Fresh out of Bern, Switzerland comes new clothing company Cervo Rosso and a tidy initial collection of late winter and spring gear aimed at discerning road cyclists.
Styling is clean, classic, and elegant, consisting mostly of black and white with a few touches of accent colours such as red and baby blue. Manufacturing locations include Italy, Great Britain, or New Zealand depending on the specific item and fabrics used.
"This is a very exciting time for us and we are exceptionally proud of the collection we will launch with," said company founder and CEO Carlyle Ware via press release. "Every Cervo Rosso product is put into the hands of professional riders past and present, where performance and durability are tested to the limit. Our values respect the needs of discerning riders who want to perform at their best in absolute comfort from all the elements. Looking exceptional in a unique and individually recognizable design is an added bonus."
Cervo Rosso has only been in existence since mid-December but we've already put in several weeks of testing time on early production versions of the company's National Price Series jersey and Team Cervo Rosso bib shorts. Both items seem very well constructed and have received almost universal praise for their aesthetics, and while there are a few hiccups we've discovered, there's also a lot of promise.
The National Pride Series jersey (US$165/€125/£105) is built with Sportwool Merino wool and polyester blend for a soft hand and easy machine washable care and offers a wide comfort range well suited to changing late winter/early spring conditions – we found it comfortable on its own from about 7-17°C (45-60°F) depending on the base layer used. The black, white, and red hues with embroidered logos are eye-catching without being over the top, and contrasting national flag armband inserts are available in Australian, Swiss, Belgian, or Italian colours.
Overall fit is good though slightly roomier than a typical race-oriented summer jersey. Ware acknowledges the extra breathing space was intentional – perhaps to allow for extra 'winter padding' or just to provide a less restrictive feel. However, the collar struck us as a bit too loose and the cuffs too tight and lacking in stretchiness. Ware tells us both features are being changed for the next production run scheduled for early February and the rear pocket configuration is being updated as well with three open bays and a supplemental zippered pocket for valuables. Currently, the middle spot is accessible by a side zipper only, which limits its usefulness for stashing unused layers.
The Team Cervo Rosso bib shorts (US$125/€95/£80) is closer to the ideal in our opinion with an appropriately snug cycling-specific fit, wide leg bands with silicone rubber dots, an airy mesh bib section, and a well-placed multi-thickness, multi-density stretch chamois that's proven to be very comfortable on longer road rides.
The one hiccup we found was insufficiently elastic stitching joining the leg bands to the body of the shorts – something riders with smaller legs likely won't even notice. Like the jersey, though, Ware says this is being corrected with the next production run.
Cervo Rosso plans to add more items to the range as the company gets rolling but for now, even the limited selection seems at least worth a closer look based on our experience so far. Currently dealers are only located in Switzerland, Belgium and Australia but items are available worldwide directly from the company web site.
In the meantime, we already have a follow-up shipment of updated production items on the way so watch this space for a more in-depth review.