This past Friday, I found my rhythm pedalling up Chapman Drive. For me, a climber in flat, sea-level Ontario, this mountain climb west of Boulder, Colo., was a joy, my legs burning as I went up the wide gravel trail through pines. The day started in Lyons, about 30 km to the north. My group covered paved and gravel roads, as well as some singletrack of where prairie dogs constantly let out their squeaky-toy barks at us. I had clipped an elegant little stuff stack with a shock cord to the top tube of my bike. Inside the pouch was a new cycling garment that might be a new favourite of mine, when I get my hands on it once again.
At the top of Chapman, nine other riders and I regrouped before descending Flagstaff. Some of us stopped partway down as one member of the group needed to throw more air into his rear tire. As the bike maintenance was underway, a rider from outside of our team struck up a conversation. We mentioned we were trying out new cycling clothing by Rab.
“Who?” asked the rider.
“Rab,” one of us said pointing to the logo on his Cinder bib shorts.
It’s understandable that the road rider didn’t know the company. Rab is a U.K.-based outfit that specializes in clothing, sleeping bags and tents for extreme alpine adventures. (The $1,700 Expedition 8000 suit is just what you need when you are at the top of Mount Everest.) It also has clothing ines for running and skiing. I’m familiar with Rab because of my brother magazine Gripped. In fact, I’ve liberated a light Rab puffy jacket from the climbers. I pack it on hikes, as well for long trail-side stops during cross-country ski outings and bikepacking jaunts.
For Matt Gower, the CEO and owner of Rab, the company’s move into gravel seems to follow naturally from its culture. “If we looked at all the people in our office, about three quarters of them have one or more bikes,” Gower said at Rab’s U.S. headquarters in Louisville, Colo., the day before we rode up Chapman. Like me, Rab employees were using some of their gear for cycling before Cinder came out.
The new Cinder line, which officially launched in early February, is designed around a particular style of riding. “We are very much on the…
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