11/02/2013 | 3 comments
Professional cyclist Yanto Barker launched Le Col in 2009 and here we have the latest version of the British brand’s Kuro winter jacket and bib tights.
Barker has drawn upon his experience as a pro to create a small range of jackets, jerseys, shorts and tights where, according to the company’s founder, particular care has been paid to attention to detail.
The Kuro winter jacket (£169.99) and bib tights (£149.99) have been updated for 2013 with a big emphasis on visibility. Black has always featured widely across the Le Col range, and this year is no different, but Barker has tried to boost the clothing’s visibility without losing the understated look that is signature Le Col.
So in comes high-vis triple stitching, which features heavily across both the jacket and bib tights, while the same colour is also used on the Le Col logo (on the left breast of the jacket and on the lower back of the bib tights) and on the inside of the jacket’s collar. There’s also a vertical reflective stripe on the back of the jacket, and on the bottom of each leg, while there’s a generous amount of reflective piping throughout.
Otherwise, the jacket is made from 100 polyester, with a windproof material used on the top half of the chest, shoulders and the front of the arms, while a stretchy softshell material is used on the rest of the jacket – all of which is fleece-lined. Features on the jacket include an ‘invisible’ zipped chest pocket, found on the inside of the jacket and comfortably big enough for a mobile phone, as well as three rear pockets, an additional zipped pocket, a high fleece-lined collar and generous zip garage.
Barker’s day job as a pro cyclist is reflected in the fit. It’s a racing snake’s cut: slip on the jacket, zip it up and the cut pulls you in. It’s a little disconcerting at first, but this is a piece designed for riding hard, not standing around in the cafe, and, having completed a couple of initial test rides, once you jump on the bike the cut mirrors your riding position.
Meanwhile, the Kuro bib tights are made from a fleece-lined AquaZero fabric which Le Col say is water resistant and extra thermal, made up of an 85 per cent nylon and 15 per cent elastane mix. As well as sharing the high-vis and reflective elements of the jacket, the tights have thick bib straps which are more than two inches wide, and which maintain that width in their entirety, which should make for a secure and comfortable fit. The straps are also fleece-lined, rather than using a mesh material, marking these out as deep winter tights. Otherwise, Le Col use a low-profile, high-end chamois from Dr. Pad.
Initial impressions are positive after a handful of test rides, but additional hours in the saddle will reveal more about the jacket and bib tights’ suitability for deep winter. We’ll report back.