Le Col is the brainchild of British road pro Yanto Barker, who developed the brand based on his years of experience racing at home and abroad. Barker says the three main features that should be found in a quality garment – comfort, function and style – are rarely seen in unison, but he reckons Le Col's latest autumn/winter gear strikes a balance of all three.
Arcus winter gilet
Billed as Le Col's most versatile piece of kit, this sleeveless version of their winter jacket carries a 'Made in Italy' tag, as with all the brand's clothing, and is made from 100 percent polyester. It's fleece lined throughout, including the collar, so should put up a decent fight against a cold wind.
The front is reinforced for more protection where it's needed, with other features including a full-length zip and four rear pockets. Le Col tend to favour understated colours and the black and white of the Arcus gilet are a perfect demonstration. Our medium was a tight race fit, so sizing up may be necessary. RRP £129.99.
Arcus long-sleeved jersey
Only available in white, this £134.99 race fit winter jersey is made from a 72/20/8 percent mix of polyester, merino wool and nylon. It also comes in a short-sleeve option – Le Col's flagship product – for £109.99. Again, it has a minimalist look. Features include a full-length zip, three rear pocket (with one zip) and contrast stitching.
Arcus bib tights
For 2011/12, seams on the Arcus bib tights (£149.99) have been moved away from the knee to cut out irritation, while reflective strips on the side improve nighttime visibility. Subtle branding, a gel-injected chamoix and fleece inner lining are some of the highlights. These tights, as with all Le Col products, are available directly from their website.