One way to really fend off the seasonal winter blues is to combat the chill factor with super cosy warm cycling wear. Fortunately, there's been a surge of new thermal performance wear for women to ride in, no matter the weather.
We know that keeping warm on the bike is a big factor for most riders. So with our ongoing efforts to keep you motivated this month, we've been reviewing some seriously warm kit to give you that little boost to get on the saddle.
British brand, Altura, are definitely a company that caught our interest. Their women's cycling range is not only attractive and well constructed, but it's also designed by female cyclists, for female cyclists. The Altura women are so dedicated to producing quality cycle wear that they head out on weekly rides with one another to assess kit and develop new ideas.
We've been out riding in Altura's Synchro road kit recently, racking up the miles on the colder days and assessing its thermal claims. So how did we get on?
Altura Synchro Progel 3/4 Bibtights
For the not-too-bad weather rides and short bursts of intense training, the 3/4 bibtights from Altura are ideal.
These bibtights have breathable mesh straps and body to improve airflow, and release heat as you ride. The Progel inserts are comfortable on the sit bones, and maintain their support even on the longer adventures out.
There's some reflective tabs and piping for keeping you visible in low-light conditions, and the silicone leg cuffs keep them firmly in place.
They're thermal, breathable and stretchy which is exactly what you need to keep the cold at bay and pedal it out.
Sizes: UK8 - UK 16
If you're like me, and prefer those extra few inches of length, then Altura do offer a full leg bibtight option as well.
Both the full and 3/4er bibtights are developed with the same Progel and Thermo technology to ensure the rider is warm and regulated throughout.
Altura's female specific cut ensures pad placement is optimal with maximum comfort. The straps are soft on the shoulders as well, and the multi-panel seams are flush with the fabric to reduce irritation. Available here for £70
Altura Sportive Team Jersey
First off, super thumbs up for Altura for the non-obvious female jersey. It's blue and black with a semi-fitting cut, which makes it a nice change from the super skin tight pink and teal alternatives - although Altura do offer a pink version too!
The Sportive jersey uses thermosuede fabrics for warming insulation and assisted core temperature regulation. It's warm, well equipped with 3 rear cargo pockets and kitted out with subtle reflective details.
This jersey is really warm to ride in, especially as its semi-fit cut allows ample space for a baselayer underneath. I fell in love with the design, as it has a certain retro vibe in the pattern and colourways.
Colours: Aqua/Black - Blue/Black - Pink/Black
Sizes: UK 8 - UK 18
Altura Synchro Waterproof Jacket
Having a lightweight and packable waterproof is definitely a winter riding essential. You just never know when you may get caught out in a shower, or need a little extra something for warmth.
The Synchro waterproof jacket is both water and windrpoof and rolls away to be neatly stowed away in your rear jersey pocket.
Colours: Blue/Black and Pink/Black
Sizes: UK 8 - UK 18
Another winter essential is a baselayer, and I got on really well with Altura's. It's constructed with thermoregulation technology and performance fit, which is great. It fits like a second skin, and is both warming and breathable. It's available here for £50.
I've been out riding in the full Altura kit, wearing the full length bibtights rather than the 3/4 ones. This kit is really comfortable to ride in. From top to bottom, I felt warm, supported and mobile when pedalling.
The bibtights are soft to the skin and very cosy to wear on cold days, although when there's a biting wind in the air, you can feel it gently pierce through.
I particularly love the Sportive jersey for its comfort, fit and style. It ticks all the boxes for me as a winter cycling garment, and will no doubt remain an essential throughout winter and into the chilly spring mornings too.
When out riding in Altura's Synchro road kit, it's evident that this has been designed with women in mind, by women who cycle. Careful thought has been given to the fit and style, and yet bibtight body remains fairly traditional in that no crazy easy-to-pee techniques have been incorporated.
Another great thing about the Altura winter range is its reasonable pricing structure. I think that £70 for full-lenght bibtights is very reasonable in comparison with other similar products on the market, and the Sportive jersey at £50 doesn't bust the bank either.
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