Wired magazine has a neat spread of high-tech Olympic gear, including a track shoe with liquid-crystal polymer threads, an $8,500 road bike from Specialized, Speedo's controversial LZR Racer swimsuit, and a pre-race ice vest made to keep marathoners cool while battling Beijing's baking August heat.
The pre-race ice vest was made to keep competitors cool while waiting to run.
The aforementioned track shoe struck me as most intriguing. According to the Wired piece, the Nike AeroFly shoes weigh 6.6 ounces and have uppers strengthened with "criss-crossed cables woven from Vectran liquid-crystal polymer threads -- the same stuff used in the Mars rovers' airbags." The Wired article says Asafa Powell, a 100-meter world record holder, will sprint with the Martian spikes next week.
Nike's AeroFly shoes.
Click to "Play Like You're an Olympian With This Gold-Standard Gear" here. . .
Arc’teryx, that Vancouver soft-goods maker of all things alpine and cool, is going aerobic with its spring 2009 collection. Specifically, starting next year, the company will launch several apparel and outerwear collections made for trail runners, cyclists and multisport athletes.
The pieces are lightweight and made to breathe and wick moisture as you toil on the go. The Endorphin apparel line, one of several collections, includes featherweight shell jackets like the 5-ounce Celeris Jacket, two performance vests and the Velox Zip Neck, a 4.4-ounce “endurance running shirt” that features a deep front zipper for venting. Prices start at $75 in this collection.
Celeris Jacket (women’s)
The Cito line includes “close-fitting pieces thoughtfully designed for the athlete that demands performance fabrics, total mobility and maximum comfort during punishing exercise routines.” That’s the company line, anyway. A tight, a tank top and a sports bra are made of stretchy, wicking material. They weigh 3 to 5 ounces apiece and start at $59
Cito ¾ Tight
The Escala Collection offers fitted apparel with “dynamic, soft, moisture wicking fabric.” This includes the Escala Capri, a plush pant made for yoga, climbing, pilates, etc. The Escala Strap Tank has a built-in shelf-bra, four straps across the back and a wide asymmetrical waistband. And the Escala Short is a trim-fitting athletic short with breathable mesh panels to maximize venting and moisture wicking. Prices start at $69.
Finally, the Visio & Escala Skorts “inject a healthy dose of femininity into classic technical athletic shorts.” Again, that’s the Arc’teryx verbiage, not mine. But these stylish bottoms are practical running-wear that have a thigh-tight running bottom hidden under a wraparound skirt made from moisture-wicking textiles and with a long overlapping side slit for unrestricted strides. Designed for running around the neighborhood or down the trail 26.2 miles in a mountain marathon. Pricing to start at $69.
All Arc’teryx aerobicwear will be available starting in spring 2009. Monitor www.arcteryx.com for details.
In one of my more strange assignments ever, last week I covered a rising form of aerobic workout that takes its cues from erotic dancing. "Strip Fitness," as the class was called, is advertised as a way to "tone your booty, legs, arms and abs with style."
Lighted platforms, poles, folding chairs, suggestive moves and thumping music mix to create a sweat-inducing, heart-rate-raising session that can be a serious aerobic jolt.
“It’s a ton of cardio, your heart rate going up and down through different fat-burning zones,” said one instructor.
My column last month on Thule—“Cargo Box on a Small Car”—covered a rack setup for moving gear around on the go. But what about racking your piles of equipment at home?
Yakima has a unique mount-on-the-wall system called Ground Control (www.yakima.com/groundcontrol). It was made for garages or basements, and the system accommodates gear for cycling, fishing, skiing, snowboarding and camping with shelves, baskets, beds and hooks all available as DIY, custom-configurable options.
ABOVE: Yakima’s Ground Control
Accessories for Ground Control include single and double utility hooks, a vertical bike hanger, a ski/snowboard hanger, a kayak and cargo box holder, loose gear storage, a corner kit, and a horizontal extension kit. The base system is comprised of varying horizontal and vertical round tube lengths made of aluminum that allow for a variety of configurations, including the ability to build around corners. You mount Yakima rack accessories to the system to make a custom garage gear organization shelf.
Another option, Talic Inc. sells assorted racks for boaters. The company has a slogan, “Be Good To Your Toys,” and with products like the Kayak Condo—a wood and webbing boat holder that eliminates pressure points that might dent or scratch your boat—you can be sure that your water craft will rest easy when not in use.
ABOVE: The Kayak Condo from Talic
The company (www.talic.com) sells the Kayak Condo in three iterations—holding one to three boats stacked. Thick two-inch-wide webbing conforms to the shape of your boat at rest, and wooden arms provide up to 100 pounds of support, enough to hold any boat.
Beyond the Kayak condo, Talic has canoe racks, kayak stands, and racks for paddles and skis. All Talic products are designed, engineered, and built by a team of kayakers in Rochester, NY.
The Kayak Condo starts at $51.95. Yakima’s Ground Control goes at $225 for the base unit then $16 to $130 for the clip-on components.