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Monday 1 May 2017

Trespass do Cycling Kit: Yep Really

Maybe you've followed my cycling exploits on here, maybe not … but to set the scene I am an enthusiastic but not particularly capable cyclist. That was probably a rather too diplomatic way of saying “falls off at major roundabouts after forgetting she's clipped in as gets distracted by next cake stop”. 

Also “Liability”. 

I practise hard and aim to cycle defensively but I'm aware that I've only got 2 real years of cycling experience behind me. And that I recently fell of a stationary spin bike. 

See - I'm a perfectly good cyclist when standing still and not actually on a bike
Therefore I do everything I can to limit my chances of being in an accident while still cycling on the road. Mainly this involves early mornings when there's less traffic, quieter roads and highly visible kit.

Trespass offered me the chance to test some of their kit (they didn't pay me and I've said exactly what I've thought of it) and I chose one of their cycling jackets, unsure what to expect as I associate Trespass as an outdoor hiking and trail brand and didn't even realise they had a cycling range.

The jacket is £62.99 full price, but currently £17.99 so I was expecting a jacket that was clearly at the lower end of the market. However, I was pleasantly surprised. 

It DOES have arms - this is my folding ...

The cycling jacket is marketed as water-resistant, but breathable which can be a tricky combination, but the exterior fabric feels pleasant – it's soft not the plastic texture I expected and it's quite as bright as I'd hoped. My 7 year old daughter who is still in her full-on pink princesses and barbie phase LOVED it.

It's water resistant to TP75 and the interior has a soft mesh which is comfortable on. However, more importantly it stops that horrible sweaty, icky feeling that some waterproof jackets can give you when you're working hard and the sweat has nowhere to go. The collar is fleece lined for comfort too so I was happy to wear it without a buff and it has a elastic adjustor at the back to stop the wind getting in. 

Another important point is that it's machine-washable. I DO look after my kit, but quite frankly, I buy it so I can use it which means it's going to get muddy, mucky, oily - and probably knowing my history with wildlife get duck poo on it too. So if I can just throw it into the washing machine with everything else that's a win. Also the mud comes off pretty well too on a cold wash. It's still as retina-burningly pink after 3 washes as it was when I received it. 

Most importantly of all the snack pocket – or the rear pocket as all you proper cyclists probably call it – is generous. There's room for at least 8 gels (cakes)and there's another pocket on the front for serious and important things like GPS trackers (easy access phone for selfies) and 2 zipped vents under your arms. These were particularly good and very easy to open on the move to adjust your temperature. I found these very handy as I don't seem to be able to keep my temperature as stable when I'm cycling as I do when I'm running so it was nice to be able to have this option. I also appreciated that the rear pocket was zipped as I'm always a bit worried about losing things (snacks) from here.

I tried the jacket on several rides and it kept me warm. It would be decent as a good winter jacket with a base layer or as a lighter summer jacket and good protection against light showers. It also packs away into it's own rear pocket so can be stowed fairly easily. 

The only con I could really see is that it's an entry level jacket. If you are one of the cyclists who goes out in nothing but Team Sky kit, this is not the jacket for you. If however you prize functionality over price, then this is a good bit of kit. 

Very VERY visible!

I completely understand that there are plenty of extremely capable cyclists out there and that high viz kit shouldn't be necessary if the other road users are courteous, alert and capable but for me it really it quite necessary. I'm still learning and anything that reduces my chances of being in a collision – or being hit after I've probably fallen off after getting distracted by a sheep or something – is a win in my book. And this jacket is very, very visible. Which makes it brilliant for the grey British mornings that most of my rides seem to take place on. 

If you want to take a closer look, there's more information here
Price: (Currently) £17.99 reduced from £62.99 

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