Given our overnight low here in Phoenix AZ is higher than the highs being blasted on the news as life-and-death. I needed a bit of help! And it came from the home of most great technical wear, Verona Italy… ALE drop their Aero-cooling PRR Magnitude Jersey and flyweight-compression R-EV1 Hammer Bibshorts .
Just as Montebelluna Italy is the world capitol of shoe making, the ground sitting in the triangle between the towns of Verona, Legnago and Mantua is Technical clothing’s Mecca. This is where you’ll find the top talent in design, needlework, fabric milling. And roughly at the center of this area you’ll find the town of Castel D’Ario, and the factory and HQ of ALE.
This year is forming up to be one of the hottest ever in Arizona and Ale have sent a couple of prime pieces to help beat the Heat, The PRR Magnitude Jersey and R-EV1 Hammer Bibs (Ah and some Socks!).
The PRR MAGNITUDE JERSEY ($139.99 USD) is all about 2 things – Aerodynamics and Cooling.
On the Aero side, this is mostly down to an exceptionally sung fit… Think Body-paint with a zipper. Seriously, the jersey (in size large) literally fits roughly like a club cut jersey BUT this is when worn by my 9 year old daughter… who’s a skinny 9. NOBODY looking for an “athletic” or even semi-snug fit need apply here.
That said, getting the slippery-in-the-wind fit isn’t just the result of downsizing 2-3-5 sizes… This is absolutely about the right material and proper design and cut. This jersey isn’t overly constricting in the way a too-small shirt would be. The proper understanding of compression and stretch is key to the fit. Afterall, you want this to lay relatively flat on your skin rather than rippling where the wrong fabric might be pulling too tightly. They even consider the rear pockets and tail of the jersey, as it fallows the small of your back and hugs at the waist .
The jersey is basically 4 materials. The front weave is designed to pull in from the sides (as the on-bike performance position rolls your shoulders forward//The sleeves are a mode solid all-direction compression material (and they’re looong).
Note the weave front material and you can see the perforations. The material pulls directionally, but that’s only after you’ve put it on and zipped up. The material will have stretched over your body and with that, opened the perforation/weave a bit allowing for very good airflow.
There’s a stripe of open mesh material that runs full length, from bottom hem up the sides and into the sleeves that is also much appreciated…
The back material (on the left side of the mesh, below) also has a bit of directional gather, but it is much less force/elastic than the front (green arrows) that pulls across the body. This allows the back to more easily stretch out, especially across what ever shoulder / upper back muscle you might (or might not) have. This is a bit by design as a more forgiving back actually makes it easier to keep the front gathered up (while the back material lays flat).
The back pockets are, yep… they’re pockets.
They’re actually a bit larger than I thought, though certainly not “huge”. And I was pleasantly surprised to see a zipper separator here as the fit is so snug that I would have thought that any creature comforts would have been tossed out for performance sake.
There’s a small reflective stripe at the pocket bottom, and you may note there is a bit of a billow at the bottom of the pockets rather than laying flat. This allows the bottom seam to rest more easily flat against your lower/back.
On the body: The fit here is such that someone could take your pulse just by looking at you… But the impressive part is that you can still breath easily (or at all). The fit is at once snug and forgiving, but TOO A POINT. This may not be the jersey for you if you are a more muscular all-round athletic build versus today’s slim/performance-oriented cyclist body type.
The breathability of the materials is magical. This is as close as it gets to biking naked… And I have seen LOADS of people naked (I should say shirtless) in a wind tunnel. Because that is the best way to show them how MASSIVE the time losses are from loose/poorly fit clothing. This lets you do something like that without cooking as fast in the sun – and while carrying a few things.
R-EV1 HAMMER BIBS ($179.99 USD)
So these are basically the sleeves from the Jersey above… (and they’re fine for athletic builds)
These bibs are, like most bibs, fairly form fitting with good compression from the knees to the hips and glutes. But unlike a lot of shorts, you’ll note there’s not a lot of panel cuts here… That is down to material advancement and Ale really did a nice job with the Hammer Bibs.
This material is relatively sheer and soft to the touch given the level of compression. The odd part is that you usually need a couple of leg panels with a center higher-compression panel that tapers up to right-about your hip bone, to allow the lower compression material to wrap around your glutes. Not so here as there’s basically one piece of material that makes up the full leg (front and back) and chamois section and one piece at the back.
Look at the pic above… One seam just runs up the side of your leg and round the back (per leg). It’s incredible cutting and the material is exceptionally free moving while still giving you mid-weight compression…
Like the jersey, this is also pretty dam close to riding naked… Except your junk is cradled and not getting caught in your seat cut-out.
Ah, and it’s cradled in / sitting on ALE’s 8H Pad
This is a 120KG pad with large perforations (you can see em through the light-weight microfiber cover) and a small cut-out at the center. The padding isn’t fully split in-two, but the movement is still relatively free. The large perforations and density mean that this is a bit thicker pad than some, but that is by design. The pad compacts just enough to leave you slightly suspended. It feels like a thinner pad once you’re on the saddle, but you have the benefit of better breathability.
The legs are hemless/ laser cut and this adds to the “nothingness” feeling, but this is another feature for the truly lean, as all hemless shorts are more aesthetically pleasing on 99% muscle than what can look like a failed sausage casing on “other leg composites”.
One the Body: This is another win for the lean. These are phenomenally sheer and free moving. The base material is breathable – the belly/back material makes pantyhose look bulky… But again, your body type will be fully displayed.
DIGITOPRESS SOCKS (16cm high) – $29.99 USD
Nice foot wrappers, Socks are under-appreciated in general. This pair are a multiweave structure that add a little durability where the shoe tongue rubs the top of your foot and a bit of added cushion at the bottom. There’s also a bit more freedom in the material at the tow and heel, allowing these to conform better than some.
[Small fact: Most socks are all one material and are made as “tubes”, then heat steamed while stretched on to a size/form. Meaning most socks are made the same size then just stretched out.]
On the Body: Just that little bit cooler / better drying than socks of this thickness and padding level. The Q-Skin fabric (from Cupron) is also antibacterial, but given I don’t have an issue here, I just like how these move moisture.
These pieces and more are available now from your local retailers and from Ale directly.
- See more info: https://www.alebikewear.com/digitopress-socks-16cm?color=white
- You can find more at: AleBikewear.com
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