Howies, manufacturers of active clothing, have been busy creating their first proper line of cycling gear, catering for those who like simple, effective and classy kit. At the moment, the range consists of new bib shorts, two jerseys and two jackets, which BikeRadar have just taken delivery of.
Leadout bib shorts
The Leadout bib shorts have been made with ‘seamless circular knit technology’, which vastly reduces the number of seams needed, limiting the risk of chafing. This method allows the same section or panel to feature different thicknesses of material, meaning breathable stretch panels can be added to warmer areas without the need for additional seams.
Howies have included a TMF high density chamois in the shorts and, during our initial use, the two-layer foam construction seems very comfortable. Its antibacterial nature should keep things fresh down below, too.
Leadout bib shorts
The outer fabric has a texture unlike that of most Lycra shorts – instead of being smooth and shiny, it has a nice matte finish and a soft texture. The front of the shorts has plenty of stretch for mid-ride comfort breaks.
The Leadouts cost £59/US$75.
Slipstream L/S and S/S jerseys
Using the same fabric as the Leadout bib shorts, the Slipstream tops are close-fitting cycling jerseys. Once again, the seamless circular knit technology reduces the number of seams and allows the integration of breathable stretch panels.
Slipstream short-sleeve jersey
The short-sleeved version comes with a quarter-length zip, while the long-sleeved features a full-length zip. Both jerseys come with three rear pockets, the main central one being zipped with a reflective trim. The Slipstream L/S and S/S jerseys cost £59/US$75 and £49/US$65 respectively.
Dyfi Active Shell
The windproof Dyfi Active Shell is designed to keep the chill off when cycling, and is made of a breathable, windproof material. The main body panels are finished with a hydrophobic coating that keeps spray and light showers at bay. The sides of the jacket are made from a highly breathable stretch fabric, which shouldn’t feel too restrictive and is designed to keep things a little cooler.
The jacket folds into its own pocket, for easy storage, and has reflective detailing at the wrists, for signalling in traffic, and on the back, aiding visibility. The cut doesn’t include a particularly long rear, so it might be a little short for roadies – however, it seems ideal for mountain bikers and urban cyclists.
Breathable stretch panels on the Dyfi Active Shell jacket
The Dyfi Active Shell jacket will be available soon for £39/US$63.
The Outback is a Howies softshell jacket constructed from Schoeller 3XDRY fabric. In typical softshell fashion, the outer shrugs off a reasonable amount of water, spray or rain, and the inner merino layer should be nice and breathable, and capable of drying quickly.
The outdoor active fit should work for most applications, and the jacket has three pockets – a chest one and two map-sized hand pouches. The Outback jacket costs £175/US$280.
The Outback is a good all-purpose option for the outdoors