Words: Hannah Troop
So far the first outing was going well. The next test was to see how I felt riding in it as our summer monsoon skies opened in full force.
Rivelo are a fairly small British brand offering high quality kit for roadies. Most of the clothing has an understated, heritage vibe - but they're all about offering performance where it matters, working with premium manufacturers to bring their designs to life.
One minor glitch when shopping with Rivelo is that though all the kit is available to see on their site, to actually buy it you need to click through to SportPursuit.Com. There are positives and negatives here. Positive: The prices are usually much cheaper than the RRP given on site. Negative: You have to give them your email address and wade through the websites offerings to be reunited with the product you came to buy.
When opening the box and picking out the jersey (Holbury in burgundy) the first observation was the softness of the fabric. It felt so soft I didn’t want to put it down.
On first touch the bibs’ (Tideswell in black) material felt thick and good quality; like they would be comfy, and the rubber gripper in the legs looked suffice. One initial worry was the leg length looked short, almost hot-pant, but I guess they say never judge a book by its cover. The other detail I noticed was how prominent the chamois pad was. It looked quite bulky. Again, I tried to go with the never judge a book by its cover approach.
The first day I rode out in this jersey, we covered around 70km, so not super long but a good 3 hours of wear. The jersey fitted well, felt snug and soft, so soft. The pockets are well sized but not like you’ve saddlebags sewn onto your back. There’s a handy zipper pocket for keys too. The jersey was a good length, I sometimes find jerseys can be a bit short in the body for my 5ft8 frame, but this was a perfect fit.
Thankfully my inner Christina Aguilera didn’t have to make an appearance, hot-pants they were not. The primary fabric is a 70 denier circular knit Invista Lycra - and my legs felt supported wrapped up in the comfortably compressive construction.
The upper, which instead of straps is a fitted bodice with zipper up the front; felt comfortable and remained so for the duration of the ride. Two different fabrics are used on the body, with greater breathability at the back where sweat tends to accumulate. I didn’t experience any rubbing or chaffing even when absolutely soaked to the bone once the heavens opened.
The chamois pad as first observed is thick, and really firm - but I have to say throughout the ride if was comfy. I could imagine if you were to do some heavy mileage, it would serve well. For me the thickness was perhaps a little overkill, but then again this will flatten with increased use. Even in the wet conditions it felt comfortable and the support in the material felt good.
The rubber grippers in the legs moved upwards a little on the ride, but not excessively so and they still fitted well and there wasn’t a need to constantly re-adjust.
Washing and wear
I machine washed both pieces, and they washed well—and went out for another ride a few days later. Again I received another soaking, but the jersey dries really quickly so I didn’t find myself shivering. The bibs again were still comfy to ride in, and didn’t rub even when wet.
I really love the jersey, I like the design—simple and elegant and the material feels good against your skin. I was super impressed with how quick the material dries as well. When it comes to the bibs I like the fit, the leg length and the rubber grippers are great. The only tiny bit I would change is the thickness of the chamois pad, it’s a bit too much for me compared to what I’m used to. But if you like to ride with a thicker and firmer pad, then this would tick the box. Due to the thicker pad, I noticed the shorts take longer to dry after washing. Apart from that, I enjoyed riding in the kit and it was noticed by my fellow riders!
Size tested: Medium, both available here