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Cycle ClothingWomen's Cycling

Vamper.cc kit watch: a selection of cool new women’s cycling jerseys for 2017

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The weather is grim and spring doesn’t even seem to be close for much of the UK. If you’re feeling blue, maybe it’s time to treat yourself to a new cycling jersey to brighten up rides on dull days. Sure, you might need to layer up with a base layer and arm warmers for a while – but in no time at all, you’ll be stripping those off and cycling in the sunshine, we’re certain of it! Here’s our pick of some of the season’s best new women’s cycling jerseys…

 

Maloja Women’s MitterseeM.AOP 1/2 Short Sleeve Jersey, £74.00, Wiggle.co.uk

cool new women's cycling jerseys for 2017

Maloja make good quality cycling jerseys in unusual designs. We’re rather taken with this meadow flower print, which is sure to brighten a dull day…

 

VOID Ride Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey, £94.99, Sigma Sport

cool new women's cycling jerseys for 2017

If you’re not so much about the flowers, maybe this edgier look from VOID is more up your street? We love the bright blue and the paint splatter effect (though maybe we’re just so accustomed to having paint splatters on our clothes while we decorate our house that this is the new normal?)

 

Morvelo Women’s Plume Standard Jersey, £65.00, Morvelo

cool new women's cycling jerseys for 2017

Once upon a time we didn’t rate Morvelo’s women’s jerseys at all. The designs were cool, but the cut was heinous. The brand seems to have addressed that with a much sleeker cut, and they do some marvellous prints. These feathers are gorgeous. Unusual, a little bit quirky, but sophisticated. Perfect for birds on bikes.

 

This Is Cambridge À Bloc Long Sleeve Jersey, £105, This Is Cambridge

cool new women's cycling jerseys for 2017

 

If you’re not into arm warmers and you’d just like some long sleeves while it’s cold, thank you very much, then we think you can’t go wrong with this sharp black and fluoro pink option from This Is Cambridge. It’s slick and sporty with a hint of Gallic charm thanks to those stripes. TIC – This Is Chic!

Black Sheep Cycling Rosa Season 8 Women’s Kit, £210, Sigma Sport

cool new women's cycling jerseys for 2017

Admittedly, this is a bit of a splurge because it comes as a whole kit. But it’s awfully nice. The graphic floral print is both pretty AND edgy and we think this would look every bit as good with arm and leg warmers as it will with bare limbs on warm summer days.

 

Seen any awesome cycling jerseys? Do share! Tweet us at twitter.com/vampercc.

 

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).

best cycling socks

 

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.

Cycling AccessoriesReviews

The Polar Soft Strap restarts my Garmin’s Heart (Rate Monitor)

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For many male cyclists there comes a point in the evolution of his cycling wardrobe when he will quite reasonably say to himself, “D’you know what? I just don’t wear enough hot pink.”

It happened to me recently and, it being a difficult itch to scratch, I spent a good few hours obsessing over a variety of visually vivacious apparel choices.

Rapha’s hot pink Backpack Rain Cover; the Bontrager 2016 Velocis shoe (which might yet find its way in to my wardrobe); Morvelo’s Half Tone Jersey: all were considered in my quest to inject a little pink into my palette.

But being a ‘dip your toe in the water’ rather than a full swan-dive and subsequent drowning kind of chap, I opted for a more subtle entry into the world of pink kit and chose the Polar Soft Heart Rate Strap.

Conveniently, this urge to ‘think pink’ coincided with what I initially thought were the final death throes of my Garmin Heart Rate Monitor.

It had started producing strange readings with unusual spikes and troughs, eventually indicating that my heart rate never went above 100bpm even on tough rides. I’m fit – but not that fit.

For those looking to inject a risqué frisson of colour into their cycling wardrobe I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Polar Soft Strap.

Having read a range of forum posts and articles I initially replaced the CR2032 battery, to no avail. It was only when I stumbled across an article by the ever-useful DC Rainmaker (be sure to check his blog out – it’s an invaluable resource) that a solution presented itself.

The article explained that the connections in my original Garmin strap had either corroded or had otherwise stopped working and that by replacing the strap with the Garmin-compatible Polar strap I could breathe new life into the heart rate monitor.

After the briefest of reconnaissance missions I ordered the strap directly from Polar’s site.

Polar Soft Strap
Polar offer a range of colour options for their Garmin compatible heart rate monitor soft strap, most notably HOT PINK

They offer the strap in a variety of colours: blue, white, orange, black and, most importantly for this reviewer, HOT PINK. You pay a small excess for a colour other than black – £15.40 as opposed to £14.00 – but this is a small price to pay to satisfy my lust for pink. (I’m aware that this review is treading a fine line…)

Polar also offer a bundle including a new CR2032 battery to completely clear the slate and refresh your heart rate monitor – this adds another £5.40 to the cost.

A couple of months in, I can attest to the quality of the Polar Soft Strap: it is comfortable to wear, and easily adjustable.

The active contact area is much larger than on the original Garmin strap, providing a surer connection with the monitor itself – I’ve had no instances of dubious readings when there is little moisture between the strap and my skin… (err…)

The black metal hooked clasp which connects to the fabric retaining loop provides a strong and firm closure and the materials used in the strap are high quality.

No-one can see it, but you know it’s there – like a politician with fishnet stockings under his suit

To summarise: for those of you suffering with HR monitor troubles and who think a new strap may present a solution, or for those looking to inject a risqué frisson of colour into their cycling wardrobe (sure, no-one can see it, but you know it’s there – like a politician with fishnet stockings under his suit) I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Polar Soft Strap.

It’s a good price and is well manufactured with better contact area connections than the original Garmin strap.

It makes perfect sense when considering matters of the heart (rate monitor)…

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.