Towards the end of last summer I received a pair of Capo Cycling’s upper mid-range SC-12 Bib shorts and a matching SC-12 jersey to review. By the time I’d spent enough time riding in them to feel confident in my opinions, we were well into autumn and it seemed too late to post. Obviously we’re now in summer again and whilst it’s later in the season than I would like, here are some thoughts.
Right from the first few rides and now many hundreds of kilometres later, this combination is the best summer riding kit I’ve ridden in. Both the jersey and the shorts are fantastic and a different kind of product (and a different level) to the also terrific Capo Pursuit bib shorts I’ve reviewed previously (http://girodilento.com/capo-pursuit-bib-shorts-review/).
The SC-12 bib shorts are a more technical product than the Pursuit with more materials, more panels, aspects of compression fit and they’re simply more of a race short than the pursuit. The detail and quality of manufacture are first rate and these are my go to shorts for when I’m riding fast or in hot weather. As yet, I’ve not found anything I’ve enjoyed as much in the 7 years I’ve been riding. I’ve done a lot of riding in these shorts and they’re also holding up well to regular washing.
To be more specific, the SC-12 are a part of Capo’s Super Corsa range which is inspired by European Race Design but still great for long days in the saddle. The fabrics are a range of technologically advanced textiles combined to create stretch where it’s needed and control where it’s needed. According to Capo their Warp Knit Carbon E and hydrodrop fabrics hold the structure of the garment and ensure the breathability. The bib shorts feature high-gauge lycra with single layer power leg bands. In simple terms there is a compression element to help reduce fatigue but but the single layer leg band does this without affecting line and the fit and they’re very comfortable on the bike.
In fact the funny thing about really good bib shorts is that they can feel restrictive when you’re off your bike but as soon as you get onto the bike and move your body into the right place with your hands on the bars and start pedaling you’ll feel really comfortable. The SC-12 is one of those kinds of shorts.
The pad in the shorts which I’ve also found to be excellent is the Elastic Interface Technology (EIT) Anatomic DP Carbon pad, which is dual density, compact size with antimicrobial carbon micro fiber to help keep you clean and dry.
Capo say this about the SC-12 on their website:
European race-inspired design with strategic panels for comfort in the riding position. Powerful muscle compression reduces fatigue, keeps your legs fresh. Anatomic EIT insert provides excellent protection with optimal fit. Push yourself your hardest in the SC-12.
For fit, I’m riding a size small. I’m just on 6ft/180cm tall and weigh 68/69kgs, so I’m moderately tall and relatively thin. I could get away with a medium too (and tried one) but prefer the snugger fit of the small size. It’s the same with the jersey, I have a cyclists physique (not a massive upper body) and again I find the small is a good race fit whereas I found the medium a bit loose. You can decide if I made the right decision from the photos!
The red colour of SC-12 jersey is particularly lovely, it’s a proper tomato red and works beautifully with the shorts as an “outfit”. The jersey is SPF50 rated so it’s a great jersey for a sunny day and I find that the fabric breathes very well. If I’m riding on a hot day – this is the jersey I’ll hunt out of my wardrobe above all others. The feel of the fabric is thinner than a lot of the other jerseys I own and that’s obviously an aspect of its warm weather performance but I haven’t only ridden it in the summer – that’s just where it’s at its best.
One of the things I particularly like about the Capo approach is that whilst style, quality and fit are all vitally important, Capo also work to create matching “outfits” which look terrific together and the SC-12 is a great example of this. A lot of cyclists aren’t especially coordinated in their look out on the bike and with Capo – there is an easy way to sort this. Simply choose the range that works for you and buy a matching pair of bib shorts and jersey. Job done. The bib shorts and jersey are designed to work together as a combination and you can’t help but look well turned out whenever you ride in the set.
Another big plus in the UK of riding in Capo is that you’re riding something that’s great quality but there aren’t loads of other people in it, which can be a plus. So if you like high quality riding kit, that’s well designed, constructed, and meant to help you look good as well as ride well – Capo should definitely be on your short list.
The combination of California and Italian style works terrifically well and Capo deserve to be a lot more visible and successful in the UK. As I said earlier, this combination (and the Capo Pursuit bib shorts I also have) have become my favourite cycling kit off that I own (in fairness, I love my Castelli Espresso Due Winter jacket as well).
Capo’s SC-12 range is available for both men and women and jersey colours also include black, neon yellow and pink. The SC-12 bib shorts retail in the UK for £125 and the SC-12 jersey is £90.
Capo’s clothing selection is extensive and each sub range offers slightly different characteristics in fit, performance and function. In simple terms the more technical the product becomes, with more technical materials, panels and typically more race fit they become and the price point rises according to the additional complexity. The simplest way to buy Capo, is to try an outfit, bib shorts and jerseys. Capo also make an excellent range of base layers and their socks are some of the best on the market too.
There a number of retailers across the UK who sell Capo and they’re worth seeking out.
For more information visit Capo here: http://www.capocycling.com/
Here is another review of the SC-12 range that’s also worth considering:
Any questions, please let me know via the comments.
Thanks for reading.