Ever since I moved to St Paul, I’ve missed a key part of my routine – stopping at Canteen coffee on the way in to work on the bike. The new route is almost all trail, which is nice for the ride, but there’s basically no coffee along the way. So after a lot of google map searching, I decided to change the route to try Precision Grind Coffee

I’m sitting there now. And it’s not as good as CG. :-(. The latte is just frothed and dumped in a paper cup. No feather. The coffee is scalding hot, and oddly flavorless.  The scone was moist and doughy. Not what a scone should be. 

So, no, not civilized. Simply barbaric. 

And, yes, I know I’m being a HUGE snob. Canteen was just that good. 

Some first impressions. First, both of these are not sized to go over cycling shorts. they are generally true to size. If you want to put them over regular padded shorts, expect them to be tight.

Movement. The Bicycle Fixation knicks don’t have a gusseted crotch, and bind pretty badly trying to swing a leg over the bike. It’s surprised and annoyed me every time that my leg smacks the rear rack because I didn’t hike up the pants. This is not a problem with the Swrves – which have more stretch and a gusseted crotch.

Features. The Swrve’s have really nice pockets and the reflective belt loops are nice (albeit, hidden under a jacket all winter). The Bicycle Fixation have closing cuffs. The Swrve’s have just a seam. It’s not an oversized opening, but I find myself wishing that the Swrve’s had a drawstring to cinch-up the cuff a little more. The BF knicks have a very nice button arrangement that can get snug – but is a little tedious to get done/undone each trip.

Warmth. I’m not really going to compare them this way. They simply aren’t designed for the same temperature ranges.

So, my adored Swobo woolens are starting to fray. I did some research and picked up a pair of Bicycle Fixation Classic Wool Knickers (link) and a pair of Swrve Winter Softshell Knickers (link). Both at the same (steep) price point of $125. I’m going to ride them all winter and tell you all what I think.

Right off the bat, however, I can tell these two are apples and oranges. The BF knicks are like suit pants, and the Swrve knicks are like body armor. Very different heft and robustness. The Swrve knicks are tanks. First blush, the Swrve’s are a lot better constructed. The BF knicks are constructed well, but seem like they were made by a competent amateur seamster. The Swrve’s are clearly a professional job. For the same price, the Swrve’s are (out of the packaging) clearly in the lead.