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Cadence Pinehurst jacket and Cadence Bleek bib tights reviews

27 Jan 2017
Verdict:

Lightweight jacket with great fit and breathability. Bib tights, though warm, let down by poor fit & exorbitant price

Price: 
£129 / £199

Little known fact: Cyclist was very nearly called Cadence, and weren’t it for the might of Disney lawyers (who looked to deny us a trademark because Disney has a disc jockey penguin character called DJ Cadence), you could well be reading this on cadence.co.uk.

Only probably not, as cadence.co.uk is a website all about learning to drive something called ‘cars’. Alas, I digress.

This Cadence is a cycling apparel company from San Francisco, and here are two of its latest pieces of kit. First up, the jacket.

Cadence Pinehurst lightweight jacket 

Key to clothing is fit, and fit is a subjective thing. However, there are some useful, relatively objective terms when it comes to cycling kit, and ‘race fit’ is one.

It’s a label applied to the Pinehurst, and one I think describes it well. 

The Cadence Pinehurst jacket is made from the type of windblocker, parachute-esque material that has a tendency to flap about mercilessly unless the fit is snug.

So thankfully with the Pinehurst, the fit is. I found little excess material and as such the jacket was suitably aero. And quiet.

As a consequence, though, there’s little room for error as there’s no stretch to the fabric, and given its lightweight nature (127g size medium) I needed to pair it with a stretchy softshell jersey underneath for colder days, making the fit rather on the tight side.

A size larger for deep winter use would be more ideal. 

There are too many clear or black jackets out there (although this is also available in dark grey), so the olive green and fluoro highlights were a nice touch.

Everything else was suitably in order too. Quality zippers from YKK, a large breathable back panel, comfy cuffs, and the whole thing folds into its own pocket, with nifty little tabs and bungee to mount it under your saddle or elsewhere about your bike.

Unlike many jackets that claim to be packable, the Pinehurst, genuinely is, easily fitting into a jersey pocket with no flailing arms or bulbous shapes. 

The downside? Despite being wind resistant the Pinehurst isn’t particularly water resistant. There are no taped seams, and the back is mesh, which though nice and breathable – and good at minimising the Michelin Man ‘blow up’ effect that happens when going fast – is in no way water resistant.

The whole thing is DWR coated, but from experience such treatments do fade. 

Crucially how good you think the Pinehurst is depends on when and where you ride it. For really nasty weather there are hardier lightweight jackets out there.

However, as a temporary, genuinely stowable layer for early morning starts, extra layer for descents or as a lightweight safeguard to being caught out, the Cadence Pinehurst lightweight jacket is jolly decent, and its racy fit and high breathability make it an excellent hard-miles or sportive companion. 

Cadence Bleek deep winter bib tights 

On paper the Cadence Bleek bib tights are excellent. They have intelligently placed softshell panels over the midriff, thighs, knees and shins, articulated panel placement, brushed fleece backing and a top-end gel seat pad. 

As such, when I first put them on they felt warm, and over the opening few kilometres of my first very grim outing, they did not disappoint.

The fleece trim felt incredibly comfortable – and comforting – against my skin, particularly around my stomach, while the softshell wind-facing panels prevented any drafts.

But there was, and continued to be, a major problem. 

Overall the fit was OK for short, lower effort stints. As commuting tights these did me proud. But for anything more I found the Cadence Bleek bib tights to be too restrictive in some areas and too baggy in others, and it’s down to the material. 

The main body of the tights is pretty stretchy, no worries there. But the softshell panels aren’t, meaning with a 6 o’clock pedal they bunch up over the kneecap, but from the 9 through to 3 o’clock part of the pedal stroke the front panels don’t stretch enough, to the point where it feels like the Bleeks are restricting movement. 

They never restrict entirely of course, but the fact I could feel the ankle cuff physically moving up and down over the pedal stroke as the material tightened then relaxed meant I just couldn’t get on with these tights for any decent length rides.

They felt a battle to ride in, and as one riding friend remarked, they did little to for my general form on the bike either, crinkling in all the wrong places.

That said, I did find a place for the Bleeks in my commuting line up, and given the really cold weather of late I have been grateful to them.

Yet even then it’s tough to recommend the Bleeks.

In my opinion £200 is a crazy amount to spend on bib tights to commute in, especially when there are plenty of brands out there doing perfectly decent bib tights for half that price.

And bib tights that you’d be happy to train in as well as commute. 

cadencecollection.co.uk

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