VeloToze has been in the market for a few years now with their latex-based helmet and shoe covers. They’re affordable, get the job done, packable, and quite aerodynamic with the lack of zippers given it’s stretchy material. It’s as simple as putting on a pair of latex gloves over your smooth-bottom road kicks.
The four-year-old company is now adding two new versions specifically made for lugged mountain bike shoes: There are a $18 tall and a $17 short version. Both feature reinforced bottoms and toes over the original version to accommodate harsher dirt/gravel environment. The two heights give riders the option to choose the amount of protection needed. Sounds like the perfect emergency shoe cover for that winter/spring bike commute too. The VeloToze MTB shoe covers are available now.
Last year I took an unplanned hiatus from adventure motorcycle riding. It was caused by having to wait for my bike to ship back from abroad. After months of delays and then some wrenching to get it running again the day finally came to suit up and roll out.
As I attempted to don my touring suit I noticed a disturbing fact, one too many packets of double-stuffed Oreos over the last couple months had me doubling out of my pants.
Two short rides in, this Thanksgiving Belly in circulation-stopping pants signaled two things. One, I needed to get my fat ass into a workout plan. And two, half of my gut muffin topping out of my pants is a safety issue.
With a trip to Crater Lake approaching I desperately needed a new pair of riding pants for protection, as well as my own personal comfort. My girlfriend mentioned seeing a decent selection of moto-jeans at the Dainese store in Sf, so off we went.
Grabbing multiple pairs off the rack I headed to the changing room and instantly felt like a little kid who stole his dad’s 501s as every pair dragged the ground by a good foot. Stumbling out of the dressing room in the third pair the sales rep informed me that Dainese jeans are cut Italian style, meaning there is only one length and that they require hemming. Oh those Italians.
With that nugget of info in mind I preceded to go through the rest of the rack before deciding on the Dainese D1 Kevlar Jeans (now discontinued). These pants provided decent protection with internal Kevlar reinforcement combined with kneepads, deep pockets to ensure wallets and cellphones didn’t fall out, and bonus, they were on sale.
A day after taking them to my tailor (yes, that sounds totally douchey and any dry cleaners can do it for $10) they were ready to ride.
With only four days of freedom scheduled, I blasted up to Crater Lake in a day and half. As I rode the last ten miles to the ridge, snow appeared on the ground and the temperature dipped below 40 degrees. Thankfully I had packed a pair of long-johns for a second layer as the jeans didn’t come with any cold weather liners. The combination of the two was more than enough to fight off the chill.
I rode all the way to the only currently open vista on the lake ridge. As my feet crunched piles of white snow I noticed the knee pads rested comfortably below my knees. The standing position of the knee protector let me stride instead of having to adopt the squatty saunter of bulkier padded pants.
Checking the lake off my list I casually rode down to Fort Klamath where I had booked a room for the night just as the sun was setting behind darkening clouds. I lounged around my room as if in normal pair of jeans and casually thumbed to my weather app only to discover showers were on the horizon.
Sure enough, as I crammed breakfast into my face the following morning, droplets of water were already beginning to patter the lake outside. Not wanting to get soaked I hopped on the bike, spewing loose gravel behind me as I opened the throttle. Hightailing it south, the clouds got me good for about twenty minutes before letting up. To my surprise the jeans held up well without becoming soggy; though I was grateful when the sky brightened. Denim and water are always a bad combination.
Thundering past the storm I turned inland on the final leg of my journey, passing close to Sacramento in temperatures approaching 80. A decent wind was the only thing keeping me cool as the jeans do not have any venting strips. Most riders know there isn’t much venting strips can accomplish on a hot day, but I enjoy the placebo effect nonetheless.
Four days was barely enough to scratch the surface of the vast beauty of the Pacific Northwest and I have already planned to return when the weather warms up a little. In the future, I think the D1 Kevlar Jeans are serviceable for weekend rides and shorter range trips. For any longer journeys I prefer more built-in protection and layering options for versatility. For the biker who wears jeans on every ride, Kevlar moto-jeans are a necessary protection upgrade.