bib shorts

Cycle ClothingFeaturedReviewsWomen's Cycling

First impressions – Victoria reviews the women’s Rapha Canyon-SRAM team kit

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I have never been tempted to cycle in a team kit before. But then, I’d never seen one as beautiful as the Rapha Canyon//SRAM team kit, which is one of the best looking women’s cycle kits I’ve ever seen. Since the first images were released months ago, I’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for it to be released.

Finally, on Wednesday, it happened: the email arrived from Rapha and faster than you can shout ‘Strava!’ I was parting with an obscene amount of money. I’m aware that £300 for a cycling kit is pretty steep. But boy oh boy, I wanted it so badly.

But what you all want to know, I suppose, is how it performs. Well, the kit arrived on Saturday and the following day I wore it on an 85km ride to put it through its paces.

Rapha Canyon//SRAM women's kit

The Rapha Canyon//SRAM team kit is seriously good looking. Black, emblazoned with jewel tones and the subtlest of branding, it looks so slick. The aero cut of the team-issue jersey is divine: it’s far and away the most flattering cycling jersey I have worn. It’s close fitting in a way that skims rather than clings; the mesh sleeves are just the right length and fit; and, as I hate having anything fastened up to my neck, I’m happy to say it looks great unzipped a few inches. Sunday was an ideal day to ride out in the kit; the Coldblack technology used in the jersey to reflect the sun’s rays and wick away moisture was perfect in 28-degree heat.

Rapha Canyon//SRAM women's kit

The Rapha Canyon//SRAM team kit jersey is long: I can pull it right down over my bum. This is a very good thing: at 5’8” I’m fairly tall and, being somewhat top heavy, I’m delighted to have a jersey which doesn’t ride up. I didn’t have to tug it down at the front once. If you’re petite, there is a risk that it might be a little too long. I find Rapha sizing tends to be a little on the small side, so I ordered my usual size medium bib shorts and size large jersey to accommodate my broad shoulders and bust. It’s spot on for my frame.

Rapha Canyon//SRAM women's kit

The race fit Rapha Canyon//SRAM bib shorts look similarly great: they are really nicely cut and the styling is spot on. The bib straps are well positioned and soft – they didn’t cut in to my shoulders at all.

The leg length is generous, the leg grippers keep everything in place and the breathable fabric feels good. I did expect a slightly more robust pad; it doesn’t feel quite as supportive as the chamois in my Rapha winter padded tights.

Being a particularly sweaty cyclist, I’m obsessive about washing kit as soon as I’ve worn it. It’s already been through the washing machine and drip dried as per instructions, and all’s well.

Rapha Canyon//SRAM women's kit

 

The Rapha Canyon//SRAM team kit is far and away the best looking kit I’ve worn. Expensive, yes; but it’s one of the best looking women’s cycling kits of 2016, and I felt a million dollars wearing it. Well done Rapha and the Canyon//SRAM team for putting together such an iconic kit – I feel like this is a big step in moving the standard of women’s cycling kit forward. The designers have set the bar very high indeed.

The jersey is priced at £130 and the bib shorts at £170. You can view the whole range here.

Rapha.cc

 

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Vamper warms up with Primal’s winter cycling kit

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Victoria

Tested: Primal’s Covi Women’s Black Tights, £65.00 and Lucerne 2nd Layer Jacket, £90.00.

Until now I’ve only cycled in bib shorts and tights, liking the smooth line they create underneath a jersey with a midriff prone to a spot of muffin top. However, every day that I dress in my cycling kit, I invariably have to dash to the loo before leaving the house, and have to strip off my jersey to get my bibs down, then carefully tuck my baselayer in again and pull my jersey back on before I can get on my way. It’s a bit of a rigmarole when you’re trying to get out of the house for work and I’ve toyed with adding waist tights to my commuter cycling wardrobe for versatility.

The tights sit high enough that there’s no danger of a gap between my jersey and waistband – and there’s barely a hint of muffin top.

This month I’ve been testing Primal’s Covi Women’s Black Tights, which retail at £60.00. The tights are a true black with reflective zip detailing at the ankles for added visibility pedalling at night. The brushed back thermal lining is soft and cosy, and while the pad doesn’t appear particularly robust, it’s actually very comfortable for commuting. After four washes it hasn’t moved and has retained its shape and firmness. The tights sit high enough on the waist that there’s no danger of a gap appearing between my jersey and waistband, and it’s also high enough to prevent much midriff overhang. My only criticism of the tights are the zips down the back of the legs which have a tendency to dig in to the Achilles tendon.

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I wore the tights with Primal’s Lucerne 2nd Layer Jacket. The Lucerne sits somewhere between a long sleeved jersey and a jacket. It’s warm, making it comfortable on cool autumn days, but not water resistant. It’s comfortable for the mild November we’ve had this year with just a baselayer underneath.

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Primal sizing is generous. I’m wearing size Medium in both garments and there is plenty of room; the cut is looser than Castelli and Dhb. I’m 5 ft 8″ and generally wear UK size 12.

 

Matt

Tested: Onyx Bib Knickers, £75.00 and Lexicon 2nd Layer Jacket.

It’s been an unusually mild start to the autumn. It may be mid-November, but several days have been too mild enough for full tights and jackets. In this weather, three-quarter bib knickers fit the bill nicely and I’ve been testing Primal’s Onyx bib knickers.

In the mild weather we’ve been experiencing this autumn, three-quarter bib knickers fit the bill nicely.

They’re really comfortable to wear: the fabric is thermal and very soft, and a true jet black which looks sharp. I particularly like the white inverted V detailing on the back of the leg – it’s a nice design feature which would be even better with a reflective finish for added visibility at night. Hopefully Primal will incorporate this in the future.

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The bibs are nicely designed with broad straps across the shoulders; they sit well. And, crucially, the chamois pad is comfortable. It hasn’t been tested on any long rides, but for commuting it definitely fits the bill. At £75 these bib knickers represent good value for money for a comfortable and nicely designed product.

I’ve been wearing the Onyx bib knickers with the Lexicon 2nd Layer Jacket. As Victoria found with the Lucerne, it falls somewhere between a jersey and a jacket. For damp British climes, it isn’t versatile enough for everyday wear; it’s warm, but wouldn’t replace a Gabba-style outerlayer because it isn’t waterproof or windproof. The sizing is extremely generous: I’m wearing size Medium which in other brands is a snug fit. (I’m 6ft tall and usually wear a 38″ chest/32″ waist). It would probably be worth ordering a size smaller than your usual.

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Cycle ClothingNews

REDWHITE APPAREL LAUNCHES THE RACE BIB SHORTS AFTER A YEAR OF SUCCESS WITH THE BIB

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It’s just over a year now since RedWhite Apparel, based in Singapore, entered the market with their flagship product, The Bib.

The company, which was built around the need for long distance bib shorts, have secured dealers in US, UK, Australia, Korea, Japan and several Southeast Asian countries to bring The Bib to a wider market.

Now entering their second year, and following feedback from their customers and racers, they have launched The Race, a brand new bib short with a focus on long distance needs but also with more aggressive riding positions in mind.

The Race was 8 months in the making. Tested by riders around the world, it retains the key elements of The Bib with added refinements for racers.
The Race was 8 months in the making. Tested by riders around the world, it retains the key elements of The Bib with added refinements for more aggressive riding positions.

The Race was a product 8 months in the making. With several iterations and prototypes made and tested by individual riders and teams around the world, RedWhite has delivered a product that retains all the key elements of its flagship, The Bib, with added refinements for racers.

The key difference in The Race lies in the chamois.

The chamois follows the same design as the highly popular version in The Bibs, but with two new features: a dimpled surface for better heat dissipation, and a reduction in density and thickness at the mid layer.

 

The Race chamois features a dimpled surface for heat dissipation and a reduction in density and thickness at the mid layer.

The Race will be available for pre-orders through www.shop.redwhite.cc and dealer stockings will be announced shortly.

For more details on the race, please visit http://www.redwhite.cc/the-race/

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Vamper.cc finds satisfaction in Morvelo Women’s Timeless Bib Shorts

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Tested to the brink on the Prudential with serious saddle discomfort and period pains, these are some of the most comfortable bib shorts on the market.

The world of bibs is vast, isn’t it? By luck rather than by design, in the five months that I’ve been building a cycling wardrobe from scratch I’ve found some winners. The bibs I’ve purchased so far include Castelli Velocissima, Castelli Sorpasso, DHB Aeron Pro Halterneck, RH+ Panther and Morvelo Cacciatore.

I bought the Morvelo Women’s Timeless Bib Shorts for reasons of sheer vanity ahead of the Prudential 100. I already owned Cacciatore, which are my favourite pair – but with Giro d’Italia pink text and a Tricolore trim, they just didn’t coordinate with the jersey and helmet that I really wanted to wear for The Big Ride…

So, down to business: are these bib shorts a good buy?

Yes. And here’s why…

Chamois Comfort

Of all the brands I’ve tried so far, Morvelo chamois pads are the best. And surely the funniest to look at. They are very, very comfortable with soft, smooth fabric and excellent contouring that I find helps alleviate pressure on soft tissue. The pad doesn’t shift and ventilation is good. I’ve only washed these twice so far, but my Morvelo Cacciatore bib shorts are still spot on after more than 30 washes.

 

tremendously effective, and also quite amusing – Morvelo’s suggestively-shaped chamois…

 

Overall Fit

Notes: I’m 5’8” (1.72m) and a curvy UK size 12.

I ordered size Large and they’re a comfortable fit: snug and supportive but not restrictive. I have quite a long body but the straps don’t dig in to my shoulders. The legs are very long which is ok for me, because I’m quite long from hip to knee (with rather short calves). For shorter riders the leg will probably be too long.

The bib straps are comfortable but given the choice, I would much prefer shoulder straps that join the shorts on either side, rather than meeting at my sternum. It’s comfortable to wear, but I like to have my jersey unzipped a little way and the white strap often ends up on show. It’s quite bizarre.


  

Style

Sharp. The monochrome colourway makes these bib shorts versatile – I can wear them with all of my jerseys. The longer length leg looks sleek and smart and the Morvelo logo over the bum means there’s something for the cyclists you leave in your wake to admire…

Value for Money

Worth every penny. Good bib shorts are rarely cheap and it’s one of those essential items that it is worth spending a bit of money on getting right. Morvelo are not the most expensive bib shorts on the market but the quality takes some beating. Highly recommended.