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Review: Chromag fall and cold weather gear

Warm gear to make cool days on the bike comfortable

Whistler’s Chromag Bikes is known primarily for its high-quality parts and its burly metal hardtails (and, now, metal full-suspension bikes), but the rider-favourite Canadian brand also has a full line of riding apparel that is equally as impressive.

We took out a range of Chromag’s fall and cool-weather apparel for review. Created to make sure you can get as much time on that perfect shoulder season hero dirt as comfortably as possible, this isn’t full-on Canadian winter gear. But it’ll keep you cool when the sun drops behind the mountains or when the ground is frozen, but not covered in deep snow.

Chromag Feint Pant

Starting off with a classic that Chromag has brought back to its line, the Feint pants are actually more of an all-season kit. They’re tough enough for summer bike park laps but they are also comfortable enough to pedal in on cooler days. The Feint’s features suit that dual purpose, with reinforced knee patches for protection (and room for pads underneath) and lazer cut venting and a slim cut for unrestricted pedalling. A solid ratchet buckle keeps the pants in place along with a gripper inside the waist.

Part of the pedalling comfort comes from the tight-cut ankle and cuff on the Feints. They stay in place without moving around or tugging at the knee pads, whether climbing seated or moving around on the bike on descents. That means there is minimal adjusting required when transitioning from standing to seated, or the reverse. The Feints are already right where you want them. The only drawback is that, even with extra stretchy material at the ankle cuff, it can be a bit of careful work getting them off over your foot.

The Feint pants are stretchy enough and made of a light enough fabric, outside of the knee patches, that they are one of the most comfortable pants I’ve pedalled in. They’ve already seen many miles during our west coast version of winter, including some muddy days and are looking no worse for wear. They are not particularly water resistant, and Chromag makes no such claims, but they are enough to survive the occasional light showers.

Finally, the three pockets are well-designed and well-placed. The left pocket has a smaller inner sleeve for a park pass or to keep a smaller item securely in place. The right pocket and right thigh pocket were both perfect for storing a phone, depending on your preferences.

Chromag offers men’s Feint pants in three colours and six sizes, from 28-38. The women’s version comes in two colours and five sizes, from XS-XL. Both retail for $195.

Chromag Veldt merino wool long-sleeve jersey

Veldt is the long-sleeve version of Chromag’s Roam jersey. It’s made out of merino wool, which Chromag says is ethically sourced from New Zealand farms. It is a lightweight jersey that is perfect for cooler fall evenings and under jackets all winter as a base layer. It also has a small, zippered pocket at the waist to carry light essentials on minimalist rides.

Merino does that magic thing where it breathes well enough that you get enough fresh air moving through the fabric that you don’t overheat or feel sweaty and gross but you still stay comfortably warm. On its own, the Veldt is a very comfortable, relaxed-fit jersey for a more casual approach to riding gear that still offers technical performance. It also works fantastically as a base layer under a jacket in cooler weather. With less air moving through it creates more heat while still pulling moisture away from your skin so you don’t get that sauna feeling developing inside the jacket. All in, this is a very comfortable jersey. With a mix of breathability and warmth, will work well in a wide range of riding conditions.

Short days and rapidly changing temperatures made the extra warmth of the Veldt jersey extra welcome.

Fit on the Veldt is slightly more relaxed. I usually size somewhere between medium and large, depending on brand and cut. With a roomier fit and plenty of length, in the sleeves and torso, the large Veldt nicely covers all the way below the waist while riding. If I wanted a closer fit, the medium would work perfectly. Chromag does recommend considering a size down if you prefer a slim fit.

Chromag offers the men’s Veldt in five sizes from XS to XL. The monochrome men’s Veldt long-sleeve retails for $135. The two-tone women’s Veldt for $140.

Chromag Raven gloves

Chromag’s Raven gloves are also designed for cooler weather. With the added warmth of a fleece-lined upper and a longer cuff, they fill the space between lightweight summer gloves and full-on winter mitts. They’re designed to add warmth with minimal loss of dexterity. They are not to provide protection against heavy rain or arctic weather.

That can make the Raven’s a somewhat specific use-case glove. But, for those that pedal all year round, having the right glove for the conditions can make the difference between an uncomfortable ride and enjoying perfect fall conditions. Unlike some bulkier winter gloves, the Raven’s are thin and flexible. Enough so that you can really enjoy a fall ride without losing that feeling of control over the handlebars or losing the feeling in your fingers.

An extended cuff makes sure there’s no gap between your gloves and jacket for wind and cold to sneak in. The touchscreen fingertips actually work impressively well, too. So you don’t have to take off your gloves to gram those perfect fall colours. Depending on how warm you like your hands, these gloves will work well on either side of zero degrees Celsius and they will hold up to some precipitation.

Fit on the Ravens is slightly different than on Chromag’s lightweight Habit gloves. The heavier material is slightly less stretchy. So, where my XL Habits fit perfectly, the Ravens had a bit more room. Occasionally, this led to slight bunching in the palm. If you’re already using Chromag gloves, it might be a good idea to check sizing before just grabbing a pair off the shelf at your local bike shop.

Chromag offers the Raven in six sizes, from XS to XXL, for $59.

Chromag Ridge socks

Chromag’s Ridge socks are a nice cross between simplicity and performance. They’re comfortable and soft without being heavy or warm. They’re a technical fabric and cut without looking like they belong at a Tour de France stage start. Socks don’t have to be complicated. They’re just a really comfortable pair of socks. They have a nice, long cut with a simple design that works as well off the bike as on.

Ridge socks come in three colours and four sizes (S – XL) for $30 a pair.