Women's cycle clothing
The Power 2.0 Lady Tights are well made, as you'd expect from Gore, from good quality fabric and they're versatile enough for year round use.
I'm firmly of the opinion that a decent pair (or six) of three-quarter length Lycra tights are the most useful thing a female cyclist can have in her wardrobe. Get them the right weight of fabric and the right length and you can wear them all year round.
Rapha continue to expand on their capsule women's range of products with the addition this season of a fully waterproof jacket. True to form, it's really not cheap, but it also displays all the attention to detail, high quality construction and innovative design that Rapha have become known for.
When the Ana Nichoola Sorbets arrived in the office I was desperate for them to be the perfect cold season glove. Never have I seen gloves that I can happily apply the word 'beautiful' to, before now.
There aren't that many companies producing female specific cut lightweight windproof gilets- that staple for providing increased warmth with a very low weight penalty- and fewer still producing gilets cut with cycling in mind, rather than running, Rapha are one of them though.
That said, though, the women's Gilet from Rapha is by quite some way the most expensive of the options available to the female cyclist, and also not the lightest. So is it worth the Rapha premium?
Predictably in pink, but also available in an equally standard aqua colour option, Dare2b's Zippidee is nonetheless a good looking jersey. It (along with the Kiss Ass shorts) is allocated the heading of Mountain Bike clothing by Dare2b, but in reality it shares the more generic nature of the shorts. This is a general cycling jersey, rather than being particularly specific to one style or another. Relatively speaking it's a little pricier than the shorts, but £40 is still a reasonable and fairly standard price for a technically competent jersey with some good features.
A good sports crop top should give support, be comfortable no matter what activity you're doing and how hard you're doing it, and not intrude on the fit or efficacy of whatever top you're wearing over the top.
The Active Women's Bra Top from Zoca is a very reasonably priced technical crop top, offering the majority of the features you'd look for. It's a straightforward racer-back scoop neck design, is made from a pleasingly soft polyamide/elastane mix fabric, comes in a variety of colours and offers support for low impact activities.
OK, so £100 is a lot of dosh for a pair of cycling gloves, especially a pair of short fingered road mitts so what's so special about the Grand Tour Gloves from Rapha, available in both women's and men's versions, and are they worth the extra wonga?
Following on from the success of Rapha's first female specific products last year, the company have released a few more items into the wild one of which is the short sleeved Women's Club Jersey. This is a quarter zip companion to the Women's Classic Jersey, and comes with a few different new features, and without others (no arm warmers).
Zoca's Active Women's three quarters are a welcome break from the tradition of basic black for cycling shorts and tights. Yes, black is flattering and goes with all manner of differently coloured jerseys, but it would be nice to just occasionally have a choice of something different. Zoca do a sleeveless cycling top to match, giving a rather fetching ensemble. If the idea of coloured cycling kit brings you out in a cold sweat, they do black too.
The Countdown AS Lady Vest (there's also a male version) is a lightweight gilet designed specifically for cycling and one of the few available in a women's specific cut. Gilets are particularly handy in the UK's challenging climate. It's great to have something along on a ride that's pocket sized that'll bestow a hefty wallop of protection and warmth for its size and weight.