Bike Gear: What You Need To Know

Photo: Brooke Stephensonn

Now that the snow has melted, we can move onto another obsession: bikes. Although each sport comes with it’s own set of inherent dangers, biking can really do some damage. Preventing just that is where having the proper gear comes in. But how do you choose what’s right for you and what will prevent leaving pieces of yourself on the trail? Here are some helpful tips to consider next time your shopping for new bike gear.

Helmet

The helmet technology has advanced a lot in recent years. Not only do they protect better than ever but they also are lighter, have increased ventilation and rear-head coverage. When choosing a helmet, a good fit is key. Most helmets come in small, medium, large or extended sizes. To find your size, wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest portion of your head which is about 20cm from your eyebrows. Once you have a size, most helmets are adjustable to be snug on your head.

Eyewear

The type of eyewear you select largely depends on your intended use. Many use goggles for more aggressive biking due to their ability to remain securely on a helmet, while others use glasses for the mellower all-mountain and cross country style of riding. Eyewear comes with it’s own set of technologies that can make navigating products seem daunting. Look out for these specifications to keep it simple:

Vision quality: Look for high optical clarity through utilising a good quality lens material. Also, make sure that there is not peripheral vision obstruction through the shape of the frame.

Anti-glare: You will love polarization to combat intense light when your trying to hit a jump and the sun is in your eyes.

Fit and comfort: A close fit and moisture wicking capabilities is essential.

Pads

Elbow and knee pads are the basics that many choose to wear when riding. These will protect you from more than just scrapes and bumps. A good pair of pads can absorb enough impact to prevent a fracture. Elbow and knee pads come in all shapes an sizes. To find out what work’s best for you, it is suggested to try on various styles. Take note of how they do up, how much surface area they cover, are they hard or soft pads and finally, how much ventilation they have.

Gloves

Some people choose to forgo gloves but all it takes is one crash to regret that decision. Along with protecting your hands from trees, rocks and maybe a wild bear or two, gloves enforce your point of contact with the bike by absorbing sweat. Select gloves that fit closely to the skin. This translates to a better grip.

Choosing the right gear can make or break a ride. If you are having trouble determining what bike gear works best for you, our knowledgeable staff at McCoo’s can help you answer any questions you may have to get you back on the trail as safely and as comfortably as possible!

Why You Need A Power Bank

We’ve all been there before, your waiting on a text from someone important, your favourite song is about to drop or your relying heavily on google maps and then the unbelievable happens: Your phone dies. Only a few short years ago this would mean running into every establishment asking if they had a certain phone cord and if you could hang out at the bar while it charges. Not anymore, portable power banks are here. Before we get into why you need a power bank, let’s chat about what they even are.

The Technology

We’re not going to get all Bill Nye on you and lecture about how batteries work in case you’re interested, here is a summarized version: Power banks are comprised of a special battery in a special case with a special circuit to control power flow. They allow you to store electrical energy (deposit it in the bank) and then later use it to charge up a mobile device (withdraw it from the bank).

Types On The Market

  1. Universal Power Bank: These come in many sizes and varieties which can be tailored to your device requirements and to your budget.
  2. Blue Tooth Enabled Power Bank: Looking to run speakers and connect your music? This style of power bank is for you.
  3. Solar Charged Power Bank: These power banks have panels that can trickle-charge the internal battery when placed in sunlight. It’s known to not be as fast but hey, it’s eco-friendly and we like that.

How Many Charges Does A Power Bank Hold

This is a loaded question. You see, power banks come in all sizes and power bank capacities (this is the nerd term for “how much charge”). The power bank capacity should be stated on the packaging of your power bank but the power requirements of the device requiring the charge are not. So how many times a device (phone, tablet, computer, etc) can be charged cannot be accurately determined. This all being said, you should be able to get a few full phone charges of out of one power bank before it needs to be re-charged itself.

And finally…

Why You Need A Power Bank

There are a number of life moments that really can’t be missed as a result of your phone being flat. We’ve gathered a few to showcase when a power bank would really come in handy…

  1. Matched with Tinder dream girl/guy
  2. Sent a message to the wrong person.
  3. Need to check your bank balance to see if one more beer is possible.
  4. Phone flashlight required for navigating stairs.
  5. Going to be late for work.
  6. Lost all your homies while shredding the mountain.
  7. Being chased by a bear and require assistance.
  8. Your friend has lost their phone at Garfinkels and would like you to call it.
  9. The music at the party sucks and you know your playlist is way better.
  10. Directions to that little corner of Emerald that you never even knew existed.

If you’ve decided that a portable power bank is something you need in your life, just come on by McCoo’s, we’ll sort you out.

Tips For Choosing The Right Swimsuit

Ladies, this post is for you.

Swimsuit season brings on a mixture of emotions: Excitement of the warmer weather and adventures in the sun as well as the age old dread brought on by everywhere you look blasting the same “PREPARE FOR BIKINI SEASON” message. Ignore that message- there are swimsuits for everyone and every body. Swimsuits that cover up and allow for movement and swimsuits that minimize tan lines if you know what we mean. With our selection, it’s all about functionality and confidence in and out of the water. So don’t prepare for the hotter months like a zombie apocalypse is coming, chill an enjoy the shopping process with our tips for choosing the right swimsuit for you.

Do you like retro?

If you do, go with high waisted bottoms. These bottoms are not only flattering for most body types, they are very functional too. This makes them a great choice for those looking to make a statement while not sacrificing that opportunity to jump off a rope swing.

Are you playing hard on the water?

If you are spending more time running, jumping, swimming or even canon balling than lounging, a full piece swimsuit is for you. Don’t expect a dowdy one that your grandma would be seen in, the one piece’s on the market nowadays are as sexy as they are functional. So go be rad and don’t worry about anything slipping out in the process.

Is your tan the most important summer accomplishment?

We get it, there is nothing like going into the winter season with golden skin that acts as reminder of all things summer. Try a triangle bikini or a bandeau to maximize skin exposure and minimize those tacky tan lines.

Did your 100 days on the mountain give you enviable glutes?

Girl, you’re a rock star. Show that toned tushy off by opting for barley there coverage. Bottoms that are called cheeky, tiny or string are sure to show off your assets.

Do you hate swimsuits, no-if-ands-or-buts?

No need to explain, sometimes finding a swimsuit that you feel comfortable in just isn’t worth the hassle. There happens to be an alternative. For all you ladies who hate swimsuits, just wear a beachy cover-up. Crochet, light fabrics and sheer dresses can all be worn in place!

Is decison making not your forte?

With so many adorable swimsuits out there, we understand how hard it is to just pick one. Luckily, current trends embrace mixing and matching tops and bottoms. So don’t settle, just buy two or three separate suits and interchange for what seems like a full wardrobe of water wear!

We at McCoo’s want to do a way with the perfect bikini body and instead help swimsuits fit bodies that are spending hours jumping off docks, swimming in lakes, paddle boarding down rivers and camping out with friends. So let’s have the best summer yet filled with adventure and zero thoughts about what your swimsuit is doing.

Buying The Perfect Hat

We can almost see summer from where we stand and it’s looking HOT! Many if the experts suggest covering up to reduce sun exposure and we have to agree but for a different reason. Not only are hats pretty much one of the greatest ways to protect against the weather, but they make one hell of an accessory too. You may be reading this and shaking your head,”Hats? Not my jam.” If you have designated yourself as “not a hat person” then you aren’t aware of how to buy the perfect hat. That’s where McCoo’s comes in.

Buy A Shape That Fits Your Face

Everyone’s facial structure is different but for the purpose of haircuts, make-up, and hats, four facial types have been created. There are a ton of resources out there to help you determine your face shape but a quick way is to draw the following shapes on a picture and see how the angles of your bone structure line up.

DIAMOND FACE SHAPE: A moderate to wide brim is best for you!

OBLONG FACE SHAPE: Try hats with a brim like a baseball hat, or a cap like newsboys hat.

ROUND FACE: You can rock angular hat and asymmetrical shapes.

SQUARE FACE: Look for softer designs.

Buy A Hat That’s The Right Size

For the best results, grab a tape measure and have someone else measure your head. The tape measure should be placed around the widest part of the head, just above the eyebrows and the ears. It should wrap around the widest part of the back of the head and all the way back to the front And BAM, you have your hat size, use it wisely!

Head Size (cm)

Hat Size

53

XS

54-55

S

56-57

M

58-59

L

60-61

XL

62-63

XXL

Buy A Hat That Suits Your Coloring

Neon yellow may look sweet but chances are, it won’t bring out your eyes unless you’re a cat, werewolf or vampire. There are specific colors that will though:

BEST HAT COLOUR FOR YOUR COMPLEXION:

Ruddy: Brown, Blue, Gray

Dark: Brown

Darker Olive: Brown or Green

Pale: Dark Blue, Gray

BEST HAT COLOR FOR YOUR HAIR COLOR:

Auburn, Red: Brown, Green, Blue

Blonde: Brown, Green, Gray

Brown: Gray, Green

Gray Hair: Green, Gray

Buy A Hat That Fits Your Needs

Your life could change with the right hat. Well maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement but a new hat could make your life a bit easier and more enjoyable. You see, when outdoor activities are a big part of your day to day, a hat can ward off the sun, cover up helmet hair, and act as a mosquito swatter, all in one go.

With these great tips for buying the perfect hat, you will be able to find one that changes your life or adds to it (depending on how you want to look at it). You really can’t go wrong by making a hat part of your everyday apparel. And for all your other Whistler apparel needs, visit McCoo’s!

The Karma Stabilizer For GoPro

McCoo’s is very excited to announce that we will be carrying the Karma Stabilizer for GoPro in store. GoPro has only released a small amount of this product to retail stores in Canada and we can’t wait to get our hands on it! But what exactly is a stabilizer and why is this such a desired and sought after piece of equipment? We’ve got the lowdown on why the Karma Stabilizer for GoPro is a must have!

What is a stabilizer?

A stabilizer is a thing used to keep something steady or stable. For video footage, it is a device designed to hold the camera in a manner that prevents or compensates for unwanted movement such as shake. This is generally achieved with very small motors tilting to accommodate for changes on an axis.

Why use a stabilizer?

Generally speaking, if you are using a GoPro handheld or even on a mount, you will find that your footage is shaky. This can severely affect the overall quality of the footage and make watching it a challenge, to say the least. The electronic image stabilization in the new Hero5 camera can help reduce shakiness and there is the possibility of removing some of the unwanted movement in your editing program, but neither will be enough to make that smooth, shake-free and easy to watch video that you will want to post online. So, to get the high quality and consistent footage you need to make a killer snowboarding or skiing edit, a stabilizer is needed.

What Makes The Karma Stabilizer for GoPro so good?

There are many stabilizers on the market designed to carry a GoPro but if there is one thing they have it common, it’s that they don’t last. The Karma was made to hold your GoPro so you won’t have to struggle with it staying securely in place. What’s more, it works as a single unit meaning you can offload footage without unplugging and charge both devices at the same time. It is also handheld and wearable to maximize it’s capacity and your creativity when capturing incredibly smooth video.

Tech Specs for the nerds out there:

Karma Stabilizer:

Dimensions Length: 6in (149mm)
Width: 4.3in (109mm)
Height: 3.3in (83mm)
Weight: 8.5oz (242g)

Karma Grip:

Dimensions Length: 8in (205mm)
Width: 1.7in (43mm)
Height: 1.7in (43mm)
Weight: 8.62oz (244.6g)
Battery Life 1 hour 45 minutes
Voltage 5-15V, 3A
Charging Time Supercharger 1 hour 50 minutes
Charging Time Standard 1A Charger: 6 hours

The Karma Stabilizer for GoPro will help you create smooth and shake-free video footage like the pros do that can be made into an edit or integrated into other footage from another camera. To find our more about theKarma Stabilizer for GoPro or to speak directly to one of our staff members about purchasing one, contact McCoo’s today!

How to Solve Cold Hands

We’ve all been there. It’s clear blue sky after a dumping of fresh snow and the temperature is well into the negative. You get on the chair and by the time you reach the top, your hands are so cold that they hurt. It’s an unfortunate reality of being on the hill but that doesn’t mean you have to let cold hands put a damper on your day.

When your body gets cold, it reduces blood to the extremities in an effort to keep vital organs warm and functioning. It’s a natural response and generally isn’t cause for concern but it can cut your day short or even cause damage if the temperatures are cold enough. Luckily, there are a number of things to do that can solve having cold hands on the mountain!

Stop It Before It Starts

Let’s get this straight- Once your hands are cold, there is no going back. Even the most expensive gloves can’t warm already cold hands. In order to prevent them from getting to that point, you have to nip heat loss in the butt! Hands lose heat fast because they have blood vessels close to the surface. Wearing a thin liner underneath your gloves will keep them toasty but be very careful with this option as it can compromise breathability- then your back at square one!

Protect Your Core

As mentioned, if your body gets cold then your hands are going to be the first victim. By preventing your core from feeling the freeze, you can reduce your chances of suffering from cold hands. A proper base layer and mid layer are crucial- heck, just layer and the insulation will do it’s job. Also, don’t forget the power of snacks. A fed body will have the fuel to fight the cold and the very act of digestion can give off energy.

Gloves

Gloves are the most obvious solution to keep the cool temperatures out and choosing the right ones for your needs can take it one step further. Here are a few things to take into consideration when purchasing protection for your frigid fingers:

  • Mittens are warmer than gloves but you sacrifice dexterity.
  • Down is the best insulator and is known for being light and breathable. However, synthetic insulation dries a lot faster and can be more cost effective.
  • One word: Gore-Tex. This is the Grade A of fabrics since it is both breathable and water proof!

No one likes cold hands and there are many options that can drastically improve your chances of making it through even the coldest of temperatures. Still not sure how to personally solve the age old problem of cold hands on the ski hill? Come in and speak to our staff, your digits will thank you!

 

Taking Care of Your Gear

The mountains take no prisoners and your gear isn’t an exception, especially if you are skiing 5-7 days a week. Day after day of exposing your gear to the elements can take its toll. By taking proper care of your equipment, you can make it last through the whole season and prevent unwanted problems that can be a downer on even the best pow day. Take note, these tips will keep your gear going strong all season long!

Skis or Board

You may be tired at the end of the day but don’t be lazy! Place your tips on a bench and let the tails rest on the floor. Give the edges a quick wipe to prevent rust. This position is optimal for letting your bindings drip dry. You will thank us later when you’re carving smoothly into an icy slope!

Ski Boots

For boots that fit every time, remove your liners and let them air dry. Similarly, wipe the outside and inside of your boots down. Not only does this practice help maintain them but your future self will thank you when you’re puting your feet into warm and dry liners. Don’t forget to limit how much walking you are doing as it can break down the toes and heels.

Jacket and Pants

Make sure to let your coat and pants properly hang dry after each use. This will ensure it’s good to go for the next day but it will also prevent stinky mold from making your gear it’s new home. A few times a season, treat your outerwear to a wash in cool water on the gentle cycle with a powdered detergent. It is suggested to put it through two wash cycles to ensure no detergent residue is left on the garment. NIKWAX is a great addition that can maintain waterproofing.

Goggles

Shake off any extra snow or moisture and let your goggles air dry. Once they are dry, give them a thorough wipe on the OUTSIDE of the lens with a microfiber cloth. Refrain from wiping the INSIDE of the lens as many companies spray an anti-fog agent on this side. Do not leave the goggles by a heater or on your car’s rear-view mirror, this also compromises their anti-fog capabilities.

Gloves

Contrary to popular belief, turning your gloves inside out is a bad idea as is throwing them in the dryer. If your gloves have a liner, make sure to take them out and allow them to air dry. If not, rest them in a well-ventilated area and occasionally flip them over.

Base Layer

You’re not just gross if you’re letting your base layer go a few washes. This habit can also reduce its effectiveness. It’s recommended to wash them after every use and to let them dry naturally to maintain protective layers. Generally, base layers are made out of special fabric, be sure to read the care instructions or just pass them off to Mom to wash!

Your gear can make or break a day on the mountain. Make sure it’s not the limiting factor in how rad your day is by religiously using these simple steps. Have you been naughty and not taken care of your equipment? McCoo’s won’t judge, come stop by for a replacement!

 

Opening Day Checklist

Drumroll please…

The countdown has officially began to Whistler Blackcomb’s 2016/2017 opening day weekend!

Yes, we know it is very exciting, in fact, we can hardly contain ourselves but first thing is first: the nearing of opening day means that it’s time to assess your current winter gear. A beginning of the season assessment can prevent many annoying or even disastrous issues that may kill your good vibe on November 24th when the mountain opens. While you twiddle your thumbs in anticipation, take a peak at our opening day checklist to make sure your gear is ready for another season of fun.

Goggles

Everyone knows that not being able to see can instantly ruin your day. Have a peak at your current eye wear and make sure there are no scratches obstructing your vision and that they still have anti-fogging capabilities. Older goggles tend to not have the current technologies that help fight fog and light changes. Not sure if your’s pass the test? Include a back up pair in your pack on opening day.

McCoo’s Tip: Having problems with your goggle always fogging up? Keep moving!

Base Layer

Baby, it can get cold outside! Like real cold! Don’t cut your day short because you can’t brave the current weather conditions. Make sure that your current base layer is in good condition, free of tears and provides the necessary coverage to keep you warm and dry.  If you find a tear, patch it up, or just pop in to McCoo’s for the latest base and mid-layer technology.

McCoo’s Tip: The term “base layer” also includes your underwear (don’t worry, we got you covered).

Outerwear

Outerwear isn’t just for looking good. It’s your primary defence against mother nature. Thoroughly examine last year’s jacket and pants for zippers that aren’t working, tears and excessive wear in high movement areas such as the elbows and the bottom. If needed, apply a waterproof wash and don’t forget to empty the pockets. Reaching in and finding that sandwich from 2015 is great way to stop the ski stoke with an emergency hand wash.

McCoo’s Tip: Ask any of our staff members to help you determine what you may need in outwear, there is often more variables than you may think.

Gloves

Mittens and gloves may seem like they are easy to assess but in fact, the obvious holes that can lead to heat escaping are just the beginning. One of the biggest concerns is waterproofing. You can jump the gun and wear them out in the rain but this isn’t very practical. Bring them out on the first day and have a back up pair ready just in case they get soaked through on the first run.

McCoo’s Tip: Mittens are warmer than gloves but you sacrifice dexterity as a result.

Boots

After spending the summer season on the shelf, your ski boots might not feel like they once did on your seasoned winter feet. Stick those bad boys on and step into your bindings. Then take a peak at the current condition, are they in good shape? Are the buckles and soles in tacked? If you notice any loose pieces, damage or change in fit, take them to your local boot repair shop to get them tuned and ready to go.

McCoo’s Tip: Looking for a little assistance on ski boot fit? Bring them into our shop. Our seasoned staff members can help guide you to finding a solution.

Although it may seem like certain pieces of your set up are more crucial than others, there is no most important item of gear, they all play an essential role in keeping you on the hill and out of the lodge. Have some gear that didn’t make it through our opening day checklist? Stop by the shop, we can help you get ski season ready!

Fall Adventure Gear Guide

Fall in Whistler is considered a transitional season, meaning that we are sad summer is gone and can’t wait for winter get here. It may seem like a season that is forever spent anticipating what’s next but it is actually a great time to be outdoors. Hiking, biking, and adventuring are still possible but do require a bit more preparation with the variable conditions that accompanies the change in seasons. With autumn comes cooler days, rain and variable weather conditions that are sure to test your gear’s performance. We gathered up the best fall adventure gear so you can get out, have fun and get your mind off of waiting for snow!

Jacket

The consistency of summer has been left behind and in its place, fall with its unpredictable weather patterns has moved in. Don’t get caught in a rain storm or unseasonable cold winds- an Orage, Rip Curl or Oakley jacket will protect you from the elements and ensure that your adventure continues despite the weather!

Toque

Did you know most of the heat is lost through your head? Who are we kidding, we can’t confirm that fact but what we do know, is that it’s better and not wetter when your head is warm and dry! McCoo’s has got all the toques, in all the styles that are an easy transition from one season to the next. Did we mention toque season is the best season?

Socks

Wet feet can be the difference between a good time and a bad time. Stance socks not only look great but they are built for performance as well. Hook yourself up with a pair designed for snow and have warm tootsies until next year when your feet emerge from hibernation and are back in sandals again.

Action Cam

Summer is a bit more predictable- nice weather, bikinis, lake days, etc. But fall, who knows what fall is going to throw at you. Monsoons, wild winds, early snow… Okay, maybe we are exaggerating its wildness but whatever is going to happen, you’re going to want to catch it on camera. Get an action cam- either a GoPro, Contour or Ion camera and make everyone jealous of what a rad fall your having!

Tools

Always be prepared for the unexpected. Throw in an RC or a Bakoda tool in your backpack for leveling up on being prepared.

Base Layer

We haven’t decided if we love it or hate it yet, but it’s gotten cold. This may just be the ultimate limiting factor when getting outside and getting among all the autumn adventures. The best solution is to dress for the weather and a proper base later from Smart Wool or Kombi will help regulate your temperature.

Don’t make autumn a waiting game. With McCoo’s fall gear advice, there should be nothing stopping you from getting outside and enjoying all the adventures that you can before the snow arrives. If you pick your gear right, you’ll be getting ready for winter without even knowing it!

Apparel Must Haves for Autumn in Whistler

Some may dread this time of year, the ending of summer and beginning of fall but we look at it as a time to revamp your wardrobe! New backpacks, sweaters, footwear and arm candy- fall is a time to bring out all the coveted pieces you have had stored away throughout the summer months and purchase a few new additions. So embrace the cooling weather and change of the seasons; we’ve got exactly what you need to brighten your wardrobe and make it functional for Autumn in Whistler.

Herschel Backpack

Your backpack carries your life in it and could just be one of your most important belongings. Herschel backpacks come in classic shapes and various sizes (full size, mid-volume, compact, women and youth) so you can fit in the things you find on your adventures or your loads of school books. The new fall colours are perfect for maintaining style in the mountains.

RipCurl Sweater

Made for layering and the warm days that turn into cool evenings, a RipCurl sweater will take your outfit to the next level and doesn’t mind retiring to your backpack when your adventure calls for it. Soft sweaters made in all the right fall colours and prints, your fall look needs one!

People Shoes

“Ultra–light, extremely cushy and perfect for doing whatever it is you love to do,” is the People shoes motto. These bad boys will take you all over the village, into the mountains, on that perfect fall hike and maybe for one last camping trip before the weather changes. Did we mention they look good, like really good?

Stance Socks

These socks have so much style, your going to want to find a way to wear them so the world can seem them! Stance socks are made for expression so grab a few pairs and don’t sweat it if you never match them again. There are also made in various styles for functional wear during sport. Have you noticed a few of them in the Bike Park?

Oakley Active Wear

The change in temperature makes fall one of the best times to exercise. Of course, we wouldn’t do it any other way than in style. The Oakley Active line is perfect for wearing while your running around the village and then when your actually running. So sleek and made from the latest active wear technology.

Nixon Watch

Managing school and multiple jobs to get ready for all the pow slaying that’s going to be done in the winter is going to require you to keep a tight schedule. Nixon watched rock clean lines and a water rating that will allow you to leave your worries behind in the variable Whistler weather.

So don’t fret about putting your short shorts, board shorts and bikini’s away in storage. Fall allows you to layer up and is a nice change of scenery from summer outfits. Make sure your fall look is as hot as your summer one was by adding a few essentials from McCoo’s. We’ve got you covered.