Capo Cycling has been one of my best discoveries in cycling clothing in the last year or so.
Recently I met up with Rhodri from Nordic Life to take a look at some of this winter’s range from the California’s company.
I covered Capo before, having discovered and been impressed with several items of Capo’s summer clothing (you see those posts here http://girodilento.com/tag/capo-cycling/), so I was keen to take a look at some of the winter products.
For me, winter is a fantastic time to ride as you can ride slower, there’s often less traffic, the countryside changes and on a clear day it can be a wonderful way to spend your time.
What is vital to make it enjoyable though, is good clothing (and ideally a bike with full mudguards!)
I know Rhodri is with me on that one as Nordic Life equip folk for mountaineering as well as cycling, so he knows more than most of us on the importance of good kit and layering.
We met at one of our favourite local café’s – Mr T’s Deli in Fletching, where cyclists are always welcomed by the owners Jason and Sharran.
Rhodri started at the top of the range by showing me the Padrone Winter Thermal Jacket and matching Bib Tights. The Padrone Tights are for cold weather riding and use a range of fabrics to give both wind protection but also enabling you to breathe. The Padrone tights feature a pad from EIT and I’ve previously found these to be very good indeed. The knee area featured a Windtex triple layer fabric to provide wind protection, water resistance, thermal insulation and stretch recovery. The thermal Roubaix Dream fabric also used, has a red sheen and is designed for keeping you warm in cold conditions. When I tried them on they seemed like a substantial tight for cold weather and would appear to compare well to other top end clothing.
As with all Capo Clothing, they’re designed to work as an outfit. So the matching Padrone Thermal Winter Jacket, uses the same selection of materials to create a wind jacket for the coldest of days.
As with the tights, the Capo Padrone Thermal Jacket feels like a substantial and high quality piece of kit. The fit like all Capo high end clothing is on the slim side and is built to last. This jacket would to me, compete with Castelli’s Espresso Due/3 high end jacket but costs less. You’re limited to black as a colour but there are reflective details to help make you more visible. You can see the three rear pockets and the fabric on the back designed to help you “vent” excess heat as you ride.
As you can see from the photos, when you’re in “position” on the bike, the jacket fit really comes good – as all good cycling clothing should.
Find out more here: http://nordiclifeuk.co.uk/products/mens-jackets/198/546/cycling/P-capo-padrone-thermal-jacket
Rhodri then kindly modelled the Capo Pursuit Thermal Jacket. When I reviewed the Pursuit bib shorts, they were a revelation in comfort and quality around the £100 market. Still they’re one of my favourite bib shorts ever.
A good thermal jacket for winter can cost a lot of money but the Pursuit jacket retails for £100 and looks terrific for the money. It’s a simpler selection of materials to keep the cost down but it still looks very well made and with the nice details of neon to enhance visibility. Frankly it looked to me like these should fly out the door. Capo’s high quality design & manufacturing for a “cheaper” price. Not a waterproof but a solid thermal wind proofing and water resistant coating with a Proteggo Membrane adds versatility.
I was really impressed by this as a great step up to high end quality without breaking the bank.
Capo Lombardia goes long sleeve and Neon!
Not a great photo of me modelling this, but hey that happens. The Lombardia which is simple terms Capo’s Gabba (although they insist they first made water resistant arm warmers years ago).
I’ll be writing a review on the Lombardia soon as I’ve been riding in a short sleeve one for a few months (when weather conditions allow). What I can say is that the Lombardia is a fine alternative to a Gabba. It’s wind and water resistant, slim fitting and a highly versatile garment. Now you can get them in long sleeves, in Neon like this as well as black and with matching neon arm warmers.
The Lombardia range also extends to shorts and bib tights. I tried on the Lombardia Bib tights which bring a roubaix thermal fabric and apply DWR protection to bring wind and rain resistance. These look like a great tight for less extreme winter temperatures that should also shrug off light rain. Again they feature a high end EIT pad and the Lombardia has a new harness system called V-Mesh 360. The Lombardia should also still provide decent breatheability and is well worth checking out:
Additionally Capo make a range of high quality winter gloves (including these below featuring OutDry fabrics) and winter hats like the one in the opening image for this post.
As I mentioned earlier, it was a pleasure to be at Mr T’s in Fletching for this little try on session. It was actually the first time I’d ever driven there instead of riding (which is much less fun).
For more info on the Capo range that Nordic Life stock, please visit here: http://www.nordiclifeuk.co.uk/capo-home
My thanks to Rhodri for bringing a bunch of stock out to try and to photograph.