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Review: Surly Merino Wool Longsleeve Jersey

2 Surly Womens Jersey

This winter I’ve had the opportunity to add pretty key pieces to my cold weather attire. With a good amount of cold base miles, I’ve shredded some items and some have stayed strong and worthy of a solid review. A few different long sleeve jerseys are my main highlights from this shredding that I’ll be reviewing this week.

There is something comforting about a soft merino wool piece of clothing. It wraps you up in it’s natural warmth, and can be reused for a couple weeks at a time if you don’t sweat it up too badly. Most folks who are purchasing their first piece of merino get sticker shock, but quickly they understand they are replacing 2-3 piece of clothing due to the wicking, warmth and longevity of wool. Ever purchased a pair of Smartwool socks? I bet you wish all of your socks were that amazing.

Features

MSRP: $140
Colors: Black or Gray

There are a handful of features that Surly will want to tell you about, but the best feature for me is the ability to wear this on and off the bike easily. The jersey turns into a sweater when paired with a pair of jeans. The sleeves with thumb holes are long enough and easily flipped up for casual use. The back has a “cigarette pocket” which is one pocket with zippers on either side.

Surly Womens Merino Wool

Fit

Traditionally women’s wool jerseys have fit pretty baggy and boxy on me. I can say that this jersey in size large fits me pretty darn well. With room for a tshirt or jersey underneath it isn’t super snug but it does allow me to feel like a woman when wearing it. As I mentioned I often wear it into shops as a sweater and it does look like a women’s sweater (with a sweet pocket in the back!)

Overall Thoughts

If you can swallow the price tag of $140 this jersey will last you many seasons, keeping you warm and dry. It’s an essential for me when traveling as I can wear it a handful of times and not be overwhelmed by stench or dirt.

See it on SurlyBikes.com

Photo Credit: Benjamin Wilson

Motivational Monday with JJ

0 Motivational Monday with JJ

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

JJ, south MPLS

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

I enjoy commuting, touring, alley cats, and I would like to try mountain biking!

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

I grew up on a farm. I was the oldest child, and we had a Schwinn Stingray out in one of the machine sheds. I got it out and asked if we had training wheels. “Nope,” was the answer. I was 5 years old. I decide by the end of the day, I would have learned to ride that bike, and that’s just what I did. We only had gravel and dirt roads to ride on, and I spent most waking hours on that beautiful bike. I tried to fly like Evel Knievel out of a livestock loading chute, rode it off the roofs of small buildings, through pastures and along creeks. I had a few skinned knees, but I was hooked! I have loved that feeling ever since.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

I’m not sure who… I don’t know if I have any one person I look up to for biking inspiration. The WHY is much easier–I love the freedom of getting almost anywhere I need to on my own power. I love the way I am fully awake as I pedal along the Greenway silently in the morning, and how I’ve had time to think ahead about my day. I ride because lots of 50-year-old women DON’T ride, and I think I’m pretty cool to do that. I ride because it feels amazing. I ride because it’s the right thing to do.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

I think pulling into Peacock Groove at the end of the Babes in Bikeland all women/trans alleycat race, with my team, the Old Souls, was probably the best! We were exhilarated to have found all of our stops and made it back before the official end of the race. The beers tasted so good, and everyone was jubilant! I was really happy to have ridden with such awesome WTFs and we finished! YAY!

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

I started my re-engagement in biking by fulfilling my dream of rebuilding an old bike, from the frame up. I rebuilt a ’79 Fuji steel framed bike at Grease Rag. So, I have that beautiful old girl, a KHS hybrid that I ride in the winter, and two Salsas; a Vaya and a Casseroll. I confess I look at Craigslist CONSTANTLY and I’m always drooling over the next possible bike!

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Review: Zevlin Big40 Custom Tape

0 Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

From adjusting parts to fit you better, to switching parts around to make your bike look different and completely yours, both are equally important in the journey of bicycle ownership. Customizing your bike is an important part of making the bike “yours.” Bar tape is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to do this.

Zevlin Big40 Custom Handlebar Tape

MSRP: $33.95 (discount for buying in bulk)
Unique Details: Super wide at 40mm, add your own logo to your handlebars!

The boys at Zevlin sent me a care package to test out and review, one of the coolest unique products in this was custom bar tape. While the tape isn’t as padded or grippy as my loved Lizard Skins DSP it has done well on the road under my winter testing.

Feel and Wear of the Zevlin Big40

The tape currently has a handful of long rides and roughly 200 miles of winter glove riding. The 40mm allows a good overlap of tape to get a cushion while showing off the custom logos covering half the width of tape. The logos are in great shape, I’m sure with a tacky summer glove the logos would wear after awhile but it would be a good indication that your bar tape needs replaced. It seems that not enough people replace their tape until their wrist or hands hurt!! I would compare the feel and tackiness of the tape to a Fizik bar without the pain of installing that leather like wrap.

Customize It

Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

While you can buy the Big40 alone, I believe the biggest market advantage Zevlin has is to price bulk custom tape to be attractive to shops, teams and even large charity events to promote brand identity. The Zevlin tape looks amazing on my bike with the white logos and then a few blue logos at the end of the wrap, now imagine that with your company under your bars. Rolling up to a group ride, sitting at a stop light or your bike parked at a coffee shop will put your brand identity right at hand level.

Overall Thoughts

Zeplin Big40 Custom Bar Tape

The bar tape is wearing well, I’ll use it for most of the road season but it will not replace the DSP on my cyclocross bike as grip and cushion are super important then. I plan on doing a run of Bike Shop Girl in black  to promote myself and the brand as they are a great grassroots company trying to do different things in the bike industry.

If you are in the market to take your branding a bit further on the bike, I would start with Zevlin. If you are looking for a new black bar tape I would stick to Lizard Skins DSP.

 

 

Motivational Monday with May

0 Motivational Monday with May

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

May Lauzon, Myrtle Beach, SC

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Triathlon/Shop & club group rides

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

You will be horrified to know that I did not ride a bike without training wheels until I was I believe EIGHT years old. I have some foggy recollections of my dad trying to teach me at a park, but it was a childhood friend that literally gave me the push I needed in the third grade.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

I’ve come a very long way since the days of third grade, and now I regularly help lead rides out of our local bike shop… Two groups of people highly motivate me. The first is the Cat 2/3/4 roadie guys that drive the pace really hard every Saturday morning, one being the owner of our bike shop whom I work for. The group of local triathletes that am lucky enough to call my “Iron-brothers” whom helped me prepare for my first 140.6 also keep the dream alive, they got me started on this journey.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

I think one of the most exciting moments on the bike this past year was back in April at the USAT Collegiate National Championships. The atmosphere at that race is incredible, with over 1,200 college students bringing the spirit of over 100 schools all together for one race… Coming into the turn-around point for the second lap of the bike during the women’s race, the hundreds of men that were waiting for their start lined up three-deep to cheer on the girls. I was so proud to be wearing Coastal Carolina’s black and teal out on that course.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

I lovingly call my bikes my “babies,” and I have been known to kiss my race bike goodnight. I own a Trek Speed Concept tri bike named “Dr. Pink” that I love to bring in great splits on, then there’s my Trek Madone road bike named “Spangle” that I do fun group rides on, and last but not least I have a classic steel Trek cruiser called “Rosie” which I use during the summer months, especially back when I used to ride to work as a lifeguard at the beach.

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Preview: Po Campo Roscoe Cross Body Bag

0 Po Campo Roscoe Crossbody Bag

Ever since Po Campo sent out an email a couple weeks back about the new colors in the Roscoe Crossbody bag I’ve been waiting patiently for Quality Bicycle Products to get them instock. I had hoped they would get them in before Frostbike (industry trade show this week) but unfortunately they did not. Maria from Po Campo braved the snow and traveled to Minneapolis this weekend for Frostbike. She was nice enough to bring along a bag for me to buy!I was able to use the Roscoe over the past couple days to carry around my iPad mini, iPhone and other key items (ID badge, charger, business cards, etc.)

Maria saved the day, so thank you!

Roscoe Crossbody Bag

I wouldn’t say this is a cycling specific bag at all, but more of a great looking bag with touches for those that use it on the bike. The color and function are what completely caught my attention and what I’ll be basing an upcoming review on!

Hopefully over the next week I’ll be able to ride with the bag and can give a pretty straight forward review with more photos of the interior pockets.

Disclaimer: I purchased this bag, super stoked on it and reviews (as always) will be based on using/abusing the product to give you the best feedback possible.

 

Bike Shop Build: Mountain Goat Route 29

2 Mountain Goat FKR Rigid

The thoughts and details during a bike build are what make a great bike shop a resource and a dream factory for bicycle geeks like myself. These custom bike builds are what keep me inspired and excited to continue to work within the industry.

Mountain Goat Route 29 from First Flight Bikes in Statesville, NC

Photo Credit: Jeff Archer

Motivational Monday with Lori

1 Motivational Monday with Lori

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

Lori, North Carolina

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Road riding and mountain biking

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

Of course, learning to ride when I was 5 or 6.

What really gave me the bug for riding the road…a friend and I went to ride Railroad Grade Road. It’s a 10-mile stretch of flat road all along the New River. Our main objective was to run over all the wooly worms we could find. And I found a sense of freedom that day that I could go anywhere on my bike and didn’t need a car all the time.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

My 17-month old son. I’m 41. I have to stay in shape to keep up with him.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

24 Hours of Booty in Charlotte, NC. I did my first century since giving birth. I could have ridden more but I didn’t want to kill myself in the 100 degree heat. I did 80+ miles between 10pm-2pm.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

2008 Bianchi Valentina, full carbon, even the carbon tubulars.
2006 Bianchi 928. Used to be my main road bike until Valentina showed up. Now it’s set up as a flat-bar road bike I used to pull my son in his Chariot on the Greenway.
2005 Bianchi Axis – cross bike we love to ride the dirt road with.
2008 Santa Cruz Blur XC. I love this bike. So much fun although I ride it less than any of the others.
2007 Redline R77 – my nasty weather road bike…bought the frame for $75. Built it up full Sram Rival…it’s 16lbs…lighter than a friend’s bike who paid almost $4k for hers. hahaha
AND, 2000 Santana Arriva tandem. Ofcourse, I have to shard this one with my husband…we LOVE this bike. Nobody wants to ride with us because we HAUL ASS!!

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

Race Report: Winter Short Track #4

0 Charlotte Short Track

A race report that was almost forgotten, as I’m typing this 6 days later in the Philadelphia airport during a layover.

My last race of the Charlotte Winter Short Track Series had a handful of ups and downs. As I was only able to race 4 out of 5 races my placing of this last race would be a wash. Going into a race lacking motivation is difficult for me, so 20 minutes to start time I did some soul searching and finding that mission. Mission: fun, hard pace and working to help a couple key friends on their short track virginity.

This is going to be kept short and sweet.

2nd lap I found myself sitting comfortable in 2nd place. Pushing it hard. Working with a friend Jordan on the road section. Around lap 4 or 5 I decided to slow the hell down. My morning routine was off, and my stomach was feeling questionable. Letting my heart rate drop a zone made me drop two places. Sitting in 4th behind Patty Smith. I coasted along, catching breath and finding comfort in my tempo zone. Two laps to go I knew I needed to either find peace with my 4th place finish or attack.

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Of course, I attacked. Put room between Patty and myself, I had 3rd locked in place. Trying to bridge the gap between 2nd place (Jordan) and myself, I pushed hard but needed another lap to make up the time I had lost. Losing 2nd place by 10 seconds was bitter but I learned a bit about myself, comfort zones and the punch that my legs have in these early pre-season races.

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One last bitter sadness is that I am currently tied for 1st overall with Patty. If I was to race this weekend and beat her, I would have first in the expert category. Unfortunately I am sitting in PA on the way to MN, far away from the race course. I can say I ended the series much better than I ever expected. My goals were to hang on and not get lapped, in the end I was the one doing the lapping.

 

Photo credits: Cheryl Anne & Jodi’s Wife.