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The MAAP Base Jersey and Bib Short review: #WhatIWearforBest

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We all accept and understand certain inalienable truths, things we know will never – and should never – change.

For me, I wholeheartedly know that the Settle Pudding served up by The Lion at Settle (North Yorkshire) is the greatest meal ever, that the first Rage Against the Machine album has untouchable mythical status, that anyone who doesn’t appreciate the merits of John Hughes’ seminal 80’s film Weird Science is a philistine.

In recent weeks however I have allowed another inalienable truth to drop anchor and establish permanent residency in the calmer waters of my mind. This is that the MAAP Base Jersey and Bib combo is one of THE great cycling kits.

In recent weeks however I have allowed another inalienable truth to drop anchor and establish permanent residency in the calmer waters of my mind. This is that the MAAP Base Jersey and Bib combo is one of THE great cycling kits.

Purchased from the exponentially excellent Sigma Sport in Hampton Wick, the MAAP Base jersey and bib shorts were acquired in time for the Prudential Ride London 100 mile event in July. Having already chosen my riding combination for that event some time prior, I had a last-minute change of heart and decided I needed something fresh.

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After working my way through the impressive Black Sheep, Sportful, POC and David Millar’s CHPT.III offerings, all of which have their own sirenic pull, I arrived at the MAAP rails.

There were a number of possibilities if I’m being honest. The Divide, Field and Rise patters were very tempting, but something kept drawing me back to the Base. In both the dark navy and black variants it was the simple elegance of the silhouette that drew my attention.

In both the dark navy and black variants it was the simple elegance of the silhouette that drew my attention.

Rarely do I try things on; I’m usually pretty steadfastly a Medium – But having steeled myself to drop some serious tags/coin/cash I wanted to be sure it fitted like the proverbial glove.

I tested both the medium and large sizes. At 6ft and 11.6st I just about straddled the two sizings. As it was I ended up taking the large.

The jersey was great in both sizes, a tiny bit more wiggle room in the large but still an aero fit. But the bib shorts were more obviously comfortable in large. Predominantly in the strap area where there was the faintest pull from the medium. Which whilst not uncomfortable, would have niggled after hours on the perch.

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I have ridden in the Base combination more times than I care remember over the last two months, I’ve worn it so frequently since it came into my life that it and the washing machine have started to get close. I half expect to come home one evening and find them slurping either end of a spaghetti strand over a candlelit meal for two.

MAAP’s material choice and quality of pattern cutting is just exemplary. Rarely have I felt so much (if ever) like Julia Roberts in THAT red dress in Pretty Woman. You know… when something just works.

The jersey itself has a brushed fabric interior that retains warmth and is incredibly comfortable. It should see you wearing it throughout the year when layered appropriately. The fabric is also extremely breathable, effectively wicks moisture and provides more than adequate wind protection along with an SPF 50+ sun protection rating.

MAAP has designed generous pockets with chunky elastic openings that keep items secure without sagging. The body hem of the jersey also features a half elastic construction with internal silicone dots to ensure it doesn’t ride up.

Rarely have I felt so much (if ever) like Julia Roberts in THAT red dress in Pretty Woman. You know… when something just works.

The MAAP Base bib shorts feature the now ubiquitous ‘Cold Black’ technology on the leg panelling to reduce excess heat absorption while also providing protection from UV rays. The extra high-density chamois, which has been developed exclusively for MAAP, is easily one of the most comfortable I have ever used. The Prudential passed without a second thought in that regard, so you can be sure that you’ll be comfortable on long rides.

Taking the MAAP kit from the hanging rail feels like you are about to don a test pilot’s flight suit or something. It just feels special.

It looks great and fits perfectly – but there is also something wonderfully, intangibly brilliant about the MAAP Base combination. Cycling in its purest form should be all about feelings and emotion: from the sights and sounds of those perfect summer rides to the tactile pleasure you derive from a supremely form fitting piece of kit. Taking the MAAP kit from the hanging rail feels like you are about to don a test pilot’s flight suit or something. It just feels special.

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But, but, but…it’s, you know, BLACK! I hear you say. We all know that only lunatics with scant regard for their own personal safety wear black, you bark. What you should be donning is apparel crafted in one of those colours statistically proven to be less prevalent in accident reports.

Well, you know what? I accept some risk.

Lets face it, there is a theoretical and therefore minute statistical possibility that I could one day be sucked clean off the earth into a giant space-orbiting elephant’s backside.

To stack chips in favour of the MAAP Base jerseys safety credentials, the reflective elements on the arms are supremely effective – enough to draw remarks from fellow cyclists when passing through one of the darker tunnels early on the Prudential RideLondon course.

I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I love this kit. There isn’t a single occasion over the last two months where when deciding what to wear that my hands haven’t zeroed in with laser precision on the MAAP hanger.

I’m always aware however that, for those extra special adventures, the MAAP Base is ready, poised, waiting…

We all know you can’t always wear what’s ‘for best’. So for the sake of fairness I am studiously making an effort to allow other kit back into my life and to share the riding duties.

I’m always aware however that, for those extra special adventures, the MAAP Base is ready, poised, waiting…

The MAAP Base Jersey and Bib Short combination is available at Sigma Sport. The jersey is priced at £110 and the bib shorts are priced at £160.

Cycle ClothingWomen's Cycling

Six Socks/Sick Socks: Vamper.cc picks out the six best cycling socks

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Clothes maketh the man, and socks maketh the cyclist. There’s no point having the coolest cycling kit on your back if it all goes to pot at your feet, so we’ve rounded up our pick of the six best cycling socks out there.

In case you need a reminder of The Vamper.cc Sock Rules, here they are:

  1. Thou shalt not wear those ghastly concealed socks, which poke out around the ankle in an embarrassed, undignified fashion. Have the courage to wear your socks long, loud and proud.
  2. Thou shalt take pride in one’s sock game and coordinate one’s ankles with the rest of one’s kit.

Now, to the socks…

best cycling socks

This is Cambridge create bold and beautiful cycling apparel. The British brand’s range of socks are super technical as well as super stylish: the Hors catégorie sock features Meryl Skinlife® which is a high performance yarn containing antibacterial properties to maintain the natural balance of the skin, thereby reducing unwelcome odours. And style-wise, they feature a generous 15cm cuff, making them an ideal sock choice for cyclists who want to make a statement in the saddle. They are currently priced at £10.80 (reduced from £13.50).

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The Victory Chimp Hill Repeat socks in Celeste are some of our favourites. With a wavy stripe design inspired by undulating training roads and the uniform profiles of sets of intervals, the Hill Repeats cycling sock is particularly sharp, as well as being wicking, lightweight and breathable. They feature a 6″ cuff, too, so there is plenty of pattern on show. Buy them from Victory Chimp for £10.00.

best cycling socks

Morvelo is known for its ballsy prints and bold cycling kit, and that fondness for bright colours and eye catching designs extends to the brand’s socks. Lightweight and highly breathable, the Morvelo Never Rest socks wick moisture away rapidly with an anti-bacterial yarn to reduce odours. We love the snugness of these socks which wash well, retain their elasticity and look sharp. They are priced at £10.00.

best cycling socks

MAAP design some of the coolest cycling kits out there. This cycling brand from Down Under goes in for super cool detailing and super high performance. The Dot Sock is made in Australia from a cotton/nylon blend, and features an open mesh on the top of the foot for added breathability. British summers might not always mean that’s a priority, but it’s always good to know your feet won’t overheat in the rare event of a hot day… They are priced at AUD $30.00, or you can buy them from Sigma Sport for £20.00.

 

best cycling socks

Café du Cycliste brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the cycling wardrobe with this chic pair of Breton-striped cycling socks. The Cafe du Cycliste Breton Sock features a fine gauge merino-rich blend combining elastane for stretch, synthetic fibres for durability and anti-blister yarn for comfort. The thermoregulating nature of merino helps to keep your feet cosy on cool rides and cool on hot days. Mon dieu! What’s more, the fibre’s natural antibacterial properties will keep your tootsies fragrant. The socks are available from Velovixen for £16.00.

best cycling socks

Aussie cycling brand Attaquer shares our sock philosophy: no cycling kit should ever been subjected to a pair of puny ankle socks. If you’re going to wear cool kit, it needs to be cool from head to toe and that means the 18cm length of this natty pair is spot on. They’re not just super long and cool looking: these socks also feature silver yarn technology to provide natural anti-bacterial protection, moisture management, extra comfort and odour elimination. You can buy them from G!ro Cycles for £14.95.

Cycle ClothingFeaturedReviewsWomen's Cycling

Ten of the coolest men’s and women’s cycling jerseys for Summer 2016

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Victoria’s pick of the coolest women’s cycling jerseys:

The sun is out and the mercury is rising. All I can think about is getting out on my bike in the coolest women’s cycling jerseys of 2016. The Vamper.cc kit is, of course, our favourite – more about that here! – but that’s not to say there aren’t a lot of cool kits out there this season. Here’s my pick of the bunch…

Feel free to share your objects of desire in the comments, or tell us on Twitter what you’re lusting over.Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Attaquer – Core Brush Women’s Cycling Jersey

The Attaquer Core Brush jersey in teal is vibrant and summery and bold and beautiful. We like the colour and the subtle fade of this graffiti-esque women’s cycle jersey, and from what we’ve seen of Attaquer kit, we’d expect the fabric to be top notch too.

AUS$179.95 – From Attaquer

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

MAAP – Arrows Women’s Cycling Jersey

The Aussies really know how to do cool cycle kits. Maap’s Arrows women’s cycle jersey is sharp: we like both colourways, but the navy and coral really floats our boat. Properly cool.

AUS$180.00 – From MAAP

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Twin Six – The Artcrank Women’s Cycling Jersey

What’s black and white and red all over? The Artcrank women’s cycle jersey from Twin Six. This is not a jersey for the faint hearted, but we think it’s pretty fabulous. A whole peloton in this design might be migraine-inducing, for a solo cyclist, we think this rocks.

US$85.00 – From Twin Six

 

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Giro – Chrono Pro Women’s Cycling Jersey

We adore the nebular print of this Giro women’s cycle jersey. What can we say? It’s out of this world. Understated, chic and unusual.

£139.99 – By Giro, from Wiggle

 

Cool women's cycling jerseys 2016

Stolen Goat – Momentum Women’s Cycling Jersey

“Moving effortlessly from one colour to another, this jersey represents our freedom of movement on the bike.” – Well. We’re not sure about that, but we do like the trendy ombre-effect and the bold shades of this women’s cycle jersey from Stolen Goat. Very smart indeed.

£60.00 – From Stolen Goat

Matt’s pick of the coolest men’s cycling jerseys:

 

Velobici Verne

Velobici – Verne (Cannon Grey)

This lightweight short-sleeved three-season number from Leicestershire’s own Velobici had us drooling from the outset. A great colour combination with technical detailing to match, its sartorial credentials are firmly at the forefront. Those in the know will be able to spot your finery from afar and will duly admire.

£150  – From Velobici

 

 

Attaquer – GiroXAttaquer

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Is there any brand on top of their game like Attaquer are right now? If so, we would love to see them. With exquisite collaborations in conjunction with G!ro and Dosnoventa as well as a riotous range of cool cycling jerseys for both men and women, we’d sell our grannies* for pretty much everything they purvey.

*ok, not our grannies. But perhaps our souls.

£89.95 – From Giro Cycles

 

 

La Passione – Summer Diagonal Jersey (Blue)

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A return to true classic lines and hues, this summer offering from La Passione hits the mark in delivering bold shades in a powerful yet understated way. Showy but without bling, this jersey let others know that you know your onions…

£54 – From La Passione

 

 

Rapha.cc – Classic Jersey (Black)

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Sometimes it just has to be black, the unmistakable silhouette that sets off just about any bike. Rapha have nailed it with the Core. The subtle injection of contrast with the white and pink elements are understated and cool. A collection to remind you of the timelessness of cycling.

£110 – From Rapha.cc

 

 

Hunter Bros – Butterfly Jersey

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If you can allay your vehement dislike of flying insects for more than a few hours (yes, Matt – you!) this punchy number from Antipodean apparel artistes Hunter Bros will have you soaring above the crowd. Tell me you see beautiful kit like this in Richmond Park. Go on, tell me. You can’t, can you? Because you don’t. Let’s bring some style from Down Under to London.

AUS$155 – From Hunter Bros