For the days when head-to-toe Lycra doesn't cut it and baggy mountain bike kit won't do, there's Cyclodelic's Sports Dress. It's cycle clothing for women that doesn't look like bike gear, so you can ride in comfort without standing out as too sporty.
The Sports Dress looks like a nice but straightforward sleeveless jersey dress. On closer inspection, a lot of thought has gone into making it genuinely viable riding gear rather than a make-do fashion garment. Made from a super-fast drying and moisture-wicking 95% polyester/5% spandex fabric, it's designed to be able to handle more than a bit of sweat when necessary.
The top section is double-layer mesh for additional breathability, and the sleeveless design means it's ideal for long summer rides in the countryside or hot dashes around town. If combined with a long-sleeved base layer it can easily be worn year round. The length is just right for wearing over technical shorts or tights, covering the bottom without interfering with the saddle, and the back is shaped slightly longer than the front. The trim at the neckline and around the armholes is reflective for additional visibility, and at the lumbar area there's a reflective-trimmed zip pocket with an iPod cable port.
The fit is sleek at the top but flares out from the bust, making it ideal for all sizes and shapes, while the broad strap design means that a crop top underneath won't look out of place. The armholes fit quite neatly, which might be a problem for larger sizes. In general, the fit and style is flattering and relaxed but remains feminine, having just the right level of sportiness. It's a dress that'll easily cope with all sorts of riding styles, from road riding to relaxed teashop forays.
The dress is comfortable to wear and makes you feel a little bit more stylish than usual. There's no tightness to worry about, yet nor is there excess fabric where it would be annoying. The length works well, especially for those less happy exposing Lycra-clad thighs, and doesn't interfere with cycling.
A lot of design effort has gone into this dress, which is reflected in the not inconsiderable price tag, and it's quite evident when you wear it. Sadly, the fabric slightly let down the design for me. Although the silky polyester wicked moisture well, hung beautifully and was a pleasure to wear, it snagged the first time I wore it. Since so many jackets and fleeces feature zips or Velcro, such fragile fabric is extremely vulnerable. Best to keep it for guaranteed good weather summer rides, or else avoid zips and Velcro like the plague.
A pretty and stylish dress that's wearable on the bike. Let down slightly by the snag-prone silky fabric
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cyclodelic Sports Dress
Size tested: Nude
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at female riders who want performance clothing but like to look less obviously sporty.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Double-mesh bust area
Reflective trim on neckline, arms and rear pocket.
Zipped rear pocket with MP3 cable outlet.
Rear of dress shaped lower for riding.
Length suitable for riding (no catching on saddle)
Lovingly made one at a time, rather than mass produced, means a less perfect finish but more like a handmade piece of fashion.
Good quality fabrics etc but fabric slightly fragile to be worn with garments using zips or velcro. Snags easily.
Comfort-wise and for moisture wicking etc it performs very well.
Fabric snags too easily to be worn with other garments using zips or velcro.
Fabric snags too easily.
Very comfortable to wear and the longer cut makes for a relaxed feel.
Easily layered with long-sleeved base layer for cooler weather use.
It's expensive but it's effectively a small run, designer garment and lovingly designed and created. Nicely put together too.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed well. Stylish and comfortable to ride in.
Only let down by the fabric's tendency to snag.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Shape, versatility, style.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Tendency of fabric to snag.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but would prefer a slightly less fragile fabric.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Beautiful dress, well considered for real riding capability. Shame the fabric snagged too easily.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.