Lusso are the oldest existing cycle clothing manufacturer in the UK. They use top quality European sports fabrics and pads, with all garments designed and made by a staff of 14 at their factory in Radcliffe, Manchester.
Lusso was founded in 1982 by John Harrison, who used to ride International cycling events in Europe and the USA before studying fabric technology and design, and Dorothy Harrison, who had been a sample machinist on stretch fabrics for an elite M&S test team.
Dorothy’s understanding of the correct stitch length and thread for optimum comfort and range of movement has greatly influenced the brand’s quality feel. The women’s wear range features bibs, tights and jerseys, plus leg and arm warmers specifically cut and sized for women.
As my memories of Manchester mainly feature rain, it seems fitting that a pair of bib tights made there should be designed to repel water. They wont keep you dry in a full-on downpour (there’s not much that will!), but drizzle or road spray sits on top of the fabric rather than sinking in, keeping misery-making dampness at bay.
The stretch fabric is also thermal and brushed inside for softness and warmth and is very efficient at temperature regulation: it keeps the chill off at the start of the ride, but never feels too warm on the hills.
The Lusso Layla Repel Bib Tights are full-length tights with stirrups: I really appreciate the cosy ankle coverage that the stirrups afford, especially in the first few chilly kilometres of a spring ride. There are two wide, comfortable straps that sit over your breasts and shoulders, and a high back for warmth. The front zip is quite chunky which makes it easier to operate with gloves on or cold fingers.
On the minus side, there is very little reflective detailing to help make you noticeable on the road, and the fit doesn’t offer a racy compression effect (although some would say this is a good thing!).
The Lusso Layla Repel Bib Tights are available in sizes XS – XL. I’m a size 10/5’10” and tested a size S which fitted me really well. They are available with a very efficient and women’s specific Vuelta pad (£90), or pad-free (£80).
Verdict: Water repellent with quality and technology you could pay twice as much for elsewhere. And made in Manchester (did I mention that?).
Buy them here from Lusso for £80!
Reviewed by @adelemitchell