Last winter, I reviewed NoPinz’s indoor cycling specific SubZero skinsuit and bibshort to much acclaim, garments that proved to be game-changing in a relatively small niche in the cycling apparel segment.
However, the cycling apparel market in general is nothing short of a jungle, with a myriad of brand’s all touting a performance advantage over the other. But, in reality, shy of some unique styling queues and embellishments, there’s very little that distinguishes one label from the other.
So, when NoPinz asked me to review its Pro 1 jersey and bibshort, given the level of performance and sophistication of the British brand’s SubZero pieces, I was confident that I was in for some cycling togs that were designed for the road, not the cafe.
The Pro 1 jersey features a mix of Pista, Chrono and NoPinz’s own Speedscalez fabrics that are strategically positioned along key areas of the jersey, ensuring optimal comfort and breathability, along with a slippery aerodynamic signature.
Other highlights include laser-cut sleeves with low profile silicone hems, three deep rear pockets and top and bottom zipper guards.
The Pro 1 bibshort comprises the same wind-cheating Speedscalez material throughout, plus breathable lightweight mesh straps, a Teosport armadillo endurance chamois and laser-cut hems with low profile silicone grippers on the legs, topped-off with heat applied graphics for a premium look.
So, with all of these gubbins, how did the Pro 1 jersey and bibshort perform?
Starting with fit, the Pro 1 jersey is shorter-cropped, ideal for eliminating excess material, especially for cyclists with shorter torsos, while the sleeves have an extended length, contouring extremities that are otherwise prone to aerodynamic drag.
Needless to say, the overall fit of the jersey is race tight. Curiously though, the materials afford a fair amount of stretch, ruling out what I feared would be a strict diet of pocket lint and water in order to fit into it.
Regarding the Pro 1 bibshort, the fit is very similar. However, the leg length is a bit longer than usual. Again, the goal is to increase airflow over parts of the body suspect to drag.
Out on the road, the jersey and bibshort proved to be stellar, providing a tight, highly-breathable, aerodynamic fit that remained composed and close to the body at all times, especially when the mercury spiked, while my wedding tackle rejoiced in the premium quality chamois pad, providing an ideal balance between comfort and moisture management, even during the longest of rides.
Ok, but aren’t these qualities characteristic of most high-end cycling apparel? The short answer is no.
In past experiences, I found a lot of so-called performance apparel failed in its ability to provide adequate ventilation and maintain its structure during demanding riding conditions, resulting in soggy materials that drooped from the body, while the chamois pad turned out to be a bed of nails over time.
In the end, it takes a scientific approach, not just a stylistic one, in order to achieve a quantifiable edge in the cycling apparel industry, something NoPinz has proven to have the know-how for. And, the brand nailed it with its Pro 1 jersey and bibshort.
The Pro 1 jersey sells for £79.99, which is available in a range of sizes from XS to XXL, in Black, Orange, Teal and White, while the Pro 1 bibshort is offered in the same sizes that fetches £94.99.
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