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Pas Normal Women's Defend bib shorts and Long Sleeve jersey reviews

16 Nov 2017

The Defend Bibs are ideal for winter training and into early-season racing

Cyclist Rating: 
Waterproof and wind resistant make the bib shorts great for cold wet days on the bike, helping you to stay warm
The fit is quite small so may need to go up a size

Danish brand Pas Normal Studios was founded as a passion project, after designer Karl-Oskar Olsen and his friend Peter Madsen, created a custom kit for their attempt at La Marmotte. Fellow riders started asking where they could buy it, and by the time they had descended the mountain, the seed to start Pas Normal had been planted.

Pas Normal set out to create a collection using high-performance materials and a ‘race-fit’ cut combined with a restrained aesthetic of clean lines and subtle colours.

If there’s one thing Scandinavia knows, it’s winter. Short days, long nights, bone-chilling wind, and North Sea storms that freeze to the core. So I wanted to put its winter kit to the test.

Pas Normal Studios Women's Defend bib shorts

'We have focused very specifically on a range that gives you the option not to stop riding,' explains Brian Nygaard, former press officer to WorldTour team Orica and co-founder of the brand.

'We have created styles that offer you the comfort and flexibility of a good fit, without feeling bulky or restricting your movements on the bike.

'The different styles have been created to reinforce the specific elements of your kit that are crucial to staying warm and keeping dry.

'All of our key fabrics and designs have been reworked for this purpose, and we are extremely happy with the results,' Nygaard added, before explaining, 'the Pas Normal Studios AW collection is focused on what it takes to get out there and not have to worry about anything but where you want to go.'

Over the last month I have been testing out the Autumn/Winter offering for women, and the Pas Normal Defend Women's bib shorts have quickly become a favourite.

Made from a waterproof and wind repellent protective main material, they are highly resilient while still being lightweight.

Performance and material wise, they are very similar to the Rapha shadow range. However, Rapha does not offer a women’s specific bib in the shadow material.

The shadow jersey is one of my favourite pieces of cycling kit I own, so have always been disappointed that the collection had not been developed more for women.

Pas Normal more than fills this void for high-performance kit that works well in the worst of weather conditions. I have not tried other Pas Normal kit, but I'm told the fit of the Defend bib shorts is very typical of the brand.

They come in a very snug, race-fit. I usually wear a small, but based on their size guide, decided to go up one size. This proved to be the right call for me, and the bibs fit perfectly.

The snug fit means that the pad is secure, with absolutely no movement that could cause chafing or rubbing. Finished with a thickly brushed inner fabric, the bibs are cosy and soft on the skin.

I wore them out in the rain on few occasions (it’s the UK after all) and was impressed at the way the rain just beaded off the material, helping me to stay dry and ultimately warmer.

Pas Normal Studios Women's Long Sleeve jersey

I also tested out the Women's Long Sleeve Jersey in Burnt Orange. It’s a beautifully simple jersey that oozes class with an injection of colour.

The fit like the bibs is just superb. No bunching, no movement, it just fits perfectly and lets you get on with it.

The attention to detail is what makes the jersey, from the zip guard to the elasticated band under the jersey pockets that matched the shorts, and holds the jersey firmly in place, regardless of how many snacks you shove in your pockets.

Time spent on the bike during Winter translates directly into improved performance when the warmer weather returns and Pas Normal has developed Autumn-Winter kit that ensures you can stay out on the road in comfort during colder months.

€255 bib shorts ; €205 jersey