Riding with Beta Brand and Dirt Baggies

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by Byron on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM

V is for Visiblity

V is for Visibility

Where Issue 08 of our Magazine talks about a new year and new rides, like this just-arrived Foil and the Giant Advanced XTC, we’ve also got new kit in. Two standouts are a work shirt and pants from Beta Brand and Dirt Baggies.

I wore a Beta Brand outfit during CES and then the Dirt Baggies when we snow biked in Park City. Beta Brand and us go way back, before they were called Beta and developed a cord that ran around the leg, instead of up and down it. Before there were any bike-specific, “plain clothes” for cyclists, Beta Brand added reflective features like pocket flaps and cuffs. Most importantly, besides making clothes that reflect car lights, their designers gusseted the crotch and cut the legs wide so they fit cyclists legs. I wore the original cords so much, they eventually fell apart and my wife suggested I retire them.

A few years later, Beta has a full line and again, it’s less about the bike-to-work features and more the comfort. With many competitors following their lead into bike clothes for commuters, how it wears is most important to me. You wouldn’t know the shirt and pants are for cyclists until you spotted the piping or pocket flap. You’ll probably get a few, “nice shirt” comments too and that’s why I’m wearing the Charcoal Bike to Work Shirt.

Because it’s a really nice shirt that’s comfortable, breathes well, wrinkles shake out of it, and it packs up nice in a suitcase. It reflects too. I rode it around Vegas, in a trade show, then out clubbing. That’s as endorsed as it gets.

You can find the Charcoal Bike to Work Shirt and the Black Bike to Work Britches online for $108.00 a piece.

In 14, we’re spending a season on the dirt and I recently tweeted

What Dirt Baggies did is made a high-quality road short and then hid it inside of baggies. Why they did that, culturally I’m not sure, but the shorts worked great under thermal tights when we snow biked. So when we’re out on the trail and not racing our road kit, I’ll have those on.

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Comments: 1

Hi Bryon, Tim from DirtBaggies here.

The baggies are a driven by functional, not cultural motives. I grew up wearing spandex on the bike and when I moved to SoCal in my 20’s I thought MTBers wore baggy shorts here out of prudishness or perhaps machismo. It soon became clear however that these were not the reasons, my roadie gear was not durable in the prickly, rocky landscapes out here. At best they’d die a death of a thousand small snags and tears, sometimes they’d rip more catastrophically (which was sometimes amusing, sometimes indecent!).

All the baggy MTB shorts I tried (I tried lots) were hot, heavy and couldn’t match the comfort of a bib; I tried wearing baggy shorts over my bibs, however the slippery fabrics on a bib required the waistband of a baggy short to be extra tight to prevent (actually just slow) them from dropping and catching on my saddle. Road bibs are not designed for use with an outer garment and most MTB baggies are ‘enduro-tough’ so the combination was also hotter than I liked.

With DirtBaggies I’ve developed underwear specific bibs for improved cooling, and baggy shorts that are lighter and better vented than most, with rip-stop reinforcement only where necessary - all tethered together to prevent the constriction of a tight waistband. Though MTB has been my focus, the reception among less svelte riders and touring cyclists has been very good.

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