The onset of Winter might mean colder and darker days, but that shouldn’t stop us enjoying riding our bikes as long as we have the right kit to combat the elements. Kalf’s new autumn/winter 2018 range is highly functional, protecting you from the cold and damp. It takes its colour inspiration from the best of autumn – bright golds and deep reds that will make sure you not only feel great on the bike, you’ll also turn some admiring heads whilst you’re out. We look at the new range available to buy exclusively at Evans Cycles.
When looking to invest in warm winter kit our choices are often limited to jackets and jerseys in various shades of black. While these might keep the heat in they don’t exactly put a smile on your face, with their AW18 collection Kalf have manged to create a range that will do both. They’ve brought us new pieces including softshells in bright colours that will shine in the winter light, some of the most comfortable winter jerseys on the market, and a merino jersey with more tech features packed into its fabric than your average apple product launch. Alongside these are updates to their existing range, the women’s waist tight is now available in a great fitting and functional bib version; both the FIVE and ZERO gloves have been updated and come in bright new colourways; and the signature gilet and lightweight waterproof Flux jacket both make welcome returns.
Kalf Flux Print Long Sleeve Jersey
The signature piece of the collection, the Flux Print Long sleeve jersey certainly maintains Kalf’s reputation for jerseys that stand out from the crowd. The Flux Print includes geometric patterns in deep shades of red and bright blue all on a super soft aerodynamic fit fabric that offers good levels of insulation. It can be worn on its own or layered to provide a piece that will keep you riding through those crisp mornings. The now familiar iridescent Kalf chevrons are back this season along with reflective logos on the arms, adding a small flash of safety to this already striking jersey. One of the slickest winter jerseys we’ve worn in a long time.
Kalf Club Merino Jersey
Our favourite piece in the new range is definitely the Club Merino Jersey. Taking the best of classic Merino jersey designs and pairing it with more modern manufacturing techniques to create something truly special. Merino wool is often used in combination with polyester in cycling products due to its natural warmth, softness, and odour control. Kalf have gone one step further and used a special knitting technique to create a 3D structure that keeps the soft feel merino on the inside against your skin, and the polyester with its natural hydrophobic properties on the outside. This construction means that moisture is naturally drawn away from the skin to the outside of the jersey to evaporate as well as having the added bonus that although not waterproof the jersey will shed drops from a light drizzle or morning dew, giving you enough time to pull a waterproof layer on top during changeable conditions.
Coming in the Club range’s more relaxed fit, this super soft merino jersey is sure to be one of the most comfortable jerseys you’ve ever worn, and a go to piece time and again. Warm enough on its own in the low teens it can be paired with a base layer, and a gilet – Kalf’s own orange Club Gilet looks great with it – as temperatures start to drop further. Although only currently available in a men’s cut this jersey does come in sizes XS-XXL so there should be a size to fit most body shapes.
Kalf Club Men’s and Women’s Softshell Jacket
As we hit deeper winter and temperatures invariably plummet a softshell will always become a necessity in the UK, and this might just be the best value for money softshell out there. Available in Inca Gold in the men’s and Jungle Green in the women’s the Club Softshell literally glows in the winter sun, but it not only looks good it packs an impressive technical punch. Every panel on the jacket is made using eVent’s high stretch windproof fabric. eVent fabric is incredibly breathable even when you’re working hard, ensuring that any sweat is instantly wicked away to the outer layer of the fabric to evaporate, keeping you warm and dry. A DWR coating on the outer layer of the jacket ensures that moisture beads off the jacket in all but the heaviest of downpours.
The Club Softshell is form fitting but not overly race cut allowing for extra layers to be added underneath. It also comes with a contoured hem and storm flap over its rear pockets to keep your lower back and valuables protected through the worst of the weather. A zipped security chest pocket sits discreetly along the iridescent reflective detailing on the front of the jersey that keeps you visible in the dark.
Kalf Club Women’s Bib Tights
One of our few gripes with Kalf’s AW17 collection was the lack of a women’s specific bib tight but this has thankfully been remedied for this year, essentially a women’s version of the fantastic Club Bib tight from last year what’s not to like? Cut extra high to keep the core toasty warm during cold rides, the front has a soft brush-backed fabric whilst the back is a highly breathable mesh allowing sweat to escape whilst keeping you protected from the windchill at the front.
The legs themselves are contoured for better fit and are constructed from the ever-popular Roubaix fabric, originally designed for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts but quickly adopted by the cycling community. This thermal fabric is insulating and excellent at providing warmth, whilst the slight compression effect helps to regulate blood flow and prevent muscle fatigue. Whilst your muscles might not be aching on a longer ride you need a pad to keep up with you and they don’t come much better than the Elastic Interface Bastogne pad in the Club Bibs. Proven on rides up to six hours the Bastogne pad is incredibly comfortable and wont chafe. The bibs are finished off with the Kalf iridescent reflective chevrons again, keeping visibility high on the darkest winter nights.