Quest for the perfect cycling kit

I had a couple people ask me about my opinion on the pros and cons of cycling kits and the different companies. It came to me that– hey, why not make a blog post all about that?, so here we are.

Let’s just cut to the chase, by the way, I won’t be sweet with this one, as it is very truthfully written.

Pactimo

(I wasn’t wearing the bibs here, but my other teammates were)
this was probably one of the very first companies I tried out for one of my first race teams. I found a lot of issues with this one. The sleeves were too short, kind of that typical “girly cut” in terms of sizing which I despise, jersey wasn’t long enough length wise, and the worst part of all and the most important part of all — is the bad chamois pad. It was a thick like material as well, the entire kit. There was just too many things I didn’t dig about this one. Although it FELT as a whole professionally made.

JL Velo

So, let start off by saying their customer service department messed up or something happened behind-the-scenes because it took the company way way way too long to ship the entire race teams kits out. Every other team had their kits already & the season was already halfway done, yet our team still do not have ours, it was a very ridiculous and people were getting pissed, rightfully so. The apparel finally shipped out and I have to say I was very pleasantly happy with it, so much so that I slightly forgot about the whole mess up of the kit stuff (almost). I kept telling everyone it fit me like a glove, like Spanx ;). The only issue I had again was the damn chamois pad! Seems to be only issue with the female’s pad, as it was some kind of an eco-pad somehow recycled or something I don’t even know but it was not good. Again, I LOVED this kit and it hugged me in alllll the right places (ladiez you know what I’m sayin’). The material was fabulous and very breathable, perfect for summer riding. Great extra zipper pocket.

Zaavy (now Fast Freddy Apparel)- OH boy, Zaavy Zaavy Zaavy. This is one of those companies that is either a hit or miss, in terms of getting your stuff in a normal timely manner AND no mess ups with the printing, things lining up, and color matching. Honestly their mens line fit me way better than the womens, go figure? Their mens pad was great, really loved it. But the length of the females top was too short. Loads of sizing issues. Not the best of the best, but not really the worst company. I honestly can’t rave too much on this company. I am drawing a blank.

Primal

The pad on this one was awesome, and overall the kit looked snazzy. It didn’t fit me in ‘all the right ways’, and had no slimming factor, at least not like JL Velo. It had unique printing/fabric qualities to it, almost honeycomb? Some gripes: the 2 stripes on the bottom leg were printed backwards. *cringe*. As the designer for the kit, this really upset me. I informed them of this, and they seemingly fixed it for the rest of the actual orders, thank goodness. EXCEPT, I went to their booth at US Pro Challenge, and guess which kit they had on display? Mine? Yes, but the MISPRINTED ONE. Sigh. I hate that people would look at that and be like “hrm, well that doesn’t look right” and assume the designer didn’t know what they were doing, i.e. me. It reflects on me. Not to mention they didn’t even offer to replace mine with the goof, again, upsetting. I know for a fact Zaavy would’ve replaced it without question, which is again another reason Zaavy is great in that aspect.

Side note, their ‘club’ jerseys are not to my liking. Now, I am more of a racer when it comes to cycling, not really a club type person so I guess I have no room to speak here….but what is it about all these companies that do not know how to properly fit the club jerseys? They’re always too short, baggy as hell, and really unflattering in general. I know they’re suppose to be baggier and loose fitting, but dang. Anyways I digress…

Jakroo

(on the left)

This was all around one of the best kits I had gotten at the time (before Verge & JL Velo). No complaints here really. It survived the Death Ride, the ultimate tester, the chamois was approved. Only complaint I guess is that it wasn’t very breathable for hot days. Did I mention this one wins the zipper award? When it is flipped up you’re able to pull the Jersey to one side and it starts to unzip (which is great for climbing) & only requires  one hand. When it’s down it is set in the lock position. No other company has done this and I’m not sure why because I found it to be so neat and helpful!

Voler

middle pack, yellow and black kits

This one was just..I won’t even go there (ok I will). Bad. It felt so outdated, technically wise, if that makes sense. Again, I guess I can’t judge this one either because this was an old kit and I have no idea what year it was from. I don’t know how good their new line is.

Verge

husband ordered the same kit

Okay, the winning of all winnings that could possibly win all the things, would be Verge. Everything is fabulous about this and it all felt high-tech in terms of the way it was constructed. The silicon grippers, the print quality, just the way it fit me very nice and snug. It’s also one of those things you wear that makes you feel like a freakin’ badass…and what more could you want out of a cycling kit?

So that’s that, I hope you enjoyed my reviews! Have you worn any of these companies? What do you think? Which do you like best? Let me know in the comments below by clicking this doohickey: Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 5.39.20 PM

*I was not paid by any company for these reviews nor was I provided any kits free of charge, except the Primal kit as I won an online design contest they provided to the public. If wish to have your brand reviewed by me feel free to email me to discuss further.

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