Thursday, November 08, 2012

Equipment - Verge Primo Jacket

So I guess I have this thing for cycling jackets. It started with the knit-stuff-with-nylon-wind-panel jackets of the 80s - I thought that having one of those meant that I was a real rider. Then a then-Euro-pro friend showed up at a ride with a ridiculously thin jacket on a ridiculously cold day. He showed me this miracle jacket, thin, windproof, insulating, and almost too warm for regular cold days. Compared to him I felt like the Michelin Man and not just because of my weight.

Eventually I got one of those jackets - it might have been a year or two, maybe a hand-me-down from that Euro pro himself. The jackets got even thinner. About 8 years ago I settled on Verge's Warsaw jacket - I had them for the blue/green Carpe Diem Racing team, the white/blue Connecticut Coast Cycle team, and now with Expo Wheelmen. I had a Warsaw jacket from 2012 but I decided to move up a bit and get the new fancy model for 2013, the Primo.

So far, I have to admit, I've only worn the jacket out on the street. The one day I thought I'd need it the weather ended up nice and I wore a vest and a long sleeve jersey instead of the jacket.

Because it's windproof and insulating I wear the Warsaw/Primo jackets when it hits 40 or 45 degrees at the warmest. I'm good, with 2 long sleeve layers, down to about 25 degrees F. After that it's debatable - it's not my torso that gets cold, it's the (ahem) top of the tights.

The right sleeve of the jacket.

The new jacket has zip off sleeves and a tighter form fitting wrist area with a zipper. There's also a strip of non-insulating fabric running up the back of the arm. It's black so it's hard to see but it's just above the zipper in the picture above. This helps with breathing and ventilation.

One sleeve unzipped.

I worried that the shoulder would look odd because the zipper follows the red panel's contour. This would mean a really cut off shoulder. However Verge doubles up on the shoulder so the vest still has a shoulder on it (the black shoulder area on the left side of the picture).

I don't think it's an "unzip while you ride" thing but I'm also not a fan of removing partial zip jerseys over my head while riding either. Maybe you skilled riders can do the sleeves while you ride, but for me it's a "I gotta stop" thing.

White stuff is insulating.

That's the miracle thin windproof and insulating fabric. The Primo jacket has no large vent (non-windproof) areas, just a portion of the sleeve.

Detail of collar.

The zipper ends in a little zipper well so you don't have the thing flicking you in the chin. The collar is nice and warm around the neck.


Bottom zipper - note no pull on it.

The zipper has two zipper things so you can unzip going up or down. This helps if you need to take a nature break or adjust your baselayer or something. There's no pull on the bottom zipper thing because the edge of the pull can abrade your clothing - your tights, knickers, shorts, etc.

Silicone dots around waist.

The waist area has silicone dots that act as a gripper. This prevents the jacket from riding up.

Pockets in the back.

There are two pockets in the back, a large one and a new smaller one. The large one will carry a lot of stuff but because it's just one pocket it gets all jumbled around. I usually carry multiple pockets of stuff, organized by pocket, so this isn't ideal for me. It works okay though and the nice thing is you can fit a lot of stuff in there.


Full phone pocket.

I can fit my DroidX in the small pocket complete, so that's nice. It does have to go sideways, and the phone is sitting on the jacket in its "pocketed" position. The phone holster illustrates the pocket's depth.

The back in full.

True winter jackets don't have a thin back - it's full protection all the way around. With the Primo jacket you get some of the standard reflective trim and piping.

The nitty gritty of the jacket.

Disclaimer: although Verge sponsors the Bethel Spring Series, I pay for my jacket, the same as any other club member - in fact I sold my Warsaw jacket to a teammate so I could afford this one. I also do not decide who to use for clothing for our club. I admit I was happy when the powers that be decided to order from Verge.

1 comment:

Bruce Morris said...

A little newspaper on the front of tights works great