I’ve ridden a pretty big variety of cycling apparel. Although, I have been fortunate to have sponsorship support most years I have been riding, I have had to buy my own stuff as well. The list of companies that I have had full kits from include:
- Pearl Izumi
Each has their own benefits and advantages. I do have to say that I am not huge believer in any performance benefits, rather any benefits I would consider would be in the following categories:
- Interesting Features (Radio Integration, Reflective material, venting, etc.)
- For Cycling Teams Only
- Minimum Order
- Custom Offerings
- Customer Service at a Team Scale
This is my first year on Pactimo stuff. I honestly hadn’t thought much about them in my cycling years, although I have appreciated their kits when I saw them in the group. So on to the review:
Jersey – We are riding the Summit RFLX jersey. This is a form fitting, reflective element included and race ready jersey. What I like:
- Perfect fit. I am 180 lbs. and just over 6 ft. tall. I am wearing a large and it fits like a skinsuit. I’d have to say that the fit is the most important aspect I look for in a jersey and I absolutely love the fit. It is a bit snug. But as a racer, there is nothing better than wearing a kit that has pockets, full zip, etc. and also has the speed fit of a skinsuit. I have ridden down a number of mountain descents at 50 mph and the jersey is silent. No flapping, no annoying sounds. Just slick.
- I commute a fair amount on my bike and sometimes I get caught without a light due in diminishing daylight. I love the fact that the jersey has huge panels of reflective material to turn my otherwise black kit into a reflective element on the streets.
- Temperature modulation. This is a bit of a question at this point. So far it has been great and I am including it in the positive column. However, I haven’t gone through the summer in this mostly dark kit.
What I don’t like:
- Honestly, there isn’t much here. I guess the only thing I am getting used to is that the pockets are extremely snug and maybe a bit tall. So I have working on figuring out the system on how much they will hold. They are harder to access while riding than any other jersey I have worn. I suspect this is just an item that I will have to get used to when grabbing that gel mid race. The good thing about this is that the stuff in your pockets stays put and snugs your body instead of flopping around while you ride. (see pic which shows me wearing the jersey with a ton of stuff in my pockets and you can hardly tell)
Shorts – We are also wearing the Summit Raptor Pro RFLX.
What I like:
- Much like the jersey, you can tell the shorts are made for racers. Including their body type. They fit like a glove.
- It is all about the chamois. I don’t notice it when I ride = the ultimate compliment. So far I haven’t had some of t he problems I have had with other kits that would include numbness, over saturation with sweat and pinching.
What I don’t like:
- The fit is a bit too compressive. Now, I am a bigger guy for a cyclist. And there was an entire email string about the size of my quads in regards to fit within the team. So I may be a bit off base to say the fit maybe too tight. I am wearing a large pair of shorts and I have alternated between large and mediums throughout the years in the above mentioned brands. I can usually wear both depending on how I want them to fit. In Pactimo, there is no question I needed large and I could go for a bit more room in the hips and legs. The bibs fit perfect and the leg grip fit perfect, however the hip area and upper quads feel quite tight. It isn’t so tight to be uncomfortable, but it is a different feel than past shorts I have worn.
The overall conclusion is that this might be the best kit I’ve worn yet. I just LOVE the skinsuit feel. It is so difficult to create a jersey that doesn’t bunch and flap around. I’ve often had to order one size small just to get that racer fit and sacrifice the length fit or other elements. Not this year. You watch those pros on TV and see them riding slick and wonder how they get that kind of tailored jersey look. Well I feel like I’ve found it.