Apparel Reviews

SealSkinz Waterproof Thin Socklet

Keeping feet dry in unforgiving British weather is no easy thing, but after an unprecedented dry winter, Cyclo has finally been able to take to the saddle in some proper foul conditions to put the SealSkinz Waterproof Thin Socklet through its paces. The things we do for you…


Made with a fine Merino wool lining with excellent wicking properties the socklet certainly eliminates sweaty or clammy feet, despite its middle waterproof membrane keeping more metrological moisture on the outside – the only slightly disconcerting aspect being that it crackles like a crisp bag when you slip it on. But once in place (crackle no longer audible) it’s one of the most comfortable socks we have tested; initial concerns about the seam – which runs down the middle of the sole from toe to heel proved unfounded even against the inner pressure of rigid ride shoes and the elasticated instep provided a good degree of support.


On the ride these undeniably kept the feet bone dry from both spray and torrential conditions and those that prefer a longer sock can also look to either the ankle- or mid-length option, the latter also available in a thicker version for all-season cycling. Easy to see why SealSkinz appeal to even top-flight cyclists with Bruno Reverberi, Manager of Colnago-CSF Inox, stating: ‘We use SealSkinz products because they offer the best protection from harsh weather conditions. The Italian winter weather is very unpredictable and we need the best kit available to make sure that our riders are comfortable and focused on the task in hand…’


Priced at £22 for the socklet and rising to £30 for the mid and available in sizes from UK 3 to 14 (EU 36-49). These do their job so well it almost makes you pray for rain.


Apparel Reviews

Sugoi 2012 Evolution Full Finger Gloves

British weather eh? Blazing March sunshine, followed my Arctic blasts and a rain-washed April. And Cyclo’s point? You never know when you’re going to need a good pair of gloves and at a mid-range price of £29.99 the 2012 Sugoi Evolution Full Finger Glove might just be the pair you should opt for. The word ‘Sugoi’ is a Japanese term for ‘Incredible’ and whilst this might be over egging things just a little, these are a really fully featured (as well as fully fingered) pair of gloves. The padding system, here swishly called ‘V-Control’ padding, is excellent throughout with particular emphasis on foam padding across the palms too reduce ride vibration and well considered pads to protect the ulnar nerve – a feature that seems to be becoming increasingly wide-spread.


Being full-fingered means the Evolutions should see you through three seasons with plenty of meshing to help air-flow and temperature control and a terry thumb, bonded to keep its shape, useful for wiping away a drop or two or perspiration. The combination of synthetic, vented, leather palms, gel detailing and a silicone Sugoi logo on the index and middle (i.e. breaking) fingers make for superb grip even in the wettest conditions and with a good choice of sizes – from x-small to x-x-large – getting close to a second-skin experience is as simple as following the sizing guidelines when you buy.


Black, red or white, each with a hint of 3M Scotchlite, may be your only colours choices, but at this price and with this much on offer in terms of tech-spec it would be churlish to complain.


Apparel Reviews

B.Sock ProRacingSock

CompresSport have been making steady inroads in the world of compression technology race kit over the last couple of years. Increasingly a brand seen at triathlon and particularly Ironman events throughout Europe and beyond (the likes Chrissie Wellington and Tim Berkel sport them), the initial range – including quad and calf guards – has begun to grow and now includes their first foray into cycling specific kit in the form of their B.Sock ProRacingSocks. Whilst the name might seem a little cumbersome the product itself is an excellent blend of tech and style that builds on the brands reputation.


Light and comfortable in the extreme the B.Sock holds, indeed almost cradles, the foot whilst providing a well judged degree of compression that delivers posture-holding support and improved circulation – which works to advance performance and, arguably, speed recovery post-ride. Despite the wide toe piece, the B.Sock sits comfortably with the range of shoes that Cyclo put through their paces.


The ‘3D dot’ technology that covers sections of the sock isn’t just for show either; the dimples are intended to work as tiny shock-absorbers and whilst it’s been tough to either prove or disprove the idea in testing, feet have certainly felt relatively fresh after some good long rides with little or no ache. The circulation of air is also improved by their inclusion and the further addition of a silver ion treatment to the fabric holds bacteria at bay if things do get sweaty.


With a two year guarantee and a price tag of £15 these inarguably represent good value for money and their range of sizes (all the way down to a UK Women’s 2.5) is a bonus. More information and online retail at



Jensen Jerseys

With the winter weather still dull (positively Arctic in places) Cyclo was delighted to come across a new range of cycle jerseys that put a smile on our faces and a little warmth in our hearts. Designed by new outfit Jensen Cycling – a sister company to sportswear makers Milano Pro Sport – the kit comprises a range of unusual, humorous designs from Crash Test Dummy to a head-turning and convincing trompe l’oeil Bikini  Top; we road-tested out favourite, the Cardio (a sort of glimpse inside, pumping heart affair), to put the tech not just the look through its paces.


With each available in a dozen or so size and long/short sleeve combinations getting the right fit and look was easy and comfort was never in question. A decent length at the back, but nothing to excessively flappy, ensured warm kidneys and everything stayed right in place without any unwanted upwards riding thanks to a close fitting elasticated bottom that proved to be just on the correct side of snug. A generous amount of zip on the front allows for easy on-the-peddle ventilation (trust us, not that we needed any on our frigid test ride) and twin back pockets will pack in more than enough snackage for pretty much any sportive.


Crucially – although again far from necessary on our February exploits – the jerseys are 100% COOLMAX® fabric, which, for those who have been off-world, is the go-to moisture management system in sportswear, that helps wick moisture (sweat) away from the skin and regulate temperature on the ride.


If we had to make a ‘gun-at-the-head criticism’ of any kind it would be that a little inbuilt reflective always goes a long way safety-wise, although in fairness these are not the sort of jerseys you are that likely to be out in at night. So that aside, what we have with the Jensens is a cool (in all senses), comfortable and highly original line in cycle jerseys – the only quandary they have left Cyclo in is which one we want to try on next…


Priced at £42.95, further information (including details of bespoke club designs) and online retail at:



Bespoked Bristol

Bespoke BristolIf you’re thinking of treating yourself to a little boutique beauty, or just fancy a nose around at the best of what UK crafts has to offer, then the date for your diary should be June 11 and 12 and your destination Bristol. The inaugural Bespoked Bristol is the first event of its kind in the country and is setting out to showcase the wealth of talent from both independent makers and small-scale manufacturers of bikes, components, kits and accessories. Names to conjure with at the show include Swrve for a fresh approach to beautiful apparel, Hammoon Cycles (Dorset-based handmade bikes), Enigma Titanium with a wealth of world-beating lightweight bike and component experience, Brian Rourke whose framesets have been synonymous with excellence for almost 4 decades, Welsh specialists Paulus Quiros and dozens more…


The show takes place at Paintworks part of Bristol’s “Creative Quarter”; tickets are £5 on the door (with accompanied children under 14 free) or buy online for an additional £1 administration fee. A limited offer for 2 for 1 tickets offer is available until May; full details available at:


Apparel Reviews

Nike Dri-Fit Knee Highs

Nike Dry FitEver thought about adding a little compression recovery to your training rides or races? There’s certainly plenty of evidence to support (forgive the expression) the fact that a little tight squeeze goes a long way both in terms of promoting performance and aiding faster recuperation, but with pro kit often flirting with the upper reaches of extortionate Cyclo was pleased to find a budget option to bring you. At just £12.00 the Nike Dri-Fit Knee High socks are as far from a thing of beauty as they are from being technologically advanced, but crucially what they do deliver is the basic compression dished up by even the most expensive of alternatives. Anatomically designed for left/right foot they are missing the arch support of compression socks like those made by Compressport (£35.00) but do have a little lateral squeeze along the length of the outer plantar to add to their beneficial purpose.


We certainly didn’t find these comfortable enough to actually saddle up in – nor in fairness are they particularly designed to be – but as post-race/exercise options they are hard to beat for the money. Apart from cases where you are clearly paying for a brand name (though Nike’s pretty big, right?) there is always an element of getting what you pay for with compression kit and these socks are never going to replicate the excellence of techie high-end solutions. But if you want to add a bargain recovery element to your kit bag (Cyclo recons you should) then this could really be the place to start. Slipping a pair on after your training brings comfort and stability to fatigued muscles all for a price you could barely get a good pair of non-compression socks for.