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Def. paid a bit more than others, but from experience I know that you generally will get back you pay for and I already have enough $100ish gear to know I needed to up the budget if I really wanted a shell that would keep me on the roadie this winter.
Initial impression is that this is a solidly made jacket. It's fully wx proof, and even though I don't do much wet riding it's a nice feature to have anyways. As for the "fitted" claim in the description, I would say that's subjective: by European / pro / high performance demanding cyclist standards the fit is probably more "relaxed". But for the majority like me who don't require nor want a tight race fit, you'll be happy with this. After all, it is sealed to keep rain out while also claiming to be breathable and therefore having some real estate inside is going to be required in order to allow adequate air venting when you starting getting warm. I can attest that you can easily layer under the jacket (I expect to have a wool base and a thermal long sleeve jersey on my worst days, and they'll fit just fine) but the material is solid enough that it isn't going to flap around like flag on a gusty day. For me, controlling sweating is always an issue, and I was drawn and am pleased by the various venting options - lengthy pit/torso zips, dual front zippers means you can open up vertically either direction, adj. hook/loop cuffs and a generous but covered back vent. There's also waist tightening bungy cords on either side and another at the neck, plus hook/loop patches around neck for attaching the hood (sold separately). The cut is as should be - dropped tail for coverage, a bit higher in the front so not in way when in aggressive road cycling position, and long sleeves. Goldenrod color is great - highly visible yet fashionable compared to "trashy" neon yellow.
I'm 6'0, 230 lbs. with broad shoulders and XL fits perfect. XXL was way to big (tried both).
I own a roadie w 700x25 tires, and a mountain bike on which I periodically change tire sizes. The roadie tires are a cinch - a gentle swipe with just one of these will do fine. But if your considering these for a mtn. bike bike tire size above 2.1", you probably want to get something more substantial. I had no problem getting 1.9" tires off the rim when needed, can just about manage on the 2.1", but these are absolutely hopeless on the 2.3" Kendas - can't get more than one lever secured. I am going to try some quality metal levers to see if that does the trick.
This was my first cycling jacket. Being 6'1, 220 lbs. with broad shoulders, I was pretty indecisive initially because many of the major cycling apparel brands design their clothes with pro cyclists in minds (i.e. horse jockeys with powerful legs!) I went with North Face knowing they understand the concept of a larger build. Tried both the L & XL, ended up keeping the XL. This jacket has a "medium" fit - not skin tight but also not too flappy in the wind, making it a great option for both road or mtn biking. It's feather-lite and rolls up into the back pocket if desired. The front chest pocket is perfect for an iPod or whatever. Good venting in back and sides. I would say it's adequate over a jersey alone down to 45F (for say a commuting/touring pace of cycling), below that additional layering would be advised Finally, the "Sulphur Spring Green" color (who thinks up these names? Honestly....) is bright and visible.