Club Ride, based out of Sun Valley Idaho, was born from a simple concept. Do I need to wear my mountain biking on my sleeve when I grab a beer after a ride? The result was technical riding clothes with a vintage western look. While we applauded the sentiment many of us didnt want to look like we just got back from a Toby Keith show either. This is why Club Rides new 2013 SUB5 line produced a neck snapping double take.
Clean lines, tailored fits and a very upscale urban look are the lines calling cards. SUB5 is a commuter line and refers to design aimed at rides of less than 5 miles which describes the vast majority of bike commuters. We grabbed a pair of their new jeans, the Ray, and a technical, fitted jacket called the Rale.
Let’s just cut to the chase. Beyond fabric, beyond style, fit is king with any pants designed for the bike. The issue is a fit that works well on the bike can be awful once on your feet, and vice-versa. No riding jeans we have ever worn transition between bike and every day life better than the Ray. On the bike the riding comfort is second to none. The Ray uses lightweight 8oz breathable, quick drying StretchRide2 denim with reflective accents at the belt loop, driver side pocket and right side cuff. Added fabric at the back prevents flashing motorists and the seamless crotch is comfortable in the saddle and never gets hung up out of the saddle.
The Rale jacket uses Club Rides StretchRide9 fabric. This is a technical fabric with four way stretch thanks to a Lycra mixture. For on road function it is water resistant and fairly wind resistant but wont have you steaming up from the inside as you ride. Reinforced shoulder panels, reflective accents and extra back coverage add up to comfortable, unrestricted movement on the bike. The StretchRide9 fabric matches that used on the Rale technical pants.
The stuff works on the bike, which we would expect from a cycling specific brand. What we didnt expect was the fit and feel off the bike. Both jacket and jeans earned places in our daily wardrobe even when commuting by car. SUB5 is a new category of cycling lifestyle clothing. When you ride every day your clothes need to work on the bike, at the coffee shop, in the office, not as a specific function or an afterthought, they just need to work everywhere. SUB5 does. The Ray jeans specifically have a fit inline with $200 plus designer jeans, long enough to look great off the bike and the right taper stay out of the way of your chain but not make you look like you only ride a fixie. The sizing of the pants is dead on while our husky brothers will definitely need to go XL on the Rale jacket.
The SUB5 line includes shirts, shorts and knickers as well, none of which have the country and western feel of their Sun Valley mountain line. The Ray jeans are available in sizes from 31 to 36 and retail for $130. The Rale jacket has a price tag of $150 and comes in small, medium, large and extra large.