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With winter refusing to go away this spring, i have been late getting the bikes out and working on my dirt tan. Slowly, but surely I have been getting the dust off and pumping up tires and even sneaking out for a quick rip around the close trails.

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Off the shelf, the Bontrager Thermal Leg Warmer is a standout with a classy understated confidence. It features some standards in typical road attire but it is obvious that much thought went into this essential product.

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With the colder months seemly taking up half the year north of the 49 parallel, getting some better riding gear for the fall and spring seemed very necessary this year.

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Full disclosure – I don’t own a fat bike. But I was recently provided a pair of Bontrager OMW Softshell pants to review. But I do live in Whistler, BC and we do have some wintery weather here that’s still great for riding before we become buried in snow.

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Leatt isn't a company that buys open molds and slaps their name on it. They take pride in designing products that carry a name associated with quality and technology. For the last several months we have been testing the Leatt DBX 6.0 Carbon helmet, and it just might be my favourite helmet to date.

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Spring in Whistler usually starts off with a bang. Right to the nice weather, suns out, guns out type of stuff. In fact the my were swimming in a lake on May 1st this year. But when the end of May draws near, the weather always seems to change to a cold June-uary, but late in June mother nature seems to remember to turn the heat back on and it picks right back up where it left off.

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Men’s Summit Short Review

The Pearl Izumi Summit Short is a noticeably light piece with more technical features than I’d anticipated. Featuring DWR water resistant treatment, 4 way stretch rip-stop fabric, snap and Velcro closure and two simple mesh lined pockets (note: pockets do not allow room for storage).

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Unlike any bib short I have worn, the Pearl Izumi Bib Short Liner is a no-nonsense easy rider. Coming from an MTB background, I scoffed at bibs but slowly warmed to their comfort as a sometimes road rider. Its true, nothing beats a bib for fit and comfort for long hours in the saddle.

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In the Northwest there are 2 seasons, Raining & sunny with a chance of showers.
When you drive further up into the mountains we end up with three season: snow, wet snow & sunny with a chance of showers.

Those conditions lead most people I know to have a closet full of jackets. Winter jackets for playing in the snow, running jackets, softshells and the most important of them all, the waterproof jacket.

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I can't say I know much about Pearl Izumi shoes, other than they have been making them for a while and Lopes wears them. After my Vans died a horrible sole failure death, I thought I would give the X-Alp Launch II a go.

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The first thing that I noticed when I put on the Airflex DBX Lite gloves from Leatt was how thin they are. The difference in thickness between these and other gloves I have tried is instantly noticeable. In fact I have actually typed this out while wearing them.

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Winter riding can be a nasty thing. Wet, cold, uncomfortable. Or it can be warm, wet and comfortable. The Stormshell gloves help keep your days more like the latter than the former.

 

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At the start of winter I picked up a Bontrager Lithos softshell jacket. It's not the first time I have had a softshell and it won't be the last. They are just a great addition in the closet. On their own, layered with another jacket on cold days.

The Lithos jacket has been my daily go to jacket for cruising around town. The semi fitted cut of the jacket is wearable with a sweatshirt underneath without making you feel like a stuffed sausage, and down right roomy for riding in.

 

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Leatt is well known for designing the first commercial neck brace outside of auto racing, and over the last few years they have been slowly expanding their products in all directions of protection. Helmets, gloves, hydration systems are but just a few of the areas they have moved into.

Another is body protection. Makes sense right? We got ourselves one of Leatt's 3DF Airfit Body Vest. Now I'm not one too wear a crap ton of protection when out riding, but i do believe in covering your chest & spine when possible, and that is what the 3DF Airfit is designed around.

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The fall can be a dismal time for riding, especially in the Pacific North West.  Grey, relentlessly wet, mucky trails and the feeling that you might never get warm again. Then the clouds part, the snowcovered peaks sneak into view and it warms up ever so slightly, all signs that we still can sneak in one more ride.

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When I buy riding gear, i tend to move towards the freeride section of the store. Durability & function are the starting blocks that I use to search for new gear. It hasn't always been that way though. But back before kids, I had a pair of shorts that leaned more towards the xc end of the spectrum, but a lack of judgement of my ability caused those shorts to end up as shreds of fabric on the trailside on Captain Safety in the Garbonzo zone. Nothing like riding down to the village with your jubblies hanging out to make you re-think a short purchase. And thus ended my brief affair with light(er) weight gear.

 

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