Tag Archives | Specialized

Specialized Leg and Arm Warmers

Someone at Specialized has a sense of humor. I mean putting on a pair of leg warmers is a little like wearing a pair of thigh highs… isn’t it? So to give us gals a giggle, they’ve added black lace and a Specialized red bow to the ankles and wrists of their leg and arm warmers.

In all practicality, I thank Specialized for this little touch, as these visual aids help us in identifying our gear from the rest of the laundry load.

Left and right sides are conveniently labeled as the designs on both leg and arm warmers are side-specific. All panels are made of Specialized’s unique (fleece-like) Therminal™ fabric for additional warmth.

Leg warmers have slightly angled zippers for easier on/off, (although I don’t notice a difference since  I alway struggle trying to take leg warmers off –with my shoes still on).  Zippers are equipped with a reflective trim for extra visibility. A wide 1.5 inch “plush” elastic band at the thigh uses the Specialized logo in a silicone treatment as grippers to minimize inevitable bulges.

Arm warmers have encased elastic in the upper arms to avoid chafing and irritation to this notoriously sensitive area of skin, while still holding them in place.

Nice touch Specialized. Your Therminal™ fabric  doesn’t seem as flimsy as the competition!

BG Specialized RBX Cycling Shorts

The Specialized RBX Cycling Shorts were designed for long distance performance which is why Specialized recommended them for my first century(s) — the 2011 Seattle to Portland ride (100 miles/day for two days).

The RBX chamois is larger than those in most other shorts I’ve tested, reaching far enough to offer protection to the upper inner and posterior thigh, with high density foam positioned under the sit bones for pressure relief and maximum comfort. The chamois is seamless and stretchable, its edges taper off in thickness and are reinforced with minimum stitching to avoid chafing.

I love Specialized’s “VaporRize” fabric, which has the required wicking ability for fast evaporation, but also stretches in all directions, providing comfort hour after hour. The panel construction is unique, making the seams less noticeable and less likely to cause irritation.

Even though I love BG products, I have to say that these shorts just weren’t cut for my body type.  The 2 inch wide waistband is designed to be non-binding, but with my extremely short waistline there’s enough elastic to folds over itself having the opposite effect. In addition, the almost 1 1/2″ wide bottom leg gripper elastic is a little loose on my legs even though I was wearing their size small.   I was able to increase the bulk around the elastic by folding it up once, and this adjustment made all the difference.   By doing so, I reduced the 9″ inseam  slightly so that it was more proportioned to my size.

Long-waisted women (petite and otherwise), would do well to try these shorts, especially for rides exceeding 70 miles.

Specialized BG Gel Cycling Gloves

Whenever you see the Body Geometry Logo on a Specialized product, you can be sure that a good deal of research has been employed in its design. This is once again true for the BG Gel Cycling gloves.

The high-quality, gel padding extends over three areas of the palm; protecting the thumb, finger joints, and the entire width of the heel of the hand. The purpose of this padding is to more evenly distribute pressure which helps minimize numbing in your hands (particularly the ulnar nerve).

The position of the foam correctly follows the shape of my hand, providing superior protection and shock absorption. I have yet to find a more comfortable pair
of cycling gloves.

Even with all the padding, the leather is soft enough so that I still have full range of motion in my hands. I wore these gloves day after long day on Cycle Oregon (on rough roads paved with chip seal) and my hands didn’t suffer the way the rest of my body did.

The size small fits snugly (maybe I needed the mediums?), and so taking them on and off has stressed the fabric on the back of the glove, causing several small holes and a rip in a seam. I’ve also noticed a strange tan on my hand consisting of tiny lines that run in the same direction as the tiny holes in the mesh fabric on the top of the gloves. I find this mildly amusing.

Even after a year, the padding shows no sign of wear! If I were to guess, the mesh fabric will be the limiting factor on the life of the BG Gel Cycling Gloves. These gloves deserve your attention. Go try them on!

Specialized Deflect Hybrid Jacket

Visiblity is everything, like in the early morning, when drivers are not fully awake or especially during rainy conditions.

I needed a lightweight jacket for the unpredictable weather from Seattle to Portland, and the Specialized Deflect Hybrid Jacket was the answer. The neon yellow was the perfect color for my riding buddy to spot me in a crowd (there were 10,000 riders).

Since this hybrid jacket/vest is fully wind and water resistant, it doesn’t breathe very well. However, Specialized cleverly equipped this “cyclist’s must-have” with a variety of options.

For example, the jacket has velcro closures on the bottoms of the sleeves along with zippers under the shoulders which unzip forward from just behind the armpits. These pit zips give you, the rider, an initial way to moderate your body temperature. Still too warm? A series of three snaps just beneath the back collar, and two velcro closures remove the yoke and sleeves as one unit, creating a vest with a mesh yoke in back, and plenty of additional ventilation, while still providing wind and rain deflection.

The jacket comes with two zippered pockets, one in back which is large enough to store your sleeves, and a pocket on the left side but, mysteriously, none on the right.

I love this jacket because it’s so versatile. However, even with a wide back, I’ve wondered if I would be more comfortable in a smaller size as the sleeves are super long.

Also,  knowing when to start peeling off layers is a very important skill.  Without it, you may find yourself in a rainstorm of sweat between you and your jacket.  When you no longer need to wear an outer shell,  the entire jacket folds up and can fit into it’s own rear zippered pocket.

Note: With some practice, a confident rider could probably remove the sleeves while riding. I don’t encourage this, and I certainly don’t believe you can put the sleeves back on while moving.