This jersey and bibs combo from Northwave promises to keep you visible in dull winter weather – but it’s the lower half of your body that looks set to benefit most from weather protection and nighttime reflectivity.
£69.99 / US$TBC/€79.99
Hi-vis is all the rage (again), and the Sonic’s yellow panels are among the more luminous we’ve tested – good for the greyer days. Reflectives are confined to a small strip under the three standard-issue rear pockets though, so don’t expect this top to shine at night.
The cut is somewhat relaxed, with some tendency to bunch at the front. There’s a good gripper around the waistband, but the collars and cuffs are comparatively basic, the latter in particular not being all that elastic, so skinny wrists won’t be sealed off from the outside world.
The Sonic uses a warm and fleecy Roubaix style fabric throughout, with a layered semi-mesh version on the back that offers extra breathability.
Otherwise, construction is simple; you’ll need to add separate protection from wind and rain as none is built-in. As a result, the Northwave is decent, but not outstanding value for money.
Evolution Tech bib tights
£129.99 / US$TBC/€149.99
The first thing we noticed putting on Northwave’s Evolution tights is how heavy the fabric feels, and that’s because a significant proportion of the garment is made from a material that claims to be windproof.
xxxxx: xxxxxRobert Smith
Northwave’s Sonic jersey is warm but won’t keep out wind or rain, but the Evolution tights are made of stern stuff
Testing proved its worth and in fact, these bibs are also some of the most water resistant we’ve tried. Thanks to the fleecy inner, they’re also extremely warm – a good choice for truly chilling winter days.
Northwave’s attention to detail impressed us: the front zip comes almost down to the chamois so comfort breaks are less of a contortion than they could be, and ankle zips make getting dressed easier; the cuffs have good grippers on them to keep the weather on the outside, and as an added bonus there are a couple of panels of that marvellous reflective Pixel fabric placed strategically on the thighs, which light up under car headlights.
For the quality and comfort on offer, these are good value for money.
Matthew is an expert on bike tech and a lover of practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he dabbles in all disciplines and has tested a huge variety of bikes and gear over the years.