Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Crazy Legs Tights

I have another favorite source for my riding tights.

Last year, I started buying my tights from Crazy Legs Tights. Owner/designer Diane Stevens is an endurance rider, so she knows exactly what makes for good tights for distance riding.

I got my first pairs last fall and wrote about my initial impressions here. I still stand by that early review: the craftsmanship is excellent, with superb attention to details like making sure seams are as smooth as possible, and gripper elastic around the ankles that actually grips.

I got another pair just before the Fire Mountain ride, specifically designed as more of a winter-weight tight. Living in Arizona, I don't have much call for "true" winter riding tights. Riding at a distance pace, there is enough body heat generated that thick, fleece-lined riding tights will turn into a toaster oven in short order. But there are enough times where thin lycra just won't cut it, no matter if you're wearing half chaps and multiple layers on top.

Enter creative Diane and her array of custom options. After brainstorming back and forth a few times, she offered up a new performance fabric she had found: a matte lycra top with a brushed lining...not thick enough to be called fleece, but definitely more substantial than standard tights material.

They were exactly what I was looking for.

showing off the latest pair of Crazy Legs
And how's this for attention to detail? She even lined the printed lycra side stripe with a slightly lighter weight version of the same performance material, both to insulate the thin lycra as well as keep the tights the same thickness all around.

I'd been really happy with how my previous pairs had been holding up to the casual use I'd been giving them...but there's nothing like an actual ride to put them to the test. 30 miles in Ridgecrest, all three gaits, and they were awesome. The weight of the performance fabric was perfect, and even as it warmed up in the middle of the day, I didn't feel the need to change at the lunch hold and I never got overheated, even doing the death march slog up some of the afternoon climbs.

Of the four pairs I have, my favorites are the matte black lycra with the orange floral side stripe.

Also put to use at Fire Mtn: Friday's pre-ride
The two pairs of printed lycra are super-comfy and super-lightweight...they will be excellent for AZ summers. The fabric itself is a little slick in the saddle, but I do ride in a full sheepskin and with half chaps, so that tends to minimize the slippage effect.

Those are the tights. Let's talk about getting them. As mentioned, owner/designer Diane Stevens offers up a ton of custom options. If you can imagine it, she is usually able to try her hand at making it. Knee patches, no knee patches. Padding wherever. Different widths of side stripes. Custom sizing.

And a plethora of fabric options. There are options listed on the website, but if you either check Crazy Legs' Facebook page or contact Diane directly, she will probably have even more choices to offer. (I've got my eye on one of the really funky patterned fabrics she recently put up as my next pair.)

It always makes me happy to support a small business, especially one that offers a product I like so much!

So, in short, I love my Crazy Legs Tights! If you've got some pairs of tights that are starting to look tired, start the 2013 ride season off with a new pair of Crazy Legs! (And tell Diane I sent you.)

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