Touted to be a “storm fortress” with a pedal-specific cut, the Cyclical Shell offers a solid waterproof/breathable top with a svelte look tailored for commuters and the urban single-speed set. It employs eVent fabric, which is commonly used in outdoors- and mountain-oriented outerwear, to make a form-fitting, sweat-dispensing jacket that repels rain, sleet, snow and wind.
At $299.95, the shell is expensive when compared to other cycling-specific rainwear. But in my tests so far it has performed almost flawlessly on the road and trail. (At this writing, the jacket, which comes in a men’s and women’s model, was on sale for $179.97 from links at www.cutterbike.com.)
No question, the Cyclical jacket was designed by cyclists. It has a “pedal-specific cut,” as the company puts it, meaning the lines and seams are made to cover and fit a person crouched over handlebars.
There are long, hand-covering cuffs, waterproof zippers, and extra long coverage on the “tail” (lower back area) to help block tire spray on clothes.
The men’s size large weighed 8.5 ounces on my scale — light for a bomber waterproof shell. It stuffs into its own back pocket for stowing in a messenger bag when the weather is good.
At the sight of rain, unpack the shell and zip it to your chin. There is no hood. But the eVent fabric is waterproof to the hilt. Drops of rain bead and run off the shoulders and sleeves.
A complaint: The waterproof zippers, both on the cuffs and on the front of the jacket, are stiff and hard to work with one hand. While riding, it is difficult to zip them up or down quickly for ventilation.
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