Monday, July 27, 2015

Product Review: DeFeet UnDLite Sleeveless Base Layer

DeFeet UnDLite Sleeveless Base Layer (Front). 
DeFeet does things differently and they have been doing so since 1992.

With an initial focus on simple, unique sock designs, DeFeet has now expanded its line of products to include accessories for men and women that participate in cycling, running, and snow sports.

All the while, your product will be produced in the United States of America.

According to DeFeet, "DeFeet is the band, and we will play our own music, thank you."

DeFeet UnDLite Sleeveless Base Layer
Pros: Simplicity, Second Skin, Elongated Tail
Cons: ...

Ba-da-bing! After extensive product testing and use, the DeFeet UnDLite Sleeveless base layer is ideal for the performance cyclist.

Quite simply, the base layer is simple. It will get the job done. The light structure of the UnDLite Sleeveless base layer only comes in two colors, white and black. Pick a white base layer for soaring temperatures and a black base layer for when the weather turns sour. DeFeet recommends this base layer for temperatures between 50 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
DeFeet UnDLite Sleeveless Base Layer (Front). 
For years, I could not stand the thought of wearing obstructive and annoying base layers. I claimed that base layers would restrict my breathing and cause me to overheat. However, two thrilling road cycling accidents left me missing skin on my back and hips. Eventually, I was convinced that base layers were a necessary second skin. Now, I can't ride without one.

Also, for mild weather conditions and rainy rides, base layers are ideal. They manage to take the nip off without providing excessive drag.

Lastly, the UnDLite Sleeveless base layer features an elongated tail that tucks in nicely. While it may seem odd, being hunched over a bicycle requires extra material on your backside. You can thank DeFeet for this one.
DeFeet UnDLite Sleeveless Base Layer Elongated Tail (Front). 
In terms of negative features, this is my second consecutive product review where I have been lacking in this department. However, DeFeet initially caused me to be a loyal customer with their fabulous socks. Now, they have me hooked on their base layers. DeFeet understands top-notch production, at an accessible price point.

Pick out your DeFeet base layer, from a few different options. If you are up for a near impossible task, let me know if you are able to find any negative features.

Thank you for reading! @DeFeet / DeFeet on Facebook

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Race Report: Crusher in the Tushar

Hot damn. The 2015 Crusher in the Tushar gravel race hurt like no other, but it was certainly worthwhile.

Unfortunately, no personal pictures exist from this event, as I was a little busy letting the Beaver, Utah terrain hand me a firm slap across the face. However, plenty of mental images were captured in the Tushar Mountains.

The Tushar Mountains are the third highest mountain range in Utah. On Saturday, July 11th, approximately 500 willing racers completed over 10,000 feet of climbing in this expansive landscape, which proved to be punishing and rewarding.

For me, the event began on Friday, July 10th, with an eight hour road trip. Travel proved to be a breeze, as my pops and Mr. John Saliamonas provided unique and intriguing stories to pass the time.

Saturday morning began with an early morning alarm, plenty of race preparation, and witnessing an insane group of cyclists take over Beaver, a sleepy town between Cedar City and Fillmore. Beaver does have a "B" printed on the surrounding hillsides, which is pretty neat. How's that for some local pride?

As cyclists gathered at the start of the fifth annual Crusher in the Tushar, a mixture of professional badasses and unassuming amateurs prepared to begin a brutal day of pedaling.

The professional men's field was highlighted by Robert Squire (Hincapie Racing), Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement), Alex Grant (RideBiker/Cannondale/Gear Rush), Neil Shirley (Road Bike Action), Danny Pate (Team Sky), Tim Johnson (Volkswagen/Cannondale), and Jonathan Page (Fuji). Some big names came out to play and the winning time was an absurd 4:10, over 70 miles and 10,000+ feet of climbing on asphalt and dirt.

My race managed to be completed in 5:19, for a respectable seventh place finish in the men's U29 division. I am excited with my time, result, and the fact that I experienced no issues with my nutrition and equipment. GU Energy Labs, as always, kept me fueled and in prime condition!

After the race, a lengthy descent back to the hotel, followed by a parking lot shower, completed a memorable two days in Beaver. What a town, what a race, what an atmosphere.

Overall, the Crusher in the Tushar provided plenty of race highlights and memories, which I am still attempting to fully process. Brutal climbs, screaming descents, bizarre weather, and outstanding support all combined to form an event that I will be looking forward to next year.