The end of October I was approached by Lab-Gear to review a few of their new woman’s line, 99. Today we are going to go over the pro’s and con’s, as well as share some photos of the different shirts we reviewed. First, make sure to read our preview from December.
One thing very unique about Lab-Gear was the process of ordering these garments. You go through a whole build out picking sizing, color weighs, and options. The options include a GT Stripe (racing stripe,) thumb holes, and various stitching for the cuff and collars.
After submitting your order the customer service is top notch. At anytime it is telling you where your order is along in their system. Finally, you take delivery. They are wrapped up nicely like a brilliant gift for you. Made exclusively for you! It happened also, to be delivered on my birthday.
This is a lighter weight long sleeve top. Easily worn with jeans or on your favorite long ride. We chose to build out our 99 tops to match well together as you can see in the photos. Due to this being very close to your skin, if you are sensitive to wool, you may get itchy while wearing this top.
Merino wool does its job, even though a very thin (tshirt like) top. This guy will keep you warm by itself on slightly chilly days, or team it up with the 99 Mid to have a very warm outfit.
With the fitting we decided to order the top to be a fashion fit. Not too tight, but a normal size you would by from a clothing store. The shirt fits well, but is on the shorter side for the size it is fitting.
As an outerwear top it is not quite a jersey, not quite a full on jacket. It reminded me a lot of a track style jacket. The Mid has a higher collar, thicker weave of merino and a zipper collar.
We ordered this top a size bigger than the T as it was going to be worn over other tops. Teaming the Mid and T up together is going to be the perfect spring morning ride apparel. The colors we decided on go well together for the pieces separate or together.
The cost are high for these tops, but merino wool comes at a price, as does customizing to your own liking. At the time of typing this the convert of currency from AUS to USD is:
$130 for the Mid
$78.35 for the T
After a couple months of weekly use, washing, wearing and riding in - these tops look brand new. This isn’t normally the case with wool, you often get pulling or threads snagged.
The Mid will be a great purchase for multi use, and the T is a dream if you are a fan of wool.
This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing. I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.
In Florida, it seems to be raining none stop today which means that today’s group ride was rained out. One advantage of this was the free time to give you a recap of a few key things we have learned during our sessions here at Cervelo Brainbike.
Make sure to subscribe to the Bike Shop Girl podcast on iTunes.
During the video I mentioned a few things :
Project California - Cervelo’s test lab where they have created new and better things from Cervelo, as well as $6k framesets (100 made.)
A new seat clamp for the P4. You can see this above, and they did say they are making retrofits for the ones on the old P4′s that keep slipping/cracking.
I’m working on getting the slideshow from the presentation in-order to show you photos of the new carbon S-bikes internally routed cables.
Over at Grit & Glimmer a question was posed to get feedback on why or how bike shops are failing in general, women.
What is the shop doing, or not doing and how can we, the women, hope to see change?
Everyday more and more women are climbing onto bicycles. It’s our time. We’re here and we’re ready to ride. Are bike shops ready for us? What’s your experience? Do you have ideas on how bike shops can be better?
Do you have a story to share?
Let it rip.
I’ve been contacted over the past few months by several large companies (a shop included) to help them figure out how to better serve us. I’m excited, energized and enthusiastic about it – and I have commitments from them that they will be willing to take risks, trust me, and do what it takes to truly make a shift-change.
What do they need to hear?
Today I’m asking specifically about bike shops but I promise later to also address the question of the larger industry. We’re making strides, to be sure, but we’ve got a long way to go.
Over here at Bike Shop Girl headquarters we get many emails asking common questions on how to survive being a cyclist and a woman. In order to get more insight from other women I will often ask if I can put the email I received up on the web for others to answer.
Question : Okay – I have heard this before but it has always been from male sales people. I rode to work 3 or 4 times a week this year until the temps dropped and the snow started flying.
I am having difficulty wraping my head around the idea of putting on the same pair of shorts I wore on my 8 mile ride in the morning, to ride the same 8 miles on the way home – without underwear. It is easy to change my underwear a couple of times a day and pull on the same pair of shorts.
. They look much like a boxer brief and are thinner than their spandex sister shorts. The reason for two is that I can sweat on the way to work, and not have to put them back on. If in a forgiving environment I often have rode to work, showered and hand washed my cycling shorts. Leaving them to dry during the day.
A beautiful fi’zi:k Vestashowed up at my doorstep a couple of weeks back. Quickly, I snapped some photos and then installed the saddle on my cyclocross bike. Since then it has been on my goto bike for long road rides, and my daily commute.
The very first feeling of the saddle is the firm, yet padded support. This is a good feeling as I don’t like a saddle that I sink into. If you sink too much into a saddle your sit bones are no longer holding you up and the soft tissues are left holding you up. This saddle hasn’t seen more than an hour and a half of consistent ride time so we can only tell how the padded feeling holds up.
The “pressure relief channel” seems to work so far. It isn’t a cut out so if I rock into the drops I can feel pressure on my soft tissue areas but to this point there has been no numbness or pain when this pressure happens for an extended amount of time.
Look & Design
The saddle is an eye catcher. Subtle enough, but if someone walks close enough to see the top of your saddle they will stop and ask, “WHAT?!” This exact story has happened to me with everyone that has seen the saddle. My only worry about the eye catching colors are they will bleed over time into my white bib shorts.
Sitting initially on this saddle I didn’t think “this is the one,” but that never has happened before with any of my favorite saddles. There are always fine tuning with the bike fit and trying different angles and fore/aft of the saddle. BUT I didn’t sit on this saddle and feel horrible pain, nor did I feel pain after 25 miles. The jury is still out on this saddle but I will check back with you as the fit is modified and more miles are logged.
I’m tentatively going to expand into merchandise and small product sales on Commute By Bike and Bike Shop Girl. But I would like your feedback. What type of things would you purchase through us vs Amazon? Would it be enough to know you are supporting a great resource to purchase that light or bag through us?
Let me know what you think and what you would be interested in!