The dhb A/W 2016 women's collection

The dhb A/W 2016 women's collection

British cycling apparel brand dhb is renowned for offering great value performance kit with a contemporary look. Here we review gear from the new Blok and Classic ranges.

Words: Adele Mitchell

THE BLOK RANGE

First out of the box was the Blok Prism short sleeve jersey (£45), coordinating Blok Prism arm warmers (£15) and Polka socks (£7), worn with the Women’s Bib Shorts (£45) from the Classic range.

This jersey’s bold design - navy blue enhanced with a vibrant graphic print across the shoulders and sleeves – is really fresh and fun.  If pink isn’t your thing, its also available in blue and yellow.

With performance in mind, the jersey features a contrast full length to the front, three rear pockets and a secure zip rear pocket, again with a contrast zip. There’s a small reflective panel on the back too. Silicone grippers on the hemline help prevent the jersey from riding up when you are in riding position.

It offers a close fit suitable for road riding but also has stretch so it is super comfortable to wear. Wicking fabric keeps your body temperature comfortable, while anti-bacterial properties help keep you feeling fresh and also prolong its usable life (ie. it wont start to smell as quickly as some other fabrics!).

I’m a huge fan of arm warmers – team them up with a short sleeve jersey and they are perfect for warming up or keeping you comfortable on cooler autumn days. When you remove them, you simply store them in your jersey pocket with much less bulk than a jacket.

This pair is truly eye-catching and stretch micro-brushed jersey makes them soft, comfortable and efficient to wear. I love the fact they are available in four sizes as fit is so important with arm warmers if you don’t want them to fall down!

 

With a design as great as this one, who could say no to matching socks? Especially when they are breathable, antibacterial and the perfect length – consequently, I adore these socks.

If bib shorts are going to win me over, they need to be comfortable at all times. This pair is crafted in stretch Italian performance fabric that is breathable and lightweight, and features a women-specific chamois that is designed to be worn for up to five hours in the saddle (more than adequate for a leisure ride or medium distance sportive). The elastic leg openings feature silicone grippers to keep them in place, and are deep enough to sit flat on the leg without digging in (thus avoiding the dreaded ‘sausage leg’ effect).

The braces (note- you cant see them here because they’re always worn beneath, not above your cycling jersey!) are crafted in breathable mesh to help keep you cool, and have wide straps and a racer back that wont dig in to your shoulders.

A really well thought out product, at a great price.

THE CLASSIC RANGE

The Bretton Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey (£50) features a classic stripe design in seasonal burnt orange and soft plum (which is especially exciting if, like me, you own an orange bike!!). It’s a versatile layering piece for colder rides in warm yet breathable and wicking polyester fleece. Although it is cut to wear as a jersey I would also wear it over a base layer and/or beneath a shell or gilet when temperatures really start to fall. The sleeves are a good length too to ensure there is no chilly wrist gap with winter gloves.

The jersey features a full length zip, three rear pockets plus a small zip pocket. A silicone hem gripper helps keep the jacket in place as you ride. I love the small zip cover on the collar that prevents the zip rubbing your neck when it is fully done up – small details like this make all the difference on a long ride. 

The Windproof Gilet (£40) in grey marl effect is crafted in a technical fabric that is both windproof and breathable to maintain comfortable warmth. In my experience a technical gilet is one of the most effective garments you can wear if you want to stay comfortable during a longer ride, and this one is no exception. If you do get too warm, it will fold easily into a jersey pocket.

This gilet features three rear pockets for storage and a full length zip (with zip cover!) The arm openings are elastic to keep the chill out.

Although this gilet does feature reflective details I do though have concerns about visibility while wearing a garment which is, basically, the same colour as the road.

Sometimes the weather is so cold that nothing but the very warmest kit will persuade you to leave the house. I would happily reach for the Women’s Classic Roubaix Bib Tights (£55) on such days. They are crafted in high quality technical fabric featuring an inner face of ultra soft brushed fleece for warmth and insulation, and they’re also breathable so you can enjoy riding at whatever intensity you like without overheating. The fit is excellent – again attention to detail is key here. The panels allow full movement of the leg, while the zip-up top section is cut high at the front to maintain warmth with a breathable mesh panel at the back for extra ventilation. The ankles feature silicone grippers to keep the tights in place, as well as really durable zippers (the first thing to fail on tights from other brands that I have owned!). There are reflective strips on the back, leg and rear calf too.

Cold feet can ruin any ride, so I heartily recommend the Classic Bretton Thermolite® Socks (£6) – not only do they coordinate with the jersey, but they also feature Thermolite® fabric that keeps you warm without being bulky. A great addition to your winter ride wardrobe!

Gloves and shoes: models own

Photos: paulmitchellphotographer.com

 

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