Club Ride New West Jersey and Cargo Away Shorts

Club Ride “New West” jersey and “Cargo Away” shorts

Club Ride New West Jersey, Blister Gear Review.

Club Ride New West Jersey

Intended Use: Ridin’ Bikes

MSRP: Jersey, $95 ; Shorts, $8o

FEATURES

New West Jersey

  • Lightweight RideDryWear wicking fabric
  • Air2Flow hidden front zip system
  • Quick-dry for moisture control
  • Full side and underarm venting
  • Rear zippered storage pockets with media port

Cargo-Away Shorts

  • Lightweight RideDryWear wicking fabric
  • Abrasion-resistant stretch nylon fabric
  • Seamless crotch gusset
  • Zippered side cargo pockets
  • 13-inch inseam
  • Side adjustment cam lock
Club Ride Cargo-Away Shorts, Blister Gear Review.

Club Ride Cargo Away Shorts

Rider: 6’2’’, 200 lbs.

Duration of Test: 5 months

Test Locations: Mostly trail rides in Utah’s Wasatch range.

Test Bikes: Specialized Stumpjumper, Black Market Roam

I was interested in trying Club Ride gear since the company really seems committed to thinking outside the (shockingly still existent) “roadie dork” outfit selection for high performance XC riding. I wear western-style shirts and flannels all the time around town, so hey, why not on my bike too?

Fit

I am an XL person. Basically everything I own is XL. I found the Club Ride jersey and shorts to both fit in line with what XL generally should mean — e.g they should fit a 200 lb, 6’2’’ tall person nicely, right off the rack. However, I did find the cut of the shirt and shorts to not entirely jive with my body type.

I have broad shoulders and long arms, but a fairly trim waistline and torso, with big tree-trunk legs. I carry a lot more muscle mass around my legs than most people, and have broad shoulders, so I need a XL to fit my shoulder width and thigh diameter, while the rest of my body could handle a size L.

On me, the XL jersey was skewed a little bit toward the baggy side of the spectrum, (it could pair with Dickies shorts), while the shorts were skewed a little more toward the trim side of the spectrum, (they could pair with a form-fitting jersey).

Most folks wouldn’t have any issue pairing the two pieces together. A rider with “normal” size thighs and a “normal” size waist relative to their height and weight would fit in these clothes quite well, I think.

But given my semi-weird stature, I would probably go for a large jersey to match the XL shorts for XC trail duty, or XXL shorts to match the XL jersey for a more baggy, freeride style.

The included chamois, however, is not sized right. At all. While it is called an XL, it fits like an XXL at least. They were way too big for me in just about every way: Legs, Ass, Junk, Waist. There is no possible way someone who fits the XL chamois will fit into the slightly-fitted cut of the XL shorts.

I personally would look for a large, and maybe even a medium chamois, given how the XL fits. I was fine with this, as the shorts ended up performing really well and I generally wear roadie bibs under my baggies on XC rides anyhow…

Club Ride New West jersey and cargo away shorts, Blister Gear Review.

Marshal Olson in the New West Jersey and Cargo Away Shorts.

Performance

Both the New West jersey and Cargo Away shorts move very well with the body. They have just the right amount of stretch to let you play outdoors without restriction.

The shorts and jersey both have quality wicking abilities and breathe nicely. However, I have noticed that the shirt material wets out from sweat quicker than many jerseys I have used.

I believe that the high nylon content  (50% nylon, 50% poly) in the jersey does not absorb as much sweat as some technical jerseys that use more polyester (75% poly, 25% nylon or spandex), and it is pretty wind resistant when you are not moving.

Club Ride combats this by providing some mesh panels under the arms, which do a respectable job catching wind and cooling off your core.

Mesh panels on the sides of the New West Jersey, Blister Gear Review

Mesh panels on the sides of the New West Jersey

That said, I would want the air temp to be sub 85F or so with this jersey on, or know that the trail is not particularly wooded and there will be at least a light breeze the whole time.

The shorts breathe very well, and I have not had any issue with them wetting out. Of course, I don’t have a hydration backpack pressed against my leg, either…

I like the shorts so much that I frequently wear them to hike, run, do yard work, dip into a hot springs… really whatever. They ride great, but I use them four times as much doing other stuff, which I think is a strong testament to their design. I never use any of my other riding shorts off the bike. Ever.

Style

The style of the Cargo Away shorts is simple, you’ll just have to decide if you like the black and brown combo. Theses shorts are clearly designed to be ridden with more vibrant, styled jerseys, though Club Ride does offer some louder patterned shorts, too.

The western-ranch style of the New West jersey gets a thumbs up in my book, but I do have to ask a couple nit picky questions.

Club Ride New West Jersey Blister Gear Review.

Club Ride New West Jersey

  1. Why is there both an interior zipper and external buttons? The buttons work, they don’t pop open all the time, so why also have the zipper? In his review of the Club Ride Bolt jersey, Jeremy Benson was appreciative of the dual system. But I have ridden just with the snaps (zipper unzipped), and have had no issues. Personally, I’d opt for one or the other, get rid of the extra material, and go for a simpler, cleaner design.
  2. It would be cool if there was an option to get this jersey without the back pockets. Many riders want them and will use them frequently. Many other riders will never use them, and would prefer less material and zippers against their back.
  3. I like the shoulder-patch detail, but why black? The jersey I have is white, grey and red. Why not run one of those lighter, more reflective colors on the shoulders, which are pointed directly at the sun?

All in all I would give the Cargo Away shorts a solid 5 out of 5 stars. I use them all the time, for a million purposes. I would give the New West jersey 4 out of 5 stars. A couple small tweaks, and it would achieve perfection in my book.

Durability

So …durability… I have crashed pretty hard a couple times in these things.

The shorts still look basically new. I did tear the jersey a bit in one of the crashes, but given the crash (sliding on hard hardpack for 20+ feet), and the damage to my hip, knee, elbow and shoulder, I am by no means disappointed in the shirt. A 1” x 1” tear in the jersey is fine, given how light and breathable it is.

I should also offer some extra kudos to the New West jersey. After the crash, I bled like crazy all over this poor shirt, and I thought it was ruined. Blood everywhere. I then left the jersey in the back of my truck for a few days, and clearly forget all about doing anything special with stain lifter before I got around to cleaning up the mess.

I just tossed it into the washing machine, and all of the blood washed out on the first try. I was way impressed. Most jerseys will absorb that blood for ever (I have a wardrobe full of supporting evidence).

Club Ride jersey and cargo-away shorts, Blister Gear Review.

Marshal Olson in the Club Ride New West Jersey and the Cargo Away Shorts.

Bottom Line

The Club Ride gear is top notch. I’ve been pleased with its performance on trail, and I’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of it off the bike, too. I really appreciate a company striving to make bike riders NOT look like a bunch of dorks.

Club Ride does, of course, make less western-looking clothes, tool, so if this style isn’t your cup of tea, they may still have you covered.

All in all, I would rate the Club Ride Cargo Away shorts as truly exceptional and their New West jersey as well above average. The chamois are basically “not tested” — I used it only once due to its cut and sizing relative to the actual shorts.

1 Comment

  1. Fraser July 1, 2013 Reply

    Question for the Cargo Shorts – how is the stitching in the crotch? Is there a seam where your butt sits on the saddle?

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