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We’re excited to be featuring the latest kit from US-brand, Ornot, available at the CyclingTips Emporium. Proudly made and designed in the U.S., we love the brand’s focus on minimalist designs, because as they say, “You could be a rolling billboard, Ornot”. But how does it perform on the bike?
Recently we’ve been working with popular cycling fashion Instagram account and website, Kitwatch, and brought you an exclusive offer from bbuc. Hamish from Kitwatch has been putting Ornot’s kit through its paces lately, and wrote the following review for his site. As an authority on all things cycling apparel, we were keen to hear how he felt it stacked up.
Ornot Kit Reviewed:
Rider – Height 185cm (6’1″), weight 70kg (154 lbs). Wearing size small jersey and size medium bibs.
What I love about Ornot, and it’s something that all good brands do, is that they’re always looking to improve. They don’t settle on one way of doing things — rather, as new materials and tech come out, they use what’s at hand to achieve their vision. The latest Ornot kit is a great example of an improved design, having overhauled their bib shorts (now up to 3.0) and range of house jerseys.
I’ve worn Ornot kit before, in fact I reviewed the Floral Ornot jersey and 2.0 bibs last year. What I noted in that review was how much I liked the Floral Ornot jersey and that I also really liked the bibs, but had some reservations about the chamois and cut. I’m happy to say they’ve both seen improvements with the 3.0 bibs.
Another real improvement for me is in the new house jerseys. With their previous House jersey (but not the Floral Ornot), I found the cut to be a little bit constricting around the chest and pinchy under the arms. The sleeves were also a bit short and while the material wasn’t necessarily bad, it left a bit to be desired. I feel like they’ve used the experience and technology behind the making of their Floral Ornot jersey and taken it across to their House jerseys. They’re not direct copies — they’re much more wearable through varying conditions than the Floral Ornot — but they share some similar features.
There have been a lot of changes in the new Ornot House jerseys. Everything from the way the seams join together, the way they are stitched and where they are placed, how flat the zipper and the material around it sits, the longer sleeve length, the cuffs/arm bands used, the neck line, the overall cut and of course the material used.
They use a newer style, thin-to-medium thickness, soft material – something similar to a Lumiere (maybe not quite as soft or light as, but similar) or Rapha Pro Team jersey. The Ornot jersey has a nice amount of stretch to it and is therefore more forgiving than before. The material also feels nice to the touch and for me, is probably the biggest improvement to the remade jersey. The back, side panels and underarms all use a mesh material for more breathability. Since Ornot hails from California, this jersey does lean towards a design for warmer temperatures.
The arm bands are the same as on the Floral Ornot jersey – kind of long, and not too dissimilar to the rest of the jersey material. They’re large, but not super sticky or tight. This means that they are quite comfortable and stay in place reasonably well, yet not as well as a sticky band. And because the band is not as tight, if you suffer from climber’s arms they can be a little loose.
In terms of design, I’m particularly fond of the party pockets in the back. Not only because they match my bike really well, but because they add that essential bit of flair. The jersey is a kind of dull grey tone (that is uncommon – aka good) that allows the purple and blue colours to pop. There are also subtle, small blue dots throughout which is a really nice touch (which also feature on their new Greyskull jersey). The extra bonus that I totally love about this jersey, is all the other Ornot accessories it matches, including socks, bidons, cap, Macgyver and bar bag.
Considering I’ve already reviewed the Ornot Bib Shorts 2.0, I’ll just focus on the main new features here. The bibs have seen a really nice improvement with fit, materials and chamois. As I mentioned, I was pretty into the 2.0 bibs but I did find that they sort of sat funny. Although this didn’t bother me that much, the fit wasn’t ideal, but the Ornot Bib Shorts 3.0 do away with all that while improving elsewhere.
The material is an updated Nylon/Lycra which adds more compression and breathability. They wear well in warm to cool temperature conditions, but lean their focus to warmer months. My big love in these cycling shorts, and in my eye the main improvement, is the cut and the way they wear. They mould to your body shape and sit well on long days in the saddle.
Fit & construction
There’s the low-cut stomach which I personally like for breathability and comfort and the soft and comfortable straps, both a feature of the 2.0 shorts. They use flat-lock seams which should be standard (unless some sort of welding is involved) these days, but surprisingly isn’t. The overall construction and quality control is also high grade and most likely due to Ornot kit and accessories being handmade/put together in California. I really like the update to these Ornot bib shorts and due to their minimal but fun design, have become one of my wardrobe staples that I mix and match with other brands’ jerseys.
Ornot have also moved to the ever popular and ever reliable Elastics Interface pad, which is great anatomically, tried and tested and even features special Carbonium Microfibre fabric designed to pull heat and moisture away from the skin. It’s not that I didn’t like their previous pad, it’s just the EI chamois is much better. It not only helps with comfort, but overall fit as well.
Ornot recommend sizing up if you’re on the fence of sizing, which is where I sit – in between small and medium. I’d say go with the size you most commonly wear elsewhere. I’m literally 50/50 with brands, and am happy that I went with a medium.
I really like the update to this Ornot Kit. They’ve made a few simple, but essential changes that bring both the jersey and bib shorts in line with new cycling kit technology. Both the jersey and bib shorts fit a lot better than their previous iterations and the materials feel better to the touch. They’ve also held up that classic Ornot kit styling – void of logos, a bit minimal but with definite style. It looks good, it matches a bunch of their other products, and for me, it matches my bike without going over the top.