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.
In 14, we’re spending a season on the dirt and I recently tweeted
Don't get the mtb don't wear kit thing but baggies, missed that when I left for the road, but now I'm back, there's @dirtbaggies— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) January 27, 2014
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.