Ever the man to be suckered by active apparel, I traveled to the mecca of bike commuting apparel, San Francisco. One of my many hilly runs through the city of verticality, I ran to the Chrome Messenger Bag store to take a gander at the bags, and the knickers. Before one can scoff at the idea of men wearing capri pants, these are essentially casual bike shorts. Short enough not to get stuck in the teeth of the chain ring. Handy you say? Stylish too?
The knickers are stretchy and lightweight, I tried the heavier version and they are pretty great too, but somewhat useless in my opinion for the oppressive heat of summer in Michigan. And were it colder I would wear real pants or tights. For San Fran where it doesn’t snow, but just gets windy and rainy I’m sure they do fine. The sizing is a bit weird, I have a 33 inch waist and they list the Mediums as up to a 32. Without a belt they slide off my not insubstantial arse. So watch the sizes. The chamois on the inside is actually somewhat nice, in that it is not so big it makes one feel like they are wearing a diaper, but enough to protect the jewels.
I’ve tried several messenger bags to little avail. Apparently the rest of the world assumes everyone is 6’0″ tall with an extremely long torso. I however am a runty 5’7″ with short legs and a short torso. The result is a messenger bag that slides forward onto your belly while heading up hill or pedaling hard under any conditions. Mainly because the strap on the messenger bag is too long to tighten to your torso. So Timbuk2, Patagonia, Osprey, Mountain Hardwear all failed to outfit me due to this limitation, despite their cross body stay-straps on the bags.
I tried the Chrome Metropolitan and have found that it does not slide forward due to the nature of their shoulder strap and the variable adjustability in length. The fact that the strap uses a seat belt buckle is an added cool factor sure, but a little heavy. The bag is waterproof and takes a hoarkload of gear!
It was fun to see so many people commuting by bicycle, and that a great majority of the younger crowd were on single speed cross bikes with touring tires. Funny that?….
“Check out Chrome Messenger Bags and Apparel”:http://www.chromebags.com/