by Marc Basiliere
August 28, 2013
Mission Workshop makes awesome luggage and now it’s branching out into clothing, too. Alright, it’s not technically mountain bike wear – but we can see a space for it in our riding-to-the-pub-via-the-woods wardrobe… U.S. Field Agent Marc B reports.
While it seems as though the term’s meaning varies from place to place, Indian Summer may well be the best time of the year. Coming after the first frost of the year, Indian Summer represents the last gasp of summer – and the last chance for shorts and short sleeves before the winter begins in earnest. With summer’s humidity gone, the air is dry and crisp, as are the leaves that blanket the trails.
Named for that magical time, Mission Workshop’s new Indian Summer riding kit is a classy looking riding outfit made in the company’s home state of California. Given its San Francisco genesis, the Indian Summer pieces are unsurprisingly understated- and as any designer will attest, it’s much harder to do simple well than to pull off something busier. Part of the growing ‘road casual’ trend, these shorts and tops are more cappuccino than Red Bull – none of the three pieces should attract stares at the pub.
Belonging to Mission Workshop’s coming Acre line, the Indian Summer kit was refined over a 1,000km tour through the Yangtze River Delta in China with fixed gear celebrity John ‘Prolly’ Watson. As such, it should be well suited to long days on the bike.
The slim Stahl baggy shorts are constructed of a black four-way stretch fabric and cut high in the back for on-bike modesty. A pair of rear slash pockets are joined by a single hand pocket and a “knife pocket” that looks to be roughly mobile phone sized. For longer rides, it might be wise to add your favourite padded liners- none are provided by Mission Workshop. In a pleasant break from S-M-L convention, the Stahl are available in even waist sizes from 30in through 36in. A zip fly and button front finish things off for $135.
The merino/nylon blend District is a button-front riding Henley. Not especially snug, the grey or black shirts add a buttoned utility pocket low on its left side, which should make it pack friendly in the way that rear pockets often aren’t. The wool should shrug off a bit of the damp and the nylon help with durability – helping the District to earn its $135 asking price.
Finally, the Linear crew uses the same fabric as the District, but goes without the button neck. The side utility pocket and semi-fitted cycling cut remain and the crew is available in grey or black for $95.
Mission Workshop is available in the UK from: Avon Valley Cyclery in Bath; Condor Cycles, Bon Velo, and Tokyo Fixed Gear in London; Urban Cyclery in Swansea; and online at missionworkshop.com.