Since 1997 Showers Pass has been engineering cycling apparel that pushes the limits in terms of fit and most importantly, performance. Over the past year we have become aquatinted with many of their pieces and have been nothing short of blown away by how well their designs work for us when riding. The brands differentiating factor can be found in their products ability to always exceed the challenges that your riding environment throws your way.
Showers Pass says it best when describing their foundation of development, “ Inspired by the challenging rides and variable conditions of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, we combine high performance materials with innovative functional design for cyclists.”
From the Cascade Collection Gravel Shorts to the Crosspoint Waterproof Socks to the Bamboo Henley L/S Shirt there is plenty of items to fit your daily riding needs. With the introduction of the Showers Pass Body Mapped Baselayer we can now recommend an integral apparel item that everyone can benefit from.
You simply can’t appreciate performance enhancing features until you are comfortable. As someone who rides Showers Pass clothing often I can tell you that this is at the foundation of their engineering hierarchy. Material choice is of the most importance in this category and Showers Pass cleverly formatted their own rather than use an “off the shelf” classic. This variety happens to integrate merino wool, modal, nylon and spandex.
Modal – Semi-synthetic cellulose fiber made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, commonly from beech trees. This material is cool to the touch, feels soft on skin and absorbs very well. When strategically placed on this base layer it helps to channel perspiration, in this case away from the body and out to the areas with heavy concentration of wicking materials.
Merino Wool – Insulating in the cold and breathable in the heat, this super material incredibly soft yet surprisingly lightweight. When woven strategically and with a specific density the material can regulate body temperature as nature intended it to. The finely woven merino that Showers Pass uses can capture moisture from the environment and lock it in to insulate or just as easily capture this moisture from the body (sweat) and wick it away into the environment through vapor. It’s simple! Just take from the highest moisture concentration and place it in the area with the least.
Spandex – Synthetic fiber know for its elasticity. This stretch fabric is stronger and more durable than rubber which is why your spandex shorts seem to live on forever! Within this base layer spandex helps to combine all of these moisture control materials into a body shaped glove that gives and supports with your body. After a month of riding in this top I can verify that Showers Pass has nailed the fit to a T. It wears snug but only enough to feel supportive and comforting to your muscles. Not once did I think of it being too tight or restrictive in any manner. With this being a more fine tuned spandex it still allows for adjustment allowing the rider to pull it away from your body if you need to. Up, down and side to side, this material makes this piece a true masterpiece in the moment required for cycling.
Nylon – Synthetic polymer that can be melted or processed into fibers for garment construction. So why nylon may you ask? Nylon helps to make this a true Showers Pass piece that is highly resistant to the elements. Nylon excels with a high tenacity, extreme durability and chemical resistance to weather. For both road and trail riding this material offers abrasion resistance that help make this more than just a layering shirt. When Nylon is combined with the other performance materials above it also helps make this a garment last after repeated washing and drying. Let’s just say that once you ear this base layer you are going to protect it from more than just your washing machine.
As you have just discovered, Showers Pass truly does offer an engineered top to match your passion for riding. When people claim that gear doesn’t make you a better rider they obviously aren’t choosing the right gear. I personally rode during cool mornings as well as warmer evenings in the baselayer and couldn’t fathom how well it adjusts to both environments. For a cooler alternative you can acquire the short sleeve version that works well for a plethora of outdoor activities.
After with the specs behind why this piece is constructed with a few super materials there are a few more reasons why this layer performs so well on the bike. All of these materials were put together in a seamless manner that keeps you free of discomfort and therefore chaffing. You will find body mapping throughout the baselayer which can be identified with the darker great areas. In short, this woven pattern with the materials described earlier is placed to wick sweat from the most affected areas keeping you surprisingly dry during your ride whether you layer over it or not.
Ah, lastly we have exhausted our explanations and excitement for how capable Showers pass has made this top. It wouldn’t be fit for cycling without longer sleeves, articulated elbows and and extended torso. No matter how fit you may be cycling isn’t easy on your body but this baselayer sure is.