The Brighton Fishtail Parka from Upright Cyclist
Whilst summer is slowly slipping away it’s about time to think ahead and get prepped for the cold season. If you are like me you are also very likely constantly on the lookout for technical urban riding garment performing on excellence but appearing in a bold understatement. I was searching for a new commuter jacket one that I could use throughout autumn, light winter days and spring time on my morning and evening commutes - one that does it all. One that supports me on the bike but one that I can also sport to a meeting. That’s exactly how I stumbled upon Upright Cyclist from Chicago, a small cycling brand that has dedicated itself to urban cycling in 2011 and it’s “signature piece” - the Brighton Fishtail Parka.
As mentioned before it’s all about a technical jacket that comes with a stylish understatement. You don’t want to look like you are going onto your next club ride whilst commuting. The Brighton is modeled after the US Army M51 fishtail parka, popular with the Mod movement in 1960’s Britain. Modernized for riding, it has a tailored, slimmer profile. If you don’t like the fishtail not a problem at all it’s convertible. Huge pockets with cosy lining are there to make sure you have plenty off room for stowing away your belongings or keep your hands warm. Add rubber zippers, velcro cuffs and a two-way adjustable hood to keep the rain and bluster out.
I was looking for something waterproof enough to keep my dry on my way home if there happens to be an unexpected downpour and this jacket is literally made for foul weather. It is made out of a polyester shell with breathable-waterproof backing, seam taped throughout and includes waterproof zippers.
Yes ventilation or breathability of fabrics is hell of important when used on the bike - simply because you will sweat. Despite from featuring a breathable backing the Brighton comes with two armpit zippers to regulate your body temperatures. So when I hop on my bike I unzip and open the armpits once I’m off I would close them. This works as flawlessly as I have only witnessed before with very expensive mountaineering equipment.
Visibility is a core feature to me when on the bike. But I’m not necessarily a big fan of bright high-viz colors (except when I’m out training). Upright Cyclist has found a solution: adding visibility elements that go unnoticed when not needed but come to life once the lights go out. UC’s solution: high visibility reflective piping on the back - nothing more to ask for.
Full tech specs:
- Waterproof-breathable polyester shell
- Waterproof main zip and armpit zips
- Pass through vent on back yoke
- Quail Pocket
- Two way adjustable hood
- Cinches for adjustable waste
- Convertible fishtail
- Felted, pouch pockets
- Velcro cuffs
- High visibility reflective piping on back
I’ve been wearing my Brighton on my everyday commute to the office as well as on our club trip to Roubaix and it kept me warm and snug all the way, blocking out the elements of northern France and Belgium. It has been a reliable companion off the bike as well as when commuting by bike during cooler spring mornings and rainy autumn days every since.
Since Chicago features almost the identical weather as we have here in Mid-Europe I can’t wait to see what they come up with that finally replaces my deep winter jacket as well.
Rating: 9 out of 10 sprockets.
Get your own piece over at Upright Cyclist.
Disclaimer: I did pay for this product and my thoughts and review about it are solely my unbiased impressions.
Last week Jens Voigt was competing in his last race as a professional. His performance as always was attacking and breaking away.
What a character. You’ll be missed mate - Never shut up Jensie!
Jack of all trades -
The Limar Ultralight+
I first came across the Limar brand when I was racing the Gran Fondo New York back in 2012. Limar was sponsoring the event and also had a booth there where I first tried one of their lids. Hands down I have never heard of theItalian company before although Limar is in the helmet business for over 20 years now.
Fast forward 2014. I almost forgot about Limar due to the fact that I have barely noticed them anywhere around Europe. It was earlier this year, watching Strade Bianche (where Limar happens to be the main sponsor), when our paths crossed again. My Catlike Whisper Plus has been a reliable and great protector for the past 2 years but it was time for something new and so I decided to finally give them a try and test their top of the line helmet the Limar Ultralight+.
Out of the box first thing I noticed was it’s weight. You barely don’t even notice holding something in your hands and I always thought the “Lightest helmet in the world” slogan was the usual marketing chit-chat but damn this helmet is really light. The L version weighs barely 210g. Chin straps can be adapted to the preferred length and all pads are antibacterial and can be removed for washing. The Ultralight+ features the Ultrafit+ system that consist of a retention wheel in the back as well as a height adjustment system on the temples. Regarding safety: the helmet features a double shell in-mould and 22 air vents including a bug net in the front for ventilation.
I’ve been testing the helmet quite intensively for the last 3 months and here are my findings:
+ Lightness: is really awesome you almost forget wearing a helmet and especially on longer rides this can prevent from having neck issues.
+ Features: The bug net. Haven’t noticed any other top of the line helmet around that features a bug net in the front. Especially handy if you are riding through bug land (like i do) and don’t want to stop every couple of minutes to remove your lid to free some insects. Pads are all antibacterial and detachable so you can easily pull them out and rinse every once in a while, same goes for the chin strap padding.
+ Adjustability: retention wheel plus smart height adjustments makes up for individual fitting.
+ Price for value: for a top of the line helmet is unbeatable
- Bug net is not detachable so your road helmet might be mistaken for the mountain biker ones next to you.
- Because of the bug net you can’t clip your shades to the front of the helmet (neither Limars own glasses like the OF10 - review coming later on) once taken them off. Nothing to be really bothered since you can clip the templates of the glasses upside down to the retention system in the back but still you need to change your habit.
- Ventilation is not as good as my prior Catlike Whisper Plus so on a very hot day I tend to sweat more in the Ultralight+.
- Sizing is not perfect - try before you buy - but maybe it’s just me and I just haven’t found a lid that covers my egg shaped head in a fashionable way.
Sizing: I’m 57cm headed and L fits me fine. I first thought the helmet would be too big but this size has been recommended by the Limar staff and there is still room to wear a cap or hat on cooler days.
Limar has produced a helmet that basically works for all terrains. The Ultralight+ looks good on the road as well as off-road and therefore is a true Jack of all trades. The Ultralight+ comes in seven stunning colors from matte black over kitty attack white-pink-violet all the way to classic white M (53-57 cm) - L (57-61 cm) M 175 gr - L 210 gr.
Rating: 7 out of 10 sprockets.
Get your ultralight lid over at Limar.
Thanks @rebeccajkaye for the awesome gift. If you haven’t yet make sure to check out www.middleofnowhere.cc #cycling #veloart #loseyourself #escapism
Into the wine.
Photo by ©Bengt Stiller
Photographer Bengt Stiller is currently working on a photobook about cycling. More infos http://bengtstiller.de/
Impressions from L’Étape 14 of the Tour de France 2014 up col d’Izoard. Witnessing the race at km12 of the climb in the mist of a stunning alpine scenery.
K-I-T-T-E-L Time at Le Tour.
Before and after portrait from last weekends In Velo Veritas. 210 km on a vintage bike leave their marks.
Images from yesterdays EPIC vintage ride at In Velo Veritas. Think L’Eroica happening in one of Austrias most beautiful landscapes of the Weinviertel. The 210km route did take us from Korneuburg up north just into the Czech Republic and via the stunning windmill of Retz back to Korneuburg. Rolling Hills, vintage bikes and clothing, tasty food stops with plenty of white wine and local specialities and really moderate cycling weather.
Nice based bike brand Café du Cycliste launches bike route guide to their home turf.
“Our philosophy is to bring a bit of the Côte d’Azur to everyone, wherever they happen to be riding their bike. But we also want to share the joys of riding in our own back-yard playground with all the cyclists who make the trip here
The new Rides page is a detailed guide to the area, showing some of our favorite routes along the Côte d’Azur and into the mountains that rise steeply from the Mediterranean.
There’s something to suit everyone – from flat rides on the coastal bike path, to hilly excursions with great views out over Cannes and the sea, to real tests of endurance and willpower in the high snowy southern Alps.
Come and explore the roads around Nice, hang out on the beach or go pro-spotting in Monaco. There are coffee stops, bike shops and other attractions too – be our guest!”
Impressions from Giro d’Italia 2014 Stage 21 Trieste
Italian flags were on discount, everyone wanted a yellow, blue, red one.
Radcore @ Rapha Gentlemen’s Race Bavaria 2014
"From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother.”
William Shakespeare, Henry V
Write-up about the Gents Race can be found here.
Sad to hear yesterdays news that Niels Albert is retiring from cyclocross because of cardiac dysrhythmia reports HLN.be. This great sport has truly lost its prince. Thanks Niels Albert for all what you done for this sport. Best of luck for your new life Niels!
Besides Olmo, Colnago and De Rosa, Cinelli is probably my most favorite bicycle logo design.
Learn more? Visit this great collection of bicycle logo designs here.
Some rides are hard. Some are easy. Celebrate them all!
To get your celebration going you can pre-order the Race Happy Jerseys™ over at the Le Rouleur Lent shop.