MMT realised that the MarvMadeThis blog passed its second birthday. Wow, who would have thought that something that started as a means to break up the monotony of work, would last this long. I guess its fair representation of how much cycling has taken over MMT’s life. Given the that the world wide web is littered with dead websites and blogs, its remarkable that MMT has survived this long. Anyhow…enough ego stoking on with this blog entry.
MMT is back doing longer commutes. Melbourne’s winter weather seems to have started its gradual move towards less windy and warmer days. The days are noticeably longer with sunrise and sunset bookending increasing periods of daylight. This has meant some reconsideration of suitable commuter gear. The two pieces of kit that I have consistently used over the last 12 months have been 2XU’s long sleeve Ignition ¼ Zip Top in bright orange and Proviz’s cycling gillet.
2XU Ignition Top
MMT gives the 2XU Ignition Top 4 ½ Marvs 🙂 out of 5. Its a very comfortable high visibility top if you can find the original orange version.
|I bought my bright orange version mine from an outlet shop on Southbank about 18 months ago. So readers you can treat this as a long term review. I bought the top going into winter 2015, as I realised that I needed something warm and bright for my daily commute. Most of the high visibility gear I owned left me shivering in the morning leg. Happily this top fit my requirements by being relatively thick enough to keep out the wind and bright enough to really stand out in traffic.The Ignition top has a good quality ¼ zip, some reflective trim and thumb holes in the sleeves to enable them to be hitched over my riding gloves.
Unlike most of 2XU’s gear which is designed for ridiculously skinny tri-athletes, this top was a regular fit. I purchased the XL version and it fits comfortably and is stretchy enough to fit over other undershirts. At $65 dollars, heavily reduced, I suspect, it was fantastic value. The good news is that it’s been cold-washed repeatedly and not lost its brightness. The bad news is that I suspect that 2XU don’t make/stock them anymore. The closest match I can find is this in the outlet section of 2XU’s website.
Proviz Reflect360 Gillet
MMT gives the Proviz Reflect360 5 Marvs 🙂 out of 5 – its an outstanding piece of commuter kit.
|The other piece of kit I’ve made extensive use of when commuting and for the occasional early morning ride has been Proviz’s ultra-reflective gillet. I bought mine about 12 months ago in Clarence Street Cyclery for $90. They are more expensive now but is worth the increased price. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I started noticing other riders with Proviz gear on that I realised how effective the clothing is at reflecting light. Riders wearing this kit are literally a bright shining light when ever car or truck lights are directed at them. My initial reaction was ‘whoa…that’s bright’. The Youtube adverts don’t the reflective properties, of the clothing, justice.
However, its not like other gillets. It isn’t cut as a ‘racing fit’ and it doesn’t have pockets. The reflective fabric is very weather proof, able to keep out all but the heaviest downpour. But the waterproofing comes at a cost, it’s not particularly breathable. It has a ‘mesh’ of small holes cut through on the fabric on the lower back to encourage air flow. As an aside MMT has been too scared to put the gillet in the washing machine and preferred to give the top a quick rinse under basin taps.
Final commentary, Proviz have released a couple of new variations on this top that, I suspect, address the feedback back about the original gillet that MMT has. These a dedicated cycling gillet, presumably with a tighter fit and the new 360+ which has a improved fabric.
Until next blog, ride safe