All Geared Up: The Review


The great folks over at Outside PR represent some smoking good companies, and they recently sent the Loving the Bike team some items for review.  Instead of doing a separate post for each one, we thought we’d get all geared up with these great products and let you know what we think.  As with all our reviews over here at Loving the Bike, we give you our totally honest opinion and let you know why you should (or shouldn’t) go out and get one of these products for yourself.

We could have went into great detail on each product and give you absolutely everything you needed to know about them….and more.  But we know what people do when a very long post lays before them….you skim it.  So I got the feedback from our review crew and cut to the goods to provide you with a quick description, what we liked best, and what changes we’d recommend for each product.

Pearl Izumi Elite Jersey and Elite In-R-Cool Short

Description: The ELITE Series by Pearl Izumi is part of their line of gear targeted to the “dedicated athlete”.

What We Like: The first time I put on my new Pearl Izumi kit and walked outside, my kids saw me and said “Wow, Dad….you look awesome”….True Story. So it’s safe to say that these are some nice looking cycling clothes.  What me and the team liked best about it was the comfort.  It felt great on and off the bike. The Elite 3D Chamois is honestly the most comfortable we’d ever worn on our butts and can totally realize exactly why Pearl Izumi has carved out a great name for themselves.

One more thing that we really liked is the waterproof (sweat proof) zip pouch on the back of the jersey.  This was my first jersey with one of these on the back, and it is a great spot to store my ipod while riding.

We’ve already had some hot, hot days over here in Texas and the thin material and In-R-Cool technology sure feels good on days like this.  I know that this jersey will be my first choice as we creep into the 100+ degree days ahead.

Recommended Changes: The waterproof zip pouch is just barely big enough to fit an itouch.  We’d like to see the zipper another half inch longer.

The only other recommended change that we have on this one is graphics.  Not like this should be all that important, but we really like having cool designs and graphics on our clothing and the samples provided by Pearl Izumi were a little plain.

Ryders Eyewear

Description: Ryders is an eyewear company out of Canada who provides sunglasses and goggles for athletes.

What We Like: I was born with a pair of sunglasses on my face, so I am definitely a lover of shades.  I personally had never heard of Ryders before getting the sample, although the rest of the Loving the Bike review team had.  We received two pairs of their Seeker series, and one of the chops (polarized) for review and think they are pretty cool.

What we liked best about the Seeker line is that they come with inter-changeable lenses so they can be swapped out for different riding conditions.  The no tint are great for evening rides, the partial tint are perfect for cloudy days, and the full tint are nice for sunny day riding.  Kelli felt that they were “very comfortable, provide a nice wide-lense view, and are great for varying degrees of sunlight”.  The Chops were more of a hanging out/social scene type of sunglasses more so than for athletic usage.

Recommended Changes: Having a small face, I found the Seeker a little big for me…but only for looks.  Kelli said the same thing about the fit for women. They fit great and stay on my face, but I feel they are a little wider than I prefer.  There might be another Ryders brand better suited to my face type.  Our team also felt that the frames strength didn’t appear to be overly strong and are unsure about the long-term wearability of the glasses.

GU Roctane Gel and Electrolyte Tablets

Description: People have been sucking down the GU packets for something like 10 years already.  Gu Energy is made up of athletes, scientists, and a production team and are out to deliver the best sports nutrition on the planet.

Their product line includes Gels, Chomps, and Brews.

What We Like: Energy and Hydration are always a great thing when you’re out riding, so any product that can help us out with this is very welcome.  We definitely loved the taste of both the gels and the hydration tabs and like that there are so many flavors to choose from.  I’m definitely more of a hydration tab user than I am of gels, and I thought the GU Brews were very thirst quenching.

Seeing as Kelli is the Loving the Bike pro when it comes to anything regarding sports nutrition, we looked to her for the most accurate review.  Here’s what she liked best about the GU Gels:

  • Uses more than one carbohydrate source (maltodextin & fructose)
  • Provides Branch-chained amino acids – but only in small amounts (less than 1000 mg)
  • Claims natural flavors (preferred over artificial ones, but no specifics on “natural” flavor sources given)
  • Includes caffeinated and non-caffeinated varieties
  • Includes herbal blend that may sooth stomach (ginger, chamomile)

Recommended Changes: We didn’t have any recommendations for changes made to the Brews, but here’s what Kelli had to say about what could be changed when it comes to the Gels:

  • Has a thicker texture than other gels – personally more difficult for me to get down while cycling
  • Sodium and Potassium in non-physiological ratio – include 55mg Sodium, 45 mg Potassium.  Would prefer approximately 4:1 Sodium:Potassium with up to 200 mg Sodium per packet
  • Individual packaging promotes high amounts of waste compared to bulk packaging jugs (did not find any source of bulk packaging for gu such as found with Hammer gels)

So there you have it.  Three companies reviewed all in one shot.  What are your experiences with these companies?  What do you like best?  What would you change?

Enjoy Your Ride

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11 Responses to “ All Geared Up: The Review ”

  1. VitaminLee on April 17, 2011 at 1:26 am

    I’m a fan:
    GU Brew is theeeee Best thing since gummie bears and yo-yos!! What I love most is that it’s not loaded with sugar, which saps my energy, it taste great – Lemom Lime is my fave – and it delivers with every pumping of the pedals. I think it’s an awesome way to hydrate and get in those needed carbs while enjoying the ride. I actually had my first GU gel this morning, had espresso love, as far as gels go this one is the best i’ve tried – it has a good taste without all that darn sugar, personally I think I would prefer Gels if they weren’t so ‘gelly’, but that’s the way I feel about the texture of ALL gels so….I’ll definitely have espresso love again.

    Pearl izumi
    Now this is tricky, I love, absolutely love love izumi – all my “cycle specific” apparel is made my Pearl izumi. My shoes have positively changed my riding experience and my pants have solved saddle sores, but – what annoys me is that I can’t get the products I NEED in the line I want. What do I mean? I wish they made womens knickers in the ELITE line, knickers without Bibs, just regular knickers – for some reason they don’t and this mystery boggles my mind.

    • Darryl on April 17, 2011 at 1:49 am

      As far as I know, the only real benefit from bibs is that there isn’t the tightness or restrictions from the waistband and some say that breathing is easier in the bibs. I only have one pair of bibs and don’t find them all that much different than when I wear bike shorts.

      I really appreciate your insight and comments on GU and Pearl. It’s always so great to get feedback from people and I know that these companies appreciate reading stuff like this as well.

  2. PedalmanTO on April 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I forgot to include my 2 cents on Ryder glasses. I’m a big fan of supporting any Canadian company especially one that supports my habit of cycling. Their frames are actually pretty durable and the lenses are great. I have my Oakleys and a pair of Ryders and for the price of each, the Ryders are a better investment in my experience.

    • Darryl on April 16, 2011 at 1:00 am

      Yes, you definitely are a good old Canadian boy, aren’t you? Yeah, it’s good to see a Canadian company pumping out a nice product like this one. Like you, I also have Oakleys and Ryders and use them for different things…but totally enjoy having both.

  3. PedalmanTO on April 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for these reviews. I’m a big fan of Pearl Izumi jerseys. It sounds as if they’ve done a good job with their new shorts so I’ll give them a shot.
    I have hesitated trying the Brew as I found GU gels extremely difficult to get down while riding due to the consistency. I’ll go out and get some Brew and give the company a second chance.
    Thanks for the insight.

    • Darryl on April 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks Ian….yeah give the brews a shot and see what you think. If you’re a Pearl fan, you’re going to love the shorts. The more I ride with them, the more I realize just how comfortable they are.

  4. Katie on April 15, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Nice jersey! LOVE the colour! 🙂

    • Darryl on April 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks Katie, yeah it’s a very cool shade of green. Thanks for checking it out.

  5. Anonymous on April 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Great reviews Darryl. I’ve heard good things about the PI 3D chamois. Might have to get me a pair of bibs with it.

    • Darryl on April 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Yeah, you’re heard right. The more I ride with them, the more I am loving the padding and comfort. Try them out.

    • VitaminLee on April 17, 2011 at 1:33 am

      i don’s understand bibs….what is the purpose of the bib, I know that this is my lack of proper riding experience speaking – please share with me what you like about a bib – I’m super curious.


    January 2023
    M T W T F S S


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to

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