As both the season and day light wind down, there is a lot of talk about lights. Indeed, lights are very important both to allow you to see and get you noticed by drivers, but clothing can also play an important role in visibility. Brightly colored threads help you stand out in the day while reflective panels make you pop against a car’s headlights.
Even though many riders acknowledge the need for visible clothing, for many cyclists style comes first for better or for worse. When Pactimo set out to create their Fall line for 2014 their goal was simple – create a collection of clothes with attention grabbing colors and smart reflective panels that don’t look like you’re wearing a safety jacket.
Combined with Pactimo’s value for the money and fit that we love, and you have some very interesting, very attention grabbing Fall cycling gear. See what makes the new gear shine next…
Perhaps one of the greatest advances in wearable low light safety comes in the form of a new fabric from a company called Plastotex. Called Pixel technology, we’ve already seen the powerful reflective property on products like Sugoi’s Zap jacket. Now we can add Pactimo to that list.
The beauty of Pixel is that the process of silk screening thousands of glass beads to the fabric’s surface doesn’t affect the breathability or stretchability. That means you get a garment that lights up like a Christmas tree when light hits it, but feels and wears like a normal piece of clothing. As an added bonus for clothing manufacturers, the material can also withstand transfer printing so someone like Pactimo can print their logo on top of the Pixel fabric.
Pactimo hasn’t gone crazy with the Pixel tech, but they have integrated it into strategic positions for all of their Alpine RFLX Thermal line for the fall. Available in full length and 3/4 bib tights as well as tights and bib shorts, the reflective panels allow a classic black tight for the Fall/Winter that still has some safety built in.
For the Alpine RFLX Thermal Bib shorts, they are built with a 4.5cm gripper on the leg that includes the Pixel tech as well as a second reflective panel on the left leg. If you haven’t tried Pactimo gear before it’s up there with the best especially considering the price and the Alpine RFLX Thermals are no different. A mix of Italian Miti Lombardia stretch fabric and the CyTech EI Liege Carbonium chamois equals some of the best fabrics stitched with 100% flatlock seams using Pactimo’s Silhouette form fitting design.
Available in S-2XL, the bibs also won’t break the bank at $135 which means you can race cyclocross in them and not freak out about destroying super pricey threads.
Which is exactly what we did as soon as they showed up. Sure the reflective panels are really meant for the road, but it turns out the Alpine RFLX Thermal Bibs and Ascent LS Jersey are a great combination for cross – you know, if you’re not on a team or into skinsuits. The Ascent LS jersey (also in SS), is a nice light weight jersey made from Quattro-Lite fabric that is perfect for Fall days or can be layered when it’s a bit colder.
Called Race Slim Fit, we’d say it’s more on the relaxed side with the Small above the smallest size they make. Making up the other part of Pactimo’s Fall visibility equation, the Ascent line continues with their “style focused visibility.” The gear uses bright colors in a way that doesn’t scream safety along with reflective accents to get you seen.
Available in S-3XL, the Ascent LS sells for $90.
The Ascent Jersey features all of the same technology and colors as the long sleeve version, but is meant for warmer climates or those who prefer arm warmers depending on the conditions. Sold for $85, the Ascent sits under the top end Summit jersey which sells for $100. New for fall is the hi-viz color option, though the jersey itself hasn’t changed.
We’ve been riding a set of the Summit Raptor Bibs and Summit Jersey for the latter half of the Summer and can honestly say they feel like much more expensive pieces than they are. Designed with an exceptional fit the jersey uses non-elastic fitted “euro-length” sleeves which run a bit longer than your typical jersey sleeve (but don’t ride up). Like all Pactimo clothing they use top end fabrics including Eschler Powergrid, Transfer-C, Speedskin, and Zero-weight mesh to create an extremely lightweight, breathable jersey.
That color and reflective story continues with the Evergreen Jacket with strategically placed accents. A simple lightweight wind and water resistant jacket, the shell is made from MicroTek Supreme fabric with Avertini Lycra panels for the sides and inner sleeves. The 2-way YKK zipper allows venting and the tall collar helps keep your neck warm.
Packable into a jersey pocket when not in use, the jacket is available in S-3XL for $85.
If you’re looking for more weather protection out of your jacket, the Fall collection includes the new Brekenridge WX-D with a 3 layer laminate construction. Still called Wind/water resistant instead of proof, the jacket combines Defense+ and BreatheLITE fabrics for what Pactimo calls a Mid-weight four season garment. Again offered in hi-viz green with reflective accents, the jacket retails for $120.
For further versatility the Evergreen jacket is also available in Vest form with the same materials, just without the sleeves at $70. We all know how important matching is so Pactimo offers a neck gaiter ($20) and toe covers ($25) in the same hi-viz green. The anatomically shaped neck gaiter is made from their proprietary Transfer-C fabric and has a drop down front to block the area behind your jacket’s zipper. The Alpine toe covers are made from Italian Cortina fabric with a brushed fleece interior to offer wind and water resistance as well as an extra layer of warmth. Available in three sizes to fit shoes from 38-46+.