wearing these days??) In all of the team clothing discussions, someone linked to the Panache site and I realized that they have a lot more retail clothing than they did a couple of years ago. I have a men's-cut Panache kit at home, and while it doesn't fit me that great, I was really impressed with the quality and construction. So I was kind of intrigued when I saw they have now have a retail women's bib.

I probably won't be trying a pair anytime soon, since my bib supplies are high and my budget is low right now. (Unless a Panache rep wants to send me a pair to review. This blog gets like 50 page views on a good day, you know.) However, they are definitely pretty high up on my want list.


And just because this has been sitting in my pictures folder forever and I can't even remember why, here's something relevent to my recent training: