What's Cool In Road Cycling

MAAP OffCuts Review: Enviro-Conscious Jersey & Team Bib Evo Shorts

Environmentally Conscious Kit

MAAP is an Aussie company that’s been around since 2014. I have a few friends who ride their kit and have always thought it was smart looking. If I had to choose a word to describe the look of their kit, it would be “bespoke.” But what makes MAAP different from most other clothing brands — bespoke or otherwise — is their environmental consciousness. According to MAAP:

  • Climate matters, and in order to help protect the places we ride, we’re committing to evaluating what we can do now, while continuing to explore what can be done in the coming months, years and decades.
  • Sustainability defines everything we do, from choosing and processing our product’s raw materials to the manufacturing process and product end life cycle.

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MAAP’s road to a better future

By 2022, MAAP’s goal is to source 100% of their on-bike apparel fabrics from Bluesign certified materials (they are currently at 95%). Bluesign is a holistic system that provides solutions in sustainable processing and manufacturing to textile industries and brands. Companies that meet the Bluesign criteria ensure:

  • Highest degree of safety for the consumer
  • Manufacturing with lowest possible impact on people and the environment
  • Responsible use of resources

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MAAP’s goal is to make 100% of their on-bike apparel from recycled yarns

Other ways that MAAP is working to help protect the environment:

  • 100% of sock bags are compostable
  • 95% of apparel bags are compostable
  • In the EU and USA, 100% of shipping satchels are 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and are recyclable
  • In Australia, 100% of shipping satchels are recyclable
  • By 2021, to package products only with recyclable or compostable bags
  • By 2022, to package 100% of products in compostable bags

OffCuts Program
When confronted with what to do with excess fabrics from previous production runs of their jerseys, MAAP was faced with having to make a choice. They could contribute to the growing number of textiles that end up in landfills each year — an average of 31 kilos (68 pounds) of textiles per person annually in Australia according to a study by the Australian government. But that would hardly be in keeping with the company’s commitment to sustainability and a better environment.

Instead, MAAP drew inspiration from 1980s shoe salesperson who would carry around an amalgamation of all available colors rolled into one shoe. The MAAP OffCuts Program takes excess fabrics from previous production runs of their different jerseys and repurposes them into making a new jersey.

MAAP kicked off its OffCuts Program with their most popular style: the Evade Pro Base Jersey.

MAAP Evade Pro Base Jersey – $180

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This isn’t a new jersey, but the OffCuts multi-color version is new (and a limited run). All the jersey panels (plus rear pockets and sleeves) are different colors made with “cast off” pieces from previous production runs:

  • Front (and collar) – light purple
  • Left side panel – red-ish/brown-ish
  • Right side panel – light blue
  • Left sleeve – black (mesh)
  • Right sleeve – yellow (mesh)
  • Back – light gray (or dull white)
  • Pockets – pale pink (below the pockets is a white mesh panel)
  • Bottom hem/gripper – black

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If you’re a traditionalist who prefers something more conservative, the patchwork array of colors may not appeal to your fashion sensibilities (in a previous life I dressed preppy to the max and am no stranger to wearing patchwork plaid). But if you’re like me and willing to break “the rules” (because rules are meant to be broken), the unique design will stand out in the crowd on your next group ride. To my eye, it’s enough to catch your attention without being overly bold (in part, because the colors are more muted than loud).

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Three rear pockets but no secure zipper pocket

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The blue strip on the back and the graphics on the left sleeve are reflective accents

Design-wise the Evade Pro Base Jersey consists of five body panels (if you count the front as one panel divided by a full-length YKK zipper — the gold standard of zippers). The back is actually two panels with the upper part (above the pockets) a solid material and the lower (where the pockets are) a honeycomb mesh material. The sleeves are also a honeycomb mesh material. All the seams are serge stitched — except for the hem/gripper panel, the stitching for the pockets, and the sleeve ends, which are flat stitched.

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Set-in sleeves made with a honeycomb mesh material

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The mesh is more apparent with back light

Fit-wise, the Evade Pro Base Jersey is race fit. Meaning it fits like a second skin (so no hiding any excess pounds/kilos). But it’s not so tight that it feels like you’re wrapped up in saran wrap. The compression is firm but still allows for easy freedom of movement.

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Silicone dots for grip all the way around

I went with size small (I’m 5’8″ and weigh 130 pounds) based on my chest/waist measurements per MAAP’s size guide. One thing worth noting per MAAP: “If you’re on the borderline between two sizes, order the smaller size for a tighter fit or the larger size for a looser fit. If your measurements for chest and waist correspond to two different suggested sizes, order the size indicated by your chest measurement.” Of course, try before you buy is always a good idea — but since I live in the Washington, DC area, the MAAP store in Melbourne, Australia wasn’t convenient for me.

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YKK zipper is “substantial,” which makes it easier to get the pin in the garage and zipped up

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If it’s not full-zip, it’s not a real jersey

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The low/no collar is also race and an indicator that it’s a warm/hot weather jersey (MAAP designates a temperature range of ~70 to 90F for the Evade Pro Base Jersey)

All in all, the OffCuts Pro Evade Base Jersey is stylish IMHO (I know YMMV), functional, i.e., #aero, and comfortable. I wear a base layer, but if you don’t, the fabric is soft and smooth against bare skin. In addition to air flow for cooling/wicking, the honeycomb vent material has a side effect of being somewhat grippy. That helps keep the back of the jersey in place (where the pockets are). And it obviates the need for any gripper material in the sleeves.

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The honeycomb mesh sleeves grip my skinny arms for #aero race fit

NOTE: This first OffCuts jersey is a limited edition. So there’s a chance it could be sold out by the time this goes to press (I know that some of MAAP’s previous limited edition kit has sold out the day it’s release!) But rest assured that this won’t be the only OffCuts jersey offered by MAAP. Per my conversation with MAAP’s Darren Tabone (VP of Product), there will be other iterations off the OffCuts jersey. So if you missed out on this one, stay tuned for the next one.

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My Evade Pro Base Jersey is definitely a lightweight and 7 grams lighter than MAAP spec (125 grams but don’t say what size)

MAAP Team Bib Evo – $270

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Not an OffCuts product, but the Team Bib Evo is still made with MAAP’s philosophy of sustainability. So it’s made with recycled yarn and BLUESIGN approved fabrics. PEZ got the all black version, but it’s also available with a white bib section as well as all navy blue and all olive green.

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Y-back bib

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Wide bib straps

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Wide Y-back and lay flat bib straps make for a comfortable fit

The shorts section consists of seven panels plus the leg gripper sections that have silicon dots for grip. The seams are flat stitched except for one that is serge stitched. The multiple panels of four-way stretch material are intended to make for a better fit to the shape of your body. The bib section is a ribbed mesh back section (for wicking/ventilation) and the straps are laser cut, lay flat (for comfort).

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Wide leg gripper sections with silicon dots on the inside

Of course, the “money” in any pair of bib shorts is the pad/chamois. MAAP sourced the pad in the Team Evo Bib from Elastic Interface (EIT), who supply pads to a number of different manufacturers. The pad is made specifically for MAAP and in keeping with MAAP’s emphasis on sustainability and protecting the environment, the EIT pad is certified Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex — which means that every component of this article (every thread, button and other accessories) has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless for human health. Also, the pad fabric is made with pre-consumer recycled fabric.

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The pad itself is a proprietary 3D thermo-molded multi-density chamois and one of the most “sculpted” I’ve seen. The different sections are very pronounced and the padding is relatively thick (in part because the pad is intended for both road and off-road riding). Fortunately, this doesn’t translate into the Team Evo Bib feeling like you’re wearing a diaper. And the high density (120kg/m³) padding is both firm (my preference) and comfortable (for me on a racing saddle with minimal padding).

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Important stuff for the important bits: (L) perforations for cooling and (R) a deep center channel for blood flow and pressure relief

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The pad’s sculpting creates channels intended to collect, canalize, and expel moisture

Size-wise, I’m a small in the MAAP Team Evo Bib. And it fit me the way a pair of race bib shorts should. Which is to say compression that’s more firm (it requires a little tugging and pulling to get them on), but not vice grip tight. Especially when it comes to the leg grippers … no sausage effect, which is never a good look. The lay flat bib straps are comfortable on my shoulders (no digging in or pulling/tension) and hold the pad up in place where it should be (no sliding around causing friction where you don’t want or need it).

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Neither MAAP nor EIT specify how long a ride the pad is good for (other than “long days in the saddle” and “long distance rides”). My saddle time riding in the MAAP Team Evo Bib has been short and mid-distance rides, but my butt-o-meter tells me I’ll be happy on longer rides (for me, that means metric century-like distances).

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My Team Evo Bib was substantially lighter than spec (202 grams but MAAP doesn’t say what size)

MAAP Team Base Layer – $65

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It’s only in the last couple of riding seasons that I’ve become a devotee of wearing a base layer for warm/hot weather riding. I’d previously believed that the added material/layer would cause heat build-up. What I’ve happily discovered is that a quality base layer made with the right material helps wick sweat off your skin which actually helps you keep cooler.

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Definitely airy

The MAAP Team Base Layer front and back panels are a lightweight open mesh design. On heat advisory days (not uncommon in and around Babylon on the Potomac when the temps hit 90+F and the humidity is 60%), that provides lots of wicking plus maximum air flow. The side panels are a denser mesh material.

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Almost spot on spec (52 grams but MAAP doesn’t say for what size) for my Team Base Layer

PEZ got a white base layer, but if you want to spice up your cycling wardrobe a little, the Team Base Layer is also available in colors:

MAAP Division Sock – $22

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To complete “the look,” the MAAP Division Sock comes in a wide array of colors to match (or nearly match) or complement the different color swatches in the OffCuts Evade Pro Base Jersey. PEZ got a pair in Brick that picks up the color of the left side panel of the jersey.

The top panel of the sock is a visible mesh knit for breathability. The back of the sock, bottom, heel, and toe are a little more “solid” knit. And there’s some padding on the sole. The compression is lighter than most of my other cycling socks, but they still grip with no slip. And the cuff is doubled knitted to help keep the socks up.

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It’s worth noting the MAAP’s sock sizing may be different than what you’re used to. I pretty much wear size medium socks (my shoe size is US 9) regardless of manufacturer. But MAAP’s sizing guide puts me in size L/XL socks. They fit but only just. Meaning I didn’t have to pull the socks on much, i.e., they didn’t have to stretch much (if at all) to fit. I’m more used to socks requiring more pull/stretch to get on and over my feet. The size L/XL was more like “sliding” them on.

[NOTE: I was subsequently able to get a pair of size S/M socks for comparison. For me, they fit much more the way I’m used to a pair of socks fitting. Meaning they need to be pulled on and stretched over my feet to fit. As a result, they have a little more compression and I liked the way they felt just a bit better. So something worth considering if you’re a US 9 shoe size like me and usually wear size medium in socks.]

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It’s also worth noting that the Division Sock is tall and probably wouldn’t meet with my PEZ compadre Ed Hood’s approval

Save the planet and look good in the process

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My cycling isn’t about making a political/environmental statement. I ride because I love to ride and enjoy the company of my riding friends. That said, I know riding is generally good for the environment (no carbon footprint while riding) and I’m 100% for doing good things for the environment, e.g., I practice Reduce, Recycle, Reuse as much as possible. So I think it’s great that MAAP is being pro-active about sustainability and the environment.

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If you’re someone for whom making socially responsible purchases is important (and I’m not preaching here), then MAAP should be on your short list of cycling product companies for buying decisions.

But even if that’s not a part of your calculus, MAAP is top notch premium kit and you’ll look the part in it!

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Note: If you have other experiences with gear or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products you see here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper/safe use, handling, maintenance, and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

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