The Domestique Critique – Rivelo Woodvale Jersey and Fernhurst Bib Shorts

by Jacquelyn Herbert

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That blue is as pretty as the summer sky. It’s the first thing you think when you open your package from Rivelo. If you’ve never heard of this UK-based brand, you’re not alone. Rivelo is still a boutique brand, a quiet overachiever with a distinguished style that is understated yet refined, but never showy enough to splash the pages of Facebook and Instagram and compete to catch your eye that way. You could say they prefer the slow and steady, and continue to put out kit that gets better and better with each collection. They have earned your admiration, not sweet talked you out of your cash.

From their website to their kit grids, there is something clean and focused about Rivelo that reminds you that it’s about the ride, not the clothes. And with weather of all sorts in the UK, they have grown their collections to encompass everything you need for hearty wet weather to summer’s sizzling heat.

Since the northern hemisphere is experiencing that sizzle, I was thrilled to give Rivelo’s new long sleeve summerweight Woodvale jersey a review. In southern California, the sunny skies can be relentless in bearing down heat and rays during a ride, so it’s the perfect locale for a jersey with full sun protection like the Woodvale.

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The jersey’s design and material is top of the line. It feels and looks beautiful on with a lot of small touches that go a long way. I do think they cater towards taller athletes – I found the sleeves a touch long for me even though the sizing was spot on elsewhere.

The pockets in the back were a dream with varying sizes, some large enough for a large phone, a bike wallet or whatever snacks you’d like as well as a smaller pocket for a pump and a zip pocket for more security.

I went climbing in 90 degree heat while wearing it and found it comparable in to wearing a short sleeve jersey of the same material. Think about that. I get the sun protection from a long sleeve but it never feels like I’m wearing more than a long sleeve. It’s the first I’ve ridden in summer long-sleeves but found that while you will miss the wind on your arms you also get to skip out on the sunburn / sunscreen game that comes with a short sleeve jersey. Pretty good trade off in my mind. I definitely recommend fthe Woodvale jersey for longer summer rides since it keeps you from having to carry and re-apply sunscreen, and doesn’t have any heat buildup over the miles.

One note to a buyer – check the arm length before purchasing. It’s not normally a dimension you look for when assessing fit but it’ll be frustrating if it’s not correct on this jersey for you. ~ 2 inches long will be fine and just give you a little wiggle room but go too short and you’ll be looking at an odd fit and an odd tan line.

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The Fernhurst bibshort features a cross-over mesh bib section offers a versatile fit that provides coverage without trapping heat. Again, it may seem contradictory to be wearing more fabric when it’s hot weather outside, but the fabric is soft and lightweight with mesh in the right places so you can breathe while wearing these bibs.

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The bibs had a little compression, not much, and a pretty flattering fit on the leg. It’s a bit of a longer short (I get the impression they cater to taller athletes here, too) so if you’re don’t care for the trademark cyclist tanlines these might not be the bibs for you.

My complaint with these bibs, however, was that the material along the front of the bibs leading up to the shoulders created somewhat of a strange crease along the front of the jersey when zipped. For those really particular about how the jersey lays down the front you might find it a nuisance. Although, if those small details don’t phase you it’s a very comfortable bib. The material has a great feel and nothing rides up or moves around. The chamois is a nice middle of the line fit – would find it a good ride for shorter and longer days in the saddle.

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Overall, while I liked the bibshorts for my rides, I really loved the Woodvale jersey. It’s a tremendous new addition to my cycling kit game, and it will get a suprising amount of wear through the seasons here in California. Well done, chaps, well done.

 

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