22 December 2014

Hybrid Que and Salopette Long Tights from Q36.5

I have now had a bunch of rides over the past two months wearing my new early winter garb -- the Q36.5 Long Salopette bibs and Hybrid Que long jersey/jacket.  This is by far the most comfortable, the ideal clothing for this season that I have worn.

The "Hybrid" in the name is because this garment is half way between a long sleeve jersey and a real winter cycling jacket.  It is very much cut in a cycling-specific shape, not baggy, but perfectly comfortable while in a riding position.  The material is like magic -- very thin, but blocks the wind and cold as well as much thicker, multi layered jackets.  Excellent moisture transfer so that I stay dry -- the key to keeping warm during rest stops.I end up far warmer while riding with this very thin material and a simple inner layer than with many thicker, heavier and "warmer" rated jackets I have tried in the past.

Yesterday's ride was in temperatures between 3 and 11 degrees C.  Last weekend was similar, but with very strong winds.  The Saturday coffee run a week before was a bit colder.  Kobu Tunnel ride Nov 30 a bit warmer.  Nov 16 ride to Yorii and back in Saitama started around 2 degrees and warmed to the mid-teens as I passed through southern Saitama on the mid-afternoon return.  On all these the jacket and tights have been perfect -- just moderating my choice of cap, gloves and socks/shoe liners if it is a bit warmer or colder.
After the Kobu Tunnel descent, NW of Uenohara, still warm even after a long descent
To my pleasant surprise, the Hybrid Que even works well in the rain.  Last month I got caught in a nasty, cold driving rain as I left my office for the ride home.  I happened to be wearing the Hybrid Que, with no rain gear.  I feared hypothermia, and was resigned that I might need to seek shelter on the way home.  Over 30 minutes later, as I arrived home, I was still essentially dry inside the jersey.  The same very tightly woven material that blocks wind ... also holds rain at bay for quite awhile.

The long salopette bib tights have the same material, and similar wind-blocking, moisture transfer properties.  They are a "compression" garment like the Salopette L1 bib shorts, fitting as tight as a glove, but extremely comfortable.

My Hybrid Que jacket is black with green accents.  At first I worried about visibility of a black garment, but the green swashes are located where they will always be visible, and large -- from any angle of approach.

Again, ideal early winter  cycling wear and better than anything I have used before.

For more about Q36.5, see their Japan facebook page.

UPDATE (Dec 28, 2014):  I wore the Hybrid Que and Salopette long bib tights again today on a 185 km ride from Tokyo to Shizuoka-shi, then another 15 kms from Shin Yokohama back to my home at dusk.  The temperatures were sub-zero (C) from leaving my home at 4:25AM until after the sun came up and out in between Odawara and Yugawara on the North Izu coast.  Then things warmed up rapidly.  It was cold again on top of Atami Pass (over 600 meters elev), then warm again along the coast from Numazu to Shimizu.  I added a very thin neon green wind shell layer for the coldest stretches of the ride, but otherwise managed to adjust simply changing head coverings, gloves/glove liners and at mid-day removing shoe covers.  Again, very impressed with how thin and light this gear is for something that works so well in the cold!

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