Tester: Scott Williams
5’10 and 175 lbs.
Shirt Size: Medium
Short Size: Medium (30-32”)
Let’s face it, we all can’t be as good looking as Jeff Gordon rocking Roy G. Biv with more brand logos than the Dow Jones. Many of us Jills and Freds certainly aren’t getting endorsement deals so why do we need branding all over our gear?
When asked about Ornot’s minimal branding concept, Matt, the owner and designer of Ornot, mentioned he had raced for a team with a less-than-desirable title sponsor that was plastered all over his gear. He never said which one, but there certainly are a few I can think of that would have me taking my gear off pronto before stepping foot in any tavern or coffee shop. He mentioned that this became part of the catalyst behind the minimal branding of Ornot. So, in 2013, Ornot was formed in San Francisco with the goal to shift focus to quality made cycling clothing that emphasizes fit, form and function as opposed to the excessive branding that was often seen in cycling clothing at the time.
Another awesome feature of Ornot gear is that it’s printed, cut and sewn in the United States. Not just because it’s cool, but because “it’s about ensuring a quality product for our consumers, stimulating and participating in a sustainable economy, and having a relationship with the people who make our brand possible,” says Ornot.
Merino Field Jersey – $145
If you think I am crazy for wearing wool in the middle of summer then your Google search for “Dow Jones” or “Jeff Gordon” clearly led you down the wrong path. Merino wool is an essential fabric for outdoor apparel due to its ability to provide fundamental moisture control, breathability, natural odor resistance and all-day comfort.
One of the key features that make this wool jersey work so well is the addition of Micro Polyester on the side panels, rear pockets and collar. Ornot states, “This keeps our Field jersey from developing saggy pockets and that loosy-goosie grandpa style.” I have certainly experienced the saggy grandpa style scenario with other Merino wool jerseys in the past so was pleased that Ornot spent some extra R&D to ensure this jersey was perfect.
Fit: I typically wear medium sized jerseys unless they are a European race cut, which I will then size up to a large. The Field jersey is a comfortable fitting medium that’s not so loose that I am concerned about tossing anything out of my pockets but roomy enough for post-ride tavern comfort.
Price: This seems to be on par with other merino wool cycling jerseys offered by Twin Six and Ibex and less expensive than Rapha and Kitsbow.
Bib Shorts 3.0 – $165
There are three specific features I look for in bibs when I know my rides are going to put me in the saddle for 3 hours or more. First the chamois, and this one did not disappoint. It’s claimed to be “rated” for 6+ hours of ride time, whatever that means. The chamois features a reverse molded pad which is said to help reduce the number of abrasion points and help eliminate hot spots. All I can say is that this made for a happy bottom on every ride I did. I even sat in a “crick” for a while before continuing on my journey and didn’t feel like I was sitting on a wet sponge. From what I can tell, it’s not the thickest, spongiest chamois I’ve used but it’s not the thinnest either – it seems to be right on that happy middle ground.
Second, the fabric. I really like the feel of a tighter fabric that stays in place. This “EIT Carbonium Microfiber” fabric feels similar to a compression fabric and is said to help pull heat and moisture away from the skin.
Lastly, the grippers. No one likes to have a thin elastic gripper that feels like it’s suffocating your extremities. Ornot uses large leg grippers with a yoga band for added comfort and keeps everything nicely in place.
Fit: I’m typically a medium when it comes to bib shorts and this case is no different. Since the time of this review, Ornot has recently switched their sizing up to better compliment unison between their bib shorts and jersey sizing. I have pair of bib shorts size medium based off their old sizing which has an inseam of 9.5”, waist of 30-33” and weight of 145-170 lbs. Looking at the amended sizing chart, I would now be a size small bib shorts. Personally, I don’t think the amended sizing makes a lot of sense, especially considering in most cases a 30-33” inch waist is not a small by any means.
Price: Not quite as expensive as Rapha but seems to be more in line with Kitsbow for the bib shorts. There are equivalent options out there for less, such as from Voler and Twin Six. As long as you are not anal about your bibs being a different brand than your jersey, you can save a few extra bucks to put towards your sock game.
Grayskull Wind Vest – $120
I am a sucker for a good wind vest, whether it be worn home after post-ride beers or stowed away in the jersey pocket in case the storm decides to roll in and the temps drop.
The Grayskull Wind vest utilizes a DWR coated front panel and shoulders to block the wind where you need it most while providing breathability with micro-mesh sides and back panel. The vest also conveniently features a two way zipper and three rear pockets with a reflective piping along the top.
Fit: I am comfortable wearing a medium. Ornot suggest to error on the small side for the vest due to the elastic fitting back.
Price: Although not quite as expensive as a Kitsbow Vest, the Ornot Grayskull Wind Vest is on the expensive side and you could easily find similar vests for less through Voler and Twin Six.
For quality U.S.A. made cycling attire that doesn’t scream “HEY, LOOK AT ME”, I dig it. Yes, you can find cheaper as well as more expensive options out there but that’s the beauty of it, those options exist. Clothing and accessories are such a personal item and by having multiple options you have a greater probability of finding that company that cuts their pieces just the way YOU like it for that perfect fit.
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