With many budding new cycling brands hitting the market, it's no surprise that there are plenty of them we've yet to hear about. I first came across Funkier clothing at the Cycle Show earlier this year, and at a glance, I was impressed. Soft and thick thermal fabrics, attractive non-girly designs, I needed a closer inspection... and a ride.
What started out as a women's fashion label in the US, Funkier soon evolved into a cycling specific brand with avid cyclists throughout their departments. A company who employees passionate riders can ensure their products are fit for purpose, competitive and stylish.
Despite all this, Funkier are still relatively unknown in the UK markets. This may be owing to a number of factors, so we chose to do some extensive product testing of their winter range in order to eliminate one possibility.
Finding the motivation to go out and cycle in these cold wintery days can be tough, but having the right kit to keep you warm and cosy, certainly helps. Armed with thermal tights and wind-stopping fabrics, we took to the rolling roads with Funkier.
Funkier Orbetello Thermesse Bibtights
Personally, I do love bibtights in the winter. They are warm, comfortable and they prevent that annoying chill from creeping up your back.
At first inspection, Funkier's Orbetello thermesse bibtights feel great in the hands. They are soft to the touch, with brushed rouboux lining proving thermal properties on the inside, and smooth Lycra on the outside.
Every brand has a different solution for calls of nature. We've tried them all: halter necks, magnet clasps, hook & eye fastenings and even a zipped "bum flap" system, but Funkier offered us a new double snap clasp to play with.
It's actually really simple. There's a snap clasp on the front AND the back of the bibtights. You push in to release, and snap back in to fasten. After trying out varying methods, the best way to have a wee, was to unclip the back (which was low enough to actually reach!), then unclip the front.
You're essentially left with a rather fetching necklace, but you can pull down your tights, do you business, and pull them back up again. With the slack on the neck-piece, fasten the back first, then the front. Et voila! No faffing around with jerseys, no removal of helmet, no problem using with gloves either.
Reflective detailing acts and a safety feature when riding in low light conditions, and the panel construction of the bibtights provides additional anti-wear areas around the knees. The ankles have silicone cuffs to keep the tights in place, and adjustable zips at the back of the leg for fit.
If you're not keen on wearing bibtights, and you don't want any nature wee faffs, then they do offer the same thermals as a tight version only. Available here for £60.
Funkier Atheni Jersey
To compliment the super warm bibtights, Funkier have the Atheni long-sleeve winter jersey. It's bright and bold with black and orange panels, with geometric designs down the side.
The jersey is soft and brushed on the inside which feels great against the skin. There are three cargo pockets in the rear: 2 deep ones and one zipped waterproof stash. The sleeve cuffs are elasticated and size long enough to slip nicely over your gloves when riding.
For a winter jersey, I would have expected a higher collar line to help keep the wind and chill out. Nothing that a neck warmer can't fix though.
The Atheni jersey from Funkier is available here for £40.
Funkier Tacona Softshell Jacket
To finish off the ensemble is the Tacona softshell jacket. It's wind-proof, water resistant and totally breathable, making it ideal for chilly winter rides.
The panels of the garment are highly reflective, and when light up by a light source, they can clearly be seen from a distance. Another main feature of this jacket is the ventilation which has been expertly incorporated to circulate airflow, without having to remove the jacket entirely.
There's a large back compartment secured with a zip, and front side pocket for casual use too. There are small features which I really appreciate with this jacket, like the zip tabs being long enough and suitable to grab when wearing gloves, and the long vents in the arms which really help cool you down on the climbs.
The Tacona jacket is available here for £90.
After riding on the roads and off the roads in Funkier's winter kit, I can't seem to work out why it's not more present in the UK.
Their kit is not only reasonably priced, but it's designed and constructed with high-quality fabrics as well. There's nothing super girly about the colour and designs either, but the flattering cuts and snug fit gives it that essential feminine charm.
The bibtights are really warm to ride in, and I found them to be a great barrier of protection against the nipping chill. I do love their double clasp fastening system for being simple and easy to use, without any of the usual faff. I do think these clasps would benefit from being magnetised though, just to give you a small helping hand when fastening back up.
The jersey is warm and comfortable, providing enough stretch to really move with the body, and without riding or bunching up in places. As mentioned previously, the collar could really do with being a little more winter appropriate.
I've been really impressed with the winter road cycling kit from Funkier. For a brand still largely unknown in the UK, they're hugely popular in the US and mainland Europe. It's exciting to see what else will come from them in the future.
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