Tuesday, June 29, 2010


last september i ordered some panache houndstooth kit. after some back and forth emails and stocking issues i ended up with the panache eleven jersey and bibs instead of the houndstooth. don powell at panache really has the customer service thing down pat.

at first impression, the jersey made me look like a priest. the braces on the bibs seemed to sit wide and be a bit uncomfortable while walking around. however, once on the bike the issue with the bibs went away entirely, and since i generally cannot see myself while riding, any issue i might have with looking like a priest also went away. when looking at, and walking around in, the chamois in the bibs appeared to be kind of large but again once on the bike the issue went away and i found it to be uncommonly comfortable on any saddle.

as i went on more road rides right before winter i was continually unimpressed with the jersey pockets. i don't like to load my pockets down when i ride, but i do carry some things - food, c02, tire levers, spare tube, keys, phone, etc. since winter was right around the corner i retired the panache stuff to my closet and broke out more suitable gear. but once winter was over, and since florida usually skips from winter straight into 'hot', the panache stuff has since reemerged.

again i find myself unable to deal with the pockets while road riding. they just sag down all unsupported like a wet paper grocery sack filled with watermelons. i just can't stand it. this is about the point where my (non?)brilliance appears - i finally remember that it is just as hot out on the trails, and i carry a vastly reduced amount of things with me when i ride off-road. usually keys and my phone, and that's it.

for the past couple of months every time i go ride our trails i am in the panache jersey and bibs and they're magnificently awesome! they are so incredibly light weight and perfect for the sweltering heat and retarded humidity that we deal with here in the southeast. when the heat index climbs up to the 105 and above mark, they are the only cycling clothing i will consider wearing. absolutely perfect.

i just checked the panache website and found that they have a few more pretty good looking offerings than the last time i checked. since i just recently received the new west florida wheelmen kit and with a new PORC jersey in the pipeline i probably won't need to purchase any new gear for a while, but as i have said before - the next time i need it, my first and last stop will be the panache website.

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