January 2017 Women’s Product Picks: Voler, Queen of the Mountain, The Offset Hook, Club Ride Apparel and Bontrager

by Anne-Marije Rook

January 26, 2017

In this edition of Women’s Product Picks, we take a look at kit by Voler and Queen of the Mountain, Club Ride Apparel’s versatile top, Foothill Products’ ingenious way to store wheels, and Bontrager’s hi-vis women’s jacket


Click the links below to skip through to a particular review:


Voler Prestige Pro Women’s Kit

by VeloClub

Founded in 1986, Voler is a California-based cycling apparel company that got its start making windsurfing bags and cycling helmet covers.

Today, Voler makes premium custom apparel as well as its own branded apparel that’s sold directly to the customer via its online store. They pride themselves on manufacturing all their apparel at their factory in Grover Beach, California.

On the American west coast, Voler is a pretty established among racing teams and cycling events. On the international level, they’ve been the chosen apparel manufacturer for the Team Tibco-SVB professional women’s cycling team for over a decade.

We got our hands on a 2017 Prestige Pro kit, which is Voler’s top-end, race-ready cycling apparel made to “appeal to the serious cyclist, but with a pop of colour to keep things fun”.

Right out of the bag, the blue camo design is indeed edgy. While it may perhaps be a bit too masculine for some women, I thought it was a pleasant deviation from all the pinks, purples or pastels already in my closet.

Aero, hi-tech and race-ready with a feminine cut.

’17 Prestige Pro Women’s Velocity Jersey

Form-fitting, race-ready yet comfortable, the women’s Prestige Pro Velocity jersey features Voler’s top-end lightweight fabrics and aerodynamic technology while accommodating a feminine figure. This means the cut has a tapered waist, elasticised bottom hem, a shorter length, narrower shoulders and more room in the chest and hips.

The jersey is constructed using three fabrics for the torso –a blend of ultra-lightweight micro fiber oly-spandex, polyester and mesh –and another speedsuit-like fabric for the shoulders and sleeves.

All these fabrics were chosen for their wicking, breathability, aerodynamic and elasticity qualities. For the wearer this simply means that you’re get a snug-fitting yet stretchy jersey that keep you cool and comfortable regardless of how hard or long you’re riding.

The fit works well for me, and I was especially pleased with Voler’s zipper. The Velocity jersey features Voler’s lightest full-length zipper in their line-up, which uses smaller coils and tape to help the zipper conform to your body and prevent that annoying zipper bulge. The locking mechanism ensures that the zipper doesn’t come undone no matter how far zipped or unzipped you prefer your jersey to be.

It being an aero jersey, the sleeves are on the longer side and while I prefer that, the wide gripper bands are a bit too snug for my liking.

The PowerGrip bands are a favourite among women riders.

’17 Prestige Pro Women’s Bib Shorts

The Prestige Pro bib short uses a thin, lightweight fabric called Milano. Milled in Italy, the fabric is comprised of tightly knit fine yarns, elastane and surface texture. This makes a lightweight yet opaque fabric with a good amount of compression.

The Prestige series also uses Voler’s super wide PowerGrip leg grippers, which have been highly praised by all of its female wearers. And I have to agree.

At 8 centimetres, the grippers are among the widest on the market. They’re made of a silicon-free fabric for extra breathability and feature a textured backing to providing superior comfort and grip. All this makes for a form-fitting and flattering band that prevents the dreaded sausage leg look.

The Prestige Pro bibs use Voler’s women’s specific Comp HP bibs made of a four-way stratch, multi-density foam.

3D molded and seamless, the chamois is anatomically designed for women in an aggressive position. And at 11mm thick, I found that the high density foam provided plenty of comfort and relief even on rides of 6 or more hours without feeling, or looking, like I was wearing a diaper.

All of this is stitched together onto relatively minimalistic, thin bib straps.

With an inseam of 20 centimetres, the shorts feel a bit on the shorter side, especially when trying to pair them with knee or leg warmers. Combined with the lightweight fabric, these are perhaps best used in warmer weather. With that said, overall, these are a very good pair of bibs that are also performance-oriented, flattering and comfortable.

Three full sized open pocket in the rear.

’17 Prestige Pro LS Women’s Race Jersey

Appropriate for the cold weather we have been experiencing on the Pacific Northwest, I received the fleece-lined ’17 Prestige Pro LS Women’s Race Jersey along with the standard two-piece kit.

Like the short sleeve jersey reviewed above, the Long Sleeve Race Jersey features a feminine cut albeit slightly more relaxed as it’s intended to be worn with a baselayer and/or jersey underneath.

The thermal fabric is breathable and quick drying and features a fleece backing for extra warmth. It’s very soft and paired with a baselayer, the jersey performed well in the 45-60?F range. Wind cuts right through it, however, and so for cooler weather, it’s best paired with a wind-blocking vest or jacket.

It has been unusually cold here and this jersey has made for a great second baselayer.

Why we like it:
The Prestige Pro kit is a premium performance product at a decent price. At just $228 USD you get a full kit (jersey and bibs) that is race-ready, yet comfortable enough for a long day in the saddle and features a fun, modern design.

Downsides
The Prestige Pro is offered in only one design, the blue camo which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Price:
Short sleeve jersey: $99 USD
Long sleeve thermal jersey: $89 USD
Bib shorts: $129 USD
www.voler.com

 

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