Ever since the Performance Bike folks have started swinging by the office with their Spring/Summer collections, their line has continued to impress with upscale features at laughable prices. The Ultra Line, which sits atop the road collection, debuted in 2013’s stockpile, and was refined quite a bit in 2014’s group, which added a lot of color and casual styles to the mix.
This year, the collection is as nice as ever and adds the new CHCB commuter/lifestyle line, fresh mountain bike garb, and plenty more women’s jerseys. The Ultra jersey looks similar for 2015 but is updated with a new reflective zipper, locking zip 4th pocket with cable port and mesh side panels. The front panels switch from Coldblack to Aerocool, which they claim offers better skin cooling and sweat dispersion and evaporation. The sleeves are rolled forward for better comfort in the riding position, and the whole package was designed for better aerodynamics. It also becomes available in women’s versions. The Ultra SL bibshort gets styling updates to match the new jerseys but are otherwise very similar to prior models.
Just below it is the Elite jersey and bibshort, which is what I’m wearing above in a fabulous new color block design…
The Elite line is as nice as anything you’re likely riding in that cost less than $200, yet it runs just $49.99 at full price. And let’s face it, Performance’s stuff is almost never full price, which means they’re as much of a steal as ever. It gets a full zip front, mesh underarm sections, three pocket rear with zippered, sweatproof fourth pocket and reflective accents all around. The color block design is available in blue, red and yellow, or you can get the Team kit on the right. Also available in sleeveless.
The women’s Elite jerseys mix the color placement a little and get a white zipper but keep the same features. The red is really more of a dark pink.
The women’s Ultra looks very similar to the men’s and is available in black or white.
The women’s Alto 1.5 cycling jersey comes in short sleeve and sleeveless and gets a 1/4 zip front with three pockets in the rear. It’s a more relaxed fit than some of the other pieces.
The Pike (left) women’s mountain bike jersey gets updated styling and dragonfly logo details, which is Performance’s more stylish logo treatment on the women’s pieces. It, too, gets three pockets in the rear. The Lyric (right) is a semi-fitted t-shirt style jersey with two pockets in the rear.
Another color for the Alto on the left, and the Trill tank gets new colors. It has rear pockets and reflective hits all around.
The new Tallac mountain bike shorts get locking zip pockets, an adjustable waist, 14″ inseam and zippered front leg vents. The legs are designed to fit knee pads, too. It comes with a removable padded liner with antimicrobial pad. The rear yoke is elasticized to help it move with you and stay put even when bent over into the riding position. MSRP is $89.99.
Not shown, the Mando shorts get a new black/gray plaid in a design that works for both commuter and mountain biking.
The Crest jersey (left, center) is a relaxed fit mountain bike or casual riding shirt with a single side zip pocket and extended tail. The Farlow (right) gets a new two-tone color block design for 2015, available in orange or green. It has a bit longer sleeves, extended tail and microfiber sunglasses wipe on the inside front bottom corner. It, too, has a single zip side pocket.
CHCB, which stands for Chapel Hill / CarrBoro after their HQ’s hometown, is designed for “the road most traveled”. In other words, for riding around town, commuting and just getting from A to B on your bicycle. We’ve got a couple pieces and they’re very soft and comfortable, with great materials (poly, merino, etc.) and feature blends for the intended riding. Rather than type a lot, here’s Performance Bike’s Zach with a video overview:
One of the highlights of the collection are the new hoodies. The Herb II (mens, left) and Nollie (womens, right) switch from last year’s pull over to a full zip design and are insanely soft. They have very subtle reflective hits and/or stitching and minimal logo treatment. Retail is just $69.99.
Matching wool socks to complete the outfit.
Not everything’s shown, but here are a few other noteworthy updates:
- The Ultra SL Jacket will come out this fall and is a very slick looking, lightweight wind/rain jacket with a new DWR coating and a very interesting shoulder construction that keeps it slim without hindering mobility.
- Like before, all of the chamois used across the entire line are custom developed for Performance after lots of internal testing. Unlike the jerseys, the bottoms (bibs, shorts) are on a three year development cycle.
- The Club level jersey is their most basic model and gets a new shoulder design to improve comfort. It’s a half zip design in red, blue, black and hi-viz yellow.
- The national pride jerseys continue with seasonal options that rotate throughout the year. An Ireland design was introduced in March for St. Patty’s Day, and a USA one will be in stock for 4th of July. The entire line will get new designs for any country they include, and there’s a healthy assortment.
- Performance has started their Great Ride Program at all stores, helping newbies get into cycling with three or more casual group rides per week. They’re also starting 10-week training ride series for folks that’ve signed up for a charity ride and need to get in shape. Last year, they claimed more than 20,000 unique participants across the country.