I like it because it seems to give the best ws coverage , possibly more than Castelli. The breathing is a little difficult, but I found I just got used to it-- compare to the review of the Castelli where the guy could not breath at all or his nose gets frost bite. Its also quite snug, so pulling it down for a drink (although I gave up carrying water as it just freezes...will try salt this winter) is something you have to stop and do (and then your glasses fog/freeze up!). My glasses do fit under. But these all seem to be expected trade-offs. What bugs me is that the eye hole is too small. It is impossible to look down and check what gear I am in, or if ice/mud is building up. This sucks!!!! In other words, the coverage is max (and good in this sense) for only riding in the hooks and looking straight forward. Period. If you look down, you have to pull the balaclava down to see--good luck trying to do that w/lobster mitts, in traffic, on a busted up road, in the wind...!!!!
All that said, not so sure I want to try Castelli, somebody should write up the craft ws.
5/5 based on a better insert than mine, which are probably 2010 (The EIT insert seems to be deforming or separating. Its inconsistently comfy.) Assuming the insert was improved (and it looks that way), these are superb knickers. Windtex and fleece fabrics, and the overall cut & construction are all first-rate. What I like best is that there is just enough strategically placed Windtex to allow me to wear these down to 45, yet there is little enough so I can wear these in 60+ and not get hot or damp under the Windtex panels.
Just a 2012 update: I talked to Sugoi the other day, the 2011 winter line high end cycling tights (at least the zero plus line) ONLY come WITH a chamois.
Finally broke down and decided to try fenders. It wasn't the rooster tail, it was the sub-32F cold salt water pounding the back of my thighs for three hours brrrrrr
1-if you plan to keep these on all season, check out the Crud fenders. Apparently they fit pro bikes (4mm clearance needed), yet are full coverage i.e. like the big ones that attach on frame mounts. There is even (apparently) a wheel well to protect your front derail. In the past I have had a problem with water comming off the road and then freezing on the bike (one solid chunk of ice w/ no brakes,frozen shifting, and a single frozen rock for a rear casette). In this situation I think these might be better than minimalist coverage of SKS.
2-once set up, the SKS go on and off easily, while minimizing the dork factor.
3-learn from my mistake: I dont think you bend the metal stays as much as torque the fender to bend diffferently. I found the front took a lot of bending as the clearances are tight, and I suspect the default is not a straight blade fork (i.e. default is fork w/bend in it). If you have to bend the stays, THEY WILL SLIDE BACK to their default unless you screw them down w/enclosed screws. So after an hour on the road, the fender slipped in the holder, and I wore off my mud flap attachment peg.
Hope this helps dan
Probably one of the best all round garments Ive ever owned in my 40 years of riding. Pockets perfectly designedBIG. They are pleated on bottom so jersey doesnt pull off back at hem allowing cold snow melt under your jacket. Also, they dont go all the way to the hem, so the hem stays put. If crud does manage to creep in, the grabber is sewn on both top and bottom so it doesnt accumulate road crud under the grabber.
Chest vents only work in combination with opening main front zip. The air then flows through surprisingly well. Ive opened front vents alone at -12C, and they dont really do much w/o front zip open.
Material seems to be the same as Polare tight, but stitching is better. Zips are plenty beefy, and workable w/lobster mitt.
Temp range is 50 to, so far, 15F w/ a lot of small-ring-downhill wind. At 50, you need to have all zips open & its still a chore, but doable if say youre doing a crack-o-dawn & it warms up. At 40, start with a light base, at 15 wear a real, true, task-specific, mid-weight layer e.g. Icebreaker 260 (320 is really a lot). Cut issurprisinglynot Italian, its more of a semi-fitted (2xl, 6-3, 225lbs) so you can layer it. Given this success, dont know why you would go for the less breathable e.g. Due, Stelvio, or 1-2-3.
BTW at 15, I was good for three hours in: Gore thermo booties over Castelli belgian booties over Walmart over-calf wool hunting socks & wool socks under shoes. Use Amfib tight, w/Thermo-Robioux knee warmers underneath (Capo LE). Giro 100 proof gloves, and Gore WS balaclava. Get insulated water bottle or your water will freeze. Yeah, dressed as above, I was sweating a lot underneath, and got a nasty dehydration headache because no water.
Nice soft merino. They actually use a flat stitch across toe box. Excellent.
These bars are as good as or better than all below authors state. Appreciate xtra stiffness as I ride a long stem. Fiber is pretty to look at while riding. Bontrager bars were flattened along back with cable grooves, which was uglier than cables in front. Cables not a prob for me--there is actually some flattening in the front. Love the long reach and prefer the old style bend.
Postscript to below:
So some insulated gloves use proprietary fleece (Gore), others use loft (Thisulate, Primaloft) which is sometimes standardized so you can customize to your personal combustion. Followed up on a hunch...went to backbacking sites and found out that glove liners come in weights like socks (e.g. http://www.backcountry.com/patagonia-heavyweight-glove-liners; but from another site found "Weight: 1.5 oz / 43 g
Fabric: 6.8-oz Polartec Power Stretch 88% polyester/12% spandex single-sided fleece". So buy liners first, then buy gloves accordingly; put liners in back pocket and tweak on-the-fly as needed.
I just switched over from the first generation (80' vintage) of Time. Found these much more difficult to get into--apparently the new generation is smaller (pedal and cleat) so there are more ways for the cleat to touch the pedal w/o engaging. Took me several months to get to where I could "hit it" ever time, first time. But on the occasion when I do hit the pedal and do not engage, I cannot "feel" where to twist my foot so it'll engage. This may be a problem with all clipless pedals, so I am not sure its a valid criticism.
That said, I rode these 2-4 times a week (like any ex-racer would) for about 8 months and the pedal body cracked. The "good" news is that the crack was perpendicualr to the axel, so the steel axel apparently kept the pedal intact so I could get home.
All in all, the functionality of the pedal/cleat, once engaged, is superb---love the float (b4 release)!!!
Only had a chance to ride once, but want to point out what is pictured is what you get-not as described. No draw cord, and after looking at zero-rh website suspect these are probably Airdry Gold 150 only (not 250). Very windproof (but not thumb), but breathes well. No padding in palm (which I prefer). Took 2xl, and fit is narrow & tight (no room for liners) but long enough in fingers, which for me is rare. Excellent in 50 degree w/nasty wind. Hands were damp when removed gloves, outside of gloves seemed slightly damp (so wicking was working).