Initially drawn to the extra coverage the Impact Free sports bra offered, after years of frustration zipping my cycling jerseys up to the neck so as not to flash any pedestrians, it quickly became apparent this bra was not designed for cycling.
Gosh, where to start.
First off, the combination of high neckline, being made from 91% cotton and having non-encapsulated cups proved to be a recipe for disaster. Pedalling hard on the climbs, due to the lack of cup separation, the skin-on-skin contact between the boobs created a build up of moisture that had no where to escape. Once hot, the bra remained damp for the rest of the day, leaving me to turn into a shivering wreck while descending. It just wasn’t pleasant.
The armholes weren’t sufficiently deep enough to allow for unrestrictive movement. Aware of a constant rub while holding my handlebars, I wasn’t surprised to see marks appear at the front of my armpits.
The bra fastens with both Velcro and three hooks. The Velcro covers the hooks, but began to curl after a couple of wears, snagging my rather expensive cycling jersey. Furthermore, after wearing a backpack while cycling, the pressure of the bag on the curled Velcro left me with sores. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this if you wear a hydration pack.
On a plus side, because I have a small back, the extra-wide under band offered unbeatable comfort. The width allowed the pressure of supporting my chest to be spread across a greater area and I wasn’t left with a painful ring mark around my torso that so many sports bras leave behind.
Unfortunately, the overall feel was disappointing, the cut just didn’t offer the level of support I expected and the quality was not up to scratch, after just a couple of handwashes and extended wears on the bike, the material around the logo on the band started to rip.
Finally, to be fair to Royce, this is one of the only bras I could find that went all the way up to a UK cup size K, perhaps they could just update their marketing to reflect that it’s only suitable for low-impact sports, yoga, walking etc.