Swedish sportswear manufacturer POC have made some waves in the road cycling market since they moved into wheels from snow. Some of those waves were caused by people shouting "How much?!" and talking loudly about how many Aldi tops you could buy for that: POC's stuff isn't cheap, after all, even though many of the bits we've had have tested very well. Now they're launching a new range of clothing, Fondo, which is certainly more affordable.
"Built on the knowledge and experience gained in creating AVIP and Raceday, Fondo places an uncompromising emphasis on fit and comfort to embrace and enhance the passion associated with road cycling", POC say of the new range. "Fondo is a passion for road cycling and a love for the ride". Lovely. Anyway, let's have a look through the range.
POC Fondo Classic jersey £115 (top)
A classic race jersey made from a mid-weight polyester. There's mesh inserts under the arms for a bit of ventilation and silicone grippers on the wasit but not the arms, which are raglan style with a lycra cuff. There's three pockets at the back and a zipped pocket that POC call a smartphone pocket, although on our sample the mouth was a bit narrow. The material feels very luxurious and the fit (all these are size L and I'm 1.89m and 91kg) is just on the snug side of normal.
Colour-wise there's four options. The green here is Napa Valley Fondo, and there's also Holguin-Cuba Fondo (blue), Rio de Janeiro Fondo (pink/purple) and New York Fondo (grey. or maybe gray.) if you're not a fan of green. The Classic is available in a women's cut too, but only in pink/purple or grey.
POC Fondo Light jersey £99
This jersey is in a lighter-weight fabric with a more open weave, for those hot days in the Napa valley. Or the Ribble valley. The sleeve cuff construction is similar to the classic jersey but the bottom hem isn't a gripper, although it is elasticated. There's a full-length zip for ventilation and you get reflective logos on the back (the Classic has those too) if your epic ride has you out after dark.
POC Fondo bib shorts £115
With the current range bottoming out at £135 for the Multi-D bibs these are a step below, again. "Made from warp-knitted stretch fabric, the Fondo bib shorts offer a combination of comfort, performance and protection", we learn. They're a four-panel design with a breathable midriff section and comfy mesh bibs.
The pad is a new Fondo chamois with silicone insets designed to reduce road vibration and also allow for optimal airflow.
The back features a large reflective panel and a pocket in the rear mesh. There's silicone grippers on the legs to keep everything in place. There's a non-bib women's short too, with a specific Fondo WO chamois.
POC Fondo wind vest £100
The wind vest is a roadie staple. The POC Fondo wind vest has a windproof polyseter construction on the front and shoulders, with a mesh back to vent heat and sweat effectively.
The arm holes and hem are elasticated to stop wind getting in, and at the front there's a small, zipped card pocket. The mouth of that is reflective, as is the logo on the tail.
POC Fondo Splash jacket £135
Designed for changeable conditions, the Splash jacket is compact enough to stuff in your jersey pocket. The 4-way stretch fabric is described as water-repellent rather than waterproof. There's laser-cut ventilation holes under the arms for extra breathability.
The cuffs have a comfy lycra sleeve and there's a drawstring hem to keep things nice and closely-fitted. At the back there's a cellphone pocket and a dropped tail with a reflective logo.
Other bits and bobs
The Fondo cap (£22.50) is a cotton/polyester blend and it's available in four colours to match the rest of your Fondo kit. You are buying a full kit, right?
Fondo sleeves (£42) will keep the chills off your arms when it's not cold enough for a jacket but not quite warm enough to get your guns out, either. The Fondo gloves (£42) round off the arms: they're lightly padded with a synthetic palm and a stretchy rear panel. You can get navy-black Fondo Knees (£37.50) to go with your shorts, too, and Fondo booties (£45) in either the kit colours or the navy-black of the shorts.
Also, there's a Fondo silk scarf. Here's a pic of me crying because it just cost me £40. It's not even any cheaper than the Raceday scarf. Come on.
Want to buy some? Well, you'll have to wait a bit. The Fondo range is due to be in the shops in March next year, so you'll still get a few months' use out of the jacket before the sun comes out again.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.