Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Upright cyclist springs into action!

As winter turns into the wet, cold mess called 'spring in Chicago,' we here at Drum saw this as a reason to search out some new gear to keep us warm and dry. During our search for appropriately functional and stylish duds we came across a new line of commuter gear that was in the final launch stage. So, we hopped on that rocket and took a ride.

Upright Cyclist fits the bill when it comes to looking good and and having clothes that are functional for the urban cycling environment. When you're riding you need to off-set how ugly that helmet is with something cool... Right!?! The idea of looking good while on the bike has been done a few times, both with success and failure. However, Upright Cyclist hits a nice balance of looks, price, and quality materials that some other commuter clothing lines miss. And, on top of that, the customer service is truly top notch - helpful, quick to respond, honest. You just can't say that for to many companies in this day and age.

So, after two-plus weeks running around in the Damon jacket here's our first impression:
We really enjoy the sharp look of the pleated nylon outer-shell which is filled with soft, warm polortech goodness. The angled chest pocket breaks up the line of the jacket, and is also pretty handy for keeping your iphone 30000 safe and easily accessible. Or perhaps your wallet and metro card if you don't want your drawers to look over stuffed. While the angle has the functional aspect of making access easier, it just plain looks good, too. The brassy looking snap covers are an excellent match with the green color of the jacket, too. Details, people, they're important!

Now that we have gotten our shallow looks-appraisal out of the way, let's talk about the bicycle centric aspect. Long before the launched their web page, Upright Cyclist took the time to ponder the needs of today urban cyclist and it shows in the Damon jacket.  The longer arms allow you to get the reaches, without a chill. The reflective strip on the bottom rear of the jacket will keep you seen at night and the Dual zippers allow you to moderate your temperature while riding. We'd say these are all smart, awesome bike-friendly accents to a super clean jacket, but to top it all it has a tall neck that fits oh so nice and snug and keeps you warm and cozy when it is crappy out.

On the scale of good to bad we'd put the Damon squarely on the good side. It's made well, fits even better, and looks even better than that. The bike appropriate touches make it a great addition to any commuter's fall/winter wardrobe, and you can even wear it any where and not look like a "bike guy".