BOORRD Room Men’s Pro Jersey
BOORRD Room Men’s Pro Bib Shorts
OORR – Cycling Gear Gets a Little Greener
Riding a bike is a great environmentally friendly activity, but unfortunately the kit we wear while riding is typically not so great for the environment (along with clothing and shoes, in general). The production of clothing involves lots of harsh chemicals and dyes, massive amounts of scrap material and carbon emissions.
OORR (which stands for Out Of the Rat Race) was founded on the idea that it’s possible to make environmentally friendly athletic wear without any compromise in performance or style. The company’s approach to making a green kit involves recycled materials, environmentally friendly treatments and even small details such as not using hang tags that are immediately thrown away after purchase. There is a stigma that “green” often means compromised performance, but that is not the case with the OORR kit.
I (along with other testers) put a pre-production BOORRD ROOM Pro Kit through many miles on the road to provide feedback to both OORR and future customers. OORR will be launching its cycling kits on Kickstarter in August or September 2016. The good news is that all the feedback from pre-production reviewers will be used to make final tweaks to the kits if the Kickstarter campaign is fully funded. This is a great kit, and the production version is certain to be even better.
BOORRD ROOM Pro Jersey Packed With Features
The OORR jersey uses 30 percent recycled content equivalent to approximately five plastic bottles. The plastic bottles are recycled to create RPET polyester (recycled PET polyester) which is essentially identical to virgin PET polyester. The RPET yarn is also infused with used coffee grounds. The claimed benefits of adding the coffee grounds include: increased surface area that speeds up drying time and reflects more sunlight, thereby increasing the fabric’s UPF, and coffee is a natural deodorizer so helps keeps the jersey smelling fresh.
The resulting jersey fabric is super soft, lightweight and feels great on the skin. There is ample stretch built in which allowed the jersey to conform nicely to my upper body. I’m a heavy sweater and rode in this jersey on plenty of long, hot climbs and it has never felt soggy or waterlogged like some other jerseys I have worn. So I can vouch for the fast drying fabric, but it’s not practicable to test UPF or the deoderizing aspect of the coffee grounds (sorry, but it goes in the wash after each wearing).
The OORR Pro jersey design is based on the classic formula of full-length front zipper, 3 rear pockets, vented side/armpit panels, and a race-cut fit. Added niceties include chafing protection at the top and bottom of the zipper. There is a zipper garage at the bottom hem to protect your bibs and a protective flap (patterned with coffee beans!) behind the zipper at the collar to improve neck comfort when fully zipped up. Longer sleeves combined with grippers at the sleeve ends and rear hemline keep the jersey snuggly in place. The only feature missing is an extra pocket that is zippered and/or waterproof (a feature that is available in OORR’s men’s Ultralight jersey, as well as some of the company’s women’s models).
Click to read the review of OORR’s Women’s Jersey and Bib Shorts
There are several jersey colors/patterns available, but the common theme is visibility that is more exciting than a solid fluorescent green. The patterns take their forms from everyday markers for danger or caution in the hope that drivers will recognize the symbols and instinctively be more careful.
For example, diagonal contrasting stripes are similar to police line tape seen at crime scenes and the BOORRD ROOM checkerboard pattern is similar to those seen on European police cars. Personally, I think the designs definitely grab the eye, and I like them. There is also a reflective logo and tab on the rear of the jersey for extra visibility in low light.
OORR says the jerseys are pro/euro/race cut and intended to fit like a glove. According to the sizing chart, I sit right in the middle of the size Medium range, but the jersey I tested was a size Small (owing to limited quantities of pre-production gear). A testament to the stretchiness of the fabric, the Small jersey fit me quite well, though it was definitely skin tight and the rear pockets were understandably a bit high up.
It would make a great aero race jersey, but for everyday riding I would probably prefer my correct size Medium for a slightly more relaxed fit and better pocket placement. Based on the fit I suspect the OORR sizing chart is pretty accurate and the chest/waist/weight measurements should make it clear where you fall.
Pro Bib Shorts Mostly Stretchy and Comfortable
The OORR bib shorts are manufactured with 76 percent post-industrial nylon and 24 percent Spandex. The fabric is fused with “Frog Skin” nanoparticles that provide anti-microbial properties. The Frog Skin technology is based on frogs that have adapted to live in bacterially infested ponds by using a skin secretion that kills the bacteria. The fusion process is eco-friendly (no poisons, no heavy metals, etc.) and is claimed to kill 99.99 percent of all microbes (I did not count dead microbes to verify this claim!).
As with the jersey, the bib fabric is very soft and feels luxurious on the skin. The fabric is so stretchy that when pulling the shorts on the leg grippers are still below my knees when the chamois is seated in place. A little extra work is required to pull the leg hemsup to the proper position (just above the knees, as the inseam is quite long). Despite the massive amounts of built-in stretch there is moderate compression on the thighs and everything is held snuggly in place. The bib straps are wide and comfortable and provide the perfect amount of support to the shorts below (as with the jersey, the sizing chart appears to be dead-on).
The chamois is well-padded and worked great for me on short and long rides up to six hours. My only complaint with the chamois is that the portion that runs between my legs seems oddly stiff in the horizontal direction (putting pressure on my inner thighs). I think the chamois being a bit too thick in this location is the culprit but it seems to slowly be getting more compliant after many, many washes. The stiffness is especially noticeable when walking in the bibs and, thankfully, all but disappears on the bike. The discomfort while riding is minimal (I had no issues with chafing) and typically a little on-bike adjustment could make the rubbing disappear. OORR does have an “elite” bib short in addition to the “pro” version that I tested. The elite chamois is half the thickness with higher density foam and should offer the same level of performance without the thickness issues I encountered.
Green Cycling Kit That Is OORRsome
The OORR recycled materials, technology and attention to detail lead to a great kit that you can feel good about wearing. The solid construction has held up well to numerous riding/washing cycles. I spent a lot of time bike commuting in this kit as the backpack I wear tends to be a good test of fabric robustness. Unlike some kits I own, the OORR materials show no signs of wear or pilling from all the backpack contact points.
Overall, I found the jersey and bibs to be very solid garments and I could find no issues related to the recycled content. You simply would never know from the form/fit/function that you are wearing old plastic bottles and used coffee grounds. I applaud OORR for their efforts to make this kit more environmentally friendly and hope to see more manufacturers following suit. As an environmentally friendly option, you can’t go wrong with the OORR kit’s top-notch comfort and performance.
Brandon Bilyeu is an avid recreational roadie who lives in Portland, Oregon, and enjoys road, track and ‘cross racing. He’s also a year-round bike commuter and is a mechanical design engineer by trade. Click to read Brandon’s full bio.