When I first saw this Le Col jersey and shorts, my first response was 'Le who'? So I went on line to do some research. It turns out Yanto Barker - international level cyclist - is the driving force behind Le Col, supported by one of Britain's top female triathletes, Vanessa Raw as Brand Ambassador. Le Col has a simple ethos; high quality, technical products and rather than developing a massive range of products they have focussed on getting key pieces just right.
The jersey is made with Dry-Tex fabric, which consists of breathable, soft and stretchy antibacterial fibres - the lightweight, vented fabric on the arms is great for warmer rides too. There are 2 pockets on the back of the jersey which are ideal for snacks and energy gels, plus a handy zip pocket for keys and money. I tested the medium jersey, which overall was a good fit, although it was on the short side. I liked the look of the jersey so much I was hoping that this wouldn't be an issue when I got on the bike!
The shorts are a fairly standard design lycra short, with a couple of stylish twists - Le Col branded elasticated bands on each leg and also on the back of the shorts (see pictures). They are also designed to sit high on the waist - almost up to the belly button - with a wide, comfortable lycra band. They fit even higher at the back to keep the lower back nice and warm. The label says that the gel chamois is non allergenic, PVC and latex free; it is quite chunky though so how you get on with these shorts would depend on how you like your chamois.
Both the jersey and the shorts have small reflective strips on the back that line up nicely when worn together.
So how did the kit hold up when put to the test? Pretty well overall. The material on both the shorts and jersey was really comfortable and super soft on the skin. The wide, high band on the shorts meant that there was no painful waistband digging in. The chamois was comfortable and there was no nasty chaffing, although I've not had chance to test it out on a really long ride yet! I prefer a slimmer chamois in my road shorts and this one did catch on my saddle a couple of times when I was out riding - this is only a minor gripe though and I'm sure it's something I'll get used to. The one thing I did find a bit uncomfortable though were the elasticated bands on the legs - the elastic seemed to 'pinch' my legs after a while.
The jersey was also very comfortable to ride in; the moisture wicking fabric did just that and it dried out quickly too. The zip pocket also proved to be a super useful place to stow my keys, which I'm always paranoid about losing! The only problem with the jersey, and for me it was a fairly big one....is the back of the jersey just isn't long enough - I couldn't get used to it riding up so high and I kept pulling it down when I was riding. I am fairly tall (5'8") but have a short body and longer legs so I don't think that my height is the issue. Based on the positioning of the Le Col branding on the back of the shorts and the extra high back on the shorts I'm guessing that the jersey is supposed to sit higher, but for me, a jersey is most comfortable when it sits around my lower waist...and stays there.
RRP £79.99, available from Le Col.
Comfortable to wear
Elasticated bands on the legs felt tight
Chunky chamois - although this may be a personal thing.
RRP £79.99, available from Le Col.
Fabric is really soft and draws way moisture
Handy zip pocket
Too short for me to ride in comfortably
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