By: Colin Meagher
Swobo ThermoGnar Bib Knicker / $180 / swobo.com
It may have been three weeks since Punxatawney Phil gave the nod for an abbreviated winter by turning a blind eye to his shadow, but I'm not buying it. I think the fix is in. I live in Seattle, and I know that the weather will be cold and shitty for a few months to come—no matter what some ballyhooed, overgrown rodent says. All superstitions aside, there really is no substitute for nice clothing that just works when you want to, or need to, get out and ride in miserable weather.
One such item is the Swobo ThermoGnar Bib Knicker. Touted at Swobo.com as an item to "keep you comfortable enough to enjoy the ride whether you’re getting radical-dudical on muddy singletrack, or putting in big miles in the rain." Well, believe the marketing dribble. These knickers kept me warm and comfy in all conditions short of a full-on blizzard.
The magic behind these knickers is in the material. Swobo's design team mated warm and wicking merino wool with a stretchy combination of weather repelling lycra and spandex. The merino wool is layered on the inside of the knickers for next-to-skin decadence and the lycra and spandex are layered on the outside for weather resistance. Amazingly enough, they are machine washable too.
All the textile blending would be for naught, though, without a quality chamois to keep the more sensitive bits happy. Swobo delivered here with the addition of a top-notch, Italian-made chamois.
From shoulders to shins, the ThermoGnars constantly delivered comfort and refuge in cold, adverse weather. At $180 the Swobos might seem pricy, but, when you are warm when everything else isn't, they are absolutely worth every penny.