Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see the return of El Nino this coming week. But even if it doesn’t come back, you’re still going to need a lightweight cycling jacket to get you through the rest of winter and early spring. We tried a couple recently — cycling jackets from across the pond and right here locally — as well as brought back an old stalwart into our rotation. Some jackets had high design aspirations that weren’t quite met, while others delivered excellently on their intended missions. Read on to learn more.
Cadence Nolan Fleece
Cadence started their lifestyle cycling brand in San Francisco in the early aughts. And they continue to evolve their product line primarily for the more urban and road rider (although they have a touch of mountain biking gear thrown in for good measure). Their line includes jerseys, bibs, shorts, denim and, of course, jackets. The Cadence Nolan fits into the latter category and frankly is one of the stranger and more lifestyle-oriented pieces made by the company.
Cadence makes the Nolan from a blend of cotton and poly, think traditional sweatshirt blend, not really fit for inclement conditions. The chest is zippered and covered with a nylon yoke and hood. Underneath the zipper is I guess what I’d call a dickie. It brings more of that sweatshirty fabric to a finished crew neck. Sounds odd and it is. Further contributing to the oddness, is the ventilation scheme which includes cutouts under each arm. Yeah, that’s right, Cadence cut holes into the armpit for venting. Sizing is a touch off too. Don’t be afraid to go up a size unless you like a very tight fit.
Unfortunately, you won’t find the Cadence Nolan on our recommended list. Available at the Cadence website. MSRP is $90.
Endura Singletrack Jacket
The guys at Endura hail from Scotland, a part of the world that boasts some pretty serious rainfall. And the company makes gear intended to stand up to some pretty serious conditions. They’re breaking into the North American market with some excellent gear. We tried their MT500 glove late last year and were impressed. It continues to be one of our go-tos when we hit the trail. On the jacket front, Endura makes a bunch of road and trail-oriented products. For this test, we included their Singletrack Jacket.
The Endura Singletrack delivers a bunch of trail-specific features. It’s seam-sealed and has a hood that rolls-up into the collar for storage. There are multiple pockets including handwarmers and a napoleon pocket on the chest. The waist and cuffs are adjustable, and ventilation is via under arm zippers.
Waterproofing on the Singletrack was excellent and we liked the addition of the hood (although we’d prefer it be detachable). Sizing was also spot on. No need to go up or down from your normal. Ventilation proved somewhat problematic. Adjusting the pit zips requires pulling to the side of the road. Even fully open, the jacket can get a little clammy inside if you’re on a climb.
Overall, a very worthy companion on your wetter fall, winter and spring rides. Available at Moosejaw. MSRP is $169.
Pearl Izumi Select Barrier WXB Jacket
We originally reviewed the Pearl Izumi Select Barrier WXB Jacket back in 2013. You can find the original review here. We loved it then and continue to include it in our regular mountain biking kit.
The WXB jacket is seam-sealed, includes a detachable hood, and has two handwarmer pockets and a zippered rear pocket for additional storage. The jacket is equally at home on the road and trail. Pearl Izumi keeps the fit somewhat tight. If you like things form-fitting, you’re good to go. If you want a little more freedom of movement, go up a size.
Available at Performance Bike Shop. MSRP is $135.