Isadore Apparel, a new name in quality cycle clothing with great pedigree
You may not have heard of Isadore, and why should you given that the company is based in Slovakia, but that will surely change once word gets out.
And what is that word? Quality. Since its inception Rapha clothing has been considered to be the very pinnacle of quality cycling kit, and I’ll include myself among those who think that. Well, that was the case until I received a parcel from Isadore, a company set up by twin brothers and professional cyclists, Martin and Peter Velits, whose claim to fame is that they are the only twin brothers to start and finish the Tour de France. Isadore first came into being, as an idea, in late 2011 with the first customer order shipping in early 2013, the delay being down to the aforementioned race commitments.
Once I opened my package from Isadore, I had two identical boxes and that in itself was enough to get me excited. With the exception of cycling shoes, I’ve never purchased cycling kit that is supplied boxed before, it’s always been in a plastic bag. This feature alone should give you an indication of the level of quality the company is aiming at.
Opening one of the boxes revealed a pair of Isadore’s bib shorts. First impressions were simply here’s a pair of six-panel shorts with a nicely shaped synthetic chamois. However, let’s face it, that statement applies to most pairs of bib shorts, but I soon discovered that to be so flippant about these shorts is doing them a great dis-service.
I’ll begin with the two weights of Lycra used in their construction. The two panels on the inside of each leg use thicker Lycra better suited to high wear applications, while for the outer panel thinner Lycra is used that will be cooler on hot days.
Among the features present with the Isadore bib shorts is the use of Schoeller’s coldblack technology. Basically, coldblack is a coating applied to the outer surface of the shorts to stop the black Lycra from absorbing heat from the sun. It seems to be effective, even after riding in strong sunlight in the middle of the day for a couple of hours the shorts still felt cool to touch. While I can’t scientifically test this, I’m told that the coldblack coating also offers UV protection up to UPF30.
As if the coldblack wasn’t enough to keep sweat levels down, the back and the bib sections of the shorts are made from mesh like Lycra, and while the fit of bib shorts is a very personal thing, dependent on body proportions, these shorts fit me perfectly. So much so by the end of my first ride in them I’d forgotten I was wearing bib shorts. Of course, that was helped by the pad.
Shaped and varying in thickness, the Italian-made TMF brand pad even has green credentials being made from recycled plastic bottles. The comfort is doubtless helped by the lack of bulk. When I said I forgot I was wearing bib shorts that same statement applies to off the bike as well as on. I simply didn’t notice the presence of the pad at all.
There’s one last comment I want to make about the shorts and it reflects the attention to detail I’m finding with Isadore kit. The leg grippers feature the Isadore logo in silica to lightly hold your legs and stop the shorts riding up, and that’s just what they do. That same logo is used on the back of each leg too. Here it’s in gloss black, offering a wonderfully understated look against the matt black of the shorts’ legs.
The second piece of kit I received was an Isadore Asymmetric Jersey, which as the name suggests is a two-tone jersey with the two halves offset by a full-length zip, which due to the asymmetrical design, pleases the inner Trekkie in me as I find myself saying things like ‘Captain’s log…’ whenever I wear it.