It's my favourite time of the year. Excitement is in the air for the clocks to change, and with it comes the anticipation for longer days, and fairer weather for riding in. Oh, and then there's the arrivals of new kit hitting the market too!
When I'm out riding my bike, lost in thought or training hard for my next cycle challenge, I have certain demands that I need my kit to fulfil. We've all experienced that small niggle of an ill-fitting jersey, or the stifling fabric that doesn't breathe, and a variety of other pesky problems that can have us lose focus, and snap out of "the zone".
So what are my demands? The three F's: fit, function, fun. I want to my kit to fit properly with a good sleeve length that doesn't flap in the wind and a long fitted body that flatters my ambitiously described curves. I need my kit to function and work with me when I ride: breathability, softness on skin and suitable pockets. Then there's fun. Of course I want my kit to look awesome, because if I feel good on the bike, then my positive mental attitude will keep my pins pushing through even the toughest of slogs.
One of the first road kits of the season to be dropped off on my doorstep was the new Pixel8 kit from Primal. My magpie-like eyes lit up at the bright, bold and seriously cool purple print. It was time to ride.
Primal Pixel8 Road Cycling Jersey
See what I mean about the design?
The new Pixel8 jersey has a non-confining sport cut. What that means is that it suck paw at the skin, or leave you feeling nearly nude like some of the other road cycling Lycra brands. What this means is that this jersey is ideal for more recreational riding, off-road adventures and club cycling.
The polyester material is constructed with clever SpeedPro technology. The fabric is plaited double knit with a micro yarn, and it's moisture control properties are pretty fab. It helps draw sweat away from the skin, and dispels it through the surface of the material.
There are a number of properties that give the jersey its brilliant function: 3 sizeable rear cargo pockets, full length hidden zipper and reflective zipped stash pocket for important essentials.
The jersey feels lightweight and extremely soft against the skin. The cut is shapely for the female form, and loose enough to hug in at the right places. The three cargo pockets at the rear are ideal for storing snacks, tools and your mobile phone, and the zipped stash pocket is perfect for keys and coins. However the hidden stash zip is a little fiddly to find and use, even without gloves on, as it lies under a reflective flap that insists on getting in your way when operating the zip.
Available in sizes X.Small - XXX.Large
Pixel8 Accessories: Warmers and Cap
It doesn't just stop at the jersey either. Primal have gone all out with Pixel8 accessories to complete the dynamic look.
The cycling cap, a heritage garment of British cycling, serves many purposes than just being a delightful fashion accessory. Made from the same SpeedPro fabric as the Pixel8 jersey, this cycling cap with help protect you from the sun, and keep sweat at bay.
Perhaps we may be to hasty in ditching the thermals and long-sleeves as Spring looms closer on the horizon. Thankfully, Primal have graced us with these coordinating Pixel8 arm warmers to compliment and protect on the more chilly of rides.
Super soft brushed fabric lines the inside of the warmers, while the Spandex patterned outer keeps them firmly in place, and warming to the skin. The Silicone gripper cuff lines the bicep end of the arm warmers which gentle hugs your skin, preventing any slipping.
Adorning the Primal's Icon Women's Helix 2.0 bibshorts (available here for £135), and my new Pixel8 kit, I hit the local roads to rack up the miles, culminating in the Wiltshire Wildcat sportive event last weekend.
I found the Pixel8 kit from Primal to be extremely comfortable to ride in. What made things better was the compliments I was getting on how great it looked, and I felt great in it too. The arm warmers have to be my favourite as they are comfortable to wear without being restrictive, they look awesome and they really kept my arms warm for the cold morning rides.
While I like the relaxed sport fit of the Pixel8 jersey, I would have preferred more of a closer fit on the sleeves as this really picked up the the head-wind, sending shoots of cold air into my armpits.
Overall, this is a striking piece of kit and wholly satisfies my three F rule: Fit, Function and Fun.
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