As Bold As

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Dodging summer showers? We review the As Bold As Drench Coat, Roadster Jacket & Elemental Rain Trousers

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Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards – Vladimir Nabokov

Yes, it is August; yes; we should be basking in sunshine. And no, we should not be turning on the heating in the evening.

But let’s get real: we live in the United Kingdom. And what would summer be without endless, torrential rain?

The heatwave may have ended, but there’s no need to be glum because there’s no such thing as bad weather when one is dressed appropriately. Or something. And while we’d all rather ride in the sunshine with bare legs, sometimes it’s just not practical. That’s where As Bold As comes in, with bright and cheerful waterproof cycling jackets to lift your spirits when it’s raining cats and dogs. You might remember As Bold As from our interview with the brand’s founder, Joyce Brereton.

We’ve had a particularly miserable fortnight of weather in London and it’s been the perfect opportunity to put the Drench Coat, the Roadster Jacket and the Elemental Rain Trousers through their paces.

As Bold As

As Bold As Drench Coat

As Bold As Drench Coat
The Drench Coat in Warm Grey. It’s cosy, will protect you from the elements, and looks great off bike, too.

I adore this coat. It’s a lovely blueish shade of grey and it’s generously proportioned, with amply long sleeves to give you full coverage when you’re on the bike – even in the drops. It’s quite a long jacket which dips lower at the back to keep your bum dry, and it has a high funnel neck to keep draughts out. Best of all, the styling is chic enough that you won’t feel like you’re wearing a cycling jacket once your commute has ended; this coat looks great with jeans. The longer length makes it a generally useful rain jacket whether or not you’re cycling – I know that my friends with babies would be all over this for pushing prams in the rain, and it’s a great waterproof for weekend walks, too.

As Bold As Drench Coat
With its super long sleeves and plenty of length in the body, the Drench Coat provides few opportunities for rogue raindrops to reach the skin.

The Drench Coat has a soft, fleecy lining which, unusually for a waterproof jacket, feels really nice against the skin – distinctly snuggly. Although the sleeves are very long, they have Velcro wrist straps so you can cinch them above your hands to keep moisture out and offer plenty of movement in the shoulder and elbow.

As Bold As Drench Coat
The sleeves can be cinched at the wrist with the Velcro straps to keep water out

It’s a coat designed for short to medium distances with waterproofness of 20,000mm H2O and breathability of 3,500 gm/㎡/24hrs making it an ideal commuter jacket. Its features include reflective detailing for visibility at night, a stow-away storm hood with adjustable toggles, and underarm vents for a more comfortable ride.

A note on sizing: I’m wearing the Drench Coat in size Large, which fits size 12-14. As Bold As recommend sizing up if you’re broad of shoulder or top heavy. I’m both of those things and the Large fits perfectly. It retails at €178.

As Bold As Drench Coat

 

As Bold As Elemental Rain Trousers

It’s safe to say the Elemental Rain Trousers will be coming on our upcoming camping trip unless the weather improves dramatically. I have not owned a pair of waterproof trousers since my miserable Duke of Edinburgh expedition in my teens, an experience so wretched and wet I feared I would develop trench foot… The thought of damp waterproof trousers with a whiff of campsite mud was not a fond recollection.

As Bold As Elemental Rain Trousers

It’s safe to say the Elemental Rain Trousers from As Bold As are something of an upgrade on the pair I had as a teenager. They are super comfy, amazingly well tailored for overtrews, and really effective, too.

What is there to say, except that they are very comfortable, very waterproof, and really well fitting? They can be cinched around the ankle with Velcro straps so that nothing flaps about while you’re peddling, you can take them off without having to remove your shoes by unzipping the lower section of the legs, and they have reflective detailing for night time visibility. Eminently practical. If you commute in a rainy country, I highly recommend them.

Again, I’m wearing size large and they fit my 5’8″, size 12-14 frame perfectly. They retail at €88.As Bold As Elemental Trousers

As Bold As Roadster Jacket

As Bold As Roadster Jacket

The Roadster jacket is designed for daily commutes and longer adventures. It’s a much more compact jacket than the Drench Coat but still includes a wealth of useful design features. It’s waterproof, breathable and windproof, with sealed seams to keep the rain out. Zippers are waterproof, and an inner pocket fits most smartphones for easy access. The rear of the jacket is dropped to give you extra coverage when you’re riding in the drops, there is a 360 reflective trim for night time visibility, and the neck is lined with a soft micro fleece for comfort.

As Bold As Roadster Jacket
The neck is lined with a soft micro fleece for comfort, and reflective detailing helps with visibility on night time rides

It’s a comfortable and cheerful jacket which certainly keeps the rain out. It doesn’t have the off-bike versatility as the Drench Coat – it’s definitely a jacket designed for cycling – but it’s a well designed commuter jacket. For my body type, it’s a little on the boxy side – but with a 32G chest I’m not a very standard shape and it’s generally hard to find garments which are sufficiently fitted at the waist, so that isn’t really a criticism.

As Bold As Roadster Jacket
The Roadster jacket features Velcro wrist straps which allow you to cinch the sleeves at the wrist to keep the rain – and draughts – out

As Bold As Roadster Jacket

Again, I’m wearing the size Large which fits a 12-14. It’s roomy enough to allow plenty of movement in the arms. It retails at €138.

As Bold As Roadster Jacket

The As Bold As range is available to purchase from As Bold As and from Velovixen.

60 SecondsFeatured

Interview with the Vamper: 60 Seconds with As Bold As Founder Joyce Brereton

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As Bold As Foudner Joyce Brereton

In this edition of Interview with the Vamper: 60 Seconds we’re chatting to As Bold As Founder Joyce Brereton. The As Bold As range is inspired by an obsession with geometry, quirky detailing, a marriage of performance and fashion, and a love of the everyday adventure. Here we speak to Joyce about what stirs her passions in the cycling world.

What is it about cycling that makes you happy?

The sense of freedom, getting outside, being in the moment. It takes me away from the dull everyday and transforms me into a braver version of myself! I also love the variety of cycling… the meander to the mountain bike to the road cycle to the spin class. I can choose a different gear to suit my mood.

If you could cycle anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

This is such a good question and has got me all wanderlusty! I’d go on a road tour through the north of Italy onto Slovenia, stopping in different towns along the way. How cool would that be? I’ve been thinking about cycle touring since I met the owner of Shand Cycles (they make touring bikes) and then listened to Emily Chappell’s story of trans-European adventure.

What inspired you to move into the world of cycling apparel?

I’d always had a burning desire to set-up my own business. All I was missing was the confidence. I reached a point where it was do-or-regret. I was seeing all these girls on their bike dressed in builder’s vests or oversized nauseous-yellow jackets and thought “there has to be a better way”. So it was a combination of unrestrained ambition and spotting that gap. I’ve found that confidence has come from just doing it (and stop thinking about it).

Which other brands do you admire? Who’s producing exciting kit in your opinion?

I really like Queen of the Mountains. Their kit is top notch and I love what they stand for – empowering women together. We need more of that.

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What is your favourite ride?

I love my commute into Dublin. I pass the seafront, cycle through a tree-lined park, battle with traffic and potholes and then end up in my charming city. That’s where my heart is, in making an adventure of the everyday.

If you could go for a bike ride with anyone at all, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

John Bishop – great comedian and cyclist. I bet he’d keep you entertained through the tough climbs, good for morale! Actually, can I have a team of people please? I’d like Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs as he’d be able to get you through any tricky situation in any European country as he can speak every language. Lastly, Marianne Vos to push us and Mary Berry to keep us sustained and give me some business advice. This peloton might have different stamina levels but we’d get there in the end!

What song is guaranteed to get you in the mood for a ride, no matter what time you went to bed?

Chemical Brothers – Galvanize

What has been your cycling highlight of 2016 so far?

The day before I had my second baby I went for a family cycle and had ice cream at the end of the pier. The next day my baby boy was born. You can’t get more of a highlight than that!

And finally: what’s in store for As Bold As? What can we look forward to seeing from you in the coming year?

We’re ambitious for As Bold As and we’d love to expand our collection. People have really responded to our colour range and casual-yet-technical fabrics so we’re going to build on that.

 

Cycle ClothingWomen's Cycling

Urban cycle wear brand As Bold As launches debut women’s collection

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Regular readers will know that it’s not so long ago that I was a dedicated urban cyclist, riding the streets of London in whatever I wanted to wear that day. I may be something of a Lycra warrior these days – but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the need for clothing you can enjoy wearing both on and off the bike. Bib tights and cycling jerseys are fantastic when you’re riding but look less good behind a desk. And don’t even get me started on the trials of changing out of bibs and jersey in a very small toilet cubicle…

Urban cyclist to Road cyclist
Victoria the urban cyclist, and Victoria the Lycra warrior…

I’m increasingly tempted to look to a more hybrid style of cycle clothing that would cut down the amount of changing time and the amount of stuff I carry to work. I do rather miss the days of turning up to work on my bike in something I could wear all day, but that convenience needs to be balanced with the desire to be comfortable and safe in the saddle.

As Bold As

As Bold As makes contemporary cycling clothing to wear on the journey and at the destination. Founder Joyce Brereton has worked to incorporate the technical design elements of dedicated cycling wear with a dose of urban chic: waterproof, windproof, breathable fabrics with sealed seams and high-visibility detailing are combined with street styling to keep you looking the part when you’re not pedalling. 

I’m particularly taken with the As Bold As Drench Coat, pictured below. It’s been designed to keep you warm and dry on the bike, with a dropped back to keep your bum clean and underarm vents for breathability. It’s not so urban that you couldn’t wear it with bib tights and cleats; but it would look great off the bike with jeans and boots, too.

As Bold As Drench Coat

The first collection is female focussed, but plans are hatching to expand. We’re looking forward to seeing what else is in the pipeline for As Bold As. 

Launched in February, the range is available now through asboldas.com, VelovixenVelorution and Skulpt.

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