Spin Cycle is a young Australian cycling apparel brand, with a clear point of difference to many of its startup competitors – price. While the brand is focused on offering top quality race-inspired clothing, its prices are actually quite reasonable, albeit not so impressive when compared to the big name labels.
I was sent the new ‘Season Three’ FeatherLight navy blue half sleeve kit for review as the Australia spring turned to a scorching summer (apologies if you're reading this during the northern hemisphere winter). The kit, sold as matching jersey and bibs, is also available in a black and with the choice of full-length sleeve, too.
With a literal name, the FeatherLight kit is ultra thin and breathable for even the hottest of summer days and, yes, features a feather pattern. That said, the brand now offers custom options in this same kit, and so this review should apply equally to those new options too.
The cut is race-oriented, and undoubtedly designed for riders with an athletic build. The fit of my small-sized sample is right inline with where I’d expect, and there were no unpleasant surprises.
Mesh panels make this a barely-there kit in the heat
Made from a lightweight MITI Spa fabric, the jersey offers a soft feel and obvious ventilation. Both the back and underarm areas are an even lighter and more ventilated mesh, while the bodyformed front provides a little more privacy.
It would be a smart move to use sunscreen beneath this jersey if riding in the peak of the day, even though it’s noticeably more protective than some climber-focused clothing we’ve used recently.
A tad too long or too short? Either way, it's not the Goldilocks perfection
With longer sleeves in fashion, my sample features a ‘half sleeve’ that reaches down to the elbow. On my ‘sensibly’ spindly arms, the length is perhaps a little too long, forcing the material to bunch up at the shoulder. Despite this, the jersey remained comfortable in use.
The large rear pockets are easy to get into, and get stuff out of
The jersey design is kept relatively simple in features, and so remains lightweight. There’s a full-length YKK zipper, which has remained smooth in function, while out back there are three generous rear pockets and a centrally placed large reflective tag. Outside of racing, I’m a big fan of zippered security pockets for my valuables, but this performance-focused garment offers no such luxury.
Matched perfectly in aesthetic, the navy blue bibs feature a MITI Spa compression fabric for a sensibly close fit. This material also claims to offer 50+ UPF factor sun protection, something the jersey does not.
A common source for a quality chamois, Spin Cycle uses an upper-level Elastic Interface pad. It’s an item myself and many others in the team have used in other shorts before with success. While not the thickest pad going, it has enough protection to be comfortable without being overly bulky or obtrusive. The placement is good, and there’s enough coverage at the front of the pad to accommodate your modesty too.
The bib straps themselves are a Lycra-like material, with a wide and flat fit that’s extremely comfortable with or without a base layer beneath. At the back, the curved bib straps are joined with a mesh panel, ensuring the stay in place and add a little additional privacy through the jersey's mesh-backing.
This leg gripper is all quality
Finally, where the jersey sleeves are gripper-free zones, the bibs feature 8cm compression-type items at the leg. These hold firm without the need for silicone or similar grip materials that can wear prematurely or, in some cases, irritate skin.
Whether riding in a feather covered outfit is your style (I like it, my fiancée doesn’t), there’s no denying the high value offered in this race kit. In many cases, it’s using the same fabrics as more expensive kits, in a cut that will work with more athletic builds. Perhaps the only thing to watch for is the sleeve length, especially if you skipped a few too many ‘arm days’ in the gym.
Shipping directly from Spin Cycle clothing in Australia, the Half sleeve kit retails at $220 / £150 / AU$310 and the full-sleeve kit sits just a little more at $240 / £160 / AU$330.