Winter cycling

Cycling TipsWomen's Cycling

Rediscovering your cycling mojo: how Victoria got her groove back

Cycling Mojo
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I’ve been feeling tremendously weighed down lately. I lost my cycling mojo.

You know how it is: we’re in the depths of winter, and the days are woefully short. The only daylight hours are spent in an office, thinking about how nice it would be to spend some daylight hours outdoors instead… You arrive home from work later than you’d like every day, in the dark, and it’s time to start cooking dinner. While dinner’s cooking, you’re doing the washing; catching up with parents on the phone (who are in danger of thinking you’ve dropped off the face of the earth); dealing with all the paperwork that came through the letterbox that day; tidying up and cleaning the house. And before you know it, you’re eating dinner at nearly 9pm, and can’t wait to collapse on the sofa for an hour in front of the TV. And winter weekends? You spend the whole working week thinking, this weekend, we’ll get out for a good ride.

while you don’t want to call yourself a fair weather cyclist, you realise you’d rather be inside stripping walls and painting ceilings than battling the elements.

Saturday comes.

The weather is atrocious. The wind is howling, it’s pouring with rain… and while you don’t want to call yourself a fair weather cyclist, you look at all the work that needs doing in your new house, and realise you’d rather be inside stripping walls and painting ceilings than battling the elements.

Tomorrow, you think. Sunday will be better.

Sunday comes, and the weather’s still a bit crap. But you know you have to get on your bike. So, you bundle up, and you drag yourself out, to be buffeted by the wind. It’s grey, and a bit dreary, but you flog yourself on. Your nose runs. Your eyes run. Your ears start to ache. And finally you arrive home with a sigh of relief, knowing that you had to do it but thoroughly glad it’s over.

Then, suddenly, the days begin to lengthen. Not much, but enough that you wake up and it’s daylight. And if you can get away from the office at a reasonable time, it’s not quite dark… And your energy levels just start to rise. You wake up a bit earlier, and finally, you look out of the window in the morning and think – I can’t wait to get on my bike today. And you do it. And it’s fabulous. And your cycling mojo has returned.

You’ve got your groove back.

Cycle ClothingReviews

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

Rivelo bib tights collage
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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…

FeaturedWomen's Cycling

I’m tired, I’m stressed and my knee hurts… It’s time to get back on the bike

Bike
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It should be easy to find time for things that are important to us, but it’s amazing how life can get in the way of things.

I want to be cycling every day again, like I did for most of last year. I want to be cycling to work every day, and spending my weekends in the saddle.

So why am I not doing it?

That’s a good question.

I’m tired.

(And I know very well that you’ll be thinking to yourself, exercise will help with that! – You don’t need to tell me. I know that exercising more gives me more energy.)

My right knee is causing me problems.

(And I know that the only way around that is to start cycling regularly again – not pushing it hard, just getting it moving and building up strength. I know.)

My new office isn’t half so conducive to cycling.

There’s nowhere to keep my bikes, apart from by my desk. There’s nowhere to change, apart from in tiny toilet cubicles.

We’re madly busy settling into our new house. We’re still unpacking boxes, and we have renovations and decorating waiting for us.

(Of course, we could still fit in a couple of hours of cycling on Saturday morning before we get stuck into all of those house things…)

But, do you know what?

It mostly comes down to the fact that I’m tired. Tired of short days, high winds, long days in the office and too little time outdoors, tired of the to-do list on my desk at work and bewildered by the to-do list in my personal life.

I feel like I’ve lost my cycling mojo and I need to get it back. Not least because my first time trial event is edging ever nearer… (And I’ll be damned if I’m not going to give it my best).

There are always so many excuses that we make for not doing things – even things that we love, like cycling. But I know the answer to all of this. It’s to stop feeling tired and overwhelmed. And the only way I know how to deal with that?

It’s time to get back on the bike, and to get those addictive, energising endorphins pumping again.

 

My plans for this evening?

I’m going on my bike.

No. More. Excuses.

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Svelte London bring British Heritage to cycling with the Long Sleeved Jersey

The Long Sleeved Heritage Jersey from Svelte London
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It’s no secret that Matt and I are not shy of bold colours and prints when it comes to cyclewear. We embrace floral emblems and jaw dropping hues – but that’s not to say we don’t also appreciate a subtle palette and classic styling.

A subtle palette and classic styling is precisely what cycling clothing brand Svelte London have delivered with their range of Heritage cycling jerseys. Svelte sent us the latest incarnation to road test, the Long Sleeved Heritage Jersey in a wonderfully seasonal shade of dark green.

Made in England, the Heritage range is a three-season jersey for Autumn, Winter and Spring cycling. It contains merino wool for warmth and moisture wicking and has three pockets, including a button down pocket for valuables. The jersey retails at £110.

The muted shade, dull brass button and natural fibres make for an elegant bit of kit that doesn’t scream “WE CYCLED HERE!”

Both Matt and I are wearing size Medium. I won’t lie: it’s a snug fit, and if you’re planning to overindulge at Christmas, you should definitely order a size up. It’s a very athletic fit with extremely narrow arms which looks fantastic – sleek and flattering – but won’t allow much in the way of extra layers underneath. Given the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been experiencing in the South East this winter, that hasn’t been a problem: we’ve both teamed the jersey with the Isadore Apparel sleeveless merino baselayer which has been providing just the right amount of warmth on 10-12 Celsius days. On chillier outings, a gilet over the top has been enough to keep us warm.

The Long Sleeved Heritage Jersey from Svelte London

 

We both love the look of the Heritage jersey. The muted shade, dull brass button and natural fibres make for an elegant bit of kit that doesn’t scream “WE CYCLED HERE!” when you meet friends for a drink in the pub. Worn with cycling jeans rather than tights, it’s a jersey which could even be worn in the office without raising an eyebrow making it a useful addition to the wardrobe.

Both jerseys have been machine washed with a gentle wool detergent at 30 degrees and air dried – they’re spot on post-laundering.

The Long Sleeved Heritage Jersey from Svelte London

 

Svelte London have produced an elegant and useful piece of cyclewear with the Long Sleeved Heritage cycling jersey. We wholeheartedly approve of the styling and functionality, but would recommend going up a size.

You can purchase the jersey from Svelte London for £110.00.

 

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Getting warmer: a review of the Rapha women’s winter collection

Rapha 1
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The Rapha women’s winter collection features some very good looking pieces of kit; the long sleeved cycling jerseys and jackets are particularly smart. I’ve been testing the Rapha Women’s Souplesse Jacket and Women’s Padded Tights in recent weeks.

The Rapha Souplesse women’s jacket is soft and comfortable to wear. It’s lightweight, hugs the body in a very comforting way and doesn’t ride up.

This is my first winter of road cycling and, as a winter creature who longs for cosy knits and boots all year long, I’ve been looking forward to bundling up and putting cold weather kit to the test. But this year, it’s hard. We’re now well into December yet the mercury remains frustratingly high: the challenge isn’t keeping warm, it’s staying dry and upright when high winds are buffeting you from every direction. For those of you reading from cooler climes, it’s been so mild this week that I’ve been able to wear short fingered gloves for commuting… So, while I’m testing winter kit, it’s not being put through its paces in brutally cold conditions and I can’t comment on its effectiveness in subzero temperatures.

The Rapha women’s winter collection features some very good looking pieces of kit; the long sleeved cycling jerseys and jackets are particularly smart.

I’ve cycled in the Rapha Women’s Souplesse Jacket and Women’s Padded Tights four times now, in temperatures ranging from 6 to 12 degrees Celsius. They have also been worn in rain, drizzle and high winds. The jacket has been laundered twice and the tights four times.

Let’s start at the top and work our way down.

 

Rapha Women’s Souplesse Jacket

Style & Design Features

  • Water repellent
  • Form fitting
  • Reflective detailing for visibility at night
  • Zipped pockets on the sleeve and back for credit card and keys
  • Cosy brushed lining for warmth and softness

The Women’s Souplesse Jacket is available in black and pink, or the colour I’m wearing, which is described as blue. I can assure you it is not blue. It is most definitely purple – a lovely strong violet, with a contrasting back in a deep magenta hue.

Rapha Women's Souplesse Jacket

Comfort & Performance

The Rapha Souplesse jacket is beautifully soft and comfortable to wear: it’s lightweight and hugs the body in a very comforting way. The lining is fleecy and feels, for want of a better word, snuggly against bare skin on milder days.

The off-centre zip is sturdy and easy to adjust one-handed if you’re feeling warm as you pedal (as I invariably do).

Rapha Women's Souplesse Jacket

The jacket is fairly water resistant: not one to wear in a torrential downpour, but fine for drizzly outings. It’s breathable and the brushed lining means that it doesn’t feel damp and clammy making it a useful cycling jacket for the recent mild, damp weather.

Overall, the Rapha Souplesse Women’s Jacket is a cracking cut: feminine, flattering and not at all boxy.

It washed well at 30 degrees and dried overnight easily.

 

Fit & Sizing

The Rapha Women’s Souplesse Jacket errs a little on the small side: I’m wearing size Large which is comfortable but comparable in size to a Medium at Isadore Apparel or Rivelo. I’d definitely recommend ordering one size up from your usual.

I can comfortably fit a baselayer and jersey underneath the jacket which has plenty of stretch: it doesn’t feel restrictive with extra layers underneath.The sleeves are very nice: close fitting, plenty long enough and featuring a comfortable contrast cuff which feels and looks good.

Rapha Women's Souplesse Jacket

I would like the jacket to be a little longer in the front: the back is spot on but an extra inch on that front hem would be welcome. I’m not unusually tall at 5’7″ but it feels a little bit skimpy in body length.

Overall, the Rapha Women’s Souplesse Jacket is a cracking cut: feminine, flattering and not at all boxy.

 

To buy, or not to buy?

£190 isn’t cheap, but for a good winter outer layer, you can expect to pay upwards of £150. If we compare it to the well known Castelli Gabba and the lesser known Isadore Apparel Women’s Merino Membrane Softshell Jacket, I would say it is more versatile and comfortable than the former, and more flattering but less robust than the latter.

The Rapha Women’s Souplesse is a beautifully cut, comfortable women’s cycling jacket which is flattering for feminine curves with plenty of well thought out design features. I like it a lot – it makes me feel foxy when I’m out riding, which has to be a good sign. I would say it’s a Buy. (Or one to put on your Christmas list).

  

Rapha Women’s Padded Tights

Style & Design Features

  • High-rise waist with grippy waistband to keep them in place
  • ThermoRoubaix fleece-lined fabric for warmth
  • Back pocket
  • Reflective calf stripes for visibility

The Rapha Women’s Padded Tights come in one colour, black. They’re a really true, solid black and they’re not remotely see-through which is always good. (Nobody needs to see my cellulite rippling through flimsy Lycra.) I do think it’s a shame the tights don’t come in navy like the ¾ version; I’d happily switch it up from time to time.

Rapha women's winter collection

 

 

Comfort & Performance

One of the nicest things about these tights is the absence of any uncomfortable zips around the ankles. Zips to the side hurt my ankle bones and zips at the back hurt my Achilles tendon, so I’m very happy to wear a pair of women’s cycling tights that have a stretchy enough opening that no zips are required.

Rapha Women's Winter Tights

The waistband stays put nice and high thanks to the cut and the silicone grippers, so there’s no danger of a gap appearing between top and bottoms. (Nobody likes a gap between their top and bottom when they’re pedaling).

That said, for those of us with – let’s say – less-than-perfect abs, there is no escaping the fact that waist tights result in muffin top in a way that bib tights never do. I think I will be probably stick to bib tights in the future for a smoother silhouette (at least until the, erm, 100 stomach crunches I’m doing each day take effect….)

(Oh, who am I kidding? My squidgy abdomen is here to stay…)

The chamois pad is very comfortable indeed, and the tights have washed well (four times now, at 30 degrees and air-dried overnight).

The waistband stays put thanks to the high cut and silicone grippers, so there’s no danger of a gap between top and bottoms. (Nobody likes a gap between their top and bottom when they’re pedalling in the cold).

 

To buy, or not to buy?

The fabric is superb. The pad is very comfortable. They sit nicely on the waist, and they don’t have any irritating zips around the ankles. They get a wholehearted thumbs up for quality and comfort.

If you’re a dedicated winter warrior in need of comfort and warmth year round, the Rapha Women’s Winter Tights are a sound purchase – despite the slightly wince-inducing £150 price tag.

You can buy both items from the Rapha.cc website.

 

Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Vamper warms up with Primal’s winter cycling kit

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Victoria

Tested: Primal’s Covi Women’s Black Tights, £65.00 and Lucerne 2nd Layer Jacket, £90.00.

Until now I’ve only cycled in bib shorts and tights, liking the smooth line they create underneath a jersey with a midriff prone to a spot of muffin top. However, every day that I dress in my cycling kit, I invariably have to dash to the loo before leaving the house, and have to strip off my jersey to get my bibs down, then carefully tuck my baselayer in again and pull my jersey back on before I can get on my way. It’s a bit of a rigmarole when you’re trying to get out of the house for work and I’ve toyed with adding waist tights to my commuter cycling wardrobe for versatility.

The tights sit high enough that there’s no danger of a gap between my jersey and waistband – and there’s barely a hint of muffin top.

This month I’ve been testing Primal’s Covi Women’s Black Tights, which retail at £60.00. The tights are a true black with reflective zip detailing at the ankles for added visibility pedalling at night. The brushed back thermal lining is soft and cosy, and while the pad doesn’t appear particularly robust, it’s actually very comfortable for commuting. After four washes it hasn’t moved and has retained its shape and firmness. The tights sit high enough on the waist that there’s no danger of a gap appearing between my jersey and waistband, and it’s also high enough to prevent much midriff overhang. My only criticism of the tights are the zips down the back of the legs which have a tendency to dig in to the Achilles tendon.

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I wore the tights with Primal’s Lucerne 2nd Layer Jacket. The Lucerne sits somewhere between a long sleeved jersey and a jacket. It’s warm, making it comfortable on cool autumn days, but not water resistant. It’s comfortable for the mild November we’ve had this year with just a baselayer underneath.

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Primal sizing is generous. I’m wearing size Medium in both garments and there is plenty of room; the cut is looser than Castelli and Dhb. I’m 5 ft 8″ and generally wear UK size 12.

 

Matt

Tested: Onyx Bib Knickers, £75.00 and Lexicon 2nd Layer Jacket.

It’s been an unusually mild start to the autumn. It may be mid-November, but several days have been too mild enough for full tights and jackets. In this weather, three-quarter bib knickers fit the bill nicely and I’ve been testing Primal’s Onyx bib knickers.

In the mild weather we’ve been experiencing this autumn, three-quarter bib knickers fit the bill nicely.

They’re really comfortable to wear: the fabric is thermal and very soft, and a true jet black which looks sharp. I particularly like the white inverted V detailing on the back of the leg – it’s a nice design feature which would be even better with a reflective finish for added visibility at night. Hopefully Primal will incorporate this in the future.

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The bibs are nicely designed with broad straps across the shoulders; they sit well. And, crucially, the chamois pad is comfortable. It hasn’t been tested on any long rides, but for commuting it definitely fits the bill. At £75 these bib knickers represent good value for money for a comfortable and nicely designed product.

I’ve been wearing the Onyx bib knickers with the Lexicon 2nd Layer Jacket. As Victoria found with the Lucerne, it falls somewhere between a jersey and a jacket. For damp British climes, it isn’t versatile enough for everyday wear; it’s warm, but wouldn’t replace a Gabba-style outerlayer because it isn’t waterproof or windproof. The sizing is extremely generous: I’m wearing size Medium which in other brands is a snug fit. (I’m 6ft tall and usually wear a 38″ chest/32″ waist). It would probably be worth ordering a size smaller than your usual.

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Cycle ClothingReviews

Inexpensive but highly effective: Planet X Merino Arm Warmers

Merino Arm WarmersAt just £5.00, these Planet X Merino Arm Warmers are a steal - and they're brilliant
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Has anyone else noticed that, although it’s nearly October, there’s still rather a dearth of (nice) long sleeved cycling jerseys out there? Fear not. As Autumn swoops in and you’re feeling the chill in the mornings, you could do a lot worse than order a pair of these Merino Arm Warmers from Planet X. They’re an absolute steal at only £3.99 in the sale (and at full price, they’re still considerably cheaper than most).

I’m 5 ft 7″ and size 12. I ordered them in size Small/Medium and they fit perfectly. The wool is soft and not itchy (and I have quite sensitive skin). They don’t slide down, at all, despite having no silicone strips. Quite how they stay in place so well beats me. Some kind of magic. Full marks.

The Planet X Merino Seamless Arm Warmers are a hit: my arms are warm and my bank account didn't suffer...
The Planet X Merino Seamless Arm Warmers are a hit: my arms are warm and my bank account didn’t suffer…
Cycle ClothingReviewsWomen's Cycling

Vamper reflects on the Proviz Reflect360+ women’s jacket

Proviz 360+The reflective capabilities of the Proviz 360+ are second to none.
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When it comes to wearable reflectives, the launch of the Proviz REFLECT360+ range is game changing. In daylight the garments are silvery grey; fairly unremarkable, you might think. But in direct light – a camera flash, a headlight – jeepers! The transformation renders even the most cynical speechless.

In direct light, the Proviz REFLECT360+ glows like a beacon. It reminds me of chemistry lessons where we would study the bright white light of burning magnesium. The Proviz 360+ is positively dazzling in headlights.

With the nights drawing in, I’ve found myself in a highly reflective mood lately.

I’ve been reflecting on the dangers of cycling as the evenings darken; that worry, as someone who is both a cyclist and a motorist, of just how many things compete for our attention on the road and how we owe it to one another to make journeys as easy as possible, by ensuring we can be seen.

The Proviz REFLECT 360+ reminds me of chemistry lessons observing the bright white light of burning magnesium.

And I’ve been looking at reflectives to add to my cycling wardrobe.

You’re unlikely to ever see me in hi-vis yellow – I want to be safe and I want to be visible, but I don’t want to be garish.

Bright enough to startle the deer in Richmond Park? Quite possibly.
Bright enough to startle the deer in Richmond Park? Yes. Visible to motorists at night? Definitely.

I want motorists to be able to see me in low light on the awkward roads of London with their hit-and-miss cycle paths and narrow lanes. I’m not one of those militant cyclists who thinks I shouldn’t have to make myself seen because I have the right to be on the road: we’re all fallible. I believe cyclists have a duty to make themselves visible in the same way that car drivers have a duty to turn on their headlights when it goes dark.

I’ve been reflecting on the dangers of cycling as the evenings darken; that worry, as someone who is both a cyclist and a motorist, of just how many things compete for our attention on the road.

But what you want to know is how it actually performs, right?

Chest pockets - handy for work passes, debit cards and tissues.
Chest pockets – handy for work passes, debit cards and tissues.

Comfort & Performance

I’m a sweaty sort of person. I’m generally reluctant to cycle in any sort of water resistant clothing because I worry it will steam my torso until it resembles a dim sum, but I can safely say I did not feel like a steamed dumpling after my 10 mile commute in the REFLECT360+ jacket.

The fabric is lightweight and surprisingly breathable, and the jacket has a ventilation flap across the shoulders to help keep you cool. What’s more, it has zippered under arm ventilation which you can unzip for extra air flow.

Sweaty cyclists of the world rejoice!

There are just two downsides: the first is that the sleeves are unlined, unlike the body of the jacket, so don’t feel very nice against bare skin – a bit clammy on the arms. For my evening ride home I wore merino arm warmers which solved the problem. I doubt I’ll be wearing the jacket with bare arms over the coming months, so it’s a minor gripe. The second is that although the reflective fabric is incredible in the dark under headlights, in low light the grey is very un-visible, so while it’s a great jacket for night time riding, it’s not so good for wearing on dull greys or at dusk.

Freedom of movement is excellent thanks to the redesigned raglan sleeves. A large back pocket coupled with chest pockets for debit cards and tissues mean you can keep your commuting essentials handy.

On the bike, the jacket is very comfortable. It doesn’t pull across the shoulders, it’s nice and long, it keeps water out and the fleecy collar feels lovely.

Testing out the reflective capabilities of the 360+ in Richmond Park. Whatever will the deer think?

I usually cycle at around 6.30pm. At the moment, that means I set off while it’s light, so the reflective element doesn’t really come in to its own. In a few weeks’ time, it’ll be a different story and I’m really looking forward to standing out on dark rides home.

 

Fit & Sizing

The REFLECT360+ women’s jacket is generously sized – particularly in the skimpy world of cycling apparel – so there’s no need to order a size up.

I’m 5’7” and a curvy size 12 in non-cycling clothes.

If I’m buying Castelli I always order size large. In DHB, I’ll always go for size 14 (which is still quite snug). But the size 14 Proviz 360+ jacket is plenty big enough – in fact, I could probably wear a 12 comfortably. But as winter draws in and there are more layers to fit underneath a jacket, I don’t mind having a bit of extra room. The sleeves are rather long, as you can see from the photograph; however, the Velcro straps around the wrists allow you to cinch them higher up if need be. (It’s worth noting that the sleeve length increases by 2cm for each size up in the range.)

The 360+ is cut to allow freedom of movement while cycling. It doesn't pull across the shoulders and it's long enough to keep your bum dry.
The 360+ is cut to allow freedom of movement while cycling. It doesn’t pull across the shoulders and it’s long enough to keep your bum dry.

 

The REFLECT360+ is long enough to cover my bum and generously cut to accommodate winter layers.
The REFLECT360+ is long enough to cover my bum and generously cut to accommodate winter layers.

Value for money

The Proviz REFLECT 360+ retails at £109.99. For a garment that provides good water resistance and incredible visibility at night, we think it offers great value for anyone who will be cycling in the dark this winter.

 

Reviewer stats

 Height: 172cm

Weight: 69kg

Measurements: 94-74-97

Cycling activity: 80-100 miles per week, in moderate British conditions.