Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Review: Rick's Knicks from Bicycle Fixation

(Dear Rick: if you see this, don't delete or move this image off your site -- I'm referencing the URL cause I'm lazy)

I've been meaning to write up a post on these knickers for about 6 months now.

I post a fair number of posts bitching about stuff that breaks so I'm trying to balance things out by reviewing stuff I like lately. And I like these knickers.

Wearing knickers for the first time takes just a pinch of chutzpah. You feel a bit wanky walking around in knickers at first, then you ride in them and realize how they make gobs of sense. I figure anyone who wears wool socks with sandals is not going to be accused of being a slave to fashion. And when I wear my knickers with wool socks and sandals that notion is thrown right out the window and we enter the realm of fashion nightmare. So my point: who cares. I wear what works.

These knickers are hemp. Hemp does a lot better than cotton, but not as good as wool, at dealing with moisture and to some degree, regulating temperature. Hemp is supposedly a really tough fiber.

The first pair of knickers I got from Rick failed -- they ripped in the crotch and developed holes where my butt bones sit on the saddle. They failed pretty quickly, and at $100 I asked Rick -- the guy who owns the company -- about the failure. He asked for some pictures of the failures and without question, sent me a new pair and a bit of hemp fabric to patch up the existing pair.

He mentioned that he had some issues with one batch of the fabric and that's what lead to the failure. The replacement pair he sent me is a bit thicker, and he's working on another version that will use even sturdier fabric.

He also sells wool knickers. The wool versions come in two styles: fancy and like the hemp ones (called "city" knickers). I recently ordered the wool city versions for fall/winter. So far so good.

The knickers were developed by Rick, who is a daily, non-car-having cyclist from LA. They're sewed in LA and are worth every cent. They have excellent detailing: little darts at the knees, ample thighs, fancy pockets inside the pockets, adjustable tabs at the waist. They rule. It's nice to wear real clothes made for cycling designed by a cyclist. If only all cycling clothes were this well thought out and nice looking. If you order some, they run a tad big so if you're not sure, order down.

His website is http://www.bicyclefixation.com/index.html. While you're there, check out Liza's photo essay of her trip to the homeland a couple years ago.

For what it's worth: I have not received any favors (aside from the excellent service noted above) from Rick.


Pat S said...

>>I post a fair number of posts bitching about stuff that breaks<<

No way! Any chance you mean "about stuff that *you break*?" You seem to be awfully hard on gear of all kinds. Do you have any toys left over from your childhood that are still intact???

Kidding aside, thanks for the great info on the knickers. They're in my future and I'm glad to know about these.

John Speare said...

Pat: Apparently, I have pretty high expectations for the durability of my stuff. Most stuff holds up. I just bitch a lot about the stuff that doesn't. But yeah. I"m hard on stuff, I always have been.

FBC Spokane said...

Looks like Pat got you good, John. I've had an eye on these for a while now but I can't make myself spend that kind of jack for one pair of pants. I'll just keep making them out of Classy Rack clothes. A dollar and a little sewing and who cares how durable they are.

John Speare said...

FBC: yep. I scored some dickies and some wool pants last night at Vallue Village. I knickered the dickies last night -- in fact, your lovely wife was here dropping off one her famous hats for maddie and she gave me all sorts of pointers on the knickerization process. But $1? surely you hyperbolize. I paid $5 for my dickies.

Anonymous said...

I think I had some chutzpah one time at this Greek restaurant. It was pretty good on a gyro...