27 November 2012

Product Review: Zoic Clothing

It was 24 degrees as I left my house on my morning commute today.

Hardly the weather to talk about riding in shorts, but Zoic gave me some gear to review at Interbike, and I would be remiss if I didn’t say some nice things about them.
Zoic started in California back in 1994, with baggy shorts and relaxed fit jerseys for mountain bikers in the Marin Headlands. Their approach of mating technical performance with style and unique fabrics translates to gear that functions on the bike, and looks good off of it.
Now, I don’t mountain bike, but I do commute by bike daily. Since my commute is short, I don’t change for the ride so wearing comfortable clothes that work well in the office (fortunately my work dress code is really lax - shorts and t-shirts are acceptable attire) and on the commute is important to me.
Zoic gave me a pair of Hoodoo shorts, and their Tradesman flannel riding shirt to review.
The Hoodoo shorts – cargo knickers would be a better description – are very possibly my favorite pair of shorts right now. With a 16” inseam, they cover the knee when you ride – perfect for those brisk fall mornings when it is too cold for shorts, but you still refuse to wear long pants. They also have 8 pockets to securely hold all of your essentials.
These shorts are no slouch on technical features: 
  • The knees are articulated for freedom of pedaling, and they have a zippered mesh segment in the leg opening for knee pads.  
  • Gusseted inseam allows for range of motion and prevents seat hang-ups. 
  • There is a tech pocket on the right leg with a headphone cord grommet and a loop to wrangle unruly cords. 
  • A microfiber sunglass wipe is attached by a elastic cord inside one of the pockets. 
  • Locking zippers on the leg pockets and fly. 
  • Beltless design with elastic back and Velcro side adjustment tabs for comfort. 
  • For those days where you are going to be spending a good portion of the day in the saddle, but don’t want to “lycra up”, the shorts come with a removable mesh liner with chamois pad.
I’ve spent a good portion of the early fall riding in these shorts (in fact, they were the shorts I had on when I went over the hood of that car a few weeks ago – so I guess you can say that they have been “crash tested”) and I really like them. They are comfortable, durable, and don’t look out of place when you are off the bike
In my opinion, everyone needs a pair of knickers for fall/early spring riding (hint, hint, Christmas gift idea!).
I haven’t worn the Tradesman flannel shirt as much as the shorts – mainly because my 14-year-old son keeps on stealing it out of my closet!
It is a traditional flannel shirt with some added technical touches, such as a grommet on the front pocket for your headphone cord, a zippered pocket on the back of the shirt with reflective tabs, and internal sleeve cuffs to help prevent “cold creep” up your arms as you ride. It’s a nice, soft flannel shirt that looks great pared with your favorite bike t-shirt (such as the “Style to Ride” t-shirt).

The Hoodoo shorts are $119, and the Tradesman shirt is $85. They are available at zoic.com, and various online retailers.

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