Clothing Review: In my part of the world (Babylon on the Potomac), spring has finally arrived. That means warmer weather. In fact, we’ve had some unseasonably warm (temps up to 80F) early spring days. So I’ve been able to ditch arm and knee warmers and do some riding in shorts and short-sleeve jersey – including DannyShane kit I teased in my review of their Fall City Line casual clothing.
DannyShane Gex Performance Jersey and Limited Rainier Red Bibs
Although DannyShane sounds very English, it’s not a UK company. In fact, DannyShane is based in Austin, TX. The company was founded by Shane Hunt (a very English sounding name, but Shane is a local Austin boy), who previously had a successful career in the golf and sportswear industry. As an avid triathlete, he translated that experience into creating DannyShane in 2009.
The fit is what DannyShane calls “American performance cut” that is somewhere between somewhat looser casual club fit and skin tight aggressive race fit.
The fabric is a 50-60% blend of bamboo white ash (BWA) with microfiber polyester that is eco-friendly and provides natural:
• Rapid moisture wicking
• Odor resistance
• Anti-static qualities
DannyShane Gex Peformance Jersey – $129
DannyShane is probably most recognizable for their Tartan Plaid jerseys (which contribute to the English and even golf vibe associated with the brand), but the Gex jersey is more of a modern classic look. In fact, it wouldn’t look out of place as a 70s era trade team jersey with its Molteni-esque bold stripes across the chest, back, and sleeves.
The basic jersey design is fairly straightforward and not unlike a lot of other jerseys:
Full-length zipper that’s invisible when fully zipped
Silicone waist gripper all the way around
Mock race collar
But with one small design difference:
The outside rear jersey pockets are slanted to make it a little easier to put stuff in and get it out, but they’re slightly oversized so don’t sacrifice carrying capacity
And a nice touch:
A zippered back pocket to secure important stuff like keys, ID, and credit card
But what you notice most about the Gex jersey is the bamboo white ash fabric. The only way to describe it is that it’s like silk: ultra smooth and uber comfortable. And not just when you first put it on. I actually own several DannyShane jerseys and have ridden in them in DC summers when the temperature pegs into the 90s and the humidity can only be described as oppressive. The bamboo white ash is nothing short of incredible in the way it wicks moisture away from your body and vents airflow. It’s about as close to air conditioning on a bike as it can get. And while at the end of a long, hot ride I might be soaked, my DannyShane jersey isn’t.
My DannyShane jersey collection
According to DannyShane: “When trying our jerseys for the first time, we recommend starting with a size smaller than what you might be used to.” I’m 5’8” and 135 pounds and generally wear a size small (the exception being that with club cut jerseys I often size down to extra small to make them race fit), and that’s what size fit me in the Gex jersey. I’m used to race cut jerseys and DannyShane definitely isn’t that. It’s what I would describe as comfortably tight on my ectomorph-like torso and arms. It hugs without compression so it’s easy to move about in. Yes, there’s a bit of “looseness” but not to the point where the fabric is flapping around in the wind. It’s fair to say that DannyShane largely achieves what it sets out to do with jersey fit: find a balance between aero and comfort.
Another way that the DannyShane Gex differs from more prevalent race jerseys is that the sleeves are a little shorter and not as form fitting. Just another element of balancing between aero and comfort.
In a nod to comfort, sleeves that aren’t race fit tight. And harkening back to another era, slightly shorter length by current standards.
For the weight weenies, the DannyShane Gex jersey weighs in at a respectable 133 grams
DannyShane Limited Rainier Red Bib – $209
While it’s entire possible to go completely matchy-matchy with DannyShane kit (for example, their tartan plaid Bluewater jersey and bibs or Hounds jersey and bibs), one of the great things about their stuff is that its easily mix-and-match-able. The easy choice for bibs to pair with the Gex or any other DannyShane jersey would be the basic black with logo side panel Shelby. But the Rainier Red bibs with their horizontal bands at the bottom coordinate well and add a touch of color to the overall outfit.
Like a lot of other bibs, the Rainier Red are cut low in the front, high in the back and have wide straps. That’s a good thing because it’s a tried-and-true design that works and there’s no reason to change something that isn’t broken.
Pretty standard, but no need to change, bib design: low in front, high in back
The material of the bib upper is mesh for breathability
In keeping with the eco-friendliness of the bamboo white ash used in DannyShane jerseys, their bibs use 100% recycled nylon in the straps and the rest is a blend of 77% nylon (100% of which is recycled) and 23% lycra.
Another telltale sign that DannyShane isn’t full-on race kit is that the legs on the Rainier Red bibs are cut just slightly shorter than what is currently de rigueur in the pro peloton. And the compression material used in the leg band is not ultra tight. Certainly tight enough to hug the lower thigh, but almost gently. Another nod to balancing aero and comfort.
The leg length is a little shorter on the Rainier Red bibs so expect some uneven tan lines and ribbing from your riding buddies
DannyShane uses a “soft” compression leg band
DannyShane recommends “that you go a little tighter with your shorts size selection, remembering that the bib will loosen a bit when you begin riding and that it will contour itself to your body due to our proprietary fabric.” But I generally wear a size small and that’s what fit me in the Rainier Red bibs. Speaking of fit, the Rainier Red bibs are an 8-panel design which is pretty standard across most manufacturers. Again, a design that works so no sense in fixing what ain’t broke.
All things being equal, what bibs get judged on is the chamois. DannyShane has what they call a “3d-stretch Cytech Carbonio 100-mile chamois.” Cytech is an Italian company that makes more than 80 different chamois designs used by many top end cycling clothing companies. I can’t be 100 percent sure, but based on description and colors, the chamois on the Rainier Red bibs is most likely what Cytech calls Road Performance.
The chamois has different densities and thicknesses to fine tune comfort
A wide-ish central channel to improve blood flow and reduce numbness during long distance rides
I can’t speak to doing 100-mile rides, but Rainier Red bibs have been more than comfortable on metric centuries and I don’t have any reason to believe they wouldn’t be up to the task of a full century (or even longer).
The Rainier Red bibs come in at 163 grams weight-wise
Bring on summer!
While I can’t honestly say that I can’t wait for the oppressive heat and humidity to beset the Washington, DC area, summer is when DannyShane kit is really at its best and proves its mettle. In less than blazing hot temps, you may want/need a base layer under the jersey. And during those times of year when the temps are somewhere between warm and cool (spring and fall), add arm warmers and/or knee warmers to ward off the chill (maybe a vest, as appropriate).
Classic and classy
Together, the Gex jersey and Rainier Red bibs are a classy looking pairing. Dare I say even evoking a country gentlemen’s cyclist look? There’s that English vibe again. They’re definitely modern, but also timeless and classic. Certainly, a look that would be appreciated by those whose fashion tastes lean more retro or conservatively.
The classic and classy look of DannyShane kit deserve a classic and classy looking steel bike (my custom Hollands built with Reynolds 653 that was my race bike in the 90s and previously featured in Readers’ Rigs)
PEZ contributor Chuck Peña is a former weekend warrior racer who now just rides for fun and coffee (as well as the occasional taco), but every once in a while manages to prove Fausto Coppi’s adage true: Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife (who is his favorite riding partner), his daughter (who takes great joy in beating him at golf all the time, but at least he’s still faster on a bike), and their dog (who is always there to greet him when he comes home from a ride). You can follow him on Twitter and on Instagram.