The Cortina Roubaix Knicker is part of Capo’s impressively well co-ordinated range of women’s cold-weather gear, all featuring a level of style and comfort often unseen in female-specific cycling gear. It looks and feels good, and Capo don’t resort to the typical girly hues and flowery accents to do it, either.
The knicker’s fleecy Super Roubaix fabric is as soft as a kitten’s belly and cut into a six-panel design that’s nearly as comfortable as flannel pajamas. The exposed lower leg limits the useful temperature range to around 4°C (40°F) on the low range and the fabric’s admirable level of insulation makes it a bit too warm over 10°C (50°F) – especially if the sun is out – so plan accordingly. If it’s really cold out, Capo also offer the Cortina as a full tight.
Cyclists more accustomed to bibs will have to get used to the occasional draft on their lower back, particularly given the somewhat low-waisted and disappointingly straight cut that could easily be lower out front and taller out back. Capo do at least feature a wide waistband, though, so it’s quite comfortable and doesn’t tend to dig in to your midsection. Unfortunately, there’s no bib option.
Additional details include somewhat superfluous silicone grippers in the leg openings and a built-in multi-density, multi-thickness stretch women’s-specific chamois. We had few issues with chafing even on longer rides and the pad wicks moisture away effectively but some riders might still find it a little too thick. As we’ve found with other items from the Cortina range, construction quality is excellent. Every seam is tightly stitched and reinforced, and after dozens of washings our test piece still looks as good as the day it arrived.