Cool weather kit review: Endura, Giro, Velobici

Cycling has a host of unwritten ‘rules’, one of which concerns the importance of matching kit.

This correspondent was once chided by a friend for resembling a cycling jumble sale. It is the nature of the tester’s work, however, that on occasion, mismatched kit must be tried together.

The knowledge that a 6am ride will be a very chilly and damp affair, however, can be a wonderful inspiration; in this case, to lay out a selection of kit from Endura, Velobici and Giro.

Leg warmers were a new experience for our tester, who had previously moved from knee warmers to full-length tights with the onset of winter. The Thermo Leg Warmer from Endura’s flaghship Equipe range offered an alternative to that regime.

They’re made from Thermolite Roubaix, which, combined with a double panel at the knee, created a warm addition to the autumn/winter wardrobe. Our test pair are sized S/M. The silicone hem grippers did a good job of preventing them for riding up in use. Flat locked, offset seams, and a considered use of paneling gave them a close and comfortable fit. The bright green Equipe ‘E’ we thought a nice detail, and the equally bright zip with adjoining reflective trim finished them off.

We tried them with matching Equipe arm warmers, made from the same Thermolite Roubaix fabric, and with very similar details. Initial rides are promising. The silicone gripper held the warmers in place as we rose from the saddle on climbs. Riders of slim stature may depend on the stretch of the fabric as well as the silicone hem, and we’ll be interested to see how well it retains this natural grip; in our experience, arm warmers can become baggy.

Giro’s Ambient Skull Cap has panels to keep a rider’s ears warm. The front panel is made from ‘windstopping’ fabric (although not from Gore’s patented Windstopper material) and did the job beneath the sizable vents of a Giro Aeon helmet. The extra large size tested here fitted snugly over our test pilot’s substantial head of hair. A soft fleecy lining kept things really cosy, and we liked the reflective trim neatly integrated into the short peak; a welcome nod to safety on the gloomy early morn of our test ride. This might also explain the choice of white; a colour not obviously suited to use on dirty winter roads.

Velobici’s full Merino wool, tube style neck warmer proved not to be quite as close fitting as our tester’s ‘go to’ Rapha offering. Made from a slightly chunkier knit, it became a little too warm quite quickly. It’s a piece perhaps best appreciated in the frostier conditions to come, and one we’ll return to at that juncture.

The Test Rig was also dressed for winter. The Vredestein Fortezza TriComps temporarily made way for the dual compound, super durable Panaracer Race Type D 25mm tyre.

A puncture protection belt, a deep top layer constructed from a harder compound, and a 25mm contact patch suggest excellent potential for the more demanding conditions ahead.

The Voss inner tubes (still puncture free after a few hundred miles) remain in place, creating a tyre and tube combination that offered excellent ride quality and one that may become our default winter setup as the off-season mileage ramps up.

On their first ride, they proved to be extremely comfortable and sufficiently grippy. A wet weather test is required, but the changeable conditions of autumn will certainly provide them. Now, where did we put those mudguards?

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