Cycling kits

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 ClothingFeaturedWomen's Cycling

On the prowl for bold and beautiful women’s cycling kits

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I’m rather envious of the boldly coloured and highly patterned kits that Matt finds. The world of women’s cycling apparel tends to be rather more sedate – at least in the UK – and I’d love to see that change. I’m all for simple and elegant kits – but sometimes, you want to make a real splash. This is my roundup of the best kits from international brands if you want to turn heads on your next ride.

 

I’m all for simple and elegant kits – but sometimes, you want to make a sartorial splash and stand out from the pack.

 

First up: the Leaf It Out jersey by Jaggad may be a unisex cut, but it looks great on both models – and that monochrome nature print is super cool. Smart and versatile – it would look great with any of my bib shorts, and the longer length sleeves are a nice in-between length for mid season. (I do wonder how flattering unisex cuts are to top heavy female cyclists like me… I’m not entirely convinced it would work for me, but it looks fabulous on the model!)

Jaggad Leaf It Out

 

Next up: SWOON. I’m crazy about all the Fondo kits but the Disco print is my favourite. The colours are fantastic; it’s one of the most eye-catching kits I’ve seen. And, it’s a women’s-specific cut – even better. (I honestly don’t think I can afford to lose my waist in a straight-up-and-down men’s jersey.)Fondo Disco

 

 

Although the Black Sea Skinsuit is another unisex offering, I’m sure you’ll agree that the female model looks even better than her male counterpart. This is one good looking bit of kit, and I love it. Gorgeous colours and sharp detailing from Warsaw CyclingWarsaw skinsuit

 

 

If you follow us on Instagram, you will have seen me sporting a rather natty cycling cap from Aussie brand Queen of the Mountain. I’m crazy about the bold geometric print of the Prestige kit, and the slogan is pretty awesome, too. QOM Prestige

 

 

And finally, I’m hankering after the smart black and white Kaleidoscope jersey from Tenspeed Hero. It’s graphic and bold and smart and it would be fun to switch things up with contrasting accessories in different hues. We like.

Tenspeed Kaleidoscope

 

 

Have you seen any eye catching women’s kits? Please share in the comments – we’re always on the lookout for women’s cycling brands! I’ll be adding to this list as time goes on, so check back in a few weeks.

– V