Hailing from Sweden, Void is a cycling clothing company that aims to combine technical function and fashion into one cohesive package. These days, there are quite a few brands out there that do the same thing, so how would its race fit wet weather gear fare against the competition, and the British weather?
Void Armour long sleeve jersey
As already mentioned, Void is based in Sweden, where, if Scandi’ Noir television dramas tell me anything, they get a lot of grey weather.
So the Amour series is meant for those days when there’s a lot of the wet and windy stuff on the horizon. Much like the game changing (can clothing be game changing?) Castelli Gabba, the fabric used on the jersey isn’t waterproof, but rather water resistant, and lets in water gradually — a bit like the neoprene material in wetsuits.
Even though you eventually get wet your body heats up the water trapped inside the material, hopefully keeping you warmer for longer.
Because the fabric is so flexible this also means it can stretch and be form-fitting in ways that fully waterproof jackets cannot.
To help keep out the elements it’s cut relatively long at the back and has a high neck. Semi-waterproof tops can sometimes get incredibly hot so there’s a thinner, vented fabric under the arms.
The fit on the jersey is tight, but never felt restrictive (I weigh 64kg and had a size small) and did exactly what it’s supposed to do.
On the wettest days I would eventually get soaked but would always feel warm as long as I was moving.
It took me a while to work out how much clothing I needed underneath the jersey and the answer was usually very little; on warmer days anything more than a short sleeve jersey or a thin baselayer would make me fairly hot and sweaty.
I don’t struggle in the heat so didn’t mind, but if you run hot and always find yourself changing and removing layers it’s worth bearing in mind.
The fabric’s pretty tough as well. I had a nasty crash on the road in March, which resulted in a small fracture to my elbow. I was wearing the Amour jersey at the time and while there were a few small holes in the jersey it faired relatively well considering the speed and force I hit the ground.
The three rear pockets were deep enough to fit all your ride essentials, although they were sometimes a bit of a faff to get things in and out of while on the move. I suspect this is down to the stretchy, grippy nature of the fabric, but wouldn’t consider it a deal breaker.
Void Armour bib shorts
The amour bib shorts aim to do the same thing as the jersey, keeping you warm and happy while getting drenched.
The fabric feels tougher/thicker than the jersey and Void has designed the shorts with very few panels to help keep the water out.
The straps are made from a thinner mesh and they have all the features you’d expect from high end shorts; flatlock stitching to stop chafing, thin silicone grippers to prevent the legs from riding up, and an anatomic pad from La Fonte.
So, with the spec out of the way what are they like to ride in?
I’ve been using the bibs and jersey for around eight months, clocking up some decent miles in all sorts of weather, from biblical rain to those changeable days when you’re not sure what to wear, and on the whole I’ve been very impressed.
The shorts performed equally as well as the jersey, but with perhaps a few more quirks regarding fit. As previously mentioned I’m 64kg and 183cm tall, so went for a size small. I’ve got very thin thighs and often find shorts won’t be tight enough around grippers, even in a size small.
With the Void shorts I found they were the exact opposite, being fairly tight even on my slender frame. I suspect this is mainly down to the fabric and the fact that there are very few seams, creating a tight, restrictive feeling, especially around the groin.
Once again it’s not so bad as to be a deal breaker, and just takes some time to get used to. However, if you have larger thighs and hips I’d check the sizing very carefully and perhaps consider sizing up.
The bib straps were perfectly comfortable and the same goes for the pad. I experienced no chaffing or sore spots on long rides, and the fabric kept me just as warm when things turned wet.
Just like the jersey, if the temperature rises these shorts can become uncomfortably hot and sweaty, perhaps even more so than the jersey. While the jersey can be unzipped to help cool you down, the shorts cannot, so I’d only recommend these for days when you know it will stay cool.
Void Armour jersey and shorts verdict
They’re not cheap, but on the whole I’d recommend the Amour series jersey and shorts to any rider who wants some high performance and fitted wet weather clothing.
Bar some quirks in the fit, it functions exactly as it should and has proved to be tough and durable.
One final criticism was that the kit only came in black and this can make it difficult for other road users to see you in wet weather. But after talking to Void at Eurobike 2017, I’ve been shown some far more colourful options for 2018. Keep your eyes peeled for a first look on BikeRadar soon.