One doesn't normally think of South America as a source of cycling clothing but Suarez are looking to change that perception with their broad range of stock and custom kit, all of which is sewn in Colombia. We've received some cold weather gear to test and so far, it's been promising.
The wicking synthetic fabrics are what you'd expect from high-end gear, including brushed-back Thermatex polyester on the long-sleeve jersey, with hollow fibers to further help retain heat. The heavier duty Thermo Wind hollow polyester knit with its polyurethane breathable membrane is used on the winter jacket, while the knickers and tights have more heavily insulated Thermo Fleece panels, with brushed backs and four-way stretch.
Construction quality seems very good, with solid stitching, appropriately placed reinforcements, and panel cuts and graphics that match up well. Suarez choose not to go down the popular route of purchasing off-the-shelf pads from Cytech, instead stitching in their own selection of inserts. The top-end 'Elite Men' pads of our test pieces are well placed and feature a multi-thickness shape plus four-way-stretch antibacterial materials that have proven comfy during initial rides.
The overall fit doesn't break any new ground but for the most part, it's quite competent, with good cycling-specific patterns throughout. The jersey is suitably close fitting with enough volume for a long-sleeve base layer, the winter jacket is appropriately a little roomier so you can pack in more layers, and the bib tights and knickers boast impressively body hugging cuts through the torso, midsection and legs. The only major exception is the length of our bib knickers, which barely cover our knees and won't quite stay tight around the openings.
One of the most appealing attributes of Suarez's clothing range – at least as far as custom pieces are concerned – is its prices. Custom pricing varies with quantity but on average, the winter jersey costs US$58.54, the winter jacket $88.40 and the bib knickers $62.50. The bib tights – curiously – are slightly less expensive at $60.41. For more information, visit www.suarez.com.co.