Rivelo

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Review: Victoria puts the Rivelo Frensham long sleeve jersey and Hazelwood 3/4 bib knickers to the test

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Rivelo produces consistently high quality cycling clothing at competitive prices, and we’ve been fans since the brand launched. Our derrieres have ridden many miles in comfort thanks to Rivelo’s top notch bib tights and shorts, and the brand’s hard shell Larkstone and Langcliffe jackets have battled through downpours. So, it was with high expectations that I unwrapped some of the brand’s latest offerings: the women’s Frensham thermal long sleeve jersey, Hazelwood 3/4 bib knickers and Ashdown long sleeve merino base layer. They are all available to purchase here.

Rivelo Hazelwood 3/4 Bib Knickers

In an ideal cycling world, I daresay we would all like spring to arrive swiftly and warmly at the beginning of March so that we can cast aside our thermal tights, woollen socks and windproof gloves. Unfortunately we seemed to have a particularly long and cold winter this year, with frosty starts continuing far longer than any sane cyclist would like. Being a particularly soft sort, there was no way I could jettison full length thermal tights in favour of 3/4 bib knickers, so it wasn’t until late March that I finally ventured out in the Hazelwoods.

A good pair of 3/4 bib knickers is great for this time of year, when it’s too cold to get your knees out, but no longer cold enough to merit top-to-toe insulation. The Rivelo Hazelwood 3/4 bib knickers are excellent: they feature the brand’s signature high density chamois pad from Cytech with bacteriostatic, a quick drying and cooling fabric covering which means they’re great for any length of ride, from commuting to lengthy weekends adventures. The thermal fabric keeps the chill out and offers a high level of compression and support, and there’s no danger of flashing your bum at passing riders – the fabric isn’t remotely see through.

Rivelo Hazelwood 3/4 bib tights

I’m wearing size medium and they’re a comfortable fit, snug and compressive without being restrictive.

The Hazelwood 3/4 bib knickers have plenty of useful features: reflective details and a zip pocket for valuables, a breathable mesh brace bib with a zipped front which is really comfortable and feels snug and supportive, and mesh panels on the backs of the knees for comfort and breathability.

I’ve found these bib knickers really comfortable: the bib is not too stretchy, so they don’t slide down at all while I’m riding. They stay in position really well so there is no need to fidget and tug things back to where they should be. I haven’t been on any lengthy rides recently – we’ve just been pottering about locally, riding up to 30 miles a session. Because of that I can’t vouch for comfort if you’re thinking of wearing them on a 100 mile ride. That said, we haven’t really been putting in the miles recently for various reasons, so I had expected to be rather saddle sore after a 30 mile breakfast ride – but no, the chamois pad did a great job of keeping me comfortable.

Rivelo Frensham jersey

I like the look of these tights, too. The flash of red around the calf is a welcome injection of colour and looks fabulous, darling, with the Frensham jersey in navy and red…

The Rivelo Hazelwood 3/4 bib knickers retail at £130.

 

Rivelo Frensham Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey

I adore the look of this jersey, and it’s madly comfortable. Soft and snuggly, nicely proportioned, excellent pockets – it’s just lovely to wear. I really like this vibrant shade of French navy which is a chic alternative to black, and which looks great with red and white for a rather jaunty, nautical look. It’s a great jersey, and one that is so comfortable I find myself keeping it on around the house or popping it over a teeshirt to go down to the shop.

Rivelo Frensham jersey

The Frensham long sleeve jersey has capacious pockets which are amply big enough for all of my ride essentials: an emergency Soreen banana loaf (or two), a compact pump, a Pocpac, tissues, keys and lip balm. I could have fitted more in, for sure. The pockets are also nicely snug and stretchy, so you needn’t worry about stuff bouncing out as you career over speed bumps and around potholes. (Surrey roads, I’m looking at you.)

The jersey is really nicely cut and doesn’t ride up when I’m pedalling. With its chic styling, practical pockets, reflective detailing, high quality zips and comfortable collar and cuffs, the Frensham is a great piece of kit. It’s also finished with DWR treatment in case you get caught in the rain.

Rivelo Frensham jersey

My only criticism is that its usage is a bit limited. It’s not warm enough to replace a jacket in winter, but it is a warm jersey so once spring has sprung, it might be too much to wear on rides. I don’t tend to find that my long sleeved jerseys get a huge amount of wear – with a winter jacket on top I find I get too warm, but once the mercury begins to rise a long sleeved jersey can often be too much on its own for me.

Rivelo Hazelwood 3/4 bib tights
Generous rear pockets will easily hold all of your ride essentials – and more besides!

If you put in plenty of miles in those in-between seasons, the Rivelo Frensham is a very comfy compromise between jersey and jacket.

The Rivelo Frensham long sleeve jersey is available for £100.

 

Rivelo Ashdown Long Sleeve Merino Base Layer

I’ve been wearing the Ashdown base layer a lot. I’ve worn it on the bike, I’ve worn it out walking, I’ve worn it around the house, and I’ve worn it with a jacket and jeans at the weekend. It kept me warm in Glasgow one bitterly cold weekend in November. I love it. The stripes are gorgeous – navy and black is just a great combination – and it’s really comfortable. I prefer it to my Rapha merino base layer which is itchier and less flattering.

Rivelo Ashdown Baselayer

The lightweight striped Merino/Poly Ashdown base layer is odour resistant and moisture wicking, so it’s a great commuter top. If you work in a casual office and can cycle in your street clothes, it wouldn’t look out of place at work with a pair of black or navy trousers. I will be packing it on our upcoming Canada trip – I expect the weather to be good in June, but this is a lightweight, cosy layer if the temperature drops in the evenings and it won’t take up much room in my suitcase.

Great base layer. No complaints, whatsoever.

You can order the Rivelo Ashdown Long Sleeve Merino Base Layer for £55.

Cycle ClothingReviews

Legging it: Vamper.cc rides out in Rivelo winter bib tights

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There is a lot to like about Rivelo winter bib tights.

As we found testing the brand’s Garsdale and Larkstone winter cycling jackets, Rivelo product quality is excellent and the attention to detail makes the kit a pleasure to wear. It’s thoughtful, considered design.

There are two versions of Rivelo winter bib tights: a men’s specific and a women’s specific cut. We must admit – we’ve actually found them to be interchangeable; they look so similar that in the low light of winter, I’ve worn Matt’s Winnats tights and he’s pedalled in my Monsal version… We’ve each found both pairs comfortable.

Rivelo winter bib tights
The Rivelo winter bib tights feature top notch fabrics, reflective detailing and a great chamois pad. Happy bums make happy cyclists.

Both pairs of Rivelo winter bib tights score highly in our book:

  1. The fabric quality is very good. It’s a dense, dark black which isn’t remotely transparent. As I cycle directly behind Matt, I’m glad of this. His bum is lovely, but nobody needs to see it through semi transparent Lycra when he’s pedalling – that’s just off putting. I daresay he’d say the same about me.
  2. The ankle zips are well placed! I don’t really understand why any manufacturers of cycling tights put zips down the back of the Achilles heel. It invariably digs in. Rivelo have thoughtfully placed the zip on the outside of the ankle which is much more comfortable (and they’re flexible, too, so don’t cut in).
  3. The chamois pads are brilliant. They’re described as high density, covered with Oeko-tex certified antibacterial stretch fabric and you can really feel the quality when you’re wearing them. They’re not thick pads – they’re really quite discreet, and feel a bit like memory foam. It’s always nice to wear padded tights that don’t make you waddle like an adult in a nappy, so this is a win.
  4. They’re flattering. Unlike the weird boob splitter style favoured by Morvelo, or that super low front which just exposes the flabby bit of stomach between sports bra and waistband which features on so many bib tights, these are cut high and they look sharp. The Monsal women’s bib tights are high cut and cover my (supersize) sports bra which not only looks nicer, but also creates a smoother silhouette under a jersey and keeps my midriff warm. Clearly, Matt doesn’t need his tights to conceal his bra, but he appreciates the added insulation provided by the slightly higher cut of the Winnats bib tights.
  5. They’re comfortable. Rivelo winter bib tights feature mesh shoulder straps which are seam-free, supportive and don’t dig in. The stitching on all seams is soft and flat locked, so there’s nothing to dig in there, either. And the care label is made from soft fabric and sewn flat, so there’s no unpleasant scratching from a plasticky, bulky label. (Perfect for Matt’s delicate skin). (No, really – he’s very sensitive..)
  6. They’re warm. The MITI Thermo Roubaix Thermal fabric is soft and cosy, and DWR (durable water repellent) leg and seat panels offer robust protection against the damper elements. It’s been a mild winter in the UK so nothing we’ve tested has been put through its paces in sub-zero temperatures, so if you’re looking for a recommendation for tights suitable for cycling in the Arctic, we can’t comment. But for nippy and damp British winter days, the Rivelo winter bib tights have had us covered.
  7. The reflective detailing is effective and chic. We love the logo – this is a nice typeface! – and it’s a useful safety feature. Thumbs up.

We’ve washed and worn both pairs of bib tights six or seven times now. There’s some minor pilling on the lower back where my rucksack creates some pressure, but overall, they’re wearing very well. There’s no transparency, no pilling on the seat or legs, no logo peeling, and the pad hasn’t shifted – it’s as good as new.

Rivelo winter bib tights
The men’s Winnats (left) and women’s Monsal bib tights both feature super high quality chamois pads, fleecy Thermo Roubaix fabric for warmth, and water resistant panels – handy for the British climate…

The women’s specific Rivelo Monsal bib tights are well sized. There is a word of advice on the Rivelo site to say that the fabric is not compressive, so if you are between sizes you may wish to size down; but the size medium is plenty big enough for my 5ft 8″, size 12 frame.

Matt has been comfortable wearing the men’s specific Winnats bib tights in size medium which fit his 6ft frame perfectly.

At their full price of £130.00 we think they’re a good choice for winter cycling. At the current price of £59.99 on SportPursuit, they’re a brilliant choice.

More good stuff from Rivelo. We’re looking forward to seeing what else this newcomer brings to the world of cycling apparel…

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Rivelo winter jackets prove a great fit: style and performance in perfect harmony

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We met the wonderfully talented and energetic Tara, who heads up the Rivelo team, back in November. Over a pint in one of Surbiton’s most welcoming hostelries we heard all about this new British brand’s origins, aims and design direction and cast our eyes over the new Rivelo winter cycling jackets.

Fast-forward one action-packed Christmas period spent travelling 1000 miles around the country, Northern floods, a house purchase and subsequent move… A couple of months later and we are finally ready to commit to paper our thoughts on the Rivelo kit.

We have put the Rivelo winter cycling jackets through their paces several times over the past two months: they have been dealt a fair array of weather (most of it wet). It has been with us on our final commutes from our old flat, and it’s now being worn on recces of our new cycling ‘hood’ in Ashford (Surrey, not Kent). The bib tights even managed an outing on the turbo trainer, though it’s safe to say indoor training does not require thermoroubaix protection for the legs.

So with all that in mind, it’s high time we shared our thoughts on Rivelo’s latest offering.

Matt: the Rivelo Garsdale Jacket

I’ve been riding in the Rivelo Garsdale Jacket for a good few weeks in a range of conditions and with a combination of bibs and jerseys from other manufacturers. It has quickly become a staple in my cycling wardrobe: when the temperature drops or if it threatens rain, it’s off the hanger and on my back.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Garsdale

Performance

At its heart the Rivelo Garsdale cycling jacket is a warm yet breathable, waterproof and windproof winter jacket that should keep you in the saddle no matter what the British weather throws at you.

It is constructed from Schoeller C-Change softshell fabric that delivers a garment that helps keep your core at a comfortable temperature whatever the barometer says. It maintains a good level of air circulation without draughts.

It repels water magnificently, to 10,000mm (I do like to keep those of you waterproof fetishists happy); beading rain simply runs off the jacket – or flies off, depending on how quickly you are riding.

It is also oil and dirt repellent, features that have been thoroughly tested over the weeks we have been riding the Rivelo kit. There has been little that hasn’t just wiped off rather than submitting the Garsdale to another wash cycle.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Garsdale

Appearance

What if cycling jackets could look good off the bike… but not in that “urban cycling” kind of way?

What if cycling wear had edgier design that didn’t compromise its performance?

Well, it can: the Rivelo Garsdale jacket delivers both of those things.

Think stealth…

Leaving performance out the equation for a second, on a purely aesthetic level the Garsdale is a thing of beauty. On the body the fit is exemplary. The detailing, especially in the arms, is superb. The asymmetric finish to the cuffs is an especially neat touch and one that I feel I wouldn’t want to be without on any future jacket – it allows a glove to fit perfectly underneath.

The race fit of the Garsdale jacket is just right for me: not too roomy, but not overly restrictive. I have been wearing a medium: at 6ft and 165lbs, I have a full range of movement across the chest and arms.

 

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Garsdale

There are two small changes I would make to the jacket: one, the front of the jacket could stand to be an inch longer. That would (for me) make it nigh on perfect and would increase its off-bike wearability, although when we are discussing performance cycling apparel, it’s something of a moot point. And two, I would prefer the neck to be a little higher; for a winter jacket, it doesn’t offer a great deal of protection around the neck and an extra half inch would be nice.

Design Features

The Garsdale features under arm venting, which maintains a good level of airflow around the jacket. The seams are fully taped increasing its water resistant capabilities. The arms feature a double cuff system, an elasticated inner cuff, to prevent drafts and water ingress and then a second asymmetric cuff that extends over the wrists.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Garsdale

The back of the jacket houses three deep pockets, one of which has a zipped outer area. There is a beaded reflective vertical stripe to improve visibility from the rear. There is also a front chest zip pocket that provides easy-access storage for keys and cards etc.

All the zips are high quality and thus far have proved snag free. They hold up well in bad weather conditions, too.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Garsdale

Would I buy it?

Without a doubt.

This is quality performance bike wear with an edge. Its points of difference may seem subtle to some, but when you wear this out on actual rides they become glaringly obvious.

Those minor niggles you might have about your other jackets have all been dealt with here. It is cycling apparel that just works and, more to the point, looks damn good doing it. It is well crafted, well designed and the Rivelo winter cycling jackets are really well priced right now – the Garsdale jacket is currently available for £99 at Sport Pursuit.

 

Victoria: Rivelo Larkstone Women’s Jacket

I’ve been testing the Rivelo Women’s Larkstone Jacket, a sleek wind and rain-resistant layer.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Larkstone

Performance

Made from British Porelle Dry membrane fabric, this jacket is high performance. Its fully taped seams contribute to the garment’s 15,000mm waterproof rating – and as any British cyclist knows, this winter has made waterproofing oneself vital.

Despite its highly technical credentials, the Larkstone jacket folds down to a super compact state which could, at a push, be stored in a back pocket if the weather took a turn for the better.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Larkstone

 

Appearance

I may be serious about cycling, but I’m also serious about wanting to look like myself: I don’t want to sacrifice style for performance.

And this jacket doesn’t force you to make that choice: it is such a flattering piece of kit. The cut of Rivelo cycle clothing is true to standard British High Street sizing, unlike continental brands such as Castelli which are notoriously small. Rivelo’s size Medium fits my 5’8”, size 12 build very well. It is clearly designed by someone who understands women’s bodies, and it’s a pleasure to zip this jacket up: it feels really surprisingly elegant for a piece of sportswear.

I love this lustrous shade of navy blue and the red accents are a lovely, classic match. It’s an understated jacket which, while feminine in cut, is not girly or twee in design.

Tara has really managed to combine aesthetics with high performance in the Rivelo Women’s Larkstone Jacket.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Larkstone

 

Design features

There are some clever design features in the Rivelo Women’s Larkstone Jacket. There are no unwelcome breast pockets, which are just awkward on a women’s jacket. I don’t want to fumble about with my boobs to reach my credit card. Instead, there is a neat front pocket by the hipbone to hold a credit card, change, or keys.

My problem with a lot of rain jackets is that their hard shell construction means they are rather baggy to allow movement. This is a rain jacket, but the fabric stretches. Protection from the elements without sacrificing either silhouette or aerodynamics? Perfect.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Larkstone

The sleeves are brilliant. They are long, well fitted without being restrictive, and have a lovely stretchy, soft inner cuff which stops draughts and moisture at the wrist.

I’ve mentioned the top notch fit: the sleek look is helped along by the impeccable flat, fully taped seams which serve the fairly integral function of waterproofing as well as contributing to a streamlined profile.

The jacket only has one back pocket. This puzzled me a bit at first: I’d normally expect at least two, and maybe three. However, it’s actually another nifty feature: the back vent, which is positioned directly above the pocket, allows easy access to your jersey pockets. So, if you take off your jacket, there’s no need to empty all your pockets. Clever! What’s more, the rear pocket has a reflective strip which is convenient positioning: it wasn’t obscured by my rucksack.

Rivelo winter cycling jackets Larkstone
The reflective panel on the rear pocket shines really brightly – and is still visible when I’m wearing my small commuter rucksack.

Any cons?

Now, this is a rain jacket, so of course, it will make you sweat when you’re working hard. There’s no escaping the fact that keeping water out will also keep some moisture in. For that reason, I wouldn’t wear it without a wicking, long sleeved layer underneath because otherwise there is a slightly clammy feeling. (Particularly as I’m an especially sweaty sort). It certainly doesn’t make me feel like a boil in the bag kipper, though, unlike some other lightweight waterproofs I’ve tried. And the areas that typically do come into contact with bare skin have been considered: the neck has been lined with soft fleece for comfort while the double layered cuffs are soft and warm, not cold and damp.

 

Would I buy it?

Yes, absolutely. It’s a smart, well cut jacket which performs brilliantly in wet, windy weather. It’s been particularly good this winter, which has been particularly wet and windy… What’s more, I love the colour. I’ll happily carry it around in my rucksack in case the weather takes a turn for the worse, too – I’m impressed by how lightweight it is.

I’d recommend snapping up one of the Rivelo winter cycling jackets while they’re on offer at £59.99 – I seriously don’t think you’ll find a better jacket for the price, and even at the full RRP of £130 I think it represents great value for money. The Larkstone women’s jacket has won me over.

 

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