Your Shopping Cart

So far it’s a solo ride.

Out With the Elements: Week Three

Brennan Wertz |

Brennan's day-in-day out test of Q36.5's full range of apparel continues. In week three he saw more of that signature erratic Bay Area fall weather, putting everything from summer lightweight jerseys to thermal bibs and rain shells to the test. Follow along to see how each piece has been working out.

brennan out with the elements week 3

Nov. 15 - Monday

Conditions - It was quite warm early in the ride when I was rolling out, but it ultimately cooled down substantially later in the ride. I managed to beat the sunset home, but there was a noticeable drop in temperature as I was riding the final descents on my way back home. The temperature was in the 18-21 degrees celsius range for the first few hours but dipped down to around 15 degrees in the last hour.

The Ride - I did a tempo Highway One out and back with a loop around Pt Reyes Station on my Pegoretti. Took Highway One from Tam Valley all the way to Pt Reyes Station. I then rode around the Nicasio Reservoir and connected to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. I turned to the east on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and then went south back along Highway One after getting to Olema.

The Stats - 4:18:08 / 137.0km / 1901m / 31.8kph / 311np / 4528kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer #1, Purple Pinstripe X Short Sleeve Jersey, Black L1 Essential Vest, Squalo Salopette Dottore Bib Shorts, Purple Leggera Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves

What Worked - The thing that impressed me the most on today’s ride was how well the assortment of garments kept me warm and insulated, even later in the ride when they were drenched in sweat. I was riding pretty hard on this ride and built up quite a bit of heat in the first half of the ride. My base layer and jersey were almost saturated with sweat, but I still didn’t get the chills as the temperature dropped. In the last hour of the ride when the fatigue was setting in and the air was getting noticeably cooler, I was still able to maintain a stable body temperature. 

What Didn’t - I do think the Essential Vest might have been a bit excessive for this ride, although it was nice to have in the last hour. With that being said, it spent much of the first three hours taking up space in my jersey pocket. I think I could have still been warm and comfortable with the Air Vest that does pack down to a much smaller size than the Essential Vest. 

elements w3 d1


Nov. 16 - Tuesday

The Ride - Off day, no ride

Nov. 17 - Wednesday 

Conditions - Warm and very sunny to start, but cooled off noticeably as the sun went down. The temperature was around 18 degrees celsius for much of the first hour, but dipped down to around 15 degrees by the end of the ride.

The Ride - Chill afternoon cruise with Tony over to SF and back. We did a Headlands Loop to begin and then rolled over the bridge and back at sunset. 

The Stats - 1:53:43 / 50.7km / 588m / 26.7kph / 259np / 1596kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer Zero Mesh, Black Pinstripe X Short Sleeve Jersey , Black L1 Essential Vest, Unique Bib Short, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Unique Gloves

What Worked - Another awesome day in the Essential Vest. This time I wore the vest the entire ride, only unzipping it on a few brief occasions when we were climbing in the direct sunlight. Otherwise it stayed zipped up and my core temperature was stable all ride. We encountered some wind on the Golden Gate Bridge, but the Essential Vest handled that with ease. And any day in the Unique Bib Shorts is a great day in my book! That pair of bib shorts is so wildly comfortable and high tech, it’s hard to imagine anything better!

What Didn’t - This was really just my fault, but I didn’t have any lights with me for this ride. I am always a bit worried when riding late in the evening when the light is low without lights. This worry was compounded by the fact that I was wearing all black. I don’t love ending up in situations like this, but fortunately I was with Tony who rides a very bright bike and had some color in his outfit. 

elements w3 d3


Nov. 18 - Thursday 

Conditions - Started cool and cloudy, with some thick smog/haze in the air. As the day went on and we started shooting photos, the temperature rose to a high of around 20 degrees celsius. The average temperature for the ride was 16 degrees.

The Ride - First a photoshoot with Chad and Derek in the Headlands, followed by about an hour of meandering around on the dirt before heading back to the shop. 

The Stats - 1:46:09 / 27.9km / 738m / 15.8kph / 258np / 1187kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer #1, Olive Hybrid Que Long Sleeve Jersey, Olive L1 Essential Vest, Black Dottore X Bib Shorts,  Ultralong Black Socks, Black Unique Adventure Shoes, Black Hybrid Gloves

What Worked - This new olive green Hybrid Que Jersey and Essential Vest are awesome! I really love the color and the way they blend into our local California Coast environment. The Sun & Air Leg Warmers were also perfect for today’s ride since it was cool to begin with but then warmed up a bit. Even as the sun got stronger and the temperature rose I was able to keep my legs comfortable.

What Didn’t - This one is a bit silly, but the vest and long sleeve jersey was definitely way too warm for the conditions today. I knew this when I was rolling out and had to purposely ride very easy to the location of the shoot since I didn’t want to get sweaty. The reason I was overdressed was because we wanted to shoot these new pieces from Q36.5. The shoot went really well, but I was a bit warm when I was riding home on some of the gravel climbs in the Headlands.

elements w3 d4


Nov. 19 - Friday 

Conditions -  Cold, windy, pouring rain the whole ride. I left the house and it was already raining and the roads had quickly become saturated with the falling rain. I knew I was in for a wet one. The temperature was 

The Ride - Rainy Headlands loop, followed by a spin over to downtown Mill Valley before heading back to the shop. 

The Stats - 1:24:53 / 39.3km / 475m / 27.8kph / 278np / 1311kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer #1, Black Pinstripe X Long Sleeve Jersey, Black L1 Essential Vest, Long Salopette L1 X Tights, Ultralong White Socks, White Unique Road Shoes, Super Termico Overshoes, Anfibio Gloves

What Worked - Today was as absolutely perfect as could be! I don’t usually mind riding in the rain, but I do often feel like I am either too hot or two cold when out for any period of time in the rain. However today’s layering was absolutely perfect for the entirety of the ride. My core and feet did eventually feel a bit wet, but it didn’t matter since the materials I was wearing were so insulating, even when wet. I didn’t touch a zipper or make a single adjustment for the duration of the ride. This is very much not the case on my normal rides since I am almost always at least unzipping a jacket, jersey, or vest at some point during the ride. But not today! Today was perfect!

What Didn’t - Nothing! Nothing at all! Truly a perfect rain ride!

 elements w3 d5

Nov. 20 - Saturday 

Conditions - It was very foggy, damp, and cold when rolling out in the morning. We met at the shop and could hardly see a few blocks down Caledonia Street. I thought we would be in for a really wet and cold ride. But after riding up the first climb, one that had only a few hundred feet of elevation gain, we were suddenly out of the fog and treated to a beautifully warm and sunny day. The conditions would remain like this for the remainder of the ride. 10 degrees and wet to start, but rising quickly to around 20 degrees once we climbed above the fog.


The Ride - Route recon for an upcoming gravel ride. Went with a few friends and checked out some gnarly and challenging trails and fire roads in the Headlands and on Mt. Tam.

The Stats - 3:02:00 / 48.5km / 1245m / 16.0kph / 249np / 2020kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer Zero Mesh, Black Hybrid Que Long Sleeve Jersey, Adventure Insulation Vest, Woolf Bib Short, Woolf Leg Warmer, Olive Adventure Insulation Socks, Black Unique Adventure Shoes, Unique Gloves

What Worked - I very much dressed for the weather down low in the fog at the beginning of the ride. When we were rolling out through Sausalito and everyone had a layer of moisture on their helmets, glasses, and kit, I was very pleased with my decision to bring the extra layer of the Adventure Insulation Vest. That vest is perfect for those cold temperatures with some added moisture in the air.

What Didn’t - Once we began climbing, I very quickly found myself unzipping the vest, shortly followed by the Hybrid Que Jersey. I was warm early on and remained that way for the rest of the ride. This ride was a proper miscalculation on my part, thinking we would be in cold, grey weather for the majority of the day. I could not have been more wrong. Thankfully the Adventure Vest packs up small and fits nicely in a jersey pocket. This is where the vest spent 95% of this ride...

elements w3 d6


Nov. 21 - Sunday 

Conditions - Warm and sunny all day! Not even that cold or cloudy in the morning. Today was an absolutely stunning fall day in Northern California! The temperature was around 15-20 degrees celsius for much of the ride, topping out at 24 degrees later in the day. 

The Ride - The Above Category November Shop Ride! An AWESOME (ok, I’m biased since I made the route) all-road loop that included some of my favorite flowy and relatively flat gravel stretches around Southern Marin. 

The Stats - 2:50:18 / 60.9km / 745m / 21.5kph / 268np / 1838kj

The Layers - Sleeveless Base Layer #1, Grey AC x Q36.5 R2 Jersey, Grey AC x Q36.5 Essential Vest, Grey AC x Q36.5 Gregarius Ultra Bib Short, Woolf Arm Warmers, Sun & Air Leg Warmers, Ultralong Black Socks, Black Unique Adventure Shoes, Unique Gloves.

What Worked - The Sun & Air Leg Warmers were perfect for today! I was never too warm and my knees felt warm and flexible all day. The AC Shop Kit was the perfect choice too since there were so many friends of the shop at the ride. There were a number of other riders wearing AC kit too, which was great to see!

What Didn’t - The only downside to wearing leg warmers on off-road rides is that they end up getting pretty dirty. With the recent rain we have had, there were still a few mud puddles out on the route. I ended up getting pretty covered in mud from all these puddles. The flipside to this is that showering off and cleaning up after a ride is very easy!

elements w3 d7

Start your Build Since 2006, we've been creating the world's finest dream bikes with our signature approach to custom builds and customer service. Our Custom Program
AC Everywhere You can find us just over Golden Gate Bridge in California's Marin County. Can’t come to us? We can bring the bike to you. We craft custom bikes for clients all across the U.S. and the world. Contact us