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Rivelo Pembridge & Honister review

Rivelo Honister
2 Oct 2015

Rivelo may be the new kids on the block but the Pembridge jersey and Honister shorts are an excellent start.

Cyclist Rating: 
Very well made
A bit thick for very hot weather

Time was if you spent over £200 on an outfit you were either off to a wedding or a ski slope. Yet, now, £90 for a jersey and £120 for a pair of bibshorts, which you’ll only ever wear on your bike, doesn’t seem too shocking – goodness knows you can pay a lot more. In fact, if you take a market median, that’s about the going rate for half-decent clobber. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t be expecting a lot for the money, perhaps doubly so if you’re investing in a hitherto unknown brand. After all, the competition out there is strong.

New kids

Rivelo – taken from the name of Italian town, Rivello (for no other reason than the company liked the name) – is a UK based outfitters. That is to say, like a lot of companies trading on the United Kingdom’s good name, Rivelo designs and tests everything here then has it made overseas. But that’s by no means a bad thing. As many big brands will tell you, there just isn’t the industry left in the UK to make cycling gear in volume (or at the very least, not cost-effectively), so getting things made abroad is commonplace, and likely highly beneficial to the consumer.

‘We’ve sourced some fantastic manufacturing partners outside the UK, who produce a number of other premium cycling apparel brands,’ says Rivelo’s head of product design and sourcing, Tara Johnson. ‘However, the mentality behind the clothing is very British – understated, classic and trialled on our roads in our weathers.’

Rivelo review

Perhaps the most noticeable trait once on is the relatively heavyweight cloth used in the Pembridge jersey and Honsiter bibshorts. It has a feel that elsewhere would be described as ‘premium’, but that I’d describe as ‘plush’ or ‘thick’. That is, it might not be quite airy enough for the hottest summer days, but pair the jersey with a decent baselayer and the kit was ample coverage for crisp Autumn mornings, and add armwarmers, kneewarmers and gloves to the mix and it’ll easily see you into winter.

With kit, fit is of course paramount, but yet entirely subjective, so I’m not going to tell you the Rivelo gear will fit you perfectly. But, I will say it fitted me pretty well.

The jersey is on the roomy side compared to the racing-snake fit the Italians are keen on, but I’d stop short at calling it baggy (to give that some context, I’d consider myself a bit broad for a ‘proper cyclist’). The bibshorts, on the other hand, felt like they were offering even compression all over – no pinching around hems or stretching overly around backsides, just even, comfortable coverage, again with an appreciably plush feel. In fact, comfort is where they’re at – the well-chosen Elastic Interface (read more about them here: Elastic Interface) seat pad offering a form-fitting, mile-munching perch as good as any pad, or pair of bibshorts I’ve ridden in

Each to their own

Rivelo Pembridge

Next to fit, kit has to look good. Again that’s entirely subjective, but for my money Rivelo has struck an excellent, if ‘safe’, balance. The deep blue of the Pembridge jersey is nicely augmented by the blaze of red that is the zip and the understated branding and, let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with black bibshorts (although red hemmed versions to match the jersey’s accents are available).

It’s a look that should appeal to a large number of people and, more importantly, it’s neutral enough to match an array of helmets, shoes and bikes.

Add these factors together – function, fit and form – and overall Rivelo is doing things really rather well already. It won’t grab headlines for groundbreaking innovations or crazy value, but if Rivelo continues to grow its collection in the same vein, it looks set to carve a classy niche in the upper-end bike market.

Jersey £90, Shorts £120

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