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by Dave Rome
June 22, 2020
Photography by Dave Rome & Tim Bardsley Smith
My “best premium bib shorts” feature ruffled a few Lycra feathers, and the weeks afterward saw a small flurry of excluded brands letting me know that their bibs deserved to be in the mix.
Enter Attaquer’s All Day kit. Even though the graphic on the jersey is now a season old — Attaquer has updated the design since I received these items for review — the All Day kit came highly recommended by riders whose opinions I trust greatly.
Despite not being as technically advanced as the Assos Equippe RS S9 (my pick for best bibs) or as seamless-feeling as the Cuore X1, Attaquer’s All Day bibs, and the matching jersey, quickly became one of my favourite kits to wear. This is a kit that matches luxurious-feeling materials with a well-considered cut that still lets you enjoy potato chips.
Based in Sydney, Australia, Attaquer (pronounced “attacker”) is perhaps best known as the brand the started the boom of wild and out-there limited edition cycling kits. Since that craze, Attaquer has moved from solely creating polarising designs to also offering mainstay kit options, and the All Day kit is an example of just that.
Attaquer’s earlier kits were certainly of high quality, but they were also unapologetically race-cut with a fit that wasn’t exactly inclusive. In fact, when I reviewed one of their original kits for another publication, I suggested that Attaquer’s kits tease you for being fat while you squeeze into them. And while Attaquer still offers such kits, the All Day offering introduces a revised fit that’s more forgiving, more relaxed, and more welcoming.
Where Attaquer’s racier kits fit more like a Rapha Pro Team, the All Day kit is more akin to Rapha’s Core kit. What does that mean? It means I think I’m a small, but many newer race-focussed kits say otherwise. In Rapha’s Pro Team kit I need to size up to a medium, while in Rapha’s Core, and Attaquer’s All Day, a small size kit fits and feels perfect.
That’s not to say these are baggy like the “club” jersey offered by a number of custom clothing makers — it’s still a performance cut that’s intended to be a slim fit, but it does so without being mean.
At 170 cm and 70 kg, I’m a little off a weight suited to racing. And where I don’t currently feel comfortable wearing kids-sized racing kits, the All Day kit felt just right.
I’ve been testing the Italian-made All Day summer jersey and bibs since last year and can confirm that this kit is loaded with comfort-inducing elements that make it a great match for its name.
Slipping these bibs on greets you with a surprisingly soft, almost silk-like feel. They’re stretchy, yet supportive, and they almost feel like someone has worn them in for you, but not in a creepy way.
Consisting mostly of a Polyamide (aka, nylon) construction, the shorts feel more substantial when compared to the mesh-like materials commonly used at the top end. That material is matched with a two-piece and noticeably dense-feeling chamois. The result is a bib that’s somewhat heavy compared to other high-end bibs, and the scales suggest as much with a size small at 205 grams. By contrast, the heaviest pair in the “best bib shorts” feature was 181 g.
The stretchy and comfortable bib material does an admirable job of finding a balance between muscle support and not feeling like a sausage casing, and proved supremely comfortable for both lunch and longer rides. However, you can occasionally feel the limits when shifting on the saddle — there’s some perceived chamois movement as a result of the material behind stretching. That soft-feeling material has proven durable and has kept its shape, but the exterior areas in contact with the saddle have roughened up with use.
The chamois features multiple padded zones, with the most padding found forward of the sit bones.
The chamois, featuring a thicker foam at the sensitive area versus what’s beneath the sit bones, is most comparable in shape and style to that used in the well-liked Cuore X1 bib, something that defies its basic looks. At the thickest point, the chamois measures 5.65 mm (measured with a micrometer). By comparison, the thickest chamois in the best bibs shootout was Castelli’s Free Aero Race 4 at 5.35 mm. Upfront there’s a perforated modesty panel that’s of sufficient, but not overly generous, height.
Despite the extra bulk, these are still summer bibs, and they breathe sufficiently well. The one exception is felt through the thickest part of the chamois, which doesn’t clear moisture quite as quickly as some of the more expensive, and lighter, bibs.
The shorts are a good height and come up just above the belly button, something that helps to hide the dreaded winter muffin top. From there, the mesh-based bib straps are wonderfully stretchy and offer a wide shape that stays flat and in place during use. The straps also offer two small pockets at the back, ideal for keeping your unpackaged Haribo warm and moist.
The logo is available in either white or black, and is reflective.
Leg length is reasonably long, ending roughly 60 mm above my knees. That makes them a little longer than Assos’ knicks or regular-length offerings from Rapha, and fairly comparable to Castelli’s top-end bibs. The outside of the left leg is given a reflective logo, something that’s available in either white (as tested) or in a more stealthy black.
The leg-gripper is the banded type and is accompanied by subtle silicon printed graphics – it’s effective without being intrusive. I did find the thick stitching of the band, that sits on the inside thigh, to be a little rough. It’s not something that bothered me on the bike, but I found myself fidgeting with it at the cafe.
Similarly, my sample arrived with a tiny white stitch poking through from the front of the chamois. It was easily fixed, but not expected on a premium product.
The jersey proved a wonderful match with the bibs, and it too proved soft and comfortable. It fits with a soft hug, while the lightweight material breathes well without being transparent or letting UV through (my small sample weighed 130 g).
The branding patch that sits inline with the pockets feels scratchy against the skin. I typically wear a base layer and so this went unnoticed, but the issue surfaced when the jersey was worn on bare skin.
The sleeves are of a generous length and feature a subtle band to hold them against the bicep. Further up and I found the jersey to be a little looser than expected, where it would crinkle and bunch in front of my shoulders. Thankfully the soft material used meant this was more a vanity issue than one of comfort.
The pockets on the back are deep enough to cover the most modern of phones and feature a subtly tapered entry for easier access. However, making the pockets so tall does place the entry higher up, and I found myself having to stretch somewhat in order to retrieve things. A silicon band sits at the base of the jersey to prevent it from riding up.
The full-length YKK zipper features a well-sized rubber pull, and there’s a sensible backing material used at the top to prevent the dreaded neck (or chest hair) pinch.
Of course, style plays a huge role in any jersey, and this is where Attaquer usually shines. I was a fan of the edgy and creative, yet subtle, styling of this jersey. The “Scope” design I tested has since been superseded by newer styles, but they all feature the same physical features.
The All Day kit isn’t flawless, but Attaquer has done a wonderful job of designing a stylish kit that takes performance cues and merges them into something that’s absolutely designed for ultimate riding comfort.
Sadly such comfort and style do come at a price — expect to pay AU$299 / US$209 for the bibs, and AU$190 / U$132 for a matching jersey. That isn’t small money, but it’s also far from being the most expensive kit out there, and I think Attaquer’s pricing is at least competitive for what’s on offer.
Price aside, if I had to sleep in a cycling kit, I’d want it to be this one. And it’s a mighty fine choice for a day on the bike, too.