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Huez Starman kit review

2 Oct 2017
Verdict:

Rather than individual pieces of kit, Huez has designed a harmonious outfit for the bike

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£ 130 for bib shorts, £95 for seamless jersey, £95 for wind gilet
For 
A lot of thought has gone into the details of this kit
Against 
Question marks remain over the strength of the quick-release zip

Most brands can make an impressive individual piece of cycling kit these days. Spend enough time researching, developing and producing a jersey or some bib shorts and chances are they will be pretty good.

What is more difficult is making an outfit for the bike. 

You may think 'outfit' is a weird choice of word, but hear me out. Have you ever bought a set of cycling kit and ended up frustrated at how little consideration seems to have gone into how it all goes together? I certainly have.

The guys at Huez, fortunately, haven't fallen into that trap. The Starman range has been designed to be worn together and it's in the quirky little details and bonus extras that this is truly apparent.

Huez is only a small outfit based out of South London and has yet to break into the mainstream, but the Starman range is one of the most considered sets of kit I have ever worn.

Layer upon layer

Huez has produced a full kit in the Starman range from jersey and shorts to waterproof jacket and base layer. What I specifically wore and tested were the Starman wind gilet, seamless base layer and bibshorts.

Although I've made a point of talking about how these pieces work together, let's break them down and look at them individually. First up is the bibshorts. 

For starters, Huez has ticked a box for me by producing these shorts in navy. Shying away from the usual black, these otherwise simple bibs look good. Don't get me wrong, a plain pair of black bibshorts is timeless, but sometimes a touch of colour goes a long way.

Secondly, and more importantly, these shorts fit superbly and are more than comfortable when on the bike.

Being a British brand, Huez cuts its products to fit in a British way. That means, unlike competitors on the continent, these shorts fit true to size. 

No need to jump up a size because of the claimed 'performance fit' – large means large, small means small, and so on. The same can be said for the entire range.

In terms of comfort, the chamois is thick without being restrictive and provides just the right amount of cushioning without compromising on performance.

You may be thinking that so far they sound much like any other pair of bibs, but here comes the first of those quirky extras: on the left leg of the shorts is a long, narrow pocket perfectly designed to carry a gel.

This easy-access pocket stops you having to fumble around when you're after an extra burst of energy and just makes things easier. It's another of those little touches from Huez that you didn't know you needed.

Being the first layer on the skin, the quality of the bibshorts is important – as is the next piece of kit, the seamless jersey.

Huez calls it a jersey but says it can also be a base layer and in truth it possesses more attributes of the latter, most noticeably its skin-tight fit and breathable and insulating properties.

As with most base layers, when taken from its packaging you doubt how it could truly be the size it it labelled, but once it's on it shapes to the body well.

It kept me warm on an crisp Autumn morning without seeing me overheat which is really what you are after from a good base layer.

Next comes another of Huez's next well thought extras, pockets on the base layer. This means gone will be the days of over-filled jerseys bursting with gels, inner tubes and valuables. 

By adding three pockets to your person, your most essential items can be kept close, leaving the more easily accessible jersey free for your food and phone.

These pockets also explain why this has been branded as a jersey. I dared to be different by wearing this base layer with just a gilet on top and it worked. 

For the avant-garde amongst you, it is easy to see how this seamless jersey could even be worn as just a jersey in the summer when the days are warm enough to warrant few layers.

Lastly is the gilet, which is DWR waterproof whilst also 'cut from one of the world’s lightest Japanese rip stop fabrics at just 25 g/m²', according to Huez.

I haven't been able to wear this is in the rain, but I have in the wind, and I can confirm this gilet did a decent job of keeping the chill from my chest.

With a clear focus on style, the damson red and moss green colourways both look good and offer an option away from the usual black or fluorescent yellow lining the shelves.

As with the base layer and bibshorts, the gilet also plays host to a added extra with Huez's quick-burst zip.

Pull on the two black cords either side of the zip and see it rip open. I found it perfect when I needed to cool down halfway through a tough climb.

My only concern would be how many times this system could be used before the thread begins to fray. The answer will only come in time.

The multi-purpose nature of the base layer, the small pocket on the bib shorts and quick-burst zip on the gilet all tell me that this range was designed to go together.

Huez has made wearing cycling clothing easier whilst also keeping its products cool and stylish and for this I am very pleased.

Often, it can be quite easy to plump with the usual suspects in terms of well-known brands that can typically be relied on to deliver on their promises, and charge a premium for it.

However, after giving these Huez products a good test, I can say that it is worth giving this small British brand a go the next time you look for some new garments.

For more, check out Huez online.

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