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Latest selection of cheap but surprisingly good bike kit from German supermarket chain

 

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. 

Check out the full range on Aldi's website.

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.

28 comments

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jollygoodvelo [1685 posts] 3 years ago
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If the softshell is anything like the one I have (from them), it's about as breathable as the top floor of a bus in Brixton. But, for £16 it's a commuter bargain and everyone should have one.

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DavidC [159 posts] 3 years ago
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About three years ago I picked up a couple of pairs of Aldi's cycling gloves (brand name Crane) for about €6 total. Taking their longevity into consideration, they have been the best gloves I've ever owned. I still use them today. The fabric on the back is a bit heavy for the hot climate where I live, and other, much more expensive gloves in the past seemed better when new, but the Cranes have been consistently very good for a lot of riding. The ones I have are not exactly the same as the current ones on their website (eg, no gel), but they are close.

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parksey [342 posts] 3 years ago
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As per the forum thread on this, being cost-conscious with my cycling hobby, I'll be trying to pick up a few bits.

The softshell plus a "premium" jersey and a couple of pairs of socks for less than £40 all-in looks like a right bargain.

Will compliment my BTwin bib shorts rather nicely... #whoneedsRapha?

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29erKeith [39 posts] 3 years ago
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shhhhh! There'll be none left by the time I get there  3

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seanboy [23 posts] 3 years ago
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he,he,he!!nice one

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gazza_d [472 posts] 3 years ago
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I've got a few Aldi items, and one of the best I have is a red/white softshell winter jacket which is about 3 years old. Absolutely brilliant, unless absolutely pouring down & warm as toast.

Aldi track mitts and base layers have served me well also

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Sub5orange [109 posts] 3 years ago
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I picked up some gloves years ago that are still going strong, I also picked up some panniers. The latter one's were crap as the hooks did not survive their first shopping trip, making the trip back home with groceries quite an adventure.

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Meaulnes [70 posts] 3 years ago
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Buy cheap, buy twice…

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sidesaddle [91 posts] 3 years ago
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Sub5orange wrote:

I picked up some gloves years ago that are still going strong, I also picked up some panniers. The latter one's were crap as the hooks did not survive their first shopping trip, making the trip back home with groceries quite an adventure.

Mine did exactly the same. They look a lot better than they perform. One problem is the height they stick above the rack, forming a cheap plastic fulcrum for anything bungeed on top, as you do. To give them their due though, what I placed on top was 5kg of charcoal, so I triumphed in the optimism over experience dept.

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Ghedebrav [1099 posts] 3 years ago
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Well, I'll look forward to the usual total effing scrum being made even worse by Sunday trading hours  40

Except I have a secret Aldi that none of the other cyclists in Manchester seem to know about!  103

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Ghedebrav [1099 posts] 3 years ago
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Sub5orange wrote:

I picked up some gloves years ago that are still going strong, I also picked up some panniers. The latter one's were crap as the hooks did not survive their first shopping trip, making the trip back home with groceries quite an adventure.

I got some panniers and they've actually been pretty decent. Wouldn't take them proper touring, but they've been good for my supermarket run, and also did the job for a weekend up in the Lakes (N.B. not literally 'in' the Lakes).

Fair to say over all that if you want quality, you'll pay for it and get your money's worth (Ortleib, Brooks, Castelli and so forth) but there's very little difference between the mid-range gear and this stuff Aldi are flogging. Wouldn't bother with the lock, though!

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WalshyMK [8 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh pink for girls and blue for boys! I guess at these prices we mustn't expect too much imagination, huh.

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michophull [145 posts] 3 years ago
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Agree with Gizmo. I've got one of those convertible jacket / gilet jobs. It's ok for short, chilly commutes but much too boil in the bag for anything serious.

The mitts are certainly good though and the sunglasses are not bad. I'd generally describe Aldi gear as cheap & cheerful. Just don't expect too much of it.

 3

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GerardR [143 posts] 3 years ago
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Nor in your comment ...

By the way, how are the teeth on your gift horse?

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JAndrewHill [1217 posts] 3 years ago
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Ghedebrav wrote:

Well, I'll look forward to the usual total effing scrum being made even worse by Sunday trading hours  40

Except I have a secret Aldi that none of the other cyclists in Manchester seem to know about!  103

Do you mean the brand new one near me?

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Flying Scot [1005 posts] 3 years ago
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I'll Maybe get the panniers if they're OK for occasional use.

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Cooks [496 posts] 3 years ago
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FFS, do a small size....

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Wookie [241 posts] 3 years ago
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Cooks wrote:

FFS, do a small size....

FFS do a large size

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spence129 [21 posts] 3 years ago
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FFS, Get on the weights  4

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superbootcamps [3 posts] 3 years ago
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Hey guys,

Just wanted to add my experience with the shoes from Aldi.

Having tried 3 pairs of them now, I've never had them last more than 2 weeks before the sole splits at the point where the spd cleats screw in.

They're super comfortable, and pretty flexible, which is where the problem comes from. So if you're gonna ride flat pedals on them you might be ok, but I suspect I'm not the only 13stone rider who's broken a pair or two...

Hope this helps y'all.

@georgehealthadv

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ourtel [66 posts] 3 years ago
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If you think that Aldi has bargains going on then you might also want to have a look at Planet X. They recently had a bundle offer: http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/ZXSHAJEBU/planet-x-clubman-bundle and the kit is still pretty cheap to buy individually!

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KiwiMike [1325 posts] 3 years ago
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+1 for the convertible gilet-jacket. For £16, it's genius. Those complaining about breathability - take the arms off or unzip it  3

My only gripe with 2013's one it is that it doesn't seem well-cut when leaning forward - seems to be a bit much fabric on the front of the shoulders. Maybe they'll have changed the cut for 2014.

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Al__S [1279 posts] 3 years ago
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The padded shorts/underpants... erm. I can fully understand (and I wear) lycra cycling shorts/tights, without underwear. But surely if you're after padded shorts for under "normal" clothing, then maybe lycra isn't the right material? Weirdly, tips it into seeming a little "specialist".

In a way that somehow wearing lycra without underwear isn't. I'm aware this is lacking something in the logic.

(this is coming from someone that's almost convinced to splash out £45 on some wooly padded pants from Vulpine mind)

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Al__S [1279 posts] 3 years ago
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Ghedebrav wrote:

Well, I'll look forward to the usual total effing scrum being made even worse by Sunday trading hours  40

Except I have a secret Aldi that none of the other cyclists in Manchester seem to know about!  103

Can you imagine what the Cambridge one is like?

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J90 [421 posts] 3 years ago
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It's a shame the style looks as cheap as the stuff costs.

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ratattat [53 posts] 3 years ago
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Bought a pair of spd shoes from aldi about 6 years ago . still use them on my winter bike . every bit as comfortable as my Shimano SPD-Sl shoes.

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parksey [342 posts] 3 years ago
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Managed to pick up one of the soft-shell jackets at the weekend.

When I say "managed to pick up", I didn't actually go myself as I was on an organised ride, but my mum needed to do food shopping there anyway... When I spoke to her later in the day, the words "cattle market" and "scrum" were both used!

Anyway, first impressions are good. Wore it on the commute this morning, admittedly a dry and not particularly windy affair, so neither of those features were tested, but the fit was otherwise good for me, save for being maybe a tiny bit too short in the arms. Didn't feel particularly hot in it, despite the weather being fairly mild and humid.

The jacket otherwise has a decent feel to it, although some of the stitching/finishing inside is a bit messy. Ok, no one will see that, but will perhaps need to be careful not to snag it. The blue colour is sufficiently bright as to do hi-viz without being fluoro, plus there's reflective detailing all over it. A zipped pocket at the rear and removable arms are both handy-to-have features.

I reckon a jacket such as this would have probably had a price tag of at least double what I paid had it had a BTwin or DHB logo on it, and god-knows-what price if it were one of the various brands in my LBS. For the money (although I genuinely don't believe it needs to be qualified on that basis), and for the reasons I bought it, it seems to be a bit of a winner. YMMV...

I may revisit the store myself later today to see what's still available. My dad got one of the "premium" jerseys and that also seems decent, on a par with the quality of my BTwin 500 jersey but for half the price. You can never have too many pairs of socks either!  21

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Flying Scot [1005 posts] 3 years ago
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Ive an Aldi winter jacket from a few years ago and I found the arms a little short too, the thumb hooks are thus not useable!

I bought the socks at the weekend, which are good for 3 quid, they obviously come from the same supplier as Lidl as they are similar.

Bought a baselayer too, though haven't tried it yet.