Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Twisted Core vs LDComfort

What you wear can affect how well you ride


Staying comfortable not only adds to the enjoyment of the ride, it may also increase safety. When you are focused on your body's pain or discomfort, you are distracted from paying attention to traffic or road conditions. Motorcyclists spend a ton on aftermarket seats, backrests, highway pegs, etc., in an effort to improve the comfort of the ride.

There is a growing number of clothing products that claim to increase rider comfort. I wanted to see for myself if any of the claims were true.
 

The Testing Environment


Each of the products below was tested during a 738-mile roundtrip ride from DFW to Midland, Texas, in July 2014. Ambient temperatures ranged from 79 degrees in the morning to 96 degrees in the afternoon. I should also mention that I am 6'-2" tall with 35" arms, a 42" chest and 33" inseam. I weigh 178 lbs. During this test I was wearing an Olympia AirGlide 3 mesh jacket, Olympia mesh riding pants and an HJC SyMax III helmet. My 2012 Goldwing is equipped with Baker Hand Wings which I use in temps above 90°F to increase airflow to the arms and chest. I also have a vent in my V-Stream windshield for additional airflow.
 

LDComfort


Since I first became involved with the Goldwing forums, I have read about how LDComfort products could keep a rider cooler in summer riding. My first experience was a few years ago when I received a pair of the LDComfort riding shorts for my birthday. Last year, I also acquired the LDComfort long-sleeve mock turtleneck undershirt and helmet liner.

The LDComfort products are made from a stretchy "spandex-like" material and only come in black. The shorts are unique because they have very few seams in places that could cause discomfort when seated. LDComfort is designed to be worn tight against the skin, acting sort of like a second layer of skin. The company claims that the design of their products can regulate the body temperature in any type of weather. The theory is that they can keep you warm in the cold and cool in the heat.

As temperatures increased during the ride, I used a spray bottle to wet the sleeves and chest of the mock turtleneck during a fuel stop. When the air flows through the mesh jacket, there is a definite evaporative cooling effect. In fact, if you wet the garment in temps under 90 degrees, you may get cold. You can get the same cooling effect by wetting your skin, but moisture on your skin will evaporate very quickly. The LDComfort material holds the moisture longer, extends the evaporation time, and allows the cooling effect to transfer to your body.

As the material begins to dry, the cooling effect will wear off. However, even when completely "dry", the material does the job of wicking perspiration which will then evaporate and provide some cooling. So, even without wetting the garment, it will increase rider comfort in hot weather. In 93-degree temperature, I found the wetting technique to last roughly 35 minutes before the garment dried out. Of course, these times will vary based on humidity and how much air passes through your riding jacket.

My only complaint with LDComfort is the fit of the mock turtleneck. The sleeves on my size Large are at least 2 inches too short (see photo above) and no Tall sizes are available. This becomes an issue when arms are outstretched reaching for the handlebars. Of course, if you do not have ape-like arms like me, that would not be an issue.

The LDComfort Long Sleeve Mock Turtleneck sells for $56.98. The Men's Riding Shorts sell for $44.94. The Helmet Liner style I have sells for $24.50.

For more information, go to www.LDComfort.com
 

Twisted CoreTwisted Core


Unlike LDComfort, Twisted Core offers both Summer and Winter base layers. They also offer full-length "pants" which I wore underneath my Olympia mesh riding pants.

Twisted Core claims to combine multiple fabrics with strategically placed melt-resistant zones, technical mesh to maximize air flow and help regulate body temperature, moisture wicking, anti-microbial and UV properties that protect and keep you dry. Flatlock seams and tagless technology eliminate irritation by reducing interior fabric bulk and unnecessary tags.

The construction of the Twisted Core products is impressive. The material is much lighter than LDComfort but offers good compression. I tested the Summer Base Layer Shirt and Summer Base Layer Pants. The Large shirt fit perfectly, and had longer sleeves than the LDComfort.

The shirt has compression material in the forearms to improve circulation. A lighter material is used in the upper arms and shoulders to maximize airflow. I'm not sure if it is a gimmick, but it seems to work. I found the Twisted Core garments to be very comfortable. As soon as I put on the Twisted Core long-sleeve top, my skin felt cooler. It is actually kind of strange, but nice. Unlike the LDComfort, the Large long-sleeve shirt fit me perfectly with enough sleeve length to cover my wrists (see photo at left).

The wicking properties of the material did keep me cooler, and I felt like the compression properties were quite impressive.
The Twisted Core Long-Sleeve Summer Base Layer Shirt sells for $59.99. The Summer Base Layer Pants sell for $49.99.

For more information, go to www.TwistedCore.com
 

IS THERE A WINNER?


Both products helped me stay cooler in the Texas heat. Wetting the LDComfort material provided extra cooling for up to 35 minutes before drying out while the same effect with Twisted Core only lasted about 20 minutes. However, once the material has shed that moisture, I felt cooler in the Twisted Core. I should also mention that Twisted Core does not recommend wetting the material to improve cooling. Also, the Twisted Core was all-around just more comfortable. And then there's the sleeve length issue with LDComfort (for me).

Both LDComfort shorts and Twisted Core full-length pants were comfortable. The LDComfort helmet liner is a must-have to keep the head cooler and prevent perspiration from soaking the helmet padding.

For my money, Twisted Core is the way to go. I will be wearing their summer wear on all my warm-weather rides from now on. The LDComfort helmet liner is also a permanent part of my gear regardless of temperature.

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