Urban-cycling brand Chrome has got increasingly technical with cold-weather offerings in recent years. This outerwear trio should prove invaluable all winter long.
Chrome has carved a niche in the cycling world with tough, good looking equipment for the urban rider. Used alone, each of these pieces is a solid addition to a winter biking kit. But they shine best when combined into a layering system to tackle cold weather biking.
I’ve reviewed these pieces through the fall and winter in Minnesota. Read on to learn about a primo base, mid, and jacket combo from Chrome.
Chrome Base Dura-Map Hybrid Hoodie ($120)
This is the one piece of clothing that I’ve worn every day so far this winter and I expect that streak to continue. The key to this technical fleece is both comfort and smart design.
The fit is sleek, but not overly snug. Sleeves are long for added coverage. Abrasion-resistant durable stretch nylon covers high-wear areas, and the tall zip-up collar seals out the elements — I liken it to a de facto neck gaiter and I love it.
There’s a convenient zippered security pocket on the front (in a perfect world there would be two) as well as a zip stow pocket on back large enough to hold a burrito or, I suspect, a 6-pack of cans, though I haven’t tried (yet).
Chrome Warm Workshirt ($89)
Here’s an insulated, reversible shirt-jacket — shacket! — that has also become a go-to favorite. I’ve worn this piece on countless rides across town without a worry, even in light rain. The ripstop nylon is water resistant, but it soaks if you’re out too long.
The Chrome Warm Workshirt is like a shirt version of your favorite puffy jacket, only lighter weight. The sleeves are plenty long, and reflective piping gives a nice, understated nod to safety.
Quite warm and comfortable on its own, worn over the Base Hoodie (reviewed above) the combo creates a one-two punch for all but the gnarliest weather I’ve encountered this season.
Rain in December in Minnesota is not the norm, but believe it or not we’ve actually had thunderstorm downpours in the midwest this winter — even though the temp was just above freezing. Twice in the week leading up to Christmas I was caught in these unusual, nasty weather patterns on my bike-commute to work, but with no concerns.
The Storm jacket is a hardshell with a waterproof-breathable membrane, a three-layer fabric that works in foul weather on the road.
Of note, the jacket has a “Reveal Raglan” sleeve, which is a cool articulating feature that reveals a reflective stripe on the back of the shoulder when riding (yet it is not visible when off the bike or in a relaxed position).
A two-way zipper allows you to “cape out” while riding, meaning you unzip the bottom to allow wind to flow into the jacket when too warm (see above). Nice.
In my review, the Storm indeed has a cape-worthy superhero capability, including bomber fabric, long sleeves for comfort while riding, and a large zippered rear stow pocket.
This jacket will be my go-to shell as winter continues its onward march, and when combined with either the Hybrid Hoodie or the Warm Workshirt (or both, as conditions warrant) you’ve got an unbeatable kit for daily cold-weather commuting.
–Hurl Everstone is a contributing editor and founder of CarsRCoffins.com.