Cycling jersey

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Löffler women’s cycling jersey review: Gore 1beats2 Windstopper technology provides effective wind protection

DSC_0661
views
2671

I’ve been trying out the Löffler Windstopper FZ women’s cycling jersey. The jersey features a Gore 1beats2 Windstopper membrane, making it windproof, water-repellent and breathable. It’s been such a mixed summer in the UK – particularly in the north – that a windproof jersey has been surprisingly welcome, despite it being August.

The Gore 1beats2 Windstopper laminate is designed to work best at temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees, so for less-than-perfect British summer days and early autumn, it’s ideal. It was developed to help protect cyclists against the cold and the wind, without having to add extra layers. Windstopper jerseys are designed to keep riders comfortable from dawn to dusk on the bike without the need for adding jackets and gilets. They’re said to provide the same thermal insulation as the combination of a regular jersey plus breathable windbreaker jacket while weighing up to 35% less than the two together.

Gore 1beats2 Windstopper

Löffler is not a well known brand in the UK cycling market but this Austrian cycle wear company makes serious, sensible bike kit. It might not set your heart racing, but it performs solidly.

I can’t say that I have been all that interested in short-sleeved windproof jerseys before. I was of the opinion that if it was cold enough to need a windproof garment, it would probably need long sleeves. Testing this has actually made me realise that there is a place for short-sleeved windproof jerseys, after all. We’ve had a lot of windy weather this summer and – to get all up close and personal – does anyone else find that cycling on windy days causes really sore nipples? It doesn’t have to be a cold day for me to be in some serious discomfort if the wind is up. So, for that reason alone, I take back what I said. Short-sleeved windproof jerseys might have a place in my cycling wardrobe after all.

Gore 1beats2 Windstopper

I’d be lying if I said the Löffler Windstopper jersey excited me; it’s a very functional-looking piece of kit. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the photographs: I actually think it’s quite flattering, and it was very comfortable. I like the stand-up collar – again, good for keeping draughts out – and the fabric feels nice. As autumn approaches, it will be useful paired with arm warmers (more on those later).

However, it’s a bit lacking in design features. It only has one pocket, a rear pocket which zips. It’s generous enough to fit my enormous Sony Xperia Z5, but there isn’t enough storage for inner tubes, bananas and the like. I would also expect a bit more reflective detailing on a very functional garment.

Gore 1beats2 Windstopper
The jersey would benefit from more pockets and reflective detailing

It’s a fast drying jersey which is remarkably breathable considering how robust the fabric feels. Wind is blocked really effectively, and sweat is wicked away nicely. The jersey is stretchier than I expected, though a little bit short in the body and prone to riding up. Another inch in length and a stickier silicone grip strip on the hem would be useful.

If you’re looking for a good quality, windproof jersey for commuting, the Löffler Windstopper jersey is a decent buy with excellent windproofing thanks to the Gore 1beats2 Windstopper technology. However, future iterations would benefit from additional pockets and reflective details.

Gore 1beats2 Windstopper

A word of warning – sizing is quite small. I usually wear size medium jerseys but this one is pretty snug, and I would be more comfortable in a size large. (I’m 172cm and weigh 69kg).

I have also been testing the Löffler Windstopper Softshell Light Arm Warmers, when I can wrestle them off Matt who is particularly taken with them. In the summer it’s unusual for me to reach for arm warmers as I’m quite a hot blooded sort – but Matt’s clearly spent too long in the south of England and feels the need for warmth on early morning rides, no matter what time of year!

Gore 1beats2 Windstopper
The reflective detail is effective, but it should feature on both arms for better visibility

The Löffler Windstopper Softshell arm warmers are really nice to wear. They are lined with Thermo-Velour for warmth and it is really soft and cosy – lovely against the skin. They stay put, and they are very lightweight and flexible – no bunching inside the elbows.

The reflective logo on the left arm is really bright, but it’s a shame it isn’t on both arms. We’re not huge fans of hi-vis cycling kit, but as bike commuters we are very big fans of reflective detailing.

Cycle ClothingFeaturedReviewsWomen's Cycling

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

Featured_image_filter
views
4892

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