by Marc Basiliere
December 13, 2013
Chippendale favourite adds chilly weather options
When reviewed for the Issue 84 baggy short grouptest, Chipps called DirtBaggies’ unusual underbib / suspended shell construction one of his favourite combinations, good for any weather nice enough for bare knees. A bit late for autumn – but in time for spring – the company has announced heavier, thermal weight bib shorts and 3/4-length shorts (knickers) to expand that endorsement. Pre-order pricing (via Kickstarter) is about 20% off retail, and delivery for both models is expected in mid-January, 2014.
Why Kickstarter, especially with such a low minimum ($1,000, already met)? DirtBaggies founder Tim Lane felt that it would be a better way to reinforce the idea that the pre-order pricing was a one-time only deal, with fixed quantities and a short run time. This is as much a not to his retailers as a prod to customers: because of the high cost of producing a top-end product in the US, discounts – even 20% discounts – won’t be coming from the company often. While DirtBaggies are available from the company’s website, they really would rather that consumers go through their local shop- and minimising discounts is a good way to encourage dealers to carry the brand. Finally, Kickstarter was seen a good gauge of customer interest- if no one bit, it would be a good sign that there wasn’t the interest to support the new products.
Based on the well-received summer-weight Feature Bib-Liner, the Feature Thermal Short moves to a heavier material for the legs and seat, adds 3in in length, and adds grippers to keep knee warmers in place when worn. The mesh upper, 5-position outer tether, and sad-face WeinerGate fly all carry over unchanged. A heavy shorts / knee warmer combo could be an appealing choice for transitional days. Retail pricing for the US-made inners is $200 (£120), with a $160 Kickstarter price (plus $10 for international shipping for £105 total).
For those wanting a bit more cool-weather protection (or psychological protection from mildly pointy rocks), the 3/4-length Feature Thermal Knicker adds a Spandura-reinforced knee to the the Feature Short’s… features. Also made in the USA and delivering in January, if it’s like other mid-weight knickers the combination could be comfortable while working hard in surprisingly cold weather. Pricing runs $220 (£135) at retail, or $175 through Kickstarter (£110 shipped internationally).
For those not yet down with ‘the system,’ DirtBaggies’ lightweight baggy shells do need to be purchased separately, so budget an extra $70/£42 for a set. The shells do not touch the skin, so if left out to dry, a single set of outers should work with multiple rides’ (or seasons’) inners if riding hasn’t been too muddy. DirtBaggies only has enough Italian-made pads for 100 pair of liners, so be prepared to wait if the first order is missed.