When we saw Babici's TV advert during last year’s Tour de France we were intrigued. In an increasingly crowded cycle apparel marketplace, their concept – combining Italian manufacturing with Australian design – really stands out.
The company's aim is to offer no-compromise milling and materials while retaining a distinct Antipodean identity. Their kit has already been received well in the Australian market so we were keen to see just how well it stacks up against the some of the better-established players.
We were provided with two items to review from the Corsa range: a pair of Veloce knicks and a Mortirolo jersey. Together with socks and a cap, they form the AUS$350 Corsa Kit. Style-wise, Babici have done themselves proud, with a simple but elegant colour scheme complementing a fairly classically styled cut that gives the ensemble a really clean look. They were going for a timeless style and have definitely met the mark.
Both the jersey and knicks feel really good as soon as you put them on. The knicks are snug and don’t move around, and as soon as we jumped in the saddle we noticed just how good the chamois is. The gel inserts and precise stitching made sitting on an already comfortable Fizik Arione saddle that much more of a pleasure.
Two hours in and we could barely notice a difference in ride comfort; the chamois really is as good as you'll ever need. Chafing and irritation were never issues. The jersey was similarly comfortable thanks to its soft fabric and flat-locked seams, and it breathed really well.
Even in the rain, it remained comfortable and never got that waterlogged feeling that thicker jerseys can sometimes suffer from. Our only reservation is the sleeves – they're a little loose and could do with elastic cuffs or silicone gripper. Make sure you get the right size, too, as the jersey is meant to be form fitting and the ‘too-big’ look isn’t flattering.
We can hardly say a bad word about the Babici kit. The knicks in particular blew us away, and while the jersey isn't perfect, overall the combo rates right up there. Pricing is on-par, too. Given this is only Babici’s debut in the high-end market, it’s scary to think what we can expect from them in the future.