Supermarket chain Aldi is about to unleash one of its occasional offers of amazingly inexpensive cycling kit. The selection this time includes Lycra shorts for £8, jerseys for #15, shoes for £20 and a softshell jacket that converts into a gilet for just £16.
The new kit goes on sale on Sunday, May 4 and will almost certainly sell out fast if previous Aldi cycling specials are any guide.
Typically, Aldi’s kit is surprisingly good for the money. For these prices you don’t expect Rapha or Assos, but our experience and that of many readers has been that it’s not the total rubbish you’d expect for little more than pound shop prices.
The highlight of the selection this time round looks to be the £15.99 softshell jacket. And it’s not just a jacket: the sleeves unzip so you can use the body on its own as a gilet. It has a dropped tail, grip tape at the back, elasticated panels for a snug fit and it’s claimed to be breathable, waterproof and wind resistant. There are men’s version in black and blue, and a women’s version in pink.
If buying a softshell at this time of year is too pessimistic for you, just eight quid gets you a pair of shorts and for £15 you can pick up a short-sleeved jersey.
The shorts come in men’s and women’s cuts and have a Coolmax pad. There’s also a three-quarter-length version of the women’s shorts, a style that’s a perennial favourite among women who find having a mid-thigh elastic band uncomfortable or just unstylish.
The jerseys have full-length zips and are also available in men’s and women’s styles. They have rear pockets, reflective piping and highlights for those few days a year when its warm enough to wear short sleeves after dusk, and flatlock seams.
We’ll end with the shoes which are available in two versions: with laces and with three Velcro straps. Both have mountain bike style SPD soles, so could be ideal for commuting, and readers report good durability from previous Aldi shoes. Unfortunately, they’re only available in sizes 8 to 10.
There are plenty of other items on offer too from socks to windproof base layers and from helmets to LED lights.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.