REGGIE Kit Review: A Ride On the Wild Side!
Clothing Review: PEZ readers be warned… If your cycling attire tastes lean conservatively or you prefer murdered out black, this is not the kit for you. But if you’re not afraid of a little color and standing out in the crowd, then please continue reading as PEZ looks at the REGGIE road cycling kit.
Rapha is considered by many to be the Savile Row of cycling kit – evoking the custom, handmade, bespoke tailoring and sophisticated but quintessential British trademark understated look of the high end suit shops that populate the “golden mile of tailoring.” By contrast, REGGIE is more loud and in your face. Instead of Mayfair in the West End of London, think Palm Beach and Lilly Pulitzer.
REGGIE kit is not for the faint of heart
REGGIE is a Canadian-based company founded by siblings Jeff and Laura Wills. Jeff’s background is in marketing and advertising. Laura is a designer. How did they get into the bike kit business?
“It was the Rapha Cycling Club that made me do it. Someone from London called to see how the riding was going and if I had any questions they could answer: “Yeah. Would it be OK if I wore my RCC kit in a big mountain bike race?” I knew what the response would be (it’s in the rules) but the Rapha rep was still surprised when I said “Cool. I’m going to make my own.” The first Classy Camo jersey was raced a few months later at Wilmington-Whiteface.”
And you’re probably wondering how they came up with REGGIE as the moniker for their kit. For sure it’s not because Jeff’s favorite cyclist of all time is Gino Bartali. Rather, it’s because Jeff is a Reggie Jackson fan:
“And why “REGGIE”? Because Reggie Jackson is the coolest name from my childhood – Mr. October, baseball hall of famer, car nut, good guy. I have used REGGIE as my pseudonym for all my crazy pastimes because it’s such a fun name. Just saying REGGIE is guaranteed to make you smile.”
For PEZ readers, unfamiliar with Reggie Jackson, he’s a major league baseball Hall of Famer who played for the Oakland A’s (I used to go to A’s games and watched him play when I was a kid), New York Yankees, and California Angels. He earned the nickname “Mr. October” when he hit three home runs on three pitches off of three different Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series (I still remember watching that feat on television).
In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, the REGGIE vibe is all about FUN!
Even REGGIE packaging is fun!
And each piece of REGGIE kit came in its own small mesh drawstring bag
REGGIE Men’s Collection Jersey– $122
The original REGGIE jersey is the Classy Camo, but the collection is quite varied. And for those who prefer something a little more “conservative,” the De Boss series of jerseys are single color designs. For this PEZ review, REGGIE sent an Urban Camo jersey in Faster fit and a Depart jersey in Fast fit (more about fit later).
What inspired these jersey designs? According to Laura:
“The Urban Camo was the second jersey in the A-R series – following the Classy Camo jersey, whose mission line was “Go fast without being seen”, the design question we had was “What would camo in a CITY look like?” and that’s how we arrived at a design that was very colorful, bold and dynamic looking. The fun irony of the jersey is that there’s no way you CAN’T be seen wearing Urban Camo.”
“Our inspiration for the Urban Camo jersey was rooted in classic mid-century modern graphics, which is an era of design we absolutely love. As part of the A-R series, it also needed a big REGGIE banner across the chest and we first wore the jersey in a local team event. Like many of our jerseys, Jeff started with a particular base color that he wanted to wear that’s different from the typical colors out there – in this case the dark turquoise – and Laura designed the graphic elements to stand out on that base.”
Regardless of which jersey you pick, the construction is the same and they are sourced from Jakroo. Why Jakroo? According to Jeff:
“Jakroo has been our partner since REGGIE was just a hobby and only my local friends wore it. When we decided to expand the idea to a business we investigated custom partners like Jakroo and also developing our own jerseys from scratch. Doing it on our own meant we’d need a ton of time and money and that the end result would probably be the same templated jersey everyone else does. Imagine developing Fast and Faster fits for men and women from scratch – that’s why no one does it. On the other hand Jakroo is able to deliver pieces no one else can do: top quality and performance, very fast turnaround, a Canadian office to deal with, Fast and Faster fits, up to date revisions on designs and fabrics. We can also work with Jakroo to make changes to pieces – for example, the sleeves are now longer because we wanted that. Lastly, Jakroo gets the REGGIE brand and they are more than just a manufacturer: they help with the REGGIE Riders CX team, they will be a sponsor at the Ramble and they generally love riding bikes like us.”
All the REGGIE jerseys are the Jakroo NOVA.
Jakroo was the clothing supplier for the UnitedHealthcare pro team that disbanded after the 2018 season (Katie Hall won the 2018 Amgen Tour of California racing for UHC)
The first thing you notice about the REGGIE jersey is that it’s super light. The second thing you notice is that the fabric is “airy.” In other words, it’s very much warm/hot weather kit.
The Urban Camo jersey weighed in at a fairly feathery 117 grams
That said, my first ride in REGGIE kit was on a cool-ish spring morning so I rode with a base layer and a pair of Re-Cycle arm warmers that incorporate design elements from the Urban Camo, Classy Camo, and Space Camo jerseys.
REGGIE in springtime: a cacophony of color
The inside of Re-Cycle arm warmers are lined with a soft fleece
The actual jersey design is a familiar one:
Full length zipper
Silicone waist gripper
Raglan sleeves that are long-ish Euro-pro length with compression band
A mock collar rather than the currently fashionable collarless neck
Three back pockets plus a zipper pocket to secure valuables such as keys, ID, credit cards
One thing that makes REGGIE different is the Rg Rivet. You’ll find it on every REGGIE jersey and pair of bib shorts. It’s an homage to the phrase, “on the rivet.” According to Jeff, “The rivet represents two elements that make cycling awesome: Riders pushing themselves and the heritage of the sport.” And it’s intended to be a reminder of why we love to ride.
The jersey material is comfortable against your skin and the flat seams help prevent any rubbing or chafing. The mesh material allows air to flow through it to help keep you cooler and wick moisture away. Compared to a more “standard” jersey, I can attest to the difference this makes when the mercury soars to 90F (we had an early taste of summer for a few days this spring in DC)!
The mesh material is translucent bordering on transparent
Size-wise, I generally wear a men’s small and that’s what size fit me. Still, it’s always best to consult and go by the sizing guide.
But what makes REGGIE different from a lot of other cycling kit is their fit. The Urban Camo jersey is their Faster fit, which is described as “a next to body form-fit that prioritizes speed and will save you watts for the finale.” Think aero race fit.
The Depart jersey is Fast fit, which “gives a regular fit that balances anti-flap with slightly looser comfort.” But don’t confuse the Fast fit with what most other manufacturers call club fit. It may be “slightly looser” but it’s still very much form fitting.
And here’s Laura’s inspiration for the Depart jersey:
“The Depart jersey was designed to kick off the H-C series as a departure (intended word) from the A-R series. We wanted a bold blend of color and graphics, and the design uses an “in-the-round” sculptural approach, where the panels keep changing and the jersey has interest at all angles. Other companies would put a stripe detail on the sleeve, but we tucked our stripe detail under the armpit on one side (a signature on the H-C series). We also eliminated the REGGIE chest banner so we could accommodate a totally different marquee design each time in the series. This jersey was called Depart because it was the start of the H-C series and has since been followed by other ride-inspired designs.”
Don’t we all?
And there’s that Rg rivet
The stripe detail
To give you some idea of the differences between the two fits, according to the REGGIE sizing guide for my size small jerseys:
# The armpit to armpit measurement is 18.5 inches across for Fast fit versus 17 inches for Faster fit.
# The measurement across the bottom hem of the jersey is 16.1 inches for Fast fit versus 14.6 inches for Faster fit.
In addition to the Fast fit being marginally looser throughout the body, I also noticed that the sleeve ends weren’t as tight.
There is a weight penalty for being not being Faster and just Fast … a whopping 9 grams!
I’m basically ectomorph-like and used to race fit jerseys so both felt comfortable to me fit-wise. And I’m not sure you can tell the difference looking with the naked eye.
One of these jerseys is Fast and the other one is Faster … Can you tell which one is which?
REGGIE Men’s Collection Bib Shorts– $144
In keeping with the fun and colorful theme, REGGIE matched the Urban Camo jersey with their Classy Pink bibs. But their jerseys are intended to be mixed and matched with either the Classy Pink or Classy White bibs. If you are the matchy-matchy type, then you’ll want to look at the Double Cross series or Sergeant Reggie kit.
Regardless of which bib design, it’s the Jakroo SOLAR Pro.
If I counted correctly, the bibs have 14 stretch panels. As a rule of thumb, more panels means a better fit that conforms to the curves of your body.
As is now common, the hem of the legs is a wide gripper/compression band
Small dart back panels on the legs are mesh for venting
The front of the bibs are cut a tad higher than a lot of other bib shorts … presumably for fit, but this could make it a little more difficult to emulate your favorite Euro-pro if you want to try relieving yourself while riding
The back of the bibs are largely mesh
The bib straps are wide and also mesh
The Rg rivet #riveton
Of course, the most important part of a pair of bib shorts is the chamois. Jakroo spec the Bormio D20 Chamois by Dolomiti. However, the Bormio chamois on the Dolomiti website is a women’s model. The chamois that looked most like what is in my REGGIE bibs is the Stelvio, which is considered a long distance chamois good for 4-5 hour rides. The padding is not too bulky. Per the Dolomiti website, the foam padding us 12mm thick and has 3mm and 8mm holes, which create dimples for air flow. As far as comfort goes … my first “long” ride in the REGGIE bibs was a #riveton fast-ish 50-miler on a warmish day with humidity and they were comfortable to the point of where I really didn’t notice I was wearing them.
The padded part of the chamois consists of six separate sections with a more narrow-ish center channel for perineal comfort
Size-wise, I wore a size small, which is what I normally wear. But, as always, it’s a good idea to abide by the size guide. In this case, I would refer to the Jakroo dimensional size guide. Pay particular attention to the leg opening dimension. Several commenters on the Jakroo website noted how they needed to size up based on their thigh measurement.
Orange Crush Socks– $14
The REGGIE fun doesn’t stop with their jersey and bibs. There are REGGIE socks too. They’re the Defeet Aireator, which is considered by many as the gold standard for cycling socks. I’m guessing most PEZ readers have at least one pair of Defeet Aireator socks in their sock drawer, but if you don’t: the name comes from the Aireator mesh weave on the top of the sock that allows it to breathe and wick moisture. In terms of comfort, they’re second to none.
In keeping with all the different colors in both the Urban Camo and Depart jerseys, REGGIE sent a pair of Orange Crush socks that are Goldilocks 5 inch height (measured from the top of the ankle to the top of the cuff).
Feets don’t fail me now!
REGGIE socks don’t have an Rg rivet, but they do have an Rg logo
Wild socks paired with wild shoes for a wild ride
Not just for men
Everything REGGIE makes for men they also make for women. They were kind enough to send a women’s Space Camo jersey (Fast fit) and Classy Pink bibs (as well as two pairs of socks: Full Gas Black and Pink Punch It) for my wife to try out. The designs, materials, and construction are the same as the men’s collection, but the cut and fit (available in both Fast and Faster) is for women.
REGGIE for my better half
Plus my wife got a super cool REGGIE ass saver fender!
This isn’t a review of the women’s kit, but I’m happy to report that my wife really likes the look, fit, and feel of REGGIE’s women’s kit. Specifically, she thought the jersey was super comfortable — almost to the point where it didn’t feel like she was wearing a jersey. And the bibs were equally comfortable with the chamois not being too bulky.
It’s past Mother’s Day, but for those gents with SO’s who ride, you might want to consider REGGIE women’s kit as a birthday or Christmas present.
Full Monty REGGIE Space Camo
All in the family REGGIE
Get your rivet on!
Tired of monochromatic black or mostly black kit? Want to spice up your cycling wardrobe with some bold colors and splashy designs? Want to stand out in a crowd and make a statement on your next group ride? Then take a ride with REGGIE and get your rivet on! Or as Lou Reed famously sang, “take a walk on the wild side.”
Shop REGGIE here.
PEZ contributor Chuck Peña is a former weekend warrior racer who now just rides for fun and coffee (as well as the occasional taco), but every once in a while manages to prove Fausto Coppi’s adage true: Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. He lives in Arlington, VA with his wife (who is his favorite riding partner), his daughter (who takes great joy in beating him at golf all the time, but at least he’s still faster on a bike), and their dog (who is always there to greet him when he comes home from a ride). You can follow him on Strava, Twitter, and Instagram.