by Marc Basiliere
October 15, 2013
Plenty of NZ wool for fall/winter, too!
Based in New Zealand, the good folks at Ground Effect are coming into spring as those of us in the Northern Hemisphere are facing ever-shorter days and declining temperatures. But who would deny them their excitement as spring approaches and their latest warm-weather line is unveiled? Being from NZ, the brand is heavily represented in Merino wool and clothing for all seasons remains available year-round- which means lots of choices for us up North as things get cooler and damper.
At right are the XC-oriented Snipers. The slimmer baggies are designed as more of a performance short, wih minimal pockets and large, stylish mesh panels across the front. Not intended to overlap with knee pads, the legs are a bit shorter than other Ground Effect offerings so as not to interfere with protection when it is needed. The shorts are made to play well with the brand’s Underdogs mesh liner- though any will likely do (including – come fall – the 3/4 shorts below). NZ$109/£49/US$89 is the asking price.
For those last few warm days, the Rock Lobster is a lightweight long-sleeved riding top. They HyperActive fabric is said to remain cool as temperatures rise but also to provide UPF 50+ sun protection. A stand-up collar prevents lobster neck while the extra-long zip should aid climate control.
Neither tight nor baggy, the Rock Lobster should work well on road as well as off- with three rear pockets coming in handy on tarmac. In a trademark Ground Effect move, a tube repair patch is sewn into the rear pocket,”because you can never be too well prepared.” Pricing runs NZ$109/£55/US$89 and, like the pieces above and below, the Rock Lobster is made by Ground Effect in New Zealand.
Returning to fall, Ground Effect offer two premium 3/4 length shorts (one each for men and women) and a mid-priced model (for men)- all made of a rather nice sounding Merino/Lycra blend. The Black Widows and Geronimos (both NZ$189/£99/US$159) use Ground Effect’s new eXo pad, which fuses the outermost fabric with the pad to minimise movement between the rider and saddle. Unlike X-Bionic’s are your shorts inside-out? colour choices, Ground Effect has chosen a discrete black for their bumpy bottoms.
With a simpler 8-panel construction and Softail 3-D pad, the mens’ Montezumas use the same Merino/Lycra fabric but come in at a more attainable NZ$129/£65/US$109. Still made in New Zealand by Ground Effect, these look like a great under-baggy option for chilly mornings that become cool days.
There are plenty of cool-weather pieces on the Ground Effect website- including the popular and super-toasty windproof Merino Baked Alaska top and Daddy Long Legs Merino Lycra tights with windproof knees. A consumer-direct brand, Ground Effect ships directly to the UK, so prices will fluctuate somewhat with currency values and – crtitically – import duties will need to be addressed when shipments land. Still, as a rider-owned company making product in a first-world country, their line merits a look.
Note: Anyone who signs up for a Ground Effect account “as an online revolutionary” will get NZ$30 off of their next order- which should help with shipping and duties…