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Old 10-06-06, 02:34 PM   #1
nesdog
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Windbreakers

Hi all,

After a zillion years, I'm wanting to retire my windbreaker in favor of a new one. The current one has a couple of pockets and can be stuffed into a front pouch with straps that turns it into a fannypack. Unfortunately, the straps are about gone.

I'm seeking suggestions on replacements. I looked at Performance's Transformer the other day in the shop and it was messy. Nice feature was the sleeves can be removed turning it into a vest but figuring out the stuffing/fanny pack part was too confusing. Even the salesperson had trouble with it. I don't know that I care about making it a vest anyway.

I'm not looking for cold weather gear. Hey, I'm on the trainer if I get that cold! What I want is something to keep the wind off on marginal days, early morning rides, etc. I can always layer underneath for warmth.

I called the LBS and they liked the Optik.

So, pass along any reviews, please!

Thanks,

Sheldon
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Old 10-06-06, 03:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nesdog
Hi all,

After a zillion years, I'm wanting to retire my windbreaker in favor of a new one. The current one has a couple of pockets and can be stuffed into a front pouch with straps that turns it into a fannypack. Unfortunately, the straps are about gone.

I'm seeking suggestions on replacements. I looked at Performance's Transformer the other day in the shop and it was messy. Nice feature was the sleeves can be removed turning it into a vest but figuring out the stuffing/fanny pack part was too confusing. Even the salesperson had trouble with it. I don't know that I care about making it a vest anyway.

I'm not looking for cold weather gear. Hey, I'm on the trainer if I get that cold! What I want is something to keep the wind off on marginal days, early morning rides, etc. I can always layer underneath for warmth.

I called the LBS and they liked the Optik.

So, pass along any reviews, please!

Thanks,

Sheldon
I have one from Canari, that has a zippered pocket that it can fold into and the straps to make it a fanny pack. Also the sleeves zip off to make it a sleeveless vest!
Was $45 I think at Sportmart which I think is now Sports Authority...But I have seen it on the internet and even ebay!
h
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Old 10-06-06, 03:04 PM   #3
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I just got a new PI from Colorado Cyclist for $45, very nice with interior pockets.
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Old 10-06-06, 03:36 PM   #4
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I just got a Performance Century jacket. It was on sale already + web coupon + free shipping so it was
cheap. I got it for the occasional rain day.
It's cut too loose so if inflates and the sleeves flap even at low speed.
To make up for that, it's a portable sauna.
I do like the never-seen-in-nature explosive acid green color however.

Not recommended.
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Old 10-06-06, 04:19 PM   #5
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This will be my first "winter" cycling session. There are lots of negative posts on "hard"-type shells saying they're not breathable enough, so I just got myself a "soft shell" version (more $).

I should be picking it up today and give you a better report over the weekend.
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Old 10-06-06, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbm
I have one from Canari, that has a zippered pocket that it can fold into and the straps to make it a fanny pack. Also the sleeves zip off to make it a sleeveless vest!
Was $45 I think at Sportmart which I think is now Sports Authority...But I have seen it on the internet and even ebay!
h
I saw this one online. REI has it too.

Sheldon
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Old 10-06-06, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nesdog
I saw this one online. REI has it too.

Sheldon
The Canari can also at times be a portable sauna...mainly on the sleeves i found...so I removed them and use arm warmers...then I can unzip in front for some ventilation...so far it has worked pretty well for me...
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Old 10-06-06, 04:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassave
I just got a Performance Century jacket. It was on sale already + web coupon + free shipping so it was
cheap. I got it for the occasional rain day.
It's cut too loose so if inflates and the sleeves flap even at low speed.
To make up for that, it's a portable sauna.
I do like the never-seen-in-nature explosive acid green color however.

Not recommended.
Yeah, I looked at this one at Performance and it didn't impress me either. Glad I passed on it.

Cali seems really sold on the Optik. I called the LBS and they have one in stock so I'll stop by there in an hour and look at it. I guess if it can compress into a jersey pocket than I don't need to worry about straps, although the advantage to the pouch version was that I could put some very small items in there!

Sheldon
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Old 10-06-06, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nesdog
Yeah, I looked at this one at Performance and it didn't impress me either. Glad I passed on it.

Cali seems really sold on the Optik. I called the LBS and they have one in stock so I'll stop by there in an hour and look at it. I guess if it can compress into a jersey pocket than I don't need to worry about straps, although the advantage to the pouch version was that I could put some very small items in there!

Sheldon

I have done that with mine...it will hold arm warmers in the pouch also...I have even attached it to a camelbak with the straps
Yes ..please report on what you think of the Optik...
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Old 10-06-06, 04:51 PM   #10
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I love my Optiks. I have both, the vest and the jacket....and they're so tiny when compressed. The only thing I don't like about the jacket is the noise it creates during high speed descents......sounds like a flag flapping loudly during a storm.
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Old 10-06-06, 05:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
I love my Optiks. I have both, the vest and the jacket....and they're so tiny when compressed. The only thing I don't like about the jacket is the noise it creates during high speed descents......sounds like a flag flapping loudly during a storm.

Dont most jackets and vests do that unless they are skin tight?
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Old 10-06-06, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbm
Dont most jackets and vests do that unless they are skin tight?
My vest is not tight fitting but is a lot quieter than the jacket. Another riding buddy of mine commented on the same thing about his Optik jacket. Regardless, it still is a great jacket.
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Old 10-06-06, 05:23 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
My vest is not tight fitting but is a lot quieter than the jacket. Another riding buddy of mine commented on the same thing about his Optik jacket. Regardless, it still is a great jacket.

Cool...I will have to check them out...
I guess the sleeves are where it really makes noise...
thanks G!
h
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Old 10-06-06, 07:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
I love my Optiks. I have both, the vest and the jacket....and they're so tiny when compressed. The only thing I don't like about the jacket is the noise it creates during high speed descents......sounds like a flag flapping loudly during a storm.
+1 on the Optik from PI. Really good for SoCal. In other words cuts the wind great, but if you are looking to cut the cold, there might be better.
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Old 10-06-06, 07:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbm
I have done that with mine...it will hold arm warmers in the pouch also...I have even attached it to a camelbak with the straps
Yes ..please report on what you think of the Optik...
Bought the Optik. Wish it had some pockets but I guess that doesn't matter. First ride will be tomorrow and I'll report back my experience with it.

Sheldon
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Old 10-10-06, 02:30 PM   #16
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i have the optik as well. i don't ever wear it unless its wet out. too sweaty for me and it's sleeves flap too much, especially downhill. i really thought that i would like it but really only throw it in my pocket when it looks like it might rain. it does fold down really small like others have mentioned. i wear the pearl izumi zephrr vest with the mesh back all the time. when i was commuting last year in the dark i bought an illuminite jacket with zip off sleeves. the back and the back of the sleeves have a small reflective pattern to give drivers something to aim for in the dark. it's much, much heavier than optik and it flaps a little at speed but much better for cold weather. if i got a little warm on the climb i would unzip the sleeves a little for some venting. my dad just bought the vagabond jacket with the zip-off sleeves, don't know how that is yet as he hasn't had a chance to try it out. seems alittle lighter than my illuminite jacket.
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Old 10-10-06, 04:36 PM   #17
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I've now used the Optik twice. First off, it's way better than my old windbreaker. It really does cut the wind to nothing. In that respect, it is definately warm. Surprising given how light it seems.

I noticed today that I do sweat a bit in there. Probably do that with my other one too but didn't pay much attention to it. It was sorta marginal wearing it this afternoon anyway as the sun was in and out. I took it off mid-ride. So the sweating may be nothing on cold days. Does this material breathe?

The jacket really munches down to nothing and easily fits in the jersey. I don't mind whatever flapping I hear from the sleeves. Maybe I'm not going fast enough to matter!

It's very light weight and a great red color. The one small pocket is okay.

Sheldon
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Old 10-12-06, 02:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herbm
The Canari can also at times be a portable sauna...mainly on the sleeves i found...so I removed them and use arm warmers...then I can unzip in front for some ventilation...so far it has worked pretty well for me...

Bought this one at REI, and very glad I did. REI's no-questions-asked return policy is fabulous! That d@mn jacket is going back this weekend! I LOVE the high-visibility color, and in the 2 weeks I've had it, I really liked the zip-off sleeve feature, but I hated it when I had the sleeves on and the front zipper busted already. It's currently hanging up at home with the zipper stuck together at the bottom 'cause I can't get it undone.

I just noticed y'all are a bunch of Californians, southern in fact! I'm in MN doing a search on BF for jacket recommendations, so add to the sauna comments the fact that the same is true even in the 35-40F temperature range!

Guess I won't be asking for a good freezing-rain/cold winter shell recommendation on this thread. I'll be biking home later in 14F windchills and rain/snow in my non-water-resistant jacket.
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Old 10-12-06, 02:42 PM   #19
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Guess I won't be asking for a good freezing-rain/cold winter shell recommendation on this thread. I'll be biking home later in 14F windchills and rain/snow in my non-water-resistant jacket.
i have this for my warm jacket
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Old 10-12-06, 04:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Guess I won't be asking for a good freezing-rain/cold winter shell recommendation on this thread. I'll be biking home later in 14F windchills and rain/snow in my non-water-resistant jacket.
Yow...went out for a lunch time ride a few hours ago under 70ish degree temps and bright blue skies. No jacket, no windbreaker...sorry....well, it is supposed to rain Friday and Sat!

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Old 10-13-06, 09:08 AM   #21
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When it gets really cold I use my yellow windbreaker but if its marginal, I use two layers of rash guards. To prevent the wind from going thru the clothing, I use a plastic bag from the produce dept of a supermarket. So the first layer is a short sleeve rash guard. Then the long sleeve rash guard. Inbetween these, I insert the plastic bag to cover the chest area. Absolutely no wind gets in. The back stays cool. I sometimes use arm warmers under the long sleeve rash guards, and sometimes not.

If its a long ride, I can remove the plastic bag when it gets warmer and tuck it in my pants.

The rash guards can be bought cheaply because they're on sale at Jack's or Huntington Surf near the H.B. pier. Jack's has warehouse sales on Gothard just north of Ellis. When you buy rash guards, go one size up because you're buying for riding, not surfing. Some rash guards are thicker than others.
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Old 10-13-06, 09:25 AM   #22
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When it gets really cold I use my yellow windbreaker but if its marginal, I use two layers of rash guards. To prevent the wind from going thru the clothing, I use a plastic bag from the produce dept of a supermarket. So the first layer is a short sleeve rash guard. Then the long sleeve rash guard. Inbetween these, I insert the plastic bag to cover the chest area. Absolutely no wind gets in. The back stays cool. I sometimes use arm warmers under the long sleeve rash guards, and sometimes not.

If its a long ride, I can remove the plastic bag when it gets warmer and tuck it in my pants.

The rash guards can be bought cheaply because they're on sale at Jack's or Huntington Surf near the H.B. pier. Jack's has warehouse sales on Gothard just north of Ellis. When you buy rash guards, go one size up because you're buying for riding, not surfing. Some rash guards are thicker than others.
I didn't know they had a local warehouse. Good to know!
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Old 10-16-06, 11:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassave
I just got a Performance Century jacket. It was on sale already + web coupon + free shipping so it was
cheap. I got it for the occasional rain day.
It's cut too loose so if inflates and the sleeves flap even at low speed.
To make up for that, it's a portable sauna.
I do like the never-seen-in-nature explosive acid green color however.

Not recommended.
Crap. This is what I just picked up tonight. I really need to find me a retailer who actually has the Optik in stock.
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Old 10-16-06, 11:49 PM   #24
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Nike

Thought I'd give me input for people that may be looking for a shell. Last year I went through a long search for a good shell and chose one from Nike designed specifically for cycling. Some Nike items are very well thought out.

The things I like about the shell:

Collar: It is high to keep the neck warm. It has a thin layer of fleece.

Material: Not to light, not too heavy. The really light shells seem to conform against your body and this cools you off quicker. A material that is a little stiffer creates a better pocket between the shell and you.

Zipper: People that put tiny zippers pulls on shells have never had to pull one up or down with one hand (especially with gloves on). I hate small zippers. The Nike (Voler also gets big points here) has nice big zippers. An added bonus is that when the zipper is flipped down it locks in place. When it is flipped up it easily slides up or down. It also has dual zippers for opening from the bottom or top.

Size: It packs down small enough to be stuffed in a jersey pocket if your roll it up.

Elastic at cuffs and waist: Velcro and Pull strings add weight and are a hassle. The Nike shell has simple elastic at cuffs and waist. Of course elastic goes bad after awhile, but on other shells I have just spent a few bucks at the local tailor and had it replaced.
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