TESTING GORILLA JACKET

 
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Last year we gave out a few jackets for testing to some really energetic female riders from different parts of the world to receive constructive and honest feedback on the gorilla jackets.

Sanso was one of our first choices. She represents perfectly the person and the lifestyle we created the jacket for.
She is a type of a girl who rides her bike all year long no weather what.
Besides her deep passion for cycling she is also involved in pushing forward and supporting the female cycling community beside that she is also the founder of a special project called:

Itchy the movement

Together with Virginia, they aim to ” to create a global team with
a focus on women who ride in fixed gear. With the intention of organizing local
events and also on a larger more ambitious scale to once a year organize a mass
meeting somewhere in the world to ride a long route together and have lots of fun!”

More information: www.itchy-themovement.com

Before you read this short interview with Sanso including her thoughts on the Gorilla jacket please, watch this video:

Fixed on Fixed is a beautiful  and inspiring short film by Raechel Harding  profiling five female bicycle riders and their love of riding fixed gear. Filmed in Melbourne, Australia earlier this year.

Featuring in order of appearance:
Rachel Service, Erin Carolan, Melissa ‘Sanso’ Agate, Meg Perrier, Sim Bone

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Name: Melissa “sanso” Agate
Height: 176cm
Weight: 57 Kgs
Currently living in: Melbourne, Australia

- What kind of bike/bikes do you own?
I own 2 fixed gear track bikes and a BMX.

Track 1: Dosnoventa Houston – This is my special bike, for special occasions, velodrome, long rides, sunny days, travel!

Track 2: Cinelli Vigorelli – This bike was usurped by the Dosnoventa, it is more sentimental than the dosnoventa and i commute on it
to work everyday… unless i’m doing something special after work and need the Dosnoventa.

BMX: United SU3 customised – for hopping and bopping around

- Do you think you have to make compromises in what you wear, to be able to ride everyday?

Definitely! Since i started riding seriously and everyday i basically live in skinny jeans (or cut-off jeans), t-shirts and Vans Authentic’s. Vans are the most comfy shoes for riding fixed gear in clips and straps. And they are neutral. The type of rider that i am means that i can’t really comfortably or safely wear other types of shoes.

- Do you cycle no weather what? All seasons?

YES!! i do. I ride to and from work EVERYDAY no matter how bad the weather. In Melbourne we often get 4 seasons in one day, so its important to be prepared.
I have all sorts of tricks for keeping myself and my stuff dry when riding through heavy rain. I actually find riding in the rain very cleansing and joyful.

- Is it difficult for you to find female specific cycling wear, something that you feel good in and it also works well?

Yes I do find it very difficult actually. It’s been quite a struggle. I’m not girly but i am feminine, so i don’t want to wear guys clothes but i also don’t want to wear clothes made for little girls. I’m tall and straight up and down. I don’t like clothing which curves in at the waist, which is a common issue with female specific clothing/cycling wear.

I have actually tried on so many cycling jackets in the past and never found one which i like. Mens are always too big with super long arms. Womens are too short and curved in at the waist!

- After having tested new Gorilla jacket, could you reflect about its esthetics, comfort and its performance?

I was lucky to get my Gorilla Jacket just in time for the Australian Winter! it has been so nice and i absolutely love it! I love how soft it is inside, it is overall very beautifully made, with high quality materials. The hood is big enough to pull over the top of my helmet – this is a key selling point for me as it is law to wear a helmet in Australia and when it is raining i want my hood up.
The thumb holes in the sleeves are also genius, i wear my gloves over them and that keeps any cold air from sneaking up my arists. It IS wind proof. No wind gets through this jacket, its incredible! The only thing which i would change on the Gorilla Jacket is, i would like to see more pockets. Especially front pockets. These days we are riding and carrying all sorts of gadgets and bits and pieces. I also like to put my hands in my pockets (not whilst riding!) i find myself reaching for putting my hands in pockets and then
remembering that there aren’t any.

 Photos made by  Steff Gutovska

Photos made by Steff Gutovska


JULIET ELLIOT

Last March we went to Berlin to exhibit the Blind Chic. bags at Berliner Fahrradschau. There we met Juliet Elliot who is one of the most influential European ambassador of female cycling. Besides that, she is also founder and editor of women’s sport, art and adventure magazine, the COVEN MAGAZINE: https://issuu.com/covenmagazine
Besides that, she also owns the 2014 award winning cycling blog: www.bikes-n-stuff.com
We had a few samples of the gorilla jacket at the EXPO so we decided to ask her to give some feedback about it.
After a few month of riding in it she reflected both on functionality and esthetics of the jacket.

- Tell us about yourself, your name, height (for size comparison), and what is your location, where do you live?

My name is Juliett Elliot, I’m about 173cm and I’m not sure what I weigh as I don’t own any scales. A couple of years ago it was 58kg, so that would be my guess as I feel about the same.
I live in Devon, in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere.

- What kind of bike/bikes do you own?

I have a fair few bikes as I like to ride everything. I’ve a custom Charge Ti Plug, a Goomah G731, a Trek Project One Domane WSD, a Metal Bikes BMX, Charge Duster, Juliana Furtado and a Charge Plug 5. For now!

- Do you think you have to make compromises in what you wear, to be able to ride everyday?

Well now that I’m no longer a bike messenger and I don’t do any commuting at all, when I go out on the road it tends to be for a long ride in the countryside, so I wear lycra.
When I was living in London and cycling about town, I didn’t wear any lycra at all, apart from cycling shorts sometimes – I just wore regular clothes. That’s still how I dress when I visit London, I just wear normal clothes. The only compromise I have to make is my clothes need to be comfortable to ride in, my jacket needs to keep me warm and dry, and I can’t wear short dresses unless I wear shorts underneath.

- Do you cycle no weather what? All seasons?

I cycle year round, but as I ride all kinds of bikes I tend to pick something that suits the weather. So if it’s really icy out, I won’t ride my road bike, I’ll pick my mountain bike instead. Or if it’s wet and muddy, I might take my CX bike out.

- Is it difficult for you to find female specific cycling wear, something that you feel good in and it also works well?.

I’m lucky to get some nice gear from my sponsor Assos. Before they hooked me up I sometimes found it hard to find what I wanted. The problem is that women come in all different shapes and sizes and have totally different tastes from one another, just like men do. But because there are fewer women’s ranges on offer, and fewer pieces in each range, there’s never enough choice. It seems like there’s something for every kind of man, no matter which style he prefers, but women don’t get that. You can be a punk, or you can like pink and that’s about it. It’s getting better, but still…

- After having tested new Gorilla jacket, could you reflect about its esthetics, comfort and its performance?

I was really happy when I was given the jacket in Berlin last March! First up, it looks totally awesome, but it’s also very functional. The mesh lining in the pockets means they multitask, working as ventilation as well as storage. The zips are robust and the fabric is really nice and still looks new after nearly a year.