Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Canari Tights

Evaluating tradeoffs are often difficult. Is this performance worth that cost? Is that weight suitable in this usage with this power? They can be fun studies, but sometimes you make the wrong decision. The Canari cycling tights are the wrong decision. There is no reason to buy these tights. You may only have $30 in the budget for some tights, but friend, spend $10 on embrocation, $20 on knee warmers, and save up until you have $60 or more, cuz the Canari’s aren’t going to cut it.

This morning’s commute required something more than shorts due to the light rain and temps in the mid 50’s. I elected the canari tights from the closet – big mistake. Here are some of the features that endear these babies to me:

· Ankle Elastic: they come with ankle elastic, and if you’ve got kankles, they’ll probably fit you. I have rather slender ankles (a girl in my club said my legs were “skinny” – not necessarily a complement to a cyclist…), and so they flap in the wind when they should be tight.

· Chamois Pad: they do come with a shammy. Unfortunately for me, I do not have a ghetto booty. Why would one need a ghetto booty? The chamois is positioned such that for the sit-bones to be supported by its cushion, it must be rotated from its normal resting position back (about an axis that runs through your pelvis horizontally). So I am hypothesizing that if my ass was 2 to 4 times its current (already generous) size, the chamois would potentially be stretched into place. I will say that it provides plenty of padding in the front of the crotch region but: A) I try not to sit on those parts – I suggest you avoid it too and B) I don’t do crotch-smashing-top-tube fixie skids in these tights…I save those for the women’s jeans. ;) So basically the chamois pad is completely worthless beyond making this grown man look like he’s wearing a diaper when I waddle by in my cycling shoes.

· Lycra/Spandex/Stretchy Material: they are constructed from this material. Like the other product I’m hoping to review soon (Nashbar Performance Bib Shorts), this material falls into that half-assed middle ground of low-grade cycling clothing: too tight to be socially acceptable and too loose to be comfortable for cycling. You know what I’m talking about, when shorts or tights fit tight, they are comfy to ride in and provide some compression for those massive leg muscles you enjoy flexing in the mirror. When the fabric is too loose it’ just… gross. To the outsider it may look the same but for the practitioner, it sucks.

So, like I said, save your money or better yet, inherit a small fortune so you can afford some Assos or Rapha tights. And when you try something like Canari’s on at the store with your underpants still on, pay closer attention to the chamois location! Sheesh Frenchy. Oh, and in case you were wondering, I have ridden them more than once (or thrice for that matter) so I don’t think I’m “taking it out” on my pants for an uncomfortable commute. And besides, the commute was rather nice this morning.

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