I've learned a thing or two about cycling clothing advancements in the past year, what with the whole thing where we designed a new Podium Cafe kit and all. And in the meantime, I've had the chance to check out some other brands as well. One to keep on your list: DannyShane.
Founder Shane Hunt comes from Texas ranching country but grew up to love cycling and clothing design. From that he brings a fairly unique eye to their designs, a mix of plaid patterns and simple, clean colors and looks, combined with some unique material and the sorts of technologies I personally expect now for creating the perfect fit. Over the winter DannyShane sent me a couple items from their spring line, and while I can show you some fashions for you to decide on your own, I can go a little deeper into the quality.
Overall assessment: This is pretty high-end clothing (jerseys $139 and bibs $209), but you get all the bang you expect for your buck. If this is your look, then DannyShane is a company you want to check out.
The bibs, when you pull them on, immediately fit into place. Made with lycra and recycled nylon -- Dannyshane clothing is all done with the environment in mind -- they don't feel terribly unique, but the performance is spot on. Once you're in them, these are top-performing bibs with a flawless form-fit. The primary material feels both soft in its ability to flex with your movements and solid against the elements of wind and weather. They don't hold any moisture on your body as far as I could detect, and the breathability isn't even slightly an issue. I got them on and rode in winter weather for six hours without ever noticing any concerns. Better still, the leg band has enough compression to hold up my legwarmers in the cold, and to generally hold the position of the bibs in warmer weather. The upper portion is a mesh material that won't affect your torso temperature at all. The chamois on my demo pair is of the six-hour variety, and felt dry and soft. All together, these are the technologies you want in a high-end pair of bibs.
But the real selling point is the jersey material. Using at least 50 percent bamboo white ash plant fiber material, the jerseys are incredibly soft to the touch and felt great on my skin. As much as I liked using the kit in winter, it's made for warmer days, when the beauty of this material can come through. The cut of the jersey is aggressive, made for a fit cyclist in riding position with no excess fabric, but like I said, it's best in summer. When I can actually ride. Waist gripper works well. Zippers are full length. Colors are a wide array of cleverly mixed cool and warm tones. Here's a pretty good sampling of the range of styles. For more stop by DannyShane.com.
And some full-on plaid...