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Alé PRR 2 Speed Fondo jersey and Alé PRR 2.0 Fusion HD bibshorts reviews

26 May 2017
Verdict:

Alé’s top-end offering brings together aesthetics, technical function and fit to prove capable of nailing the premium end of the market

Price: 
Jersey £100 ; Bibshorts £170
For 
Racey and aero fit ; Excellent heat management ; Bright and visible colourway
Against 
Sleeve far too tight on first use ; Tight fit is a little uncomfortable for long days in the saddle

Alé has leapt to considerable prominence in its short four-year life, already spreading across all ends of the road cycling clothing market. The Alé PRR 2.0 Fusion HD bibshorts represent the very top of the brand’s range, and coupled with the Alé PRR 2 Speed Fondo jersey offers an outfit geared toward aerodynamics and the technical needs of racers and speedy granfondo riders.

Owned by Italian company APG, makers of DMT shoes and Cipollini bikes, Alé had considerable history in the cycling industry before its official birth in 2013.

As a contract clothes provider, Alé provided the Tour de France yellow jersey for a period and also made Nike’s collection of cycling clothing.

So while some new brands start out with a strong presence on instagram but a troubled and uncertain grasp of the technical side of cycling clothing, Alé hit the ground running.

The Alé PRR 2.0 Fusion HD bibshorts express that very well. With a mixture of compressive material on the side panels of the bibshorts mixed with a comfortable crotch fabric and Ergo chamois, the shorts are highly technical yet understated in appearance.

The shorts feel tight and fast on the quads but loose and flexible around the hips. The compressive material on the legs is also slightly perforated, which makes them airy while supportive.

Alé offers three other types of chamois – the 2H, 4H and 8H, meaning geared toward 2 hours, 4 hours and 8 hours of use respectively.

The Ergo feels close to the 4H, but slightly thinner. For my part, a thin and light chamois is ideal for fast three or four hour rides, in contrast to thicker pads which tend to filter out a little road feel and in the worst cases slide around independently of the rider.

I rode long and steady 6 hour rides in the 2.0 Fusion shorts and very intensive 2 hour blasts and found the shorts to accommodate both nicely.

They do favour the latter, and perhaps I would look for something less tight and racey in fit for a long and casual ride. On the whole the material managed to be breathable and flexible in adequate measure, though.

The fit of the shorts is relatively long on the leg, with my medium shorts sitting just above the knee. The leg grips are thankfully not as tight as the jersey sleeves, and do a nice job of stretching the shorts over the quads.

On top

While it sits below the R-Ev1 Rumbles jersey in Alé’s range, the Alé PRR 2 Speed Fondo jersey still feels like a garment geared toward top end racing.

The jersey actually feels comparatively racier than the top end 2.0 Fusion shorts, with a very tight and aggressive fit more akin to the top half of a skinsuit.

While sitting in a nice aero cut on the shoulder, the Speed Fondo does get a little tight at the sleeve, almost cutting off circulation of my arm with the taut silicon sleeve end.

It slackened after a few rides, but remained a little uncomfortable.

The sleeves and front of the jersey use the same perforated fabric as the legs of the bibshorts, which does a lot for cooling.

The back of the jersey is covered with a smoother fabric called ‘Push Pull’ by Alé which is geared toward improving sweat wicking.

I rode this outfit in sunny Mallorca and was pleasantly surprised at the versatility in terms of temperature - keeping me adequately warm on descents but wicking heat and cooling effectively when labouring uphill under a harsh sun.

The pockets are also a pleasant compromise. Aero jerseys often equip themselves with shallow and tight pockets that can be tough to fit a pump into, whereas the Alé PRR 2 Speed Fondo jersey uses deep pockets that sit close to the body when not filled but expand neatly when stuffed with the likes of inner tubes and knee warmers.

Overall the Speed Fondo jersey and Fusion 2.0 shorts make for a racey but comfortable and accommodating outfit.

Together they prove ideally geared toward a hard training ride or racey but long sportive.

Both are in a price bracket that thrusts them into competition with the likes of Rapha and Assos. For my part I believe Alé justifies the cost on both items in a technical sense. While the aesthetic is a little more euro-racer than classy club run, I consider the looks a refreshing departure from the recent fashion for single colour (and often black on black) – not least for the gains in terms of visibility.

The jersey’s central stripe and detailing on the collar offer a nice classic touch to the outfit. Credit is also due to Alé for matching the exact pantone’s of Cipollini’s range of bikes and DMT’s shoes (also owned by parent company APG).

Alé clearly shows experience in designing performance roadwear. Much like its sister brand Cipollini bikes, Alé’s clothing expresses an impressive Italian cycling knowhow and mixes aesthetics with speed and function even if it does border on ostentatious at times.

For those looking primarily and solely for comfort there are nice alternatives elsewhere in Alé’s line, but the Alé PRR 2 Speed Fondo jersey and Alé PRR 2 Speed Fondo jersey will cater nicely to anyone else.

Contact: paligap.cc

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