20130126

A Visit to the Chrome Store: SF

Last weekend I took a jaunt to the city for the day, with my main goal being to see one of my favorite bands ever, ДДТ, but also with plans to visit a couple of much loved places.  I checked out Zeitgeist, one of the only bars I've ever seen with bicycle storage inside, and a pretty killer selection of beer on tap.  Not to mention full of cyclists of all sorts: roadies, messengers, casual riders, and more.  But I also got to stop by the Chrome Store.

Goodies!

The rainy season in California is upon us, and living in LA for the past few years has left me with minimal rain and winter gear - though it does rain in LA, the rain here is bit more intense, and my commute is much longer.  I needed something serious, which is why I checked out the Vanya Knickers and Storm Pasha, both of which also have men's versions here and here, respectively.  

I wandered around the store, looking at all the various bags, shoes, and accessories.  They have some cool new stuff as well as the classics, and most everything is made in San Francisco or Chico, California.  

One of the bag walls!  There's something for everyone.
Since we were traversing the city on foot due to a lack of safe late night bike parking, I had limited time to spend there, and mainly I was there to try things on.  Word of warning: Chrome has interesting and often inconsistent sizing, at least for women.  If you have the opportunity to try something on before buying, I highly suggest you do.  
Some of their jackets, and a new bag color scheme in their lineup known as Elements. 
This time around I was helped by an awesome girl who was quite friendly - but I have had some issues in the past with this particular store as far as customer service goes.  Which is strange, because outside of this store Chrome's customer service is killer - but I feel like with this store if you don't show up on your fixed gear looking like a complete urban cyclist you'll get the cold shoulder.  Anyway, my good experience this time is something that I hope is the same in the future.

Of course, we received some January rain this past week, so I got to try out my new gear.  I won't do a full review until after the season, but my first impressions are pretty good:

Vanya Knickers
Pros:
 - Waterproof
 - Designed for riding with a padded crotch area and a high rise rear
 - Pockets (also waterproof)
Cons:
 - Wonky sizing
 - They're not pants, so no full leg coverage
 - Lacks reflectivity 

Storm Pasha
Pros:
 - Waterproof
 - Vented armpits
 - Easily accessibly but still completely waterproof pockets
 - Looks good, offers almost full coverage
Cons:
 - Sleeves are a bit short
 - Lacks reflectivity

We'll see how they do through the rainy season.  

As for the concert - first in line, ended up right in the front against the stage barrier.  Absolutely stunning show and beautiful music.
I guess The Warfield doesn't have any Cyrillic letters lying around.
It's Saturday, so now that my coffee is finished, I'm heading out for a ride.  

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