Specialized SWAT Vest?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Specialized SWAT Vest?

    Anyone have any thoughts? I haven't found anyone who's posted about them quite in my position, so perhaps I should elaborate.

    I do longer XC races (and gravel nonsense as well as normal road) which are mostly supported as well as a few semi-supported ones (or will be: signed up for the Laramie Enduro). On my longer MTB rides I don't always like carrying a pack (I do have a wonderful Acre bag) and instead stick one 26 oz Purist in a cage and one in a jersey pocket. This is usually enough water for 40 miles or so and I can put another one in a lower cage if need be (small dude, so my hardtail doesn't have two bottle mounts in the triangle).

    The bottle situation is fine. The problem is everything else. I don't carry much (tool, spare link, CO2, and my phone/wallet in a Lezyne Caddy Sack, maybe a vest/jacket if need be), but I have had a few things fly out of my pockets (especially when I'm training and do silly things like hit rock drops just off of the trail...). My thought was that the SWAT vest seems like just a baselayer with pockets, which would be a great place to stash a multi tool and my phone/shit without having to worry about it and as it's stuff I don't normally need easy access to, it would be ideal.

    That and the pack won't muck up my nice kit.

    My question is one: do they work and two: how is the fit? They don't make anything smaller than a "small" and I'm usually an XS or S if it's a super race fit. I don't really want something binding up under my jersey, but as it's only $60, I may try it anyway. It would be nice if it fit like the Rapha pro team baselayers I normally wear anyway.

    Really I'm just curious to know if you like them or if I'm barking up the wrong tree.

  2. #2
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    What vest are you talking about?

    The Google machine only churns up black body armor vests, etc.
    .




    .

  3. #3
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    Specialized Bicycle Components

    It has a nice tight fit and can store more than you would think. It is a great option if your a minimalist, hate packs, or for shorter rides.
    20 SJ Evo 29, 17 Whyte T130, 18 Giant Glory Advanced

  4. #4
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    No idea how they fit, but seem like a good idea. Some of my best endurance rides/races have been when it was cold enough that I wore a normal short sleeve jersey under a long sleeve version. Having the second layer made it easy to store tools and forget about it.

    However, I found a small zippered tool bag that I use to carry multi-tool, spare CO2, link and tire lever. Having it all in one pouch seems to keep it secure in the pocket.

  6. #6
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    I like to find a way to attach that stuff to my bike. No worries about forgetting it, or about falling on it during a crash. It's also nice just to have less weight on the body. Less weight you're having to support while standing and pedaling. The bike won't notice the extra weight on it. I have my extra tube and a CO2 velcro'd to my seatpost, as low as it will go to keep the weight lower. For tools, I run with a set of Fix-It Sticks, they come in a little recycled tube pouch that I have attached to my seat tube with a velcro strap, down near the bottom bracket. I can open the pouch and get to the tools without removing the velcro. Super light and easy to use, but limited to 4 bits with just carrying two. I go with 4mm, 5mm, T-25, and a Phillips, and hope that nothing of any other size comes loose. On longer rides with a pack I have a more comprehensive Soma multi-tool and Park mini chainbreaker, but for races I try to go over my bike beforehand and hope for the best. I think less chance of breaking a chain on 1x11 also as every time I broke a chain it was shifting the front ring under pressure trying to get into the granny. I think I learned my lesson regarding that as the last times it happened were about 12 and 7 years ago... I also live in desert, so the thought of an additional base layer as a viable solution for my regular rides seems unthinkable, but even in cooler times of the year when wearing a base layer I don't like having extra hard stuff in my pockets. I tend to use pockets just for gels, or stashing my arm warmers, vest, etc...
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  7. #7
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    I'm not about wearing extra layers just so I can carry things. I really wish someone would come up with a SWAT style bib short that ISN'T meant to be worn under baggies. Giro, PI, and Race Face all are mesh-style and meant to be covered.

    There is a strap coming from Backcountry Research that will be an awesome place to stow stuff when you don't wanna fill your pockets with excess clothes.

    Middle of the pic:



    Just arm warmers:



    And here after a pretty long Pisgah race; hat, arm warmers, knee warmers all held in place and stowed on the fly:



    Disclaimer: I am down with Backcountry Research. When this becomes available, I can let you know.
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  8. #8
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    I'd like to try the SWAT vest, mainly to bring along a 2nd water bottle for hard rides over 90 min. Hydration pack is fine, but FL summer temp is brutal and the HP traps heat.

  9. #9
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    Research triathlon storage. All sorts of ways to store for solo 115 mile rides.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezweave View Post
    Anyone have any thoughts? I haven't found anyone who's posted about them quite in my position, so perhaps I should elaborate.

    I do longer XC races (and gravel nonsense as well as normal road) which are mostly supported as well as a few semi-supported ones (or will be: signed up for the Laramie Enduro). On my longer MTB rides I don't always like carrying a pack (I do have a wonderful Acre bag) and instead stick one 26 oz Purist in a cage and one in a jersey pocket. This is usually enough water for 40 miles or so and I can put another one in a lower cage if need be (small dude, so my hardtail doesn't have two bottle mounts in the triangle).

    The bottle situation is fine. The problem is everything else. I don't carry much (tool, spare link, CO2, and my phone/wallet in a Lezyne Caddy Sack, maybe a vest/jacket if need be), but I have had a few things fly out of my pockets (especially when I'm training and do silly things like hit rock drops just off of the trail...). My thought was that the SWAT vest seems like just a baselayer with pockets, which would be a great place to stash a multi tool and my phone/shit without having to worry about it and as it's stuff I don't normally need easy access to, it would be ideal.

    That and the pack won't muck up my nice kit.

    My question is one: do they work and two: how is the fit? They don't make anything smaller than a "small" and I'm usually an XS or S if it's a super race fit. I don't really want something binding up under my jersey, but as it's only $60, I may try it anyway. It would be nice if it fit like the Rapha pro team baselayers I normally wear anyway.

    Really I'm just curious to know if you like them or if I'm barking up the wrong tree.
    I have the SWAT bibs, same pockets, love em. Like the vest idea for long single speed rides as I dont wear bids with pads then as I never sit down.

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  11. #11
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    I said I would update this thread when the new Super 8 Strap was available from Backcountry Research... and it is now.

    SUPER 8<br>TOP TUBE MOUNT

    I've been using mine a ton for all sorts of things... even put my phone in there for navigational purposes.

    There are plenty of ways that this can come in handy.







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  12. #12
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    For now, I'm using a Seagull bags trailbuddy. It's basically a fanny pack. The SWAT vest I tried on was too big (I wear an XS in race fit jerseys) and seemed kind of poorly made. I keep a tube under my seat (either pro style with gorilla tape or using a BarFly strap thing). I don't like putting a bunch of stuff on my frame. I'd really like one of the new Specialized frames with the SWAT door, but that's not in the budget this season. Doing the Laramie Enduro in two and a half weeks. We'll see how it goes.

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