08 February 2009

bikefix Exclusive Review: Ground Effect Zig Zag winter socks

Ground Effect is a New Zealand company that I have been buying stuff from for quite a while. They make quality bike wear at reasonable prices and you just don’t see much of it around the states. I wish I could get them to export to my local shop but when I asked they said “thanks…no.” I ordered the Zig Zag sock a while back to see if it would keep my tootsies warm this winter (or what passes for winter in these parts). When they showed up I realized that I might have made a mistake because they are much thicker than I expected and I was concerned that I might not even fit in some of my shoes with these on. When I slid my foot into the shoe things were tight, but not as bad as I thought it would be, and once I was riding, I totally forgot about the issue. By the end of the ride they didn’t feel tight at all- just comfortably snug.

The Zig Zag socks are very warm. They use a merino wool inner, woven together with a nylon outer for durability- not a combination that you see too often. I rarely use these socks in my winter shoes because they are too warm for local conditions, which bottom out around freezing. The nice thing about the Zig Zag socks is that they allow me to ride in my summer shoes much of the winter. In fact I think I have used my winter shoes maybe five times this season (admittedly, it has been a warm winter). For those in temperate climates like Albuquerque's, they could (when combined with a good shoe cover) eliminate the need for a winter shoe altogether.

In typical Ground Effect fashion, the company lets their products do the talking and don’t throw a lot of marketing hype at you. Their website has a basic description that is only 50 words long for these socks. I like this about Ground Effect, but when ordering from across the ocean, I wouldn’t mind a bit more info- perhaps 100 words. The socks are made in New Zealand and cost $13.00 in American dollars ($26.00 NZ) which I think is very reasonable, and if you buy a few different things and have them all shipped together the shipping costs don’t kill you.



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