I don’t know of too many cycling gloves that are truly designed with the urban cyclist in mind, so WOHO’s Ninja Ninja gloves may be the first of their kind. They’re simple, functional and good looking.
Personally, I like simple gloves, especially for city riding. I don’t like tons of logos, nor do I need rubberized “armor” on the fingers. I just want something that keeps my sweaty hands from slipping off of the grips. And unless it’s below freezing, I prefer lightweight, breathable gloves. These fit the bill.
The Ninja Ninja gloves feature smooth, breathable Lycra shell with a synthetic suede palm material. The palms feature a non-slip silicone coating and SBR foam padding which feels thin until you grab the handlebar, then it feels quite substantial. Overall they’re a very comfortable pair of gloves. I also like that these don’t use a Velcro wrist closure—unless it’s a compression strap for wrist support, it just seems unnecessary.
One of the major features of the long-fingered Ninja Ninja gloves is the use of touch-screen friendly fabric on the index finger tip and thumb. In fact, this may be my favorite feature. It’s a simple convenience that’s probably going to be ubiquitous in a few years. Another interesting feature that’s only on the fingerless version are small pull tabs on the middle two fingers. This seems a little less necessary to me, personally, but might make some people quite happy.
I do feel that the Ninja Ninja gloves run a tiny bit small. So you’ll want to double check with WOHO’s size chart, and perhaps order one size up if you feel that you’ve got rather large hands.
The Ninja Ninja Deluxe gloves come in a variety of solid colors, all accented with color-matched elastic bands with a subtle silicon logo. The long fingered gloves retail for $31 ($28 for short fingered) and come in sizes S-XXL. Check out www.wohobike.com
The Lightning Bug 100 USB is NiteRider’s idea of a high-quality light for the practical commuter. Meaning that it’s affordable yet powerful. It features trickle down technology from their Lumina and Mako lines, yet retains the simplicity of the original Lightning Bug.
As the name implies, it features a 100 lumen maximum output. There’s also a 50 lumen mode, as well as a flashing mode intended for daylight safety. The 800mA battery charges in 2.5 hours via USB, and provides an equal amount of runtime on high (6 hours on low, 26 flashing).
The simple, tool-free silicone mounting system is convenient and easy to use, even with gloves on. You don’t need to stretch the band terribly tight to make the light stay put, which bodes well for it not snapping after extended use. The whole unit feels like its built to last, which is generally the case with all NiteRider products.
The beam pattern is pretty soft and wide, which I personally appreciate. Of course in this day and age of 1000 lumen commuting lights, the humble Lightning Bug isn’t nearly the brightest light on the road. But many of us remember when 100 lumens was considered super bright, and it’s still enough to get you around town safely at night.
The Lightning Bug 100 USB retails for $39. Check out www.niterider.com
The Polar Bottle ThermaLuxe is a vacuum insulated stainless steel bottle. Made from food-grade 18/8 stainless steel, it’s intended for both hot and cold beverages. Polar Bottle claims it will keep a hot beverage warm for 5 hours, and a cold one cool for 24. In my experience they’re not far off the mark, and it definitely keeps hot tea steaming hot for hours if you keep the lid closed.
Speaking of the lid, it still utilizes the same Half Twist cap that I wrote about in 2012. After further use, I still stand by my past criticisms, but I’ve simply become accustomed to it and now I don’t mind so much.
The ThermaLuxe retails for $40, but at the moment Polar Bottle has it on sale for $20. Check out www.polarbottle.com
Zoic’s Highland Fleece Jersey is a rather interesting take on the winter cycling top. The 100% polyester long sleeved shirt is way thinner than what I typically consider a fleece top, and it has a texture that’s somewhat similar to old-school thermal underwear. But it’s way softer, with a definite “technical fabric” feel.
It’s surprisingly warm when combined with a windproof shell, and it breathes and wicks moisture just as well as you would hope. For added ventilation you have a 6″ zipper, and if this is going to be your outermost layer, you can take advantage of the rear zippered pocket as well as the left sleeve pocket.
Available in four colors and sizes S-XL, the Highland Fleece Jersey retails for $65. Check out www.zoic.com