The weather gods were kind and granted us a weekend with cool temps, but sunny blue skies that beckoned us to hit the roads on our tandem. Debbie has been less than enthusiastic about heading out to ride before the thermometer tickles 60°F but with the warming rays of the sun and cycling tights, long-sleeve jerseys and gloves she was good to go at 52°F on both Saturday & Sunday.
During Saturday’s ride I finally decided that my Pearl Izumi bib knickers had to go. They’d always been a bit too big from day 1, but over the years had not gotten any smaller (not necessarily a bad thing, by the way). Saturday afternoon I went out in search of some new ones and much to my surprise, I found only one of the four local bike shops had any bib knickers and tights in stock. Oh, sure… they all offered to order some for me. But, if there’s one constant in cycling apparel it’s the lack of consistency in sizing from manufacturer to manufacturer. So, being able to try on cycling shorts, tights, jerseys, jackets and even things like arm warmers is a must.
The one store that had a selection of bib knickers in stock was the Performance Bike shop and after trying on small, medium and large house-branded Performance and Castelli bib knickers I narrowed the field to the Large-size Castelli Ergo’s and the Small-size Performance Thermals: like I said, you gotta try ’em on. I bought both the Castelli and Performance knickers as I figured it would be a good idea to have a couple of pair since we tend to ride twice a weekend when we can.
After getting them home I tried both on again and decided that the Castelli’s were definitely keepers, the Performance ones… not so much. So, I decided I’d return those and order up a second pair of the Castelli’s off the Performance website since they only had the one pair of Large Castelli knickers at the store. While I was at it, I decided I’d also replace my bib tights, as they also seemed to be getting a bit long in the tooth.
Out of curiosity I decided to go and see when I bought my bib knickers and bib tights as I knew it was a while back, but wasn’t sure just how old they were. Yes, as alluded to yesterday, I’m pretty anal about some things and another one of those things is keeping track of purchases & expenditures using Quicken and ledgers before then that all got transcribed into Quicken. Doing a quick search yielded a pretty amazing discovery:
- My Nashbar bib tights were bought back in 1996 when I was commuting to work and/or riding during my lunch hour year round, pre-tandem.
- My Pearl Izumi bib knickers were a bit more “fresh” in that I didn’t buy those until 2000, making them 14-years old.
- Turns out Debbie’s REI tights which are also due for replacement have truly delivered a lot of life for the money, as they were bought right after we started tandeming during fall 1997.
I must say, I’m really impressed with how well all three of these garments have held-up. I suspect their thicker material have given them longer life than the typical tights and shorts that become pretty darn thin as they age. Pretty sure all of these tights and knickers will be “retired” once the new ones arrive. Well, and once I get Debbie out to shop for some new tights. I almost bought her a pair and had to remind myself about my own sizing experiences; never assume!