Review: Riding Sub5 with Club Ride’s Pin’It Shorts and Roxbury Shirt
It’s been said that 40% of all car trips in the US are 2 miles or less meaning that quite a few drives could easily be replaced by a bicycle ride. Whether you’re riding to the grocery store or to the office, there is something to be said for effective cycling clothing that doesn’t look out of place when you get off the bike. That is the theory behind Club Ride’s Sub5 group -clothing that is comfortable for rides under 5 miles and stays comfortable for the rest of the day once you get off the bike.
To put the Pin’It and Roxbury to the test we rode plenty of Sub5, but also a whole lot more. Dress down after the break.
What is Sub5? What if my ride is 6, or 10 miles? Don’t let the Sub5 moniker fool you – you can certainly ride more than 5 miles comfortably in this gear. The name is more of a description of the category of riding, not necessarily the distance. Riding to work, the grocery store, the post office, back from the auto repair shop so you don’t have to wait while your fiance’s car is repaired – all great opportunities for the Sub5 line up. To date, the longest single ride I’ve done in the Pin’It shorts was just over 20 miles and it easily could have been longer. I threw a chamois under the shorts because I knew it was going to be a longer ride which made them comfortable enough to ride in all day. Without a chamois rides of 10-20 miles are still easily doable as the shorts have a seamless crotch gusset that make them very comfortable to pedal in.
Ultimately, the shorts boil down to this – if you like the fit they are a great purchase. Some riders may find the same cut that gives the Pin’It its distinctive style also makes them on the tight side depending on your build – and I’m not talking about the waist. Originally I had ordered a small and couldn’t really get them on, let alone ride in them. That pair was swapped out for a medium which fit much better, but still were very tight around my thighs, though I have plenty of room in the waist. Fortunately, the RideDryWear breathable fabric has some stretch built in and the cut does give the shorts a sleek urban look that certainly sets them apart from your standard riding shorts.
Inside the waist you will find an internal waistband adjustment system, as well as belt loops if you would rather rock a belt (along with a reflective loop on the rear), and the NoCrackBack raised waist in the rear. The RideDryWear fabric proved to breathe well and never got to the point of being noticeably damp, but the fabric is on the thicker side so on hot days the shorts can get pretty warm. Fortunately, they never became uncomfortable due to how quickly the shorts seem to dry.
Storage on the shorts includes the typical side and and rear pockets you find on every day shorts, but also includes a side zippered pocket. I really like the side pocket, though I wish it was just a little bit bigger. It’s the perfect place to stash your phone as it keeps it from bouncing around and in the safety of the zippered pocket, but you might find it too small for your phone especially if you use a case. Personally, an iPhone 4s with a Speck CandyShell case proved too big to easily get it in and out of the pocket. After removing the case, the phone fits much better but it is still snug. The Pin’It shorts are available for $79.99 in Raven, size S-XL.
If the Pin’It shorts are good, then the Roxbury shirt is great. While perfectly comfortable on the bike, the Roxbury allows you to make a night of it with a technical button up that is only limited to your imagination. Any situation where you could use a well ventilated, quick dry shirt is a reason to break out the Roxbury – dinner on the patio, walking the dog, 18 holes of golf, and riding errands in between this shirt rocks.
The only feature that clued any of my friends into the fact that it was actually a bike jersey was the rear side mounted pocket which is positioned next to large reflective accents. Again, the pocket is a nice touch though it definitely works better on more upright seating positions. On one of my road bikes, the phone in the pocket kept causing the jersey to pull to one side which was never an issue on my commuter. There are also two chest pockets if you want to use those instead.
Fit on the Roxbury is spot on with a fitted but roomy cut and the small fit exactly like I was expecting. Also made from RideDryWear fabric, with the combination of the underarm mesh vents the Roxbury will keep you dry all day long. The Roxbury is available for $89.99 in Rio and Charcoal and in S-XL.
You may not think having technical wear for shorter rides will make that much of a difference, but after having the Sub5 pair at my disposal I was surprised how often I reached for them. Short trips to the grocery store involved changing into the Pin’It shorts and Roxbury, but once I was home there was no reason to change. Anyone looking to ride more and drive less will get a lot of use out of the pair, but if you have to pick just one the Roxbury is an easy choice.
- Very comfortable to ride in thanks to seamless crotch gusset
- Extremely quick dry
- Functional off the bike
- Feature packed
- Slim fit may be too slim for some
- Dark color and little ventilation can make them a little warm
- Zippered side pocket could be bigger
- Comfortable, stylish, and versatile
- Very well ventillated – snap front allows adjustment of airflow
- Equally at home on or off the bike
- Lightweight and quick dry
- Reflective accents/storage with media port
- Depending on bike position rear side pocket may be an issue
Photos c. Catherine Andersen