Over the past couple of months, before the snow arrived, I had the opportunity to test the new 45nrth Ragnarok Boots and Torvald Jacket. These items are part of 45nrth’s transition season gear. I tested both pieces in various conditions from colder days around 25 degrees Fahrenheit to the rare warm fall day that hit almost 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Ragnarok Boots
The Ragnarok Boots are excellent cycling shoes for the transition season. I found them ultra comfortable and on many occasions found myself wishing my summer cycling shoes felt that good. The online sizing chart provided by 45nrth, allowed me to find the boot that was the best fit for me. The temperature rating was accurate, as these boots kept my feet warm down to temperatures of about 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
I felt my feet did start to get too warm in them around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Although my feet got warm, they did not sweat in the boots. The breathable insulation in the Ragnarok Boots allowed my feet to stay comfortable, in various temperatures, as I pedaled along.
One unique specification of the Ragnarok Boots is the Boa closure instead of traditional laces. I felt this was overall very functional and worked well, yet part of the shoe tightened more in one area of my foot versus other areas, depending on how thick my socks were.
The Ragnarok has a neoprene ankle to keep your feet dry and warm. I found that the velcro closure for this component of the boot could have been a bit longer as it did not tighten enough. I have skinny ankles though, so it may close properly for most individuals. The boot kept my feet dry in wet and muddy conditions. This is something that is a must in a boot designed for the shoulder season and this boot does just that.
The Ragnarok Boots have antislip microglass bottoms. This feature also worked well. I found it beneficial when I came into the house with wet boots. I did not slip around.
I would highly the Ragnarok Boots for anyone that may be looking for a fall or spring riding boot. I rate these boots 4 out of 5 fireballs.
The Torald Jacket
The Torvald Jacket is a lightweight, wind-resistant jacket, that is part of the transition season gear from 45nrth. I found this to be a comfortable and essential layer on many days of riding throughout the autumn season.
The Torvald Jacket is rated down to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. I felt this was a fairly accurate temperature rating. I rode most of JayP’s 60-mile gravel pursuit in late September, on a day that started out just below freezing and warmed up to about 50 degree, and found it very comfortable with only a short sleeve cycling jersey and arm warmers under it. I have used it in temperatures just around the freezing point on a number of rides in numerous conditions and found, with the proper layering, it worked great.
The Torvald Jacket has side vents, to allow excess moisture and heat to escape. I found that even with the side venting, condensation collected in the jacket, during hard efforts or long climbs. It did not breath as well I expected. I felt it was comparable to other cycling windbreakers I have used in the past, in terms of breathability.
The collar of the Torvald Jacket is shaped to provide flexibility in the back and protection in the front. The zipper is also offset to prevent chin rub. I questioned if I would like the zipper and collar design when I first received the jacket. After my first ride, I felt the design worked well and was quite comfortable.
This jacket also has an easy to reach back zipper pocket. The pocket came in handy for storing my phone or small snacks on rides.
I also really liked the dual drawcords around the waist to assure a snug fit and kept the cool drafts out.
Overall this lightweight jacket worked well for riding through the fall shoulder season. The fabric was durable and I felt it served its purpose well as an outer layer, to protect from the wind. I will most likely be using this jacket, as part of my winter layering as well.
I rate the Torvald Jacket 4 out of 5 fireballs.