Bicycles.net.au - Jul 12
The Ground Effect Frosty Boy is what you need when conditions are icy and you want to stay warm. This jacket has the windfoil front, ample fleece and a high collar. It feels cuddly and warm and you would be forgiven for reaching for this jacket for your early morning ride... but don't do it!
If you're on a training ride, a morning commute or a regular mountain bike route, if the day warms up and your riding has your blood pumping then this jacket will quickly get you too hot. So while it's tempting to put this jacket on first thing on a cold morning, unless it stays really cold a lighter jacket such as the Turbine is more appropriate. When Ground Effect were showing me the Frosty Boy they mentioned mountain biking in the Southern Alps of New Zealand; the Frosty Boy is ideally suited to such extreme riding conditions.
I found the jacket to be very well made; it looks and feels like a quality garment. Reflective piping along some of the seams provides some added safety, though for low light and night time riding conditions the grey fleece on the back means you are less visible to traffic from behind. The Frosty Boy also comes in a black / lime green fleece version which would increase your visibility to traffic from behind (though you are then predominantly black from the front).
Though this is a warm, fleecy jacket, it is relatively light (338 grams) and comfortable. Unless you live in a particularly cold region, this jacket is less likely to worn regularly and should instead be reserved for cycling events and trips with weather conditions to suit. At $139 I would rate this as a great buy for a New Zealand made performance cycling garment.
By Christopher Jones
UnderGround - Dec 10
Recently I bought a grey and lime green Frosty Boy from you. Whilst I do like the jumper, I don't quite love it. You see the lime green back makes me look like a Splice ice cream (I wonder if you have them in New Zealand?). In your catalogue the front of the Frosty Boy is shown but not the back. I assumed that the back would also be grey and the lime was limited to the collar and under the arms.
Now when I ride down the street kids laugh at me because I look like a Splice. Fat people try to lick me on hot days. Other mountain bikers don't take me seriously, and call me Splice Boy as they pass. I think they purposely splash mud on me to subdue the brightness. All this I find very hurtful and distressing. I'm considering counselling.
May I suggest that you modify the Frosty Boy so that its back is all grey. This would make a more stylish top on the trails and save much pain and distress for loyal customers like me.
Matthew Klages, Australia
UnderGround - Jul 10
Remember the winters of our childhood? Crisp mornings with the bitter tingle of frost tickling your nostrils. Cruising to school on your one speed with a hand knitted scarf wrapped four times around your face. No rain and no helmet of course.
The best selling Frosty Boy and women's Ice Queen were born of these memories. These combination tops have a windproof fleece front and thermal back. There's a certain liberation when going light and fast in cold, dry conditions - without a jacket and layers of padding. Laminated WindFoil&trade fleece shoulders, sleeve fronts and collar take the edge off cold winds. They're best worn with a light merino base layer to manage sweat against your body. Slim fitting, they feature an extra long front zip to manage your body temperature in a wide range of conditions.
The designs has been tweaked and refined over their ten-year life. The rear pockets now have security zips, are low profile and lined with a moisture management treated mesh - no more sweaty lower back. The original blue with navy has given way to today's colour palette of titanium grey, limelight and burnt orange.
So as we pass the shortest day and move into winter proper, we can anticipate those invigorating cold, dry winter rides with Frosty Boy. Often licked, never beaten
Ground Effect Product Designer
Cycling Plus (UK) - Nov 08
This toasty fleece is versatile enough to use throughout winter, as a single layer or as a base, mid or outer. The windblocking fabric has a mesh inner that shifts a decent amount of moisture, while the non-windproof grey sections offer plenty of breathability. The close-fitting neck, long back and thumb loops allow you to shut out the cold, but you can open the 3/4 length zip for more cooling.
Multi-talented wind-blocking fleece that'll earn its keep. 9/10
BikeMagic.com - Oct 08
With the UK weather apparently predictable only in its unpredictability, a suitable arsenal of clothes to combine in various ways is something of a must if you're keen to ride all year round (and you are, aren't you?). New Zealand's Ground Effect has an extensive range of well-thought-out kit that's all designed to play happily together, with the Frosty Boy covering "crikey, it's really cold out" eventualities.
The Frosty Boy we've been riding around in is actually last winter's model, but the changes to the current one (as pictured) are fairly minor - colours, those bits of contrasting stitching and that's about it. The fundamentals are the same - it's a lightweight micro-fleece top, with Ground Effect's own WindFoil fabric on the front, sleeves and shoulders to keep the breeze out. The back is plain fleece, which allows a bit of extra breathability. If you start getting a bit warm, the long front zip affords plenty of ventilation - it's got a small windflap behind it to avoid chilly-zipper syndrome.
Cut is eminently sensible non-flappy but not too snug, as befits a garment designed to be worn on top of a base layer and under a shell. It's notably long in the body, and of course even longer at the back. The sleeves are a decent length and incorporate thumb loops in the cuffs to stop them riding up - something of a Ground Effect trademark.
As is typical of Ground Effect gear, you won't be overburdened by features, but you get all the ones you need. Reflective trim along the zip, on the elbows, around the back of the collar and across the top of the twin zippered rear pockets enhances visibility. And of course, there's a tube repair patch tucked away in a secret location...
We've always been impressed by Ground Effect stuff, and the Frosty Boy is no exception - it's light, it's warm, and it's been through a healthy number of wet/muddy/wash cycles and still looks like new. The current turmoil on the international money markets potentially makes the pricing a bit random (you can only get GE stuff by ordering from them in NZ) but at the time of writing the Frosty Boy is very reasonably priced.
This is another solid performer from Ground Effect - it may not get cold enough to need it all that often, but when it does you'll be glad of it.
What Mountain Bike (UK) - Dec 07
A very similar top to the Baked Alaska, but this time the WindFoil fleece front is backed up with a slightly thicker synthetic fleece to make this a generally warmer, slightly sweatier top. Ideal if you spend more time in the open on long steady rides, than going nuts in the local woods.
Adventure - Apr 04
The name takes me back to my childhood, growing up and holidaying in Central Otago. Those long hot summer days spent damming the local creek followed by a compulsory visit to the corner dairy for that ice-cream icon of the south... a Frosty Boy. "Often licked, never beaten", a whimsical phrase from the past, but surely they were taking the preverbal?
Well the Ground Effect Frost Boy can't be accused of taking the preverbal. It has become my favourite winter garment ever since it materialised in my bike wardrobe a few years back. Cold 'n' frosty Christchurch mornings demand more than a standard fleece, but less than a full-on jacket. WindFoil fleece cuts out the wind on the chest and arms, but leaves the back to breath. I seldom overheat during modest levels of exertion. Hitching up the sleeves and rolling down the long zip allows the garment to perform successfully in the variable temperatures that New Zealand is famous for.
At any time of the year Christchurch can be haunted by a bitterly cold easterly that seems to cut straight through a standard soft garment. When the temperature plummets and the nose starts to drip the Frosty Boy keeps it at bay with just a lightweight thermal layer underneath (I currently use a Ground Effect Heatwave merino top - very nice). It has also proven ideal for late autumn and early spring backcountry expeditions - adding an extra level of safety, plus warmth and comfort in the hut.
During winter months when the Christchurch Port Hills tracks are too muddy to ride and the cyclo-cross bike comes into its own, the Frosty Boy is again my garment of choice. It is essential riding kit on the Banks Peninsula's gravel roads and stock tracks during those long winter weekend excursions. And then it bounces back from the mud, dust, H2O and abuse it receives, just begging for more.
This garment is hard to beat but I wouldn't try licking it.
Backcountry mountain biker and photographer
Dirt Rag (USA) - Jan 04
About this time last year I took it upon myself to try out some clothes that not many people had heard of - Ground Effect Clothing. Based out of New Zealand, these folks have put out a line of high quality clothing at prices comparable, if not better than many other choices. Since not many people I know are aware of this company, I thought it best to give a "best of" review, as I've been using quite a few Ground Effect items over the past year of riding.
Frosty Boy Fleece Jacket
This winter fleece is meant for riding. A long back covers up your arse while riding in slop and extra-long sleeves with thumb-holes keep your wrists warm at that spot where gloves and sleeve overlap. There are also two water bottle pockets and a rear zip pocket for easy storage.
This fleece features the smartest integration of windproof material that I've ever seen - instead of creating a totally windproof fleece, Ground Effect chose to put WindFoil (their own 100% windproof material) only at the chest, shoulders and sleeve front, using breathable fleece everywhere else. An extra-long zipper makes for quick air circulation, should you need it.
Armed with this fleece and a long under-wear top (polypro and/or wool), I braved a full season of commuting in the coldest winter of recent memory. Temperatures dropped to an average 12° in January 2003, and I was on my bike more often due to this piece. Where most windproof tops shield the cold but make you sweat a lot, this fleece shielded off the harshest breezes, yet kept a bit of airflow where needed. For off-road riding it was exceptional. Nothing else that I've worn has worked as well in cold weather - it's thin so you can wear it in warmer weather, yet it's windproof so you can zip up the 18" zipper and brave the elements. That, and the reflective striping is a bonus in my book. Michael Browne - editor
BikeMagic.com - Jan 02
We only got it airmail this weekend but we've worn it three times already - which is always a good sign. It's had dry and windy, windy and spitting and one damn hard shower that we failed to outrun before home. As for durability we've had other GE fleece gear for a couple of years now and it's still going strong.
-Think grey for windproofing, blue for stretch
The Frosty Boy is their windproof riding shirt/top. It's a 100-weight microfleece with a 'Windfoil' windproof layer laminated onto the front of the body, the front / top of the arms and the shoulder yoke inside the fleece. Even the medium size has long enough back and sleeves for a 6-footer, which means no draughts whatsoever. The elasticated rear pocket tops also snug the top in around your waist to stop flapping.
If only he'd had the fleecy knuckle covers before he lost his pinky to frostbite! A very long front zip makes it easy to whip on/off and provide plenty of cooling potential, but the flap behind it means there's no breeze sneaking through when it's zipped shut. The tall collar adds extra snugness. But the top feature has to be the 'knuckleduster' extended cuffs, which cover the back of your hand (complete with thumbhole to keep them in place) or fold up out of the way so you can see heart rate monitors etc. The fleece fabric itself is also stretchy enough to pull up your arms without getting too tight.
Does it work? In a word, yes. It's been 'throw you off your bike windy' round here this week but not a whisper of it has got to our delicate bodies thanks to the Windfoil frontage. The fit is great (medium fits a scrawny 6-footer, but there's spare tyre space) and the long body, high collar and cunning cuffs create an excellent cosy feel for a relatively lightweight top.
Breathability obviously isn't as good as a light baselayer and you'll get a damp back on long climbs, but the fabric sucks it through and out fast enough to stop chills on the downhills or when washing the bike after the ride. It also sheds a fair amount of water before it gets soggy too, with drizzle just beading on the surface. Only a real heavy shower actually got through, and it dried out fast enough afterwards to keep body temperature intact.
Should I buy one? Most Windstopper or similar garments cost at least £65 and they generally look very roadie with it too. The Frosty Boy combines casual style with first-rate performance and at a great price. If you've already got a fleece shirt and want windproofing then a separate gillet (Ground effect Vespa is £21) is probably the most economical way to go, but otherwise it's a great spring / autumn do it all shirt.
It's certainly entering the small and exclusive circle of 'gear that never actually gets put away because it's either on, or being washed / dried'.
Cycling Plus (UK) - Oct 01
The Frosty Boy is a New Zealand product that isn't available over-the-counter in Britain. But thanks to the Internet, ordering is simple by credit card and the goods will be mailed directly to you. Not ideal compared with popping to the local cycle shop, but in this case the jersey's great spec makes it well worth the extra effort, In fact, the Frosty Boy offers the best protection of any garment on test, with the shoulders and arms. A microfleece lining against the skin feels soft and comfortable and the cut is well tailored. The raised collar adds to the protection, while a deep zip provides fast venting. The tail is dropped, comes with a relaxed hemline, while the cuffs are shaped to seal out the elements. A rear security pocket and plenty of reflective detailing finish off a very well thought out design.
Great autumn/winter jersey well worth the effort of an internet order.
WindFoil™ combines the insulative benefits of a polyester micro-fleece liner with a smooth, highly water resistant, softshell exterior. A totally windproof, yet highly breathable membrane is sandwiched between the inner and outer fabrics providing effective protection in cold, dry conditions.
- Composition: 100% polyester with PU membrane.
- Windproofness: 100%.
- Durable water-repellent finish on face fabric.
- Breathability: 3000gm per sq.m per 24hr.
Lightweight, quick-drying, non-pilling fleece knitted from 100% polyester micro fibre yarns and 'brushed' on both sides. Its hyper-soft finish makes it delicious to wear against your skin. Yum.
- Composition: 100% polyester
This chart is a guide only – if you fall in-between sizes, the right size for you will depend on your body shape and how loose or tight you like to wear your clothes. It's no hassle to swap it, if your first choice is not the best fit.
169 - 178 cm
175 - 185 cm
183 - 191 cm
98 - 104 cm
105 - 111 cm
112 - 118 cm
73 - 79 cm
80 - 86 cm
87 - 93 cm
94 - 100 cm
87 - 95 cm
96 - 103 cm
104 - 111 cm
112 - 120 cm
Unisex vs Women's Sizes
Most Ground Effect designs are unisex. The jackets, tights and baggy tops generally fit both men and women equally well. Fitted garments like cycle shorts and some tops are more gender specific so there is generally a women's version in the Outskirts range.
Crawl out of bed and into Frosty Boy - then stumble out the door for a wake-me-up blast on the treadly. Silky micro-fleece back keeps you toasty while the WindFoil™ softshell front and arms knock the stuffing out of chilling breezes. The dinkum one-top-does-it-all for those who like to travel light and fast.
> WindFoil™ softshell front, sleeves and shoulders block cold winds.
> Raglan sleeves with contrasting flat seams.
> Extra long front zip with integrated windflap and reflective trim.
> Hazard! reflective trim on elbows, rear pockets and back of collar.
> Integrated thumb loops.
> WhaleTail™ covers all your back all the time.
> Twin rear pockets with zips to keep loose change secure.
> Secret tube repair patch.
> Made by us in New Zealand.
Why use two different types of fabric on this top?
> For short trips in stable weather conditions, a Ground Effect composite top lets you travel light and fast with just a single thermal layer. These designs combine a WindFoil™ front with a breathable micro-fleece back. A long front zip for ventilation allows you to manage your body temperature through a wide range of conditions. Apparently you can have your cake and eat it too.
What weight is the fleece?
> The Frosty Boy and Ice Queen use lightweight, anti-pill, micro-fleece 100 fabric behind the arms and on the back of the garments. The WindFoil softshell panels on the front are slightly less bulky than the micro-fleece.
> Ground Effect uses micro-fleece because of its excellent warmth to weight ratio. For cycling, low bulk is important - both when you're wearing the garment and when it's stashed away in your back pack or pannier. The advantages of heavier fleeces are mainly for sedentary types.
> In addition, our fleece is knitted from micro fibres which results in a wonderfully smooth feel.
Is this top windproof?
> Yes - the front and sleeves are made from WindFoil which is totally windproof and highly breathable. This makes it an incredibly warm and versatile top - ideal for short winter blasts where you want to avoid carrying additional keep-warm layers. Add the body-hugging Ristretto, Thermos or Submerino as a base layer to increase warmth and enhance moisture management.
> Even though the WindFoil is breathable, it won't actually stop you sweating and because its windproof, you lose the cooling effect of the air rushing past as you ride. So you can overheat a little when your work rate climbs but pulling down the long front zip and yanking up the sleeves provides a surprising amount of ventilation.
What's the difference between the Draft Dodger, Frosty Boy, Toasty Pie and Ice Queen?
> The Frosty Boy and Ice Queen both have WindFoil fronts and arms with a highly breathable micro-fleece back. A long front zip for ventilation allows you to manage your body temperature through a wide range of conditions.
> The Draft Dodger and Toasty Pie are made up entirely of WindFoil softshell. The full-length front zip offers the convenience of a jacket - no battling with your helmet as you try to yank it over your head - creating a commuters dream garment.
> WindFoil and micro-fleece garments enjoy a warm machine wash. Try to avoid cold-water detergents and those with bleach. The cold-water varieties have little enzymes that are super-charged to brave the cold but can damage technical fabrics and cause skin irritation. Bleach and fabric softeners may attack the WindFoil laminate. As a rule of thumb, product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecover, Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware.
> Be sure not to wash with socks, fluffy towels or flannelette sheets. Lint clings to the fleece and your top will suddenly look very old.
> Wash inside-out to resist pilling.
> Line dry if possible - a warm (not hot) cycle in the dryer if you must.