Home
Upgrades for you – the very best clobber that we've reviewed over the past year

We've review loads of clothing on road.cc over the past year and here’s the best of it — everything from base layers to waterproof jackets, socks to gloves, and everything in between. 

How did we arrive at our selection? We only considered products that scored highly when we initially reviewed them, considering our usual criteria: construction, performance, durability, fit, sizing, weight, comfort and value.

We then reduced the list by getting out our fine-tooth comb and being super-critical about everything, looking for any weaknesses. 

The test team debated, bickered and quarrelled about which products have proved themselves to be the best of the best, eventually ending up with this final selection.

We've included links to our original reviews so you can easily get more info on the clothing that interests you. We've also included buying links (everything here is still available, at the time of writing). The good news is that some of the 2018 spring and summer clothing is now discounted, so you can get yourself a bargain.

dhb Aeron Body Map Sleeveless Baselayer £28

Buy it now for £14

dhb_aeron_body_map_sleeveless_baselayer.jpg

This baselayer does a great job, offering a good fit, thoughtful design and a soft, warm feel.

The Aeron is knitted as a tube, so the only seams are at the edges, despite it incorporating three different fabric types. The 'panels' are strategically placed according to how much the various areas of your torso sweat.

This is a no-nonsense choice that's comfortable and well made, 

Read our review 

Madison Avalanche gloves £32.99

Buy them now 

Madison Avalanche gloves - back.jpg

Madison's Avalanche gloves are great mid-weight all-rounders that will see you through wet, chilly rides from autumn to spring, and for a very reasonable price. These are waterproof as well as windproof, and they're not too bulky, meaning you get enough feel of the bar and sufficient dexterity to grab zip pulls.

Another major point in their favour is that the cosy microfleece liner is integrated so doesn't pull out when you remove the gloves, breathability is also very good, and the stretchy cuffs are both long enough to keep your wrists covered and easy to adjust.

Read our review 

Santini Brisk Race Mitt £23.00

Buy them now 

santini_brisk_race_mitt_-_back.jpg

These are very comfortable low-bulk mitts that give a natural feel of the handlebar while providing just enough cushioning. The back is highly breathable and the price beats many for value.

The design is very simple and the fit is spot on. The palm has a little bit of gel under a grippy surface and it's perforated for a little added breathability.

Read our review 

Hirzl Grippp Light SF gloves £36.00

Buy them now 

hirzl_gripp_tour_ff_2.0.jpg

These lightweight summer mitts put in a fabulous performance. They offer superb grip and they back this up with great construction and a perfect fit. And while the price is high, they're still cheaper than some – and they're worth every penny.

It's the grip that'll impress you most, provided by the very supple kangaroo leather palms. Even in wet conditions, these are incredible.

Read our review 

Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket £65.00

Buy it now 

Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket.jpg

The Showers Pass Ultralight Wind Jacket ticks every box for staying warm while dodging showers in the shoulder seasons. Light, trim-fitting, tiny when packed and budget-friendly, it's hard to see how it could be improved on.

The Elite Wind Fabric is highly breathable while blocking wind, and the durable water-repellent finish sheds light rain and drizzle. The build quality is top-notch. 

Read our review

Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel V2 Jacket £150.00

Buy it now 

Lusso Mens Aqua Extreme Black V2 Jacket.jpg

This is one of the best waterproof jackets on the market. Made right here in the UK, in Manchester, the Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel Jacket V2 keeps serious rain out without creating that boil in the bag sensation found with many others on the market. A huge amount of reflective detailing makes this jacket perfect for night rides too.

The Windtex Storm Shield fabric comes with a waterproof membrane that's surprisingly breathable. A long tail keeps you well covered and there's load of reflective detailing to help get you noticed.

Read our review 

Gore C5 Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 Viz Jacket £250.00

Buy it now for £175 

Gore Gore-Tex Shakedry 1985 Viz Jacket.jpg

The idea behind Shakedry is to have maximum breathability and waterproofness with minimum weight. Gore achieves this by getting rid of the outer textile layer, which can become wetted out, leaving behind what is effectively a technical membrane bonded to the lining.

It weighs a featherweight 127g in a size medium and is one of the most weatherproof truly packable jackets out there. In heavy rain beading is superb, while moist air is allowed to escape with ease. 

The wrists have an elasticated section to them, so they stop draughts and water sneaking in. This jacket has a slimish cut with minimal flapping, and the long back provides good coverage. 

The back features a single zipped pocket protected by a storm flap, and the jacket folds away into it for easy storage in a jersey pocket.

Read our review 

Castelli Alpha RoS Jacket £275.00

Buy it now, from £219 

Castelli Alpha Ros Jacket - riding.jpg

As an all-in-one winter jacket, the Castelli Alpha RoS is hard to beat. The Italian brand really means it when it calls it the 'Rain or Shine' (RoS – geddit?) jacket, and there's plenty of insulation for when the mercury falls.

It has a two-piece construction – a technical outer layer made from Gore Windstopper 150 fabric, bonded to a fleece inner lining that covers the core. 

This is a superb cold weather solution. Worn over the top of just a summer mesh baselayer, it can easily handle 3-5°C. You can unzip the outer fabric to get a little extra cooling inside, or you can partially or fully unzip the inner lining.

The collar is tall and articulated with a fleece backing, the sleeves long and cuffs slim to create a seal from the wind, and a dropped tail for additional protection. That tail is elasticated and figure-hugging too, with a tacky Castelli-branded gripper underneath to ensure it sticks in place over your bibs.

Read our review 

Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II £149.99

Buy it now, from £127.49 

Endura Pro SL Thermal Windproof II.jpg

The Endura Pro SL II is a warm, very slim-fitting and extremely protective winter jacket that is built to last — and an absolute godsend on horrible winter days. A redesign of the original Endura Pro SL, it features an excellent high collar, intelligent use of panels and a sleek yet stretchy fit that will never slow you down.

The panels under the arms and down the sides of the torso are finely perforated for breathability and very stretchy, while everything else – three rear pockets included – is a heavier solid fabric that's fully windproof.

Pick the jacket up and it feels almost wetsuit-like, especially around the chest, but once on its well-shaped stretch fit feels as much like a thick jersey as a jacket. 

Buy this and you still need a waterproof jacket, but what you gain is impressive versatility and good breathability that'll keep you happy through more than just winter.

Read our review

Galibier Mistral Foul Weather Jacket £72.76

Buy it now 

Galibier Mistral Foul Weather jacket.jpg

Galibier's Mistral foul weather jacket will cover off nearly all of your winter rides if you like to work up a sweat. It's windproof, waterproof, breathable, close fitting and exceptional value. 

The fit is for road riding: tight sleeves, short front, dropped back. It's excellent on the bike, with very little flapping even at high downhill speeds, and plenty of length in the arms.

The Mistral has a three-layer membrane with a waterproof rating of 8,000mm and a breathability rating of 10,000gr/m2/day. It's also treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating to help it shed water. The seams aren't taped, and it's not as waterproof as a full hardshell, but it's plenty waterproof enough to be a good choice on rides where you know you're going to get wet, especially if it's cold and showery and you don't want to be pulling a rain cape on and off. 

The material is an excellent windblock too. It's not especially thick but with a good baselayer it is warm enough for temperatures below freezing. If it warms up later in the ride then the Mistral is okay if you get a bit sweaty, doing a decent job of not getting too clammy.

Read our review 

Kalf Club Thermal Mens Long Sleeve Jersey £75.00

Buy it now for £37.50 

Kalf Club Thermal Men's Long Sleeve Jersey.jpg

The Kalf Club Men's Thermal Jersey isn't thick or heavy — in fact it barely feels any heavier than most summer tops — but boy is it ever warm, even with the thinnest of layers beneath it.

It is created from an 80% polyamide, 20% elastane mix, with a brushed fleece effect on the inside to create a 'Roubaix' fabric, keeping you warm and cosy thanks to some impressive thermal properties.

There aren't any windproof panels so if the breeze is carrying a nip you'll feel it a little, but at all other times the Kalf keeps you toasty. 

The thinness of the material lends itself to being part of a layering system. For the really cold or windy days you could easily go baselayer, Kalf Club, softshell or windproof jacket without adding much bulk to your upper body.

Read our review 

Castelli Perfetto Light 2 Short Sleeve Jersey £135.00

Buy it now, from £78 

castelli_perfetto_light_2.jpg

The Castelli Perfetto Light 2 is an exceptionally good short-sleeve jersey that offers windproofing and water resistance in a lightweight package. It's a lot like Castelli's genre-defining Gabba but slightly dialled back; a little less hardcore, a little less warm and a bit more breathable.

The Perfetto Light uses a Gore Windstopper fabric, but whereas the Gabba uses Windstopper X-Lite Plus, it's Windstopper 150 for the Perfetto Light. Although not as stretchy lengthwise, Windstopper 150 is very stretchy across its width and is also about 25 per cent lighter. The fabric has been updated with an improved water repellent finish.

This Windstopper 150 is used for the front panels, the collar, the yoke and the tops of the arms. The rear panels and the underside of the Perfetto Light's arms are made from Nano Light Pro fabric — a warm polyamide/elastane mix that's given a coating of silicone 'nanofilaments' to make water roll off the surface rather than soaking in.

The Windstopper 150 just doesn't let cold air through but it does allow sweaty vapour to get out well, and the Nano Light Pro fabric is as breathable as a pair of Roubaix tights, say, or thick bib shorts. 

As ever with this type of jersey, if the heavens open you're going to get wet eventually, but the Perfetto Light will keep you dry enough in changeable weather that you can get by without the hassle of getting a waterproof on and off, which is especially useful if you're racing or on a fast group ride, but handy the rest of the time too. 

Read our review 

dhb Aeron Lab Raceline Short Sleeve Jersey £110

Buy it now 

dhb_aeron_lab_raceline_short_sleeve_jersey.jpg

The Aeron Lab Raceline Short Sleeve Jersey is a no-nonsense piece of race kit with top-end fabrics, a slim fit and impressive performance in summer temperatures.

Even though this Lab Raceline jersey will set you back £110 it's still impressive value for money when you consider what you are getting.

There's a mixture of fabrics involved to get the desired fit and performance, notably the mesh panels at the sides, the top of the arms and shoulders. It's said to disrupt airflow and improve aerodynamics. The rest of the main body uses a soft, less stretchy fabric to keep everything in shape and it's very breathable too. This jersey certainly keeps you cool as the breeze passes over you.

The Aeron Lab has a "second skin fit" and it is put together well. All the stitching is tidy while the seams are flat and unobtrusive so you can get away without wearing a baselayer should you want. 

Read our review 

Lusso Windtex Stealth Over Boots £30.00

Buy them now 

Lusso Windtex Stealth Over Boots.jpg

The Lusso Windtex Stealth over boots offer a large working temperature range across a myriad of different weather conditions. 

Windtex is a bit of a wonder material, especially for something that doesn't have a whole lot of bulk behind it. The outside has a smooth feel to it, almost like a softshell material but with a lot more movement and flex. Even on days with an icy wind blowing, your feet will remain warm thanks to the fleecy backing that traps bodyheat around the shoe.

Staying dry isn't an issue either thanks to Windtex's waterproof qualities, backed up by the main seam that runs up through the centre of the overshoe being taped. Water just beads off the surface, and it takes quite a drenching before it is overwhelmed. I'd say that if you are riding with a decent set of mudguards on wet roads to keep the spray down, you'll be dry on all but the longest of rides.

Read our review 

Scott Road RC Ultimate Shoes £349.00

Buy them now 

Scott Road RC Ultimate Shoes -side.jpg

Scott's Road RC Ultimate shoes are super-comfy yet have a supremely stiff sole. They are very expensive, but they're a seriously good investment if you want some of the best racing shoes money can buy.

The RC Ultimates have a lovely sock-like fit when you slip them on, and the tongue is a very soft synthetic material that doesn't rub against the upper part of your foot at all, no matter how tight you close the dials. 

The inclusion of Carbitex fabric strips (basically thin bits of carbon to wrap your foot securely) adds extra stiffness in the upper and makes for a closer fit so no power is lost. To counteract this, it's layered over flexible soft mesh which gives the weightless, 'second skin' type feeling.

These feel secure without any pressure points, and even though they're stiff enough for the most demanding of racers, you're getting proper all-day comfort here.

Read our review 

Fizik Artica R5 Road Shoes £189.99

Buy them now for £157.99 

Fizik Artica R5 Road Shoes - side.jpg

Waterproof and toasty warm, Fizik Artica R5 cycling shoes make riding in the winter a much more pleasurable experience.

These are basically double layer shoes. The outers are a waterproof membrane which is impenetrable to rain and road spray; nothing is getting through, whatever the weather. Even the zip is waterproof. Fizik has avoided putting any vents in the sole of the R5s, so no water can get in here, and once the cleats are fitted no moisture can get past the screws either.

The inner part of the shoe is a snug fit, similar to that of a summer race shoe. Your foot is secured by a quick lace system similar to that seen on off-road running shoes. You just pull the cord tight before dragging the toggle down to secure the system. It spreads the load evenly so you don't get any hot spots, and retention is just as secure as any Boa system you might find on the market.

Read our review 

Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts V2 £89.99

Buy them now 

lusso_carbon_bib_shorts_-_front_2.jpg

The Lusso Carbon Bib Shorts are a UK-made classic: highly comfortable, cool and stylish. They're hard to go past for the money. 

Construction is of a high quality with flatlocking seams on the front of the thigh and pad, and normal stitching elsewhere. 

The major update for the latest version of these shorts is the triple-density pad, from Italian brand Elastic Interface, owned by Cytec. The pad is designed for long-distance rides, the perineal cutout removing pressure where you don't want it, the triple-density foam providing it where you do.

The pad is comfortable while the fit, leg placement, straps and fabric all work perfectly.

Read our review 

Sportful Fiandre NoRain Pro Bib Shorts £120.00

Buy them now for £83.99 

Sportful Fiandre Norain Pro bib shorts.jpg

Sportful's Fiandre NoRain Pro Bib Shorts are excellent when you're cycling in cold and damp weather, with superb comfort backed up by impressive fit and durability. They are a good three-season, possibly four-season, choice for UK cyclists. Wear them on their own or pair with knee or leg warmers and you have a versatile and solid bib short.

The shorts are made from Sportful's water resistant NoRain Thermal material, and have a brushed fleece lining as well as a nanotechnology water-repellent coating, a TC Pro pad, flat seams throughout plus minimal seaming for extra water resistance, and raw-cut elastic leg bands. 

The fit is perfect. The generous leg length provides coverage and warmth, and the soft lining adds a luxurious feeling.

The TC Pro padded insert is one of the best on the market. Underneath the soft dimpled surface is a multi-density closed-cell urethane foam. The edges are seamless to minimise irritation. It really is impressively comfortable. 

Read our review 

dhb Aeron Lab Raceline Bib Short £130.00

Buy them now 

dhb_aeron_lab_raceline_bib_short_-_riding.jpg

These dhb Aeron Lab Raceline bib shorts are phenomenal and even with a £130 price tag they knock the spots off others that cost much, much more.

The fit is close throughout but these shorts never feel restrictive. The outside of each leg is made from a lightweight mesh which gives them a huge amount of stretch so you get a supportive fit without it being overly compressive. It is quite see-through though so if you're modest they might not be for you. The rest of the material is a heavier knit which resists any abrasion from the saddle.

The Lab shorts use Elastic Interface's Road Performance Pad. It is thin but very comfortable with no bunching of the material or any pressure points after hours in the saddle.

Read our review 

DexShell Ultra Thin Modal Socks £22.00

Buy them now 

DexShell Ultra Thin SocksAs the name suggests, DexShell's Ultra Thin socks are refreshingly thin, feeling very much like a typical winter weight sock while proving to be robustly waterproof and breathable.

The good news is that the DexShells are genuinely waterproof, the Porelle membrane remaining an effective barrier even after a few washes.

These socks are impressively breathable and the internal bamboo-based fabric layer is soft, the whole sock moulding to the curves of your foot and ankle. 

Read our review 

Lusso Full Monty Warm Up Thermal Tights £54.99

Buy them now

Lusso Full Monty Warm Up Thermal Tights.jpg

The Lusso Full Monty Warm Up Tights are a great investment if you're competing in the winter. The thermal stretchy fabric does an excellent job of keeping the legs warm before the start. They're also easy to whip off in seconds and put on again after the racing is done, without the need to remove your shoes.

Lusso has made these tights from a thermal material that is super-stretchy, with a water repellent finish so they don't soak up muddy water. The full-length zippers attach at the waist and zip all the way down to the ankle.

On the bike, these feel just like thermal tights with no discomfort from the zipper touching the skin. 

Read our review

Castell Sorpasso 2 bib tights £160.00

Buy them now for £100

Castelli Sorpasso 2 bibtights - riding.jpg

These are Castelli's best-selling tights and it's not hard to see why. They're almost the perfect cold weather winter bib tights.

These are outstanding performers, and worthy of place in any keen winter cyclist's wardrobe. The performance-orientated cut has been engineered to support your muscles, and a thermal inner layer to the fabric provides insulation against cold winter air while allowing excess moisture to escape thanks to its hollow fibre construction. The fabric's outer layer offers wind resistance and support to the muscles.

The Sorpasso 2s use Castelli's excellent Progetto 2 Air chamois. It's brilliant over long rides, with graded pressure zones and a good size without feeling overly bulky. 

The ankles are finished with low-profile textured grippers embossed onto thin cuffs, which are backed by a zip that reaches up to the calf to help you get in and out of them. 

Read our review 

Orro Cycling Gilet £89.99

Buy it now for £67.49 

orro_bikes_cycling_gillet.jpg

The Orro Cycling Gilet is made from three technical fabrics, and it will help keep your torso warm and mostly dry on autumn and spring rides.

The front is made from Flier fabric, which is clever stuff. It's wind resistant and offers reasonable protection from water. It's also quite stretchy widthwise, helping deliver a close fit which isn't constrictive.

The back is a very airy mesh while the side panels add some elasticity to the overall fit.

The gilet will pack down to fit easily in a jersey pocket when not in use.

Read our review 

Morvelo Stealth Stormshield Knee Warmers Review £40.00

Buy them now 

Morvelo Knee Warmers-1

Morvelo Stealth Stormshield Knee Warmers keep your knees luxuriously warm in foul weather down to about 3-5°C. They are water repellent, stay up well and the plain black material means they will work well with most of your other riding kit. 

These are made from a thick Roubaix material for warmth and a windproof and highly water repellent fabric, called Stormshield, to block out the elements. 

Read our review 

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

2 comments

Avatar
Freddy56 [399 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes

Just ordered the Santini mitts, thanks for the heads up, Saves me searching.

Bought the Galibier Mistral and Lusso overshoes on your call too. Great stuff.

Tried the dhb shorts, not those the normal, Aeron; would put you off cycling for life. Pad was just painted on, sadly not enough support for me.

Avatar
ktache [1598 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I like the look those kangeroo leather gloves.  I shall be getting some version of them this year.