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Five garments in a simple range that aims to offer functional performance but without the Lycra

Our sneak peek the other week offered clues to some of the details; since then Mr Vulpine himself has been around for some impromptu modelling of his foxy new clothing range in the early March sunshine. 

Ironically, for someone so determined to distance himself from Lycra-clad sporty cyclists or at least their clothing, Vulpine founder Nick Hussey is about as steeped in the lore of Ye Olde Club Cycling as they come, being a long-standing member of the Kingston Wheelers and doing all that classic time-trialling, road racing and club riding stuff. Maybe the memory of feeling foolish walking into a pub wearing tights is fresh in his mind. Anyway, knowing that the field is already pretty competitive with the likes of Santini, Castelli and most recently Rapha keeping it tough at the high end of racing-style kit, it's surely good sense to recognise the gap for folk who just want to ride to work, the pub "or a hot date"  as the website puts it, comfortably but without feeling alienated from the rest of society.

What you have in the range launched today are the first five garments, mostly for men and with women's numbers following on. "Frankly," said Hussey when he came to see us last week in Bath, "the more women we asked about what was needed, the more opinions we got and the further away everything seemed. So we've made a start with what we feel comfortable with but knowing that the women's market for performance comfort is if anything more poorly served than for men." Watch this space and meanwhile...

The two fabrics most prominent are fine merino wool used in a simple loose base layer-cum-tee and a button jersey which is certainly cycling specific in the sense that it has rear pockets but not cut in a style that screams "Cyclist"  And Epic Cotton - yes, it really is called that - where each individual cotton fibre is coated in a special version of silicon so that the breathability is unimpaired but the waterproofing is ramped up several notches. Plus it feels really nice. That's used on a proper rain jacket, a foldable soft-shell jacket and a lightweight gilet in a lurid lime green colour that functions as an all-purpose wind and showerproof attention grabber.

Overall characteristics are a good natural feel - tough but soft if that doesn't sound too anachronistic - with a host of little touches like magnetic catches, large zip pulls that should be easy to operate even with big gloves and an alloy carabiner inside the sleeve pocket of the rain jacket to secure your keys. All the zippers are YKK-brand with the stitching on our samples well detailed although in our experience first samples are often worse than actual production.

Details: vulpine.cc


Epic Cotton Rain Jacket comes in this blue or charcoal. Texture is soft despite being highly waterproof.


Cuffs on the Rain Jacket fold back revealing warm knitted gaiter and reflective inner. £195


Storm covers over side pockets work in reverse for easy entry when riding, large tabs to grab even in gloves.


Magnetic catch on rear flap of Softshell Jacket, reflective tab for rear LED light. £160.


More magnetic catches on collar of Softshell Jacket, large zip tabs to grab.


Cotton Visibility Gilet is £100, red StormGuard tail folds away with a magnetic catch. Lots of reflective tape apart from the lime green colour which is a big fashion shade currently.

 

15 comments

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Mr Will [91 posts] 4 years ago
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All very nice, except I don't really struggle to find things to wear on my top-half which look good and cope with cycling. Where are the shorts/trousers/etc? Or are we still supposed to walk in to the pub wearing tights?

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themartincox [499 posts] 4 years ago
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I've been wearing the Gilet for the last week and have put a couple of hundred miles into it, daytime and night-time and its a great piece of kit.

Visible without being garish and with LOTS of subtle reflectivity on it to keep even the most paranoid of wives happy - well as happy as her husband being out at 1am can be!

Its comfy, sensible pockets and completely blocks the wind from the front to keep the wearer nice and cosy.

I've gone through a rain shower with it and stayed perfectly happy, although the back is mesh so you will get wet if it persists in raining, showers however are all good!

Is it my favourite top? it's in the top 3, and for days when I don't need or want sleeves its at the top of the pile for sure!

I wish these chaps well - think we might be seeing lots of them in the future!

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nick_rearden [436 posts] 4 years ago
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Mr Will wrote:

All very nice, except I don't really struggle to find things to wear on my top-half which look good and cope with cycling. Where are the shorts/trousers/etc? Or are we still supposed to walk in to the pub wearing tights?

They're working on it, apparently, but you're right, it's not easy and definitely don't wear tights (said the hypocrite working in the office today in Assos bibtights) We've just had in some Rohan long shorts which we're just writing about. We reviewed these Surface Liquistretch trousers and which several of us wear to work: http://road.cc/content/review/15848-surface-liquistretch-trousers

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 4 years ago
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Hi Will, yea, we are working on it. In fact its all designed. It just takes a huge outlay to invest in manufacturing a product to such high standards. So we made the opening garments and we have lots queued up.
Hopefully we'll get some sales and we can push the little red button on some bottom-halvers!
Tights to be burned asap....  3
Nick

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 4 years ago
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And thanks for the review Martin!!

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michophull [134 posts] 4 years ago
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Very smart. Really like the blue rain jacket and the merino jersey. Got any outlets in the north west ?  16

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 4 years ago
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Michophull, with free post and packing, everywhere is an outlet...(Eww, that sounded cheesy).

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captain_slog [338 posts] 4 years ago
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Vulpine clothing website goes live

Er, I know ... I've just had 40 emails.

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Benjamin Hall [59 posts] 4 years ago
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It frightens me that nobody has questioned the value for money here...

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seanieh66 [196 posts] 4 years ago
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Looks good, though personally not sure about the red flap on the lime green gilet (though I understand why ;-).

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step-hent [722 posts] 4 years ago
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Benjamin Hall wrote:

It frightens me that nobody has questioned the value for money here...

Whereas I found it quite refreshing!

Pricing isn't out of whack with similar competitors. It's expensive in terms of outlay, but good gear generally is - so now we just need to know if it is good! I'm hoping some reviews are coming. The cotton rain jacket certainly has my attention.

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 4 years ago
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Here's a review from The Washing Machine Post, more to come. Keep the comments coming, really useful & interesting!
http://www.thewashingmachinepost.net/vulpine/

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BikerBob [116 posts] 4 years ago
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aslongasicycle wrote:

Here's a review from The Washing Machine Post, more to come. Keep the comments coming, really useful & interesting!
http://www.thewashingmachinepost.net/vulpine/

Not intended as any negative reflection on Vulpine however The Washing Machine Post is hardly the most hard-hitting of websites  39 A pleasant enough read but I'd be unlikely to base any purchasing decisions on the strength of what he writes!

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egbl35000 [5 posts] 4 years ago
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Dreaming with those prices

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thereandbackagain [172 posts] 4 years ago
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egbl35000 wrote:

Dreaming with those prices

Disagree. I spent years buying lower-priced gear (not just cycling equipment) in the misguided belief that cost and value were the same thing.

Buy quality, buy once. In the long term you'll probably save money, plus you'll almost certainly own something that'll serve you better.