Cycling products continue to come and go. Anybody who has been into it for a while has seen it. One year’s essentials are ho-hum in the next. This is why I absolutely love Swrve clothing products. They are just sensible items, with timeless style. Smart things to own if, like me, you spend a good amount of time on a bike. I do sometimes ride for sport or recreation, but mostly for transportation. When riding eighty miles or spinning at high speed on a track, spandex is king. That said, it’s great to ride around town in a pair of pants that feel perfect on a bike, yet don’t embarrass you when you stop for crêpes.
Finding jeans that make me happy is incredibly difficult, I’m tough fit. I have strong quads from riding and a thin waist, but no derrière. None. Swrve jeans fit me great, and are actually quite beautiful. They are made of cotton and have a bit of stretch. I thought this would be great to keep their shape. This is true, but to my surprise, it also makes them easier to ride in because they give more than normal jeans.
Most jeans have stitching under the crotch that holds the front and back panels together which results in a bump where your body hits the saddle. Swrve jeans are sewn in a way that moves that seam, and the difference in fantastic. The pants have a reflective strip inside the right leg, which is revealed when you roll it up. They also have one reflective belt loop.
Swrve shorts offer the same features and styling of the pants. They also feature an additional zippered phone pocket on the back pocket not found on the pants.
The wind and waterproof Milwaukee ES Hoodie feels like your favorite cotton sweatshirt, but has all the benefits of a technical shell. This jacket comes in three weights – light, medium, and heavy. I chose the medium and it is perfect even on cold, damp Philly days. With pit zips, a waterproof zipper, and a dropped back, it performs incredibly well on a bike. Like all the other Swrve stuff, it also looks stylish at the pub. Out of all the things I have tried from this line, the Milwaukee Hoodie would be the hardest for me to give up. All the clothes are great, but the hoodie is a must-have.
Every so often I get a piece of clothing that makes me feel cooler when I wear it. The Swrve wool sweater is the newest piece of my wardrobe to have this effect. It’s a trim fitting, cycling friendly sweater that looks great. A raised collar and dropped back keep vulnerable areas away from cold air. If that wasn’t enough, it has a full zipper. Have I ever mentioned how I feel about full zip sweaters? When I put this sweater on to show my wife, her eyes doubled in size. “It’s gorgeous!” Along with the standard sheep wool that I tested, this sweater is also offered in 100% New Zealand merino wool for those with a taste for finer things.
In my early twenties, I lived in the typical college house with a bunch of artist types. We would joke about “putting on our swerve” to impress a date. Well, putting on this Swrve is much more impressive than we ever were. It seems these folks have thought of everything with a reflective belt loop, a mini u-lock pocket in their pants, and a drop down back on their tops and jackets. Why yes, Milwaukee ES hoodie, I would like to have dinner with you tonight.
Laurence Kelly has over 15 years of experience in photojournalism, video, and design. Seven of those years were spent as a staff photographer for The Intelligencer in Doylestown, PA. He was also Senior Editor and Photo Editor for Liberty Sports Magazine, and has held many clients in his freelance career, including Harvard School of Design, Tufts University, The Boston Globe, and Brown University.