Tom and I have been doing a couple of day rides these past few weekends giving me a chance to try out some of the Ground Effect gear. I have to say I’m very impressed with it so far. One of the challenges we will face on the trip is keeping warm on those cold days while carrying as little clothing as possible, so layering will become very important and with the weather dipping to the cooler side here in South Korea it has become ideal for testing options out.
Last weekend it was a chilly 5 degrees (C) so I went with the Bergler as my under layer and used the Stormtrooper over the top. Perfect. Not cold, but not hot.
The Bergler did it’s job wicking the sweat away while keeping me warm, however when we finally took a break later in the day to take off some gear (now 15 degrees C) I found that the Bergler was quite damp making it a chilly next 5km till it dried. Having the under arm zips down on the Stormtrooper seemed to provide ample airflow under the jacket to keep me at a nice temperature but didn’t do much for drying the Bergler. To be expected I guess.
I will give it to the Stormtrooper jacket though. Just the previous weekend I wore just the Bergler and while going up hill on a semi-chilly day was fine, I was frozen by the bottom. Doing the same hill a week later with the jacket on and nothing. As a light weight windbreaker it is awesome. Only time will tell how it handles torrential rain. (still to be tested)
All in all I’d give them a combined rating of 9/10 as a lightweight option for layering up on those cool fall/spring mornings.
The biggest problem I had during the ride was keeping the feeling in my toes. I just received the zig-zag winter socks in the mail from Ground Effect so I’ll give them a try out this weekend when Dave, Tom, Kath and I head for the mountains of Seoraksan where it should be nice and cold. It will also give me a chance to try out the other gear that arrived yesterday – Half Pipes and a Baked Beanie.
As a final note I bought a White Bergler, at the time not really thinking about how dirty it would get. I’ve worn it for six 100+ km rides washing it every second ride which I will be a luxury if I can do that next year. The smellabilty factor is great (go merino) but it has definitely lost its white shine for a yellow/brownish tinge and in the future I would only go for dark colors.