Primal has unveiled a bold new look for the brand, a bright new women’s cycling range, and a fresh range of active wear alongside its road cycling staples. It’s something of a new era for the Colorado-based brand.
With a history of eye-catchingly different designs (the tattoo-design arm warmers of 2008 spring to mind) it’s hardly surprising that the new women’s cycling range incorporates fashion-forward shades, patterns and detailing into it’s technical jersey range.
New for 2015/16 are the lifestyle and active clothing ranges, which represent fresh territory for Primal. The Lifestyle products incorporate shorts, T-shirts, vest tops, polo shirts and even a skort, and are designed to be worn on and off the bike. We’re rather taken with the look of the new Active wear range, which features a sports bra, shirt and a selection of capri leggings and tights.
On the cycling kit side of things, Primal has divided its kit up into four sections. Streetwear has a looser fit and a focus on loud, bold, eye-catching graphics, High Fashion jerseys and shorts have a looser sport fit, and some rather cool designs. Race Evo is, as the name suggests, a race-cut range including a jersey and bib shorts with subtler and more traditional graphics. Race Helix is the top race-specific range that Primal produces, with two designs – one sharp chevrons of blue and turquoise, one in a stealthy black.
Primal items are available globally, and we’ll update this article with Australian pricing shortly.
Mache and Kismet women’s cycling jerseys
The Primal Mache women’s jersey features a digital-inspired print
The Mache and Kismet jerseys (£50 / $70) are both part of the High Fashion range. The cut is a looser ‘sport’ cut designed for comfort in the saddle and long rides.
The graphics on both jerseys are eye catching, and manage to look stylish without being too lairy. Both feature full length zips and three large rear pockets – which Primal claims are large enough to hold a bottle of wine… not that we’d suggest you hydrate yourself this way while out riding, of course.
Raglan sleeves, a female-specific panelled construction and of course a drop tail round out both jerseys’ features.
Worth mentioning is the wide range of sizes these jerseys are available in – from XS to 3XL, which we estimate to be around a UK 18 / US 14. We found the jerseys did size up a little on the small size, with a medium suited to a UK 10 or small UK 12.
Primal Women’s Sound Barrier Helix jersey
The Helix range is Primal’s the top-of-the-range road race kit offering. Using a range of technical fabrics, including lightweight breathable SLR Ion, mesh panels, and compressive Lycra, the cut on the Sound Barrier Helix Jersey (£80 / $120) is tight and aerodynamic, sitting close to the skin.
The aforementioned SLR Ion fabric combines a number of useful features; it’s woven through with threads containing silver, which acts as a natural antimicrobial, and Primal claims it also increases the fabric’s wicking properties. To aid breathability, the side panels are stretch mesh.
The jersey features a full-length zip, but no zip garage. At the rear, the outer sections of the three cargo pockets have an angled opening to make reaching back to retrieve items while on the go easier.
We also like the printed label, given that dangling tags can be an irritant when you’re clocking up the miles.
Primal Active Casual / Lifestyle range
Expanding into the active clothing market seems like a natural move for a cycling brand. Clothing and goggle giant Fox already has an extensive range, and versatile kit that is useful for both the gym, cycle commuting, running and general riding has a definite market.
The women’s Stone Crop Leggings (£60) by Primal are bright, colourful and cool, with a bold forest-print on the front and black back. A nice wide waistband is soft and feels secure against the midriff. There’s even a little hidden pocket for putting your keys or change in.
Made from a circular knit fabric, the Airspan Women’s Knit Shirt (£35 / $50) sits close to the skin and is seamless. Varying the knit pattern in construction means that certain areas such as the underarms can be designed to be more breathable.
A quick try-on indicates that these items size up small, with the Medium we tried probably equating closest to a UK 10.