French online clothing and accessory company Ekoi proudly work with Pro team AG2R and provide accessories to Quickstep, including Marcel Kittel. I recently visited their stand at the Cycle Show in Birmingham and was taken through their range for Winter 2017.
Elegance Bibtights and Jacket
The star of their line up has to be the Elegance bibtights and jacket. This combination has loads of premium features and the plain black with either gold or chrome logos on is perfect for stylish Winter riding. Jacket and bibtights have a waterproof fabric treatment. The outfit is designed to be worn down to zero degrees and is specifically designed to protect against the rain. Sounds good to me.
The neck of the Elegance jacket is nice and high and has a soft edge to stop water getting down your back. There’s a full zip and two ventilation zips on the front. Around the back are two large pockets and a zipped central pocket, all of which are water-proof. The arms have a double cuff and should get over or under most gloves.
The Elegance bibtights are what really caught my attention. They also have a waterproof fabric treatment for your comfort during the lovely Winter weather. Firstly you’ll notice the legs have no zippers. They are neoprene around the calf so you can put overshoes on without having a zip pressing into your leg. I wonder if the neoprene would mean that overshoes will seal better and not need tucking under the bibtights unless you had really heavy rain and that’s definitely something I’ll be testing when I receive my review set.
The other interesting feature is the seat pad. It’s actually integrated. It’s not sewn into the seat of the tights, but rather the material of the tights is sewn around the pad. I was told this removes a layer of material, so reduces friction. It’ll be interesting to see if it works, and especially if it works on Winter clothing which usually tends to be thicker to keep out the cold. The straps are single layer laser cut fabric and will sit flat with no unnecessary stitching. The outfit looked great on the dummy at the show so I’m hoping it looks as good on me.
At the cheaper end of the Winter range is the Perfolinea. There’s a big choice of bright neon orange, green or yellow colours to get you spotted in the Winter gloom (they even come with a LED light that goes in a pouch at the back, or you can stick with the more conservative red or white versions that are the same price but don’t have a LED light. Windtex fabric combined with a super Roubaix lycra means the jacket and bibtights here are also recommended down to freezing point. There’s more traditional zippers on the legs of the bibtights. It’s a good-looking kit and the quality and fit are as good as similar priced kit from Gore, Sportful and Alé.
We reviewed the previous version of the Aerocomp Thermal suit here. The main improvement is that the suit now has a water-repellent treatment and comes in a single colour option that’s a bit more understated. It’s not as versatile for coffee stops as having separates, but there’s no straps to dig into your shoulders. The zip up front means that, for men at least, toilet stops are still possible and it’s very reasonably priced compared to similar one-piece offerings from other brands.
Heated Overshoes and Gloves
I’ve still not seen any cycling company showing something similar in their line-up, but I used to have something similar that connected to my motorcycle battery. These battery powered, heated items are a great idea and look really well thought out. We looked at them in detail here. If you get cold hands and feet then look no further.
Look out for our review on these items as soon as I’ve had a chance to ride them. I’m actually looking forward to the winter now!
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