Apparel Featured Reviews

Quoc Pham Hardcourt Mid

Quoc Pham Hardcourt MidCyclo have long been fans of Quoc Pham, purveyors of ‘classically-inspired, hand-lasted cycling shoes’, but despite trying a few varieties, we’ve never tested a pair of the Bike Polo inspired ‘Hardcourt’. We decided to put that right…


Known for SPD compatible classic leather shoes the Hardcourt is the company’s only departure into Nylon. The Hardcourt comes in ‘Low’ and ‘Mid’ models, with the Mid offering a higher, desert boot-like, shape and the Low more easily passing for a rather smart pair of minimalist trainers. We road tested the Quoc Pham Hardcourt Mid for a week using various SPD equipped bikes.


Quoc Pham Hardcourt MidThe company claims that it provides ‘style, comfort and functionality in ways that allow cyclists to seamlessly transition from cycle to sidewalk to office.’ In the case of the Hardcourt that holds true; the black on black styling will go with pretty much anything you’re wearing. Off the bike the heavily recessed soles mean you soon forget you are wearing anything but a normal, very comfortable, pair of boots.


Fitting the SPD clips on the sole was effortless with everything you need supplied in nice orange cloth ‘after care’ bag. The reflective strips on the heel are a nice touch, although they came a little scuffed out of the box.


However, it’s on the bike that they really shine. That’s down to two factors – the fit and the sole. The Mid offers seven lace eyelets so that you can pull the body of the shoe as tight as you like and it stays that way; the padding on the upper panels add to the comfort levels. The hardened mid-sole showed zero flex, and gave a secure and effortless pedal action.


Quoc Pham Hardcourt MidThe shoe softened and ‘broke in’ after just a few days constant wear, stayed snug, was wind resistant but stayed cool even with prolonged use. However, bear in mind that this boot is water ‘resistant’ not waterproof. In heavy rain water will seep through the tight weave and soak your feet.


The price of £159 is a little higher than competitors such as Chrome and DZR although neither produces an SPD shoe that directly compares.


So, if you are looking for a casual, low maintenance, boot for sports or urban hops the Quoc Pham Hardcourt Mid does the job in a comfortable, functional way. Rumour has it that each pair takes a day to make. Judging by the quality of materials and attention to detail that wouldn’t surprise us.


Further detail and online purchase of the Hardcourt and the full range of Quoc Pham shoes can be had at

Apparel Reviews

Peloton Jersey

Peloton JerseyWe love it when people take matters into their own hands and that’s exactly what the founders of Peloton did when they couldn’t find anything on the market that fitted their desired cycling jersey criteria of ‘practical and classically stylish.’


Creating their own range – currently with four colour-way designs for men and one for women – using 100% BioActive Polyester Coolmax fabric, which works hard at wicking away the sweat of the ride, the results are highly pleasing.


The fit is slim and snug but the fabric moves freely and doesn’t restrict movement in the least, and the flat-lock seams add to the overall comfort. The high collar is an unusual design feature, more at home on a casual tee but actually, it could be argued, adding to protection from the sun and certainly helping with the general aesthetics that set this range apart from the pack.


The zip runs full length, so plenty of bare-chested (for the men?) opportunities if the weather really demands but if we were being picky a ‘zipper garage’ at the top would really improve comfort, especially as these jerseys zip all the way to the top of the tall collar and there’s a tendency to feel it dig in here. Cuffs and waist are elasticated, with the latter featuring rubberised hem to stop the jersey from sliding up.


The standout feature for us – beyond the rather natty design/colours – is the pocket configuration at the back. There are two really generous volume mesh pockets for gels, bars and the like, plus a further two large zipped pockets sitting over the back of those for keys, phones and other valuables. It’s a lot of storage and we were pleased to find that, even when packed to the max, the Peloton jersey remained exceptionally comfortable.


Despite the zip quality not being quite there yet, Peloton have done a really credible job of bringing to market a product that combines style with substance.


The Peloton jerseys retail at £64.99 just about the mark we would expect for the more bespoke look and feel of apparel of this quality. Further details and online purchase at

Apparel Featured Reviews

Quoc Pham Urbanite Shoes

Quoc PhamQuoc Pham, purveyors of ‘classically-inspired, hand-lasted cycling shoes’, first came to our attention when they launched with the ‘fixed’ touring shoe around five years ago. Although a beautiful piece of kit the need for retro toe-clips made for limited appeal.


Since then the company has expanded the range to include SPD compatible shoes including the Urbanite. A classic and clean looking shoe with leather uppers and a stiff rubber sole, the Urbanite comes in ‘Low’ and ‘Mid’ models, with the Mid offering a higher, desert boot-like, shape and the Low more easily passing for a rather smart pair of sneakers.


We road tested the Quoc Pham Urbanite Low for a week using various SPD equipped bikes.


The company claims that by using leather the shoe softens, and moulds to fit with use. Even after just a week it was clear that this was no exaggeration. The hardened mid-sole gave a secure and effortless pedal action and was perfect for the average commuter ride. Encountering wet, cold, warm and windy weather it was clear that the Urbanite was snug and wind resistant but stayed cool in the heat and once off the bike we quickly forgot they were anything but a normal, high-quality, pair of shoes.


Quoc PhamApart from the clean styling the attention to detail also impresses. Fitting the SPD clips on the sole was effortless and the reflective strip on the heel is a nice touch. The addition of an elastic strip on the tongue makes sure laces stay away from moving parts.


We tested the Quoc Pham Urbanite Low in tan but black and brown are also available if you’re looking to colour coordinate your classic, retro look. The upper is Leather with a leather lining and the shoes also feature a reinforcement mess inner layer, lace closures and 3M reflective heel stripes. The sole is moulded rubber with a full-length hardened mid sole, and a wide base for extra comfort, whilst the sockliner is made from natural cork. They weigh in at 450g (size 43.)


Quoc PhamIf you are looking for an all-day shoe for commuting the Quoc Pham Urbanite does the job in a comfortable, understated way that undeniably adds a dash of style to the ride.


The price of £169 compares favourably with competitors such as the Giro Republic LX and the Dromarti Sportivo.


Further detail and online purchase of the Urbanite and the full range of Quoc Pham shoes at


You can follow Quoc Pham on Facebook and Twitter too.

Apparel Featured Reviews

Adidas adiZero Jersey

Adidas adiZero JerseyLaunched with a storm of publicity and a nifty viral ad campaign the Adidas adiZero Jersey is promoted as the lightest cycling jersey on the market. Whilst it’s unbelievably light, does it really stack up and can they honestly justify £120 price tag for it?


Okay, so it’s all about the weight and at just 65g the Adidas adiZero Jersey is around half the weight of a traditional cycling top – that’s impressive to say the least and the adverts made much of this by floating it from a helium balloon. In fact even that visually striking image doesn’t prepare you for the first time you pick it up – it’s like Tolkien’s Mithril. Adidas are understandably coy about what the lightweight mesh material actually is but if you can imagine a cross between nanotechnology Lycra and tissue paper you’re pretty much there.


The back and underarm sides are even thinner mesh for added ventilation whilst rigidity and form comes from the tri-stripe print down either side and the single heaviest feature is the zip. Comfort, it probably goes without saying, is outstanding – mostly because it’s like wearing nothing at all.


Despite the gossamer construction the Adidas adiZero Jersey provides adequate wind protection and arguably enough coverage for a summer ride, although it’s unlikely to make an appearance from the kit cupboard beyond say the end of August. One downside of the material (apart from it’s eye-watering cost) is that it’s ability to wick sweat falls short; there’s just not enough material between skin and air to drawn moisture away and have it blow dry in good time.


Of course cyclists are obsessed with weight (and probably to a greater degree cake) so the Adidas adiZero Jersey will undoubtedly find its market amongst the carbon fetishists. In the weight department it is impressive in every way imaginable and style-wise it ticks the boxes in an equally minimalist, stripped back fashion but beyond height of summer use and perhaps velodrome training and racing the price tag feels tough to defend.


That said, we’re still glad to own one…


The Adidas adiZero Jersey retails at £120

Apparel Reviews

Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket

Proviz REFLECT360There are any number of cycling jackets available with a decent amount of reflectives built in – would you even consider one without? – but the Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket really takes things to a whole other level.
Available in both men’s and women’s cuts this arguably isn’t the style of jacket you might train in for speed, but its on-bike uses – from commute to general ride-wear and even MTB or pre-race warmth – are undeniable and, because it’s constructed with a 100% reflective outer-shell it lights up like a beacon.
The REFLECT360 incorporates multiple vents with the underarm/side vents zippered for regulating temperature and when, zipped to the max, the jacket provides credible wind-stopping properties. There’s an inner mesh that holds the shell away from the body, preventing potential clamminess, and two generous, zipped, chest pockets for essentials in addition to a zipped lumbar pocket large enough for route details or maps.
Although initial impressions are of bulk, the 600g jacket feels less weighty on than we had imagined, and the level of comfort impressed. The collar is soft-lined, the cuffs Velcro adjusted with a numb-finger-friendly rubberised tab and the waist fitted left and right with bungee cords for fine-tuning. Even without the exceptional reflective abilities – like Tron on a bike – the REFLECT360 is a more than decent cycling jacket; factor the added safety value in and it quite literally shines.
The Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket retails at a not-unreasonable £79.99 – almost half the price of the similarly reflective, but obviously sleeveless, Nike Flash Gilet – which despite being largely targeted at runners has good application for bike safety too.
Further details and online purchase of the Proviz REFLECT360 Cycling Jacket at
Follow Proviz on facebook andTwitter.


Tribesports Performance Cycling Jersey

tribesports_comp_mainIt’s no surprise to hear that Cyclo gets to look at a huge amount of apparel, but when we take delivery of anything from Tribesports we always know we’re in for a treat, because Tribesports is a company that likes to do things just that little bit differently.


Now in full production and shipping to over 180 countries, Tribesports was kick-started by, well, Kickstarter with 400% of the original funding goal bringing in almost £120,000 for the fledgling design company. And from the start the company has used ‘community-power’ for far more than mere fund raising, empowering their ‘tribe’ to encourage feedback that both influences product and helps cut costs that can be passed back in savings to their customers.


All of this would count for little if their apparel wasn’t up to scratch, but it certainly is and the Tribesports Performance Cycling Jersey – available in both men’s and women’s– is an excellent case in point. It balances aesthetics and performance exceptionally well with a longer cut to the back, secured by a rear hem silicon grip strip to stop it riding up, and zoned ventilation under-arm to the sides for good temperature control.


Attention to detail comes in the form of a ‘zip locker’ at the upper end of the generous 22cm front zip so there’s no neck-snagging (technical term?) or discomfort, and also from the excellent flatlock seams. There’s reflective detailing too and two lumbar pockets for gels, bars and other necessities, plus an additional, zipped pocket for keys and essentials.


Comfort is really noticeable with the Tribesports Jersey; the 12% Spandex, 88% Polyester fabric mix moves well on the bike, wicks and breathes admirably and also features an antibacterial treatment to help minimise ‘bike stink’ (another technical term?) and prolong the apparel shelf life. In all, it hasn’t taken long for this to become one of Cyclo’s favourite cycling jerseys.


The Tribesports Performance Cycling Jersey is available for men in black/yellow in sizes S-XXL and women charcoal/yellow in sizes XS-XL, both at £48.00. Full details and online purchase at


You can follow Tribesports on Twitter and facebook.

Apparel Featured Reviews

Halo Cycling Cap

Halo Cycling CapThe Halo products – various nifty anti-sweat headbands and bandanas – have been available in the UK for a few years now, but the latest addition of a dedicated Halo Cycling Cap grabbed Cyclo’s attention. Exceptionally lightweight at just 40g the Halo Cycling Cap fits comfortably under any helmet with the stretch fabric mesh upper adding little or no bulk and breathing well on the ride. The lower band, also with good stretch, can be worn either above or over the ears – the latter offering a little added comfort to winter rides no doubt.


But, of course, it’s the hotter summer months where the Halo is likely to come into its own. The Dryline fabric quickly absorbs sweat and the cap features a short-peak visor that is flexible enough so that, if not required, it can be flipped upwards. With nice attention to detail the peak’s upper is white to reflect, whilst the underside is black to reduce glare – unless you choose the all-black version…


So far, so seen it all before? The unique selling point of the Halo Cycling Cap – indeed all of the Halo products – is the patented SweatBlock Seal inside the front of the band that channels sweat backwards and away from the face and, more crucially, the eyes. The SweatBlock Seal might just look like a thin rubber strip (fundamentally it is) but it serves its function without fail.


At £29.95 the Halo Cycling Cap isn’t cheap, but it’s well made, practical and a credible alternative to constantly wiping your forearm across your eyes. Further details and online purchase at


Apparel Featured Reviews

Fairwear Shirts

Fairwear ShirtsOh, those eternal bike commuter quandaries: smart, casual or sweaty? A quick change and a blast of deodorant in the lift? How to rock that crumpled look, once you’ve unfurled the shirt from the backpack? A possible solution comes in the form of Fairwear apparel from Philadelphia-based emerging designer Louis Pollack who makes performance dress shirts with moisture wicking fabrics.


Commenting on his inspiration, Pollack says: ‘Technically part of downtown Center City, Fairmount is its own self-functioning neighborhood centered around one of the oldest and largest urban parks in America. With Philadelphia’s skyline firmly planted in the background, Fairmount serves as the gateway for all things outdoors. I wanted to capture Fairmount Park’s uniquely balanced environment, and share it with enthusiasts everywhere.’


At first glance – actually even with closer inspection – it’s hard to tell that the items in the collection are anything but ‘ordinary’, but made from COOLMAX tech fabric with a 60% cotton mix they go a long way towards providing  fantastic commuter-friendly shirts. Even with a backpack on the shirt we had on test, the Spruce Stripe since you ask, remained cool and fresh even on what passed for a scorching day in the UK.


Actually describing the shirts as ‘ordinary’ looking in any way does a disservice to Fairwear and to Pollack. There are some great looking shirts in the COOLMAX range from the dapper Chestnut Chambray to the more traditionally classic Rittenhouse dress shirt or the short-sleeved Girard. Making apparel that works hard on the bike and looks great off of it is no mean feat, but Fairwear look to have managed it with some style. The design, cut and fit are all of the highest quality and with the Fairwear shirts retailing at $85 (around £50) they’re exceptionally well priced.


Regrettably there are no UK retailers as yet, but you can contact them direct via the website for order enquiries.