• Nation of Flandria: Hincapie Sports Knows Women

    by  • August 27, 2012 • review, tech

    It was announced early this week that George Hincapie is retiring from professional racing.  Wow, it’s finally happening.  George Hincapie, a legend with an incredible race porfolio that dates back from his early years.  My mom is a big fan of George Hincapie and who isn’t?  She’s got a picture of herself with George taken when he trained in the Tour of California.  She has a picture of Team BMC feed van from a feedzone.  If my mom is a fan, you know how cool George is as a star cyclist!  There’s a lot of George Hincapie encounters when we followed the Springs Classics in Belgium and every time we are there to watch Paris Roubaix, we wished that at the end of the race he will be holding up that piece of cobble over his head.  He almost did, coming in second after Tom Boonen in 2005.  He is super domestique in the Tour de France and really hard man in the classics.  George will truly be missed in this next spring classics!

    But, I am not here to talk about George Hincapie as a pro bike racer.  I am here to talk about his company’s products, Hincapie Sports custom cycling apparel.  A company he started many years ago with his brother.  It’s an honor to do a review for his product because George, cobbles, classics…all are special to Flandria.  I really didn’t expect that I would be doing a clothing review for such a company built by a legendary cyclist.  I was very grateful and would like to thank Chris Lyman for choosing NorCal CyclingNews to do the review.

    Hincapie Sports knows what women want…

    Okay.  Let’s get serious here.  Normally, I don’t wear women’s specific cycling kit because most of what I tried on in the past doesn’t feel right. It wasn’t comfortable.  Women come in different shapes.  We can be apple, pear and straight.  I am an apple and yeah, wearing mens kit I can get away most of the time but women’s design are hard to find one.  One that would look good and feel comfortable at the same time. If I look and feel good, rides are more fun!  Honestly, I expected the same reaction about my past experience with women specific cycling kits when I received a Hincapie Sports women specific cycling kits in the mail.  Come on now, what does George know about women specific design?  I don’t mind wearing mens kits anyways.  I was so wrong.  Hincapie Sports do know about women’s cycling apparel needs.  This kit is special.

    Ladies, get your wallets out and get ready to go shopping.  The tech features on the kit I am reviewing will make you drool.  No kidding.  It’s so comfortable that I can sleep with it at night.  The design is well thought out with womens body features and function in mind.  Don’t get me wrong, I was surprise myself!

    I am going to jump into it right now, so hold on to your seats.

    Follow the labels on the image:

    A.  Stretch mesh on the sides for ventilation during warm days.  There is nothing like having some cool air run down the sides of my body as I ascend or descend on a climb.  The fabric is stretchy so it follows your body’s curve without bulking.  This is a feature that is very hard to find in other brands.  No bulging in the front belly.  It is very aero and hugs the body but you don’t feel fat.  How can that be?  That is my experience when I test drove it on a moderately warm Mt. Hamilton day.  The softness of the fabric is very comfortable, I felt free to breathe.

    B. No elastic band on the shorts but still grips nicely.  The length is perfect.  No more folding up!

    C.  No elastic band on the arms.  The coolest thing about the sleeves is it makes my arm be able to breathe and look slimmer because it’s not cutting circulation even with a full sized arm. This is one of my favorite feature on the jersey.  Also, no need to fold up!  The length is perfect that it still shows off you hard earned and defined shoulder and triceps, if you know what I mean.

    D.  Two compact pockets but still enough to carry a lot of crap.  Tubes and small pump fits.  Gu and a sandwich fits.  iPhone and keys etc will fit.  The thing is, I normally don’t think of the number of pockets but two isn’t bad for short 3-4 hour road rides.  It will fit a bottle if you want to carry an extra bottle.  The thing with this two pockets, too is that it is designed with an intent to show curves as well.

    E.  I have a waist!  That’s self explanatory.  We all want to have a sexy back while riding in a group right?

    F.  Elastic mesh for more ventilation and a place where I never thought such ventilation will give me comfort, behind the neck!  Awesome and it felt cool riding with wind entering the back of my neck.  Great idea!

    The fabric is stretch so it hugs to any body type without feeling restricted anywhere.  This is the best feature of all.  Also, the fabric has SPF 30+ by construction for superior UVA/UVB protection on the black panels.  It wicks really well.

    The shorts also has my favorite smooth no-elastic waist band for a non-bib shorts (see image on right).  It is super comfy and wicks really well.  The waist band slopes so higher on the back and lower on the front with the intent to support the sitting position on the bike.  How cool is that?!

    The chaimos pad is the softest pad I’ve ever encountered, feel wise.  I actually did not feel the bulkiness at all during my 3 hour ride and remained comfortable plus dry.

    According to Chris Lyman, the sales representative from Hincapie Sports
    “The jersey and shorts are retail sublimated versions of the Velocity custom kits. In other words, it’s the custom kit with graphics for retail hangers. Any team can order the exact same kit customized.”

    Here is the link to the Velocity custom line to check out more details: http://www.hincapie.com/custom/collections/velocity/

    I was curious to find out who’s involved in the design and fabric choices so I emailed Chris and here is his response:

    Hincapie Sports cycling kit in action!

    “Hincapie’s lead designer is Morgan Zornes, who lives in Colorado. The general manager and Rich Hincapie are also involved in the process. George also provides a lot of input as do other members of the BMC team.”

    Wow.   So, now that we know what the wonderful features are but what about price?  I was surprise to find out after checking out the website that the prices are medium range.  The quality is so worth the price.

    As for cons of the product, it’s really hard to find any cons because this kit is the most comfortable kit I’ve ever worn!

    You won’t regret it!

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