Northwave Sonic jersey and Evolution Tech bib tights review£199.98

Straightforward top half meets heavy duty bibs

BikeRadar score3.5/5

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.

Sonic jersey

£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.

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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.

  • Jersey: three stars
  • Bibs: four stars
  • Overall score: three-and-a-half stars

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Age: 27
  • Height: 174cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 53kg / 117lb
  • Waist: 71cm / 28in
  • Chest: 84cm / 33in
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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