The lovely people at Lusso have sent me some of their summer kit to test but with a twist! I wanted to write about my wife’s experience of getting into cycling so asked Lusso whether they could provide her with some kit as well. And they duly obliged. Full review a bit later but, safe to say, she’s a bit made up by it.
Anyway, Everesting. I’d vaguely heard of it. Nutters doing hill reps to ape the ascent to the summit of Everest, all 8,848 metres of it. Nutters. There are some rules as well. Essentially you have to do it in one day and on the same hill/mountain and, it appears, the same slope. So, up, down, up, down etc. Nutters. But people do it. Me? Nah. But if I did I think I’d pick a big one and do it less times rather than doing the Bwlch 30+ times. Some people do it on small hills hundreds of times. Nutters. Besides, it’s a bit arbitrary. I mean, not even Everesters do Everesting. It takes on average 17 days to ascend to base camp, let alone the summit. So, it appears, cyclists are harder than people who have climbed Everest. Who knew?
So, what about wearing an Everesting jersey? It’s an interesting one, a friend asked had I earned it? And the answer to that is no. And I’m unlikely to. But I take the general ethos of the jersey to be “let’s go climbing” so that’s all ok. And in terms of what it sets out to be, it’s a good quality, reasonably priced, summer weight jersey for a variety of conditions. Let’s see if it meets that brief.
Lusso have an extensive range of jerseys to suit most aesthetic demands and pockets. There’s even a rather exciting looking Corsa Rain Jersey (with arm warmers) in the mix at considerably less money than the competition.
The Everest jersey is your standard summer jersey, made from mesh rather than a more silk like material (for that see their Classico, Evolve, Legerra etc).
The one thing that really struck me about the Everesting jersey was the fit and how bold it looks in the flesh. And whilst I don’t normally do body shots I thought I’d treat you!
That’s an XL on my 41″ chest. It’s pretty race fit but is supremely comfortable. Indeed, it’s actually one of the most comfortable jerseys I’ve put on this year. It’s a bit different and I was pretty taken with it straight out of the bag. It’s going to be getting a lot of use. I might even have to enter it as kit on Strava so I can see how much climbing I’ve done on it. And, to be fair, my commute takes in 1500ft of climbing on any average day. I shall have climbed Everest in a mere 19 commutes…….
Whatever your view of earning it, I think that this is a cracking looking thing. It’s available in a long sleeve version as well. But I think what’s really important is that the printing is superb. So if you’d ever want any Custom Kit then you could be really sure of getting a sufficiently eye popping design.
Belying it’s very reasonable price the arm ends are a nice bit of high tech. They’re the new fangled rubber band thingies and set off the end of the sleeves well. The stitching is perfect and laser straight. The seamstresses of Manchester can once again feel very proud.
And at the back, 4 pockets. No really, they’ve hidden one round the side! So if you need somewhere with a zip to keep your keys, that’s the place. There’s a tiny bit of reflective at the bottom so, when you’re 16 hours into the 32nd ascent of that little hill, you will still be seen.
There’s not a lot to say about this jersey other than I like it an awful lot. I don’t give marks, but if I did, I can’t see anything to take any marks off for. It’s very well priced, it’s bold and the fit on me is exceptional. If you can’t run to £49.99 then the slightly less techie Lusso Team has a similarly bold graphic but will only set you back £34.99. If the design doesn’t grab you then take a look at the rest of the extensive range, there really is something for everyone.
This is a great summer jersey. It’s cool, it fits very well indeed and it ticks all the right boxes. I promise to get that 8848 metres done by the end of May. Come on, I need to acclimatise first.
Ok, we’ve got a problem here. I need to deal with this up front. Lusso, you need to make more of these on your website. The pictures (graphic) make them look like black bibshorts. There doesn’t appear to be anything all that special about them. The reality is different. And when you ask £94.99 for shorts it’s important to ensure that your buyers realise that these are a bit special.
At first glance it’s all fairly straightforward. Nice leg length (I’d rate these as mid length, slightly longer than an Assos Mille regular, on a par with the dhb Aeron). The straps are silky soft and comfortable. The leg grippers are “old school” just as I talked about last week with the Assos tk.607. A large matte elastic band with internal rubber bits. But it works, indeed I’ve generally found that type of approach to be the most comfortable for me. There are Lusso embroidered logos running all the way round. And everything is really well put together. I’ve yet to make a dent in the Lusso Nitelife bibtights. No abrasion, no stitching issues. Although I’ve not worn these over many hundreds of miles (yet) there’s nothing to suggest that they won’t be utterly durable. That’s to be expected as these are, arguably, pitched at a premium price bracket.
When you see the bibs up close you begin to realise that they are that bit different. There are two types of lycra design being used. The majority is a dimpled affair. Here the dimples are recessed rather than proud so I won’t make any aero claims for them. Mind, I’m dubious making aero claims for bibshorts generally but that’s another story. And the outer thigh sections are a lined fabric. What this does mean is that they should be more breathable than other shorts. Now, I don’t make a huge play of this either. Lycra is pretty breathable to start with and I’ve never really sweated a huge amount out of my upper thighs, but it’s a thought. Whatever the practical benefits they are distinctive in a sea of plain black lycra and all the better for it.
Round the back there’s even a nice little pocket for your race radio! The bib straps become a central section round the rear. The fabric is super soft.
The pad is, as common with most manufacturers, sourced from outside. In this case it’s a TMF chamois produced in Italy. It’s a multi density foam which varies in thickness according to need. It’s quite a big pad and, when walking, can feel slightly ungainly, but there are no such issues in the saddle where it’s just a very comfortable thing. It sits where it should and gets on with doing what it needs to.
While the top of the pad is sculpted the underneath is a little more so. You can’t picture it but if you feel underneath there’s a twin raised central channel which compresses. When on the bike it’s a really nice chamois. It is quite high on the front section so there’s a little more protection for your special area. The front is perhaps a little wider than other chamois I’ve used (what’s the plural of chamois?) but it should provide a good amount of comfort for whatever race, or plodding, position you find yourself in. It’s definitely a chamois for the longer ride but that just means that you’ll still be comfortable after many many miles. There’s no issue using it for the shorter rides either.
So far I’ve used these over short distances but there’s simply nothing to note. They are super comfortable, you don’t know that you’re wearing them. They’re nicely compressive without being super tight. The grippers make sure that they stay where they are. The straps are super soft and don’t pull down when you’re seated on the bike.
For Lusso this is an expensive product. A halo one perhaps at the top of their range. And, truthfully, there are some super premium products lurking nearby in terms of price. But I do think that the quality of fabrics used, the pad and the general premium feel of them are factors which should mean that they should be on your list if you’re spending this kind of money. And if these aren’t for you then there is an extensive range of alternatives ranging from the Carbon pro shorts down to the sub £50 Aero-50. There’s even a thermal option at £69.99 and you can see why you might be wearing them most of the time at the moment.
I didn’t ask for this colour. It was a very pleasant surprise at it picks out the colours of my wife’s Vitus Zenium road bike. More on that soon. I gave Doreen at Lusso my wife’s measurements and she picked out a large top (my wife is generally a size 12) and a medium pair of shorts (she is usually as size 10). Usually, of course, means normal clothes. That said the measurements provided for my wife’s chest and hips correspond perfectly with the measurements on Lusso’s website for the sizes provided. In that respect, if you are buying, you should be able to do so with some confidence.
While this is still a mesh type material it’s on a more micro level than the Everesting jersey. Aesthetically she was extremely pleased with it even if we ignore the colour matching! From my perspective there are some pretty nice touches.
The arms aren’t terminated with any rubber bands this time around, Lusso instead opting for a material termination. What’s particularly nice about this is that it’s a double layer, not too tight and reported as being very comfortable. Stitching is first rate as I’ve come to expect from Lusso.
I’ve taken a photo with the shorts here so that you can see the matching dots. More on them later. Like the Everesting jersey there are four pockets including a zipped valuables one.
The waist has a full circumference elastic gripper to keep things where they should be.
I’ll save how it performs till the end and that’s for a very good reason.
First things first. Most of Lusso’s shorts, bibs and tights feature the dot design of the Layla jersey but the dots on your lower half are always purple. So, if you opt for the green or pink short sleeve or the pink long sleeve with their green or pink dots you will have contrasting dot colours on your bottom half. This, of course, is fine. Different colour dots will not mess with your OCD. Had they been different shapes and different colours then we may have had words. I showed my wife Lusso’s range and she thought it well considered, subtle and stylish. There should be something for everyone in there. And I’m pleased to say that, whilst the range isn’t quite as extensive as that for men, most items are replicated. There’s even an Aqua Repel jacket in there which is well worth a look if you’re out in the pouring rain.
Second thing. I didn’t specify what type of shorts that she wanted to test. So she ended up with waist shorts. I’ve always eschewed them on the basis that, you know, bib shorts keep it all in. So I wondered how she’d get on given that she already has bibshorts.
Anyhow, nothing dramatic here. Good quality lycra, well stitched. Like the Peloton shorts above the leg gripper is old school. The pad is once again provided by TMF and is multi density. The entire shorts are flat seamed externally though there are some internal raised seams. I’ve talked about this before. Some people have an issue, I don’t and, we’ll come to it, but my wife does not. The main thing was the fit. I can assess that by looking and my wife can assess it by feeling. We both agreed that the fit was excellent.
So, onto performance.
My wife is a beginner. She does not have a wealth of experience in cycling and has virtually none in relation to testing, if experience is even really a thing. My “experience” comes from having spent far too much money on cycling kit over the years. I know what works and, generally why it does so. It is fair to say that she will gain that experience as she rides. In my view that does not temper this review. As a human being she is well capable of telling me what she thinks of something that is designed to perform. And what we talk about in terms of the performance of cycling clothing is really about specific tasks. A rain jacket should keep you dry and be breathable. Bibtights should keep you warm. Shoes should avoid hot spots. But that performance can ultimately be boiled down to comfort. Are these things comfortable?
I sent her out on her rides with no brief. Though we did add a base layer underneath the jersey as it was a tad chilly. Such is the nature of testing summer kit in “spring.” My son accompanied her and off they went. She’s still building up her distance so consider this an initial review. Like all my reviews I will report back in terms of things like durability.
And, when they came back I asked her for her views. I started with generality and intended to move onto specifics. She said to me, “I don’t really know what to say, but the overwhelming thing was that I didn’t once think about what I was wearing, only that it felt like nothing. I just thought about the cycling.” I’ve not really told her what my ethos is but despite that she nailed it in one. That is the test. Is it comfortable? What annoys you? Were there any issues? If you can’t remember thinking about anything other than the cycling it tends to suggest that the kit is doing its job. Everything else is gravy, choose your aesthetic, choose your price, choose your brand. Some will do better in some conditions, some will do better in others. We’re all different and things can vary. She will need to get some more miles in, certainly in some warmer temps. But, so far, this is very good kit indeed.
A lot of my mates have been very positive about their experiences of Lusso over the years. If you search the internet there’s a hardcore base of loyal and vociferous supporters. And on the evidence that I’ve experienced to date you can see why. It’s just great stuff, as I concluded in my earlier reviews. There really is something for everyone on their website and you can kit yourself out for a reasonably decent outlay. It’s UK made and made very well. It gets on with the job of being cycling kit very well indeed.
Right, I’ll shut up now. I need to shake off this lurgy that’s suddenly come on. And once I do I need to man up and get out there, apparently I’ve got a mountain to climb…….