I’ve become a big fan of Speed & Strength gear over the last few years so when it was time to update my mesh jacket, I included the brand in my search and found the Midnight Express for $129. It was a good price so I decided to give it a try.
I was looking for something other than a black jacket that would make me a little more visible and a color that would be a little cooler in the summer heat. Although this jacket comes in black as well as several other colors, including a high-vis yellow, I chose the silver jacket because I thought it would be cooler. The jacket looks more white than silver, which I like, and in addition to shoulder and elbow armor includes some back protection.
Pretty good for a little over $100.
I have three Speed & Strength jackets and one of the things I appreciate is the extra armor this brand includes. A couple of years ago Kelly went down on the freeway and slid for several feet on his back. He was in a textile jacket with some back protection and walked away with a totaled bike, but otherwise nothing more than a bruised ego.
The first chance I’ve had to wear the jacket this year was in Nevada during the Laughlin River Run. Laughlin is an excuse to spend some time in warmer weather in April and we spent a day or two riding in near 100 degree weather so taking this jacket came in handy. Although we’ve had the second wettest Spring on record here in Utah, the long weekend in Nevada felt like it was already summer and I missed my hydration vest as the temperature climbed over 90 degrees. I remember thinking that 90 felt pretty cool after a near 100 degree day in the saddle. But it’s hard to complain when we were still getting rain and snow up here.
In addition to the extra armor, there are several other things I like about the jacket so far. For starters, it felt like a good compromise between armor and airflow and felt pretty comfortable in the hotter weather. I like the fact that the brand cues are more subtle, and I’ve also come to appreciate some of the little things like how the zippers work, the length of the sleeves, how comfortable the collar is, and the overall fit of the jacket. I’ve been happy with all of these things for this jacket.
I’m 6’1” at 215 lbs with a grown up’s body, so I bought the XL—which I think fits me perfectly. I’ve been wearing it the last couple of days in mid-70s and think it will be my go-to jacket this summer.
It’s hard to go wrong at this price but this jacket has totally exceeded my expectations. This is another no-regrets purchase for me. The only question yet to answer is how well the jacket will hold up over time. I’ll update this at the end of the season with my impressions on quality of the build, but I have no concerns based upon the two other Speed & Strength jackets I have.