We've been noticing that there is a bit of a chill in the air as of late. That does mean that winter is slowly rolling closer, but the flipside is that there is suddenly a whole new realm of kit to explore.
Sometimes snuggling up in tights and long sleeves can feel quite pleasant - and that was definitely the case when I pulled on this set from ski, bike and cross country clothing brand Odlo.
Odlo launched in 1946, producing training tights for ice-skating athletes, with the motto: “Always make sure you’re one step ahead."
A lot has happened for Odlo in the last seventy years, and they now produce underwear with super clever silver ion odor-reducing fabric, and a wide range of cycling kit. How does it perform?
Chill Bike Tights
The Chill tights are made from an incredibly stretchy, high density softshell material with Odlo Logic Windproofing and a water resistant treatment.
Odlo have used 51 per cent polyamide, 33 per cent polyester and 16 per cent elastane for their fabric mix. The high elastane content explains the close fit that is afforded by the extra stretch, which makes these a pleasure to pull on.
The inside is constructed from a brushed roubaix like material that feels soft against the skin, and there's definitely enough warmth there to take you right through to winter.
My only reservation was that the thick material might prove too warming on a more autumnal day - so I wore these for a high intensity cyclocross ride to test them out when the going got tough. I was impressed with the level of breathability and didn't find myself overheating on the climbs.
The chamois used is a Veloce +70 pad - it's light weight and felt perfectly comfortable to me over the course of a few hours, with no rubbing seams to complain about.
These are waist tights, so it's important that the band around the stomach is snug enough to ensure they don't fall down (causing the pad to shift out of position), without digging in.
Odlo have built in a stretchy waistband, but when I first pulled the tights on, I did find them slipping a little - and constantly wanted to pull them right up to keep the pad in place. Once moving I managed to forget all about this, which is a good sign, but I would rather the waistband was higher.
My only other criticism would be with a slight shortfall in the length. I'm around 5"6, and though I did like the lack of over complicated zips or loops on the bottom of the tights, I found they stopped a bit short and I had a little peak of white sock sticking out the bottom.
This said, the kit is designed for road use, and come winter I would probably team these with overshoes, solving the issue.
Telegraphe Women's Long Sleeve Jersey
This jersey takes monochrome to the max with a cool asymmetrical design in which the left sleeve is white and the right is black. This feels pretty stylish, though I wasn't too sure about the white line around the waist.
The fabric is 100 per cent polyester, guaranteeing quick drying, and features what Odlo call 'soft structure effect', making it incredibly breathable.
The material is super soft, and stretches to fit snuggly, without hugging too close. It is very light, and you would probably want a gilet on a cold day, but I did find myself forgetting all about it whenever I wore it - so it's certainly not a candidate for overheating.
The party trick from Odlo is the use of silver ions, woven into the fabric, to prevent reproduction of bacteria (which results in nasty whiffs). I "tested" this by cramming the jersey into my bag after a ride, and leaving it there for two days - sure enough it smelt clean.
Soulor Vest / Gilet
This gilet is named after the Col du Solour - a Pyreneesian pass I had the pleasure of conquering this summer. The colour scheme complements the rest of the kit beautifully and it certainly feels stylish.
The gilet features stretchy, mesh panels made from a polyester/Lycra mix. This allows the vest to follow the contours of the body, limiting any flappiness. The mesh also adds a little extra breathability, which I found notable when working hard.
The fabric is windproof and fairly heavy weight for a gilet. It definitely did the job in terms of keeping out the chill when autumn decided to do its worst in the early mornings.
Odlo have added a water-repellent treatment. I didn't get the chance to try this in a shower (alas), but a good sprinkle applied to the surface revealed a reassuring beading on the surface.
Though the fabric is fairly sturdy and provides plenty of protection against the elements, the gilet still rolls up into a ball small enough to slip into a pocket when the weather warms up.
Chill Tights: £90 ((XS - XL - Size Tested: Small)
Telegraphe Long Sleeved Jersey: £90 (XS - XL - Size Tested: X-Small)
Soulor Vest: £70 (XS - XL - Size Tested: Small)
We're enjoying the new season - check out these eight reasons cycling in autumn is awesome.