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Review: Gore Power Windstopper Jersey, Bib Shorts and Oxygen Active Shell Jacket

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As we boldly venture in the autumn/winter season I have been testing three of Gore’s seasonal offerings designed to keep you in the saddle as the temperature drops and the moisture level increases. Each of the three pieces reviews is currently available from Sigma Sport and is on sale with 25% off.

Gore Power Windstopper Soft Shell Short Sleeve Jersey

Being a British cyclist, if I only rode when the weather was good, I wouldn’t get to ride very much at all. It’s a good thing, then, that there are some innovative cyclewear brands developing garment technology to help cyclists combat the elements.

Gore Bike Wear have created the Power Windstopper Soft Shell Short Sleeve Jersey for those difficult British weather conditions. Fully lined with Gore’s Windstopper material, the Power Windstopper jersey is both fully windproof and water resistant. This is going to be incredibly useful as autumn sets in.

Gore Power Windstopper

I have ridden in the jersey for a number of weeks now and it is really coming into its own now the weather has turned. As we still clung on to the end of summer I found it a little too warm when the temperature was in the mid teens, but it has certain found a solid place in my wardrobe now the mercury has dropped.

It is a piece that layers well and allied to a good set of arm warmers and base layer will see you in the saddle comfortably this autumn.

Gore Power Windstopper

While the blue colour-way variant probably won’t set your world on fire, the Gore Power Windstopper jersey isn’t short on practical details.

It has three rear pockets which provide plenty of storage for everything you need to carry (Lezyne tool pouch, wallet, iPhone, keys, snacks and a bike pump) and it has reflective elements which are useful when you’re commuting home at night as the light fades. You can see from the image above how bright the reflective detailing is. The jersey also features a close fit collar to stop drips and draughts creeping in, and a good gripper strip at the hem to keep everything in place.

Gore Bike Wear Power Bib Short

Made from a mixture of polyamide and elastane to provide a good level of compression for medium distance rides, these Gore Bike Wear Power Bib Shorts have become a go-to bib shorts when the weather isn’t too chilly. Gore’s Power Men seat insert is highly breathable and features a preformed windproof front to keep your valuables both well ventilated and protected.

The mesh bib tunnel design ensures that the seams are lifted away from the skin, which reduces friction and stops material from digging in when riding. With pressure directed toward the hems and shoulders, the bib short is kept in place whether climbing, sprinting or descending. This keeps the Power Men’s seat insert in place, too.

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Reflective logos on the back and side of the bib short make for increased visibility in poorly lit conditions.

Gore Power Windstopper

The full retail price of the Gore Power Windstopper Soft Shell Short Sleeve Jersey is £124.99 and it is currently on offer at Sigma Sport with 25% off. The Power Bib Shorts retail at £99.99 and also have 25% off at Sigma Sport now.

Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Active Shell Light Jacket

As we move firmly into autumn/winter season and all the interesting weather that will bring, the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen Windstopper Active Shell Light Jacket is rapidly becoming a vital part of my daily cycling arsenal. It is a brilliantly engineered lightweight jacket, that is substantial enough to shelter you from some really crappy downpours, yet compact enough to fit into your back pocket with ease.

Gore Power Windstopper

Constructed from windproof and water resistant Active Windstopper fabric it feels really well crafted and the fit is exemplary, absolutely no flapping about here. The jacket borders on race-fit, which is a welcome change from the bin-bagesque attempts a rainwear that are often seen.  The dropped tail keeps you protected from wheel spray while the full length zip with an underflap allows for customisable ventilation whilst also making sure wind does not penetrate through the zip.

Gore’s material technology is not only protective against the elements, it is also highly effective at regulating body temperature, allowing your skin to breath and for moisture to be transported away comfortably.

Reflective logos on the sides, sleeves, front and back aid your visibility to others out on the road and the two dynamic colour options ensure you turn heads wherever you ride.

Overall this has become one of my favourite pieces of the year (and that reminds me – I must do a round up of the best cycling kit of 2016!) and currently on offer at Sigma Sport with 25% at £112.49. I would definitely recommend purchasing it.

Cycle ClothingReviews

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.

FeaturedNews

Sigma Sport launches pop-up cycling clearance store in Kingston

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Leading triathlon & pro-cycling retailer, Sigma Sport, has opened a two-week pop-up clearance store in Kingston-upon-Thames, which opened its doors last Friday.

New clearance stock will be added daily to ensure discounts across the biggest brands in cycling and triathlon, including vastly reduced prices on bikes & frames, components, accessories and clothing.

Cyclists looking for their next performance gain at an attractive price should be sure not to miss this exclusive two-week event taking place less than a 30-minute journey from Waterloo Train Station.

Previous clearance events held by Sigma Sport have proven to be hugely popular with shoppers, with interest from new-comers to the sport and cycling professionals alike.

More details about the Sigma Sport Clearance Store can be found on the Sigma Sport website or by telephone on +44 020 8549 5888.

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Discounts on clothing from brands such as GORE, Castelli and Assos will ensure that going into the winter months cyclists will be well protected from the elements.
Sigma Sport stock key leading brands including Specialized, Cannondale, Cervelo & Trek.
Sigma Sport stock key leading brands including Specialized, Cannondale, Cervelo & Trek.
Cycle ClothingWomen's Cycling

The quest continues: Victoria shares her pick of cool women’s cycling kits

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Women’s cycling is going from strength to strength and it’s heartening to see more apparel designers launching expanded collections for female cyclists. I’m sure I’m not alone, though, in feeling that women’s cycling clothing is all too often still a bit of an afterthought. If you’re struggling to find kit as cool as you are, read on, because I’ve made it my mission to share all the cool women’s cycling kits I can find. You’ll find more good stuff here and here.

And don’t forget that the coolest kit of 2016, the Vamper.cc kit, is available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Register your interest here!

 

Hors catégorie socks – This is Cambridge

cool women's cycling kits

These glorious socks from This is Cambridge are just fah-bu-lous. I ordered a pair to coordinate with my pink Bont shoes… The socks feature Meryl Skinlife® which is a high performance yarn containing antibacterial properties which maintain the natural balance of the skin, reducing odours. What’s more, they look incredibly cool with a 15cm cuff, making them ideal for cyclists seeking a performance sock with top notch style. They’re £13.50.

 

Vision Cycling Jersey – Polaris Bikewear

cool women's cycling kits

We’ll be publishing a review of this soon, but in the meantime, I can tell you that it’s great. The Vision Jersey is a women’s specific performance jersey made from a fast wicking fabric to keep you dry. Polaris has a co-ordinating pair of waist shorts (as regular readers know, not usually my preferred choice – but so far, I’m liking them…) so the half zip on the jersey is no problem. There is plenty of storage, too, with three rear pockets including a zipped security pocket. If this aqua blue shade ain’t your bag, it also comes in fuchsia pink and regal purple. I really, really like this jersey. It’s available for £64.99.

 

Women’s Wind Cheater/Core Gilet in WaterCOLOUR – The Pedla

cool women's cycling kits

Ok, ok. Y’all know I’m a sucker for a bold floral print. What can I say – I must be the Mary Berry of the cycling world… But this women’s specific wind cheater gilet from The Pedla is gorgeous and utilises an advanced Italian WINDTEX windproof membrane for performance. It is designed with front shield-style paneling to insulate and protect you from wind and light rain while the rear panelling uses quick-drying microfibre material which is soft, breathable and moisture wicking. It’s a beautiful way to add a dash of summertime to your cycling wardrobe. It’s priced at AUD $196.

 

Women’s Bodyline SS Slipstream Jersey – Stolen Goat

cool women's cycling kits

It doesn’t always have to be floral for me to like it. This Slipstream jersey from Stolen Goat makes it into my list of cool women’s cycling kits because it’s super chic and the colours rock. I like it a lot. You can order it for £60.

 

Aloha Jersey – Babicicool women's cycling kits

We’re back to florals! But this time, tropical ones. The Aloha jersey features a beautifully designed Hawaiian tropical pattern. Illustrated with amazing detail and constructed from high performance textiles, Babici expects this to be its most popular jersey of 2016. I’m sorely tempted. It’s priced at AUD $190.

 

Body Geometry Gel Women’s Glove – Specialized

cool women's cycling kits

I know what you’re thinking. Why is this in the list of cool women’s cycling kits? It isn’t a very exciting piece of kit. Where’s the bold design? What’s so cool about it? Fine, I admit it: they’re not going to set your world on fire. But take it from a women’s cycling glove afficionado: these are excellent summer cycling mitts. The padding is second to none and the fuchsia detailing is bolder than it looks in pictures. I bought a pair in Sigma Sport a couple of weeks ago, and I’m really pleased with them. Very good gloves indeed. You can buy them for £25.00.

 

Polka Dot Blue Women’s Cycling Gloves – Stolen Goat
cool women's cycling kits

You need a bolder glove? You want more than performance – you want pizzazz? Well, these mitts from Stolen Goat have got it. Super duper polka dots (bang on trend, if you care) and aero styling so that nothing can hold you back from that Queen of the Mountain. CUTE. And yours for £29.50.

 

Women Summer Jersey Checked Yellow – La Passione

cool women's cycling kits

“Every peloton has a leader, but not every peloton has a stylish leader.” Too true, La Passione! I was torn over which colourway to show you from the new La Passione range. I finally decided that yellow jerseys for women are few and far between, and this shade is so deliciously sunny and summery that it deserves a place in the list. I also like this description from the brand: the jersey “is not only perfectly suited for any female Tour de France winner, but equally for anyone with style and a winning attitude in cycling.” Sold, to the lady in Lycra. £53.00.

 

Boels Dolmans SL Pro Women’s Short Sleeve Jersey – Specialized 

cool women's cycling kits

I saw a cyclist wearing this kit in Richmond Park last weekend and it looked cool AF. The colours are amazing and I love how unapologetically bold it is. Super modern and super cool. The VaporRize knit fabric construction is ultra-soft and breathable and, combined with Coldblack fabric, it’s a great jersey for hot days out on the road. Yours for £90 from Sigma Sport.

 

Empire Women’s Road Shoe – Giro (at Sigma Sport)

Coolest women's cycling kit

Finally – we all know how important the right shoes are, and no list of cool women’s cycling kits would be complete without some good footwear. These are not cheap. But they are pretty. Glossy black with that petrol-hued logo and vibrant turquoise laces, the carbon-soled Empire Women’s Road Shoe by Giro is hot to trot. Love them. They are priced at £229.95