As the temperature plummets and the heavens open, this week's Gear Guide features plenty of stuff to keep you warm, dry, and protected on your bike, with all your lovely stuff nice and safe. Oh, and a great sweatshirt to wind up your R1 riding leather onesy sporting mates.
PRODUCT REVIEW - RED CLOUD COLLECTIVE WAXED CANVAS FITTED WORK PANT
Finally I’ve managed to get my hands on a pair of trousers for the bike that are rain resistant and warm but don’t look like snow boarding pants or plastic bin liners.
These slim fit work pants are designed for durability and water resistance, built from hardy 10.10 oz waxed canvas. They have triple stitched reinforced seams, are double layered on the front of the legs, and riveted on the stress points. They’re fastened with a brass YKK zipper.
They're made to fit and feel good with pockets in all the right places for spanners, screw drivers, pencils, pocket knives, phones, lighters, and everything else you may carry around with you. I would, however, recommend removing them from your pockets before you get on your bike as landing on a screw driver handle can give you more than a dead leg, I know that from bitter experience.
They will protect you through rain, wind and cold weather. I‘ve had mine a few weeks now, and have been caught in the rain a couple of times and they’ve kept me warm and dry. They’re useful when working on the bike as you can stash half your tool kit in them, and they’re oil resistant. They look good, so you can wear them at work and the pub. They’re not lined, but are warmer than a pair of jeans, and with some Kevlar long-Johns underneath, these are a pretty complete pair of trousers for the bike.
The more I wear them, the better they look. A little stiff out of the packet, they losen up quickly, and give good crease lines. These are wipe or brush clean.
Allow two to four weeks for delivery, as each pair is made to order. They’re available in four colours: olive, black, havana, and brush brown.
They’re handcrafted in Portland, Oregon USA by the Red Cloud Collective, a bunch of friends who believe in creating products with an honest approach and practical design.
“All functions and fabrics are considered in creating a lasting life for our products. We are designing for the people who want quality exceeding the standards and needs of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. As a collective of makers and adventurers, each piece is an extension of our lives.
PRODUCT REVIEW - ALLY CAPELLINO KELVIN WAXED CANVAS RUCKSACK
Usually when fashion brands collide with bike culture they end up creating pale pastiches of a Prius driver's idea of what a biker once wore in the late sixties/early seventies. Stuff that doesn’t keep you warm, dry, or safe, and that resides somewhere between the weird and the useless.
Ally Capellino are a high fashion brand that primarily produce bags. They have a reputation for high quality workmanship, utilizing premium fabrics and (by high fashion standards) reasonable prices.
They have, in the Kelvin, produced in my mind the nearest thing to a perfect backpack for use on the bike. It is a contemporary take on a classic canvas rucksack with a squared flap, front pocket, zip secured side pocket for quick access to your wallet and adjustable padded straps. It’s big enough to get what you need in there, even for a short touring trip. It’s 37cm long, 49cm high, and 17cm thick.
What’s refreshing about this pack is its pared down simplicity. It has only the most basic functional detailing. It is constructed from tough, thick waxed canvas that is water proof. It has concealed press stud fasteners that keep out the wet, and it is closed tight with tough draw strings and thick bridle straps that can be operated with gloves on.
The Kelvin is unlined, which is perfect. You can stash you tools in there without fear of tearing a delicate fabric lining. Because the wax canvas is so tough, you need not fear for damp penetrating your laptop or other electric bits.
The easily adjustable straps are thick and padded, so you can carry some weight on your back without severing your arms.
It comes in grey and black, and it sponge clean.
This is a terrific bag that works for its money. It's as tough as it comes, and also looks great - off the bike, into work, no problem. And no flappy straps to slap you in the face as your tear down Camden Road.
MAPLE 1976 KEVLAR LINED JEANS
Bikers are a funny bunch, often spending thousands of pounds on carbon and magnesium bits for their bikes to save a few ounces of weight (as opposed to saving weight and money by buying a few less burgers and pints of ale and occasionally going to the gym), and then moaning about the outrage of spending more than five quid on a jacket.
Dave Fairbairn of Maple Jeans has been making premium quality Kevlar lined selvedge jeans for a few years now, and I can personally vouch for them both in terms of quality of build and choice of denim. As a denim geek and someone who values the skin on my legs I have no problem spending proper money on decent protective jeans. My Maple jeans are over a year old and bedding in just nicely and just get better with wear.
However, for some riders a pair of Maples are that bit too pricey, and that’s fair enough. In response Dave has found a way, primarily by producing in the UK and selling directly to the customer at wholesale prices, to introduce a range of denim that’s at a lower price point.
He has designed four new styles of Kevlar lined jeans for £178 (instead of £300) and four styles of unlined jeans for £98 (instead of £200), without compromising on build quality and safety.
The slim fit 1976 are a low to medium ride fit comparable to Levi 511s, and are fully lined in Kevlar with pockets for removable Forcefield Knee and hip Armour.
They’re fastened with a custom made ultra durable donut buttons, and secured at stress points with hand hammered custom rivets. They have deep cotton lined pockets, an exposed selvedge seam and chain stitched hems. They feature and exposed selvedge ticket pocket, have an exposed selvedge wrench pocket on the butt, and are finished with hand pressed “Proudly Made In Britain
” leather patch and maple leaf embroidery. These are a quality pair of jeans which offer a good level of protection in case of an off. They're also warm.
Maple are launching their new range via Kickstarter, offering great deals if you jump early.
TRAUMA TEASE APPAREL X PAT SCANLON COLLABORATION Ts
Tracie Thomas has led an exciting and diverse life. She is well known as a singer and guitarist in the punk rock band, Anti-Scrunti Faction (A.S.F.) which was founded in Boulder, Colorado and then relocated to San Francisco, CA. Fans all over the world recognized her at this time period from her kick ass pink and black mohawk.
She later moved to New York City and joined the band Special Head. While living in NYC, she worked at a Brit motorcycle shop called Sixth Street Specials, and for the famous Indian Larry. During her time in NYC, she started designing and selling t-shirts that appealed to people in the music and bike scene.
Although Tracie moved out of New City many years ago, a part of her stayed behind. She is still featured in a billboard above Sidewalk Cafe riding a Triumph. After numerous requests to bring her best selling t-shirts back, Tracie decided to re-launch Trauma Tease Apparel and allow new and old fans to wear her bad ass designs!
Pat Redding Scanlon has executed iconic T-shirt images over the ages for Trauma Tease and Indian Larry. Her background is in comics and animation.
Check out these cool Ts at www.traumatease.com
GENTLEMAN’S FACTORY SWEAT
Gentlemen’s Factory is a French brand of apparel and original accessories, created by three Gallic geezers with a passion for vintage and custom motorcycles. The sweatshirt statement " Fuck the plastic, get the classic
" hints at their attitude to modern sports bikes.
The sweatshirt is made from organic cotton and conforms to all the criteria of environmental protection, particularly with the absence of toxic chemical substances. All their products are “Organic certified” and “Oeko-Tex”.
This sweatshirt and other products are for sale on gentlemens-factory.com