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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.