Spring has started to make an appearance which means it’s time to put the winter clothing away and break out the short sleeve jerseys and shorts and embrace the warmer weather and, hopefully, sunshine.
Sports superstore Decathlon produces a giant range of cycling clothing under its B’Twin label. It’s all affordable stuff and there is something to suit most budgets. The clothing range is handily split into four ranges by price and intended use. Here's how the range breaks down:
- 300 : beginner and occasional cyclists
- 500 : regular cyclists with more features and colour options
- 700 : higher quality materials with focus on speed with more colour choices
- Aerofit : as used by the DFJ professional team, closer fit and feature-packet
We’ve been having a browse through its range and have picked out some highlights of the current range.
How much? Proving you don’t have to spend a fortune on a cycling jersey, this top is made from a lightweight polyester fabric that promises to be quick drying, so it won’t retain your sweat and make you feel all soggy on warmer days. The waist is elasticated to help with the fit and there’s a half-length zipper to provide some ventilation. Two rear pockets provide ample space to store food and spares. There are four colours to choose from and a range of sizes. We don't know how good it is, but we have tested some B'Twin clothing in the past and it's always done well. It could very well be a bargain.
There is a women’s version of the same short sleeve jersey as well. It shares the same details and construction but the fit and shape are specific to women, and it comes in different colours and size range.
While the warmer weather is definitely on the way, it can still be a bit chilly, especially early morning rides or commutes. This Long Sleeve top will keep you wrapped up with a breathable fabric preventing overheating on the hills. A half-length zipper provides ventilation and there are two rear pockets for stashing a phone or energy bar. Choose from six sizes.
These tights are made from a brushed back material with a fleecy lining intended to keep your legs warm on chilly rides, with B’Twin saying they are ideal for rides of about an hour long. They have a foam pad built into them so they provide a bit of extra comfort as well, making them ideal for commuting. Flat seams throughout increases comfort and the stretchy fabric provides maximum freedom of movement.
If you just want a simple pair of padding Lycra shorts, either to wear on their own or under a pair of baggy shorts, these shorts look really good on paper. They have a preformed padded insert, breathable fabric construction and a stretchy fabric waistband. As you can tell from this photo, we've just received some of the B'Twin clothing in for review.
This is a newly designed jersey in B’Twin’s 500 range, and features details like mesh under the arms to provide ventilation, so you don’t overheat on long climbs or hot days. There are three rear pockets (compared to two on the cheaper 300 jersey) so plenty of space for all your food and other ride essentials. The jersey is made from a lightweight fabric with a loose fit and an elasticated hem keeps it all in place. Choose from a wide range of colours, including a replica Team FDJ version.
B’Twin 500 Cycling Bib Shorts £24.999
If you want to buy a full summer outfit, you can pair the above 500 jersey with these matching bib shorts. They’re made to provide comfort thanks to a foam pad with flat seams throughout to minimise chaffing. The main fabric is designed to wick away sweat to keep you dry and the bib straps are made from mesh, again designed to keep you cool. Available in a range of colours to match the jersey.
If you’re planning on doing some long rides, from a sportive to a charity ride, you can’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable padded bib short. These shorts feature a padded insert with an ergonomic shape with gel inserts to cushion your bottom. That's the key difference over the cheaper 500 bib shorts. The Lycra fabric will stop you overheating on warmer days and the leg openings are elasticated. They’re available in five sizes from S to 2XL.
B’Twin 700 Cycling Jersey £34.99
For those rides when it’s warm enough to wear just a short sleeve jersey, here’s a well priced and feature-packed jersey. It’s made from a lightweight fabric with an ergonomic cut and elasticated at the hem and sleeves to provide a good shape. A mesh back panel works to keep you cool, handy if riding up a mountain, and a full-length zip helps to regulate airflow when you need it. There are four rear pockets, with an additional side pocket. You can colour match the jersey to the rest of your outfit if you want, as B’Twin offers the jersey in a range of smart designs and colours.
The Aerofit label is reserved for B’Twin’s very best clothing and is used by the FDJ WorldTour professional team. If it’s good enough for them, it’s probably good enough for you. It’s packed with features and is designed to be good for long rides. There's a full-length front zipper and five rear pockets, and the fabric used is described as being supple and lightweight, providing good freedom of movement. It has an ergonomic slim fit with elastic around the hem and sleeves. Mesh fabric is used in the side panels to aid cooling.
Get the full Aerofit outfit by pairing these bib shorts with the above jersey. These shorts are designed for long distance rides, with a padded insert designed to cushion you with gel inserts and three density levels of foam. Perfect for a sportive or road race. The technical fabric used for the shorts provides moisture management to keep you sweat free. These shorts are used by the FDJ professional team and so have a very slim fit.
B’Twin Aerofit Cycling Gilet £39.99
Spring can tricky to dress for, the weather can be unpredictable and rapidly changing. That’s where a lightweight gilet (or sleeveless vest if you prefer) comes in handy. This one has a windproof membrane on the front and a mesh back, and it's designed to be a close fit.
Accessorise your shorts with a pair of lycra knee warmers to keep your knees protected from the chill on early morning rides and commutes. These are made from a soft stretchy brushed fleece fabric, to protect your knees from the cold, with three sizes to choose from.
While it’s important to keep your knees protected from the cold, the same can be said about your arms too. They’re made from a brushed fleece material to provide some warmth for your arms on colder rides, and they can be easily removed and stored in a jersey pocket when it warms up enough to render them unnecessary.
Is it time for some new road cycling shoes? These new shoes in the B’Twin 700 Aerofit range are keenly priced and are packing some of the latest technology. They’re made in Italy with twin rotary retention dials and a stiff and lightweight composite carbon sole, and weigh just 280 for a size 8 1/2. They’re good enough for the pros, Jean-Christophe Péraud wears them. He even won a race in them.
This helmet is made using the latest in-mould technology to create a lightweight and well-ventilated helmet. It weighs just 270g for a size medium, comparable to more expensive helmets, and has 17 vents to keep your head cool. It has a micro-adjustable retention system to provide a secure fit. It’s available in two colours and two sizes.
We've got a load of the latest B'Twin clothing in for review which we'll be putting through its paces in the coming weeks, so watch out for the full reviews on the site soon.
More at www.decathlon.co.uk
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.