ALÉ Cold Weather Cycle Jackets & Tights
Wrapped in Warmth & Style
Wrapped in Warmth & Style
Italian cycle clothing brand, ALÉ, are annoying good at producing cycling performance wear. ‘Why annoying’ you may ask – well, it’s quite simple; they’re so good at what they do, that each year, the kit simply gets better, and I am forced to change my thoughts on my own favourite jacket for days on the bike. Whilst yes, I test lots of clothing brands, I must concede that I’m drawn to the Alè® quality, style and performance. Their current Klimatik clothing ranges are no exception to this, and there’s an obvious drip down from the work that Alè® do with the world’s top teams and riders, meaning that we ordinary mortals get to ride in comfort, wrapped in Alè® warmth and style.
We were sent a selection of long-sleeved jackets and bib tights to test this year. For the menswear range, I tested the Alè® K-TORNADO 2.0, water repellent Long Sleeve jacket, and the stylishly modern PR-S MAGNETE jacket, which is designed for a temperature range of 2° to 12°. It’s the ideal choice for cyclists venturing into the cold, from autumn right through to some of the colder days of mid-spring – now, that’s a great value jacket for anyone.
According to ALÉ, this jacket is a smart garment, with an inner front vest, which helps to manage temperature, and which allows you to ride without worrying about the weather conditions. Thanks to the body mapping system, all of the fabrics have been strategically positioned to conform to specific needs, ensuring that each part of your body receives the right amount of protection from the weather – no more, no less than is required. The jacket is designed to literally wrap you and your form neatly, giving you a sporty look whilst allowing you excellent movement. Add to this, the fabric has the special Event® membrane, making the garment extremely soft and elastic and ensuring that it keeps its breathable and water-repellent properties, and you’ve got a very high-quality technical product. Here in the Yorkshire Dales, the water repellency is vital for most of the year, and technical cycling jackets that do as they’re supposed to do, are always welcome.
The special DWR water-repellent treatment chosen by Alè® gives you excellent air circulation when working hard on the hills and prevents overheating during training. And remember that stylish extra inner vest – it takes away shivering effect during descents or less demanding stages. With a technical lighter under-arm fabric also aiding ventilation, you’ve got a very comfortable and happy cyclist.
The collar is high, but not restrictive, and there’s a nice addition of an elasticated fabric strip inside of the zip, ensuring that winds don’t work their way through. When you turn the jacket ‘inside out’ and check out the finishing, it’s obvious that Alè® have taken their time to think about the various fabric choices and their uses, with the body mapping being visible. The overall finishing is top quality, and the jacket has strong and wide cuffs that sit comfortably, and 3 super-strong pockets (including an extra zipped pocket) for all those necessary goodies.
The colour choices are simple and modern and are overlaid with exclusive graphics that are designed to fully embody the contemporary and technical Alè® look. Yes, this cold weather clothing essential from Italy has the perfect blend of performance and style, with comfort sewn in. It’s nicely finished off at the waist with my own personal favourite – a well cut and strong wide elasticated waistband, that adds to the overall look. Yes, the PR-S MAGNETE jacket is quite simply a very nice, high-performance garment that oozes lots of Italian style, and which will perform well for you, over several cold seasons.
Looking next at the Klimatik K-Tornado 2.0, it’s another high-quality performance garment from Italy, as expected. It’s always nice when you can rely on a brand, and Alè® do just this – they give you confidence, which you need in the cold weather. Let’s see how this stylish jacket is put together then. It’s designed for cycling when the temperature is between 6° and 12°, again making it ideal at many times, if you happen to live in northern Europe .
It’s made from the usual technical fabrics, with superb multi-directional stretch and also has a fleecy feel to the inside, helping to keep you warm. The 3 layer fabric, with EVENT membrane and DWR treatment on the entire surface of the jacket, guarantees high breathability and lightness as well as excellent thermal insulation even in wet conditions. For all these features this jacket falls into the “long season” category for garments developed for intermediate climatic conditions as mentioned earlier – that means, anytime that it’s cold.
It’s stylishly cut to fit to form, meaning that if you look good, then this jacket will too. Stay off the cakes and stay on the pedals and you’ll be fine.
What I really like, is that Alè® have used a light mesh fabric behind the 3 rear pockets, that really do help with air circulation when you’re working hard. The waist has a really good quality fabric and silicone finish, and the soft mesh on the inside of the collar ensures that you’re comfortable around the neck. The design is simple and stylish, with reflective logos, and it’s simply a really nice, really warm and comfortable, good value jacket for those cold days on your bike.
Alè® are renowned for their performance bib tights, seriously. Yes, they don’t just make one simple design and splash different colours and names onto it, like too many brands. The very clever design team actually analyse cyclists in all environments and weathers, and produce a variety of options, ensuring that everyone has the right product for their own cycling needs. We looked at the Alè® CLIMA WARM PLUS tights and the PR-R MILD tights, which taken together, are the ideal 2 pairs to own for a wide range of conditions.
The PR-R MILD bib tights are, as the name suggests, designed to be used in slightly milder conditions – 6° to 17°, and when there’s maybe a cold rainstorm possible. Straight away, what you notice on these tights, is the extremely high-quality bib straps, mesh back and high-performance chamois pad. Along with the waterproof ankle cuff, it’s these well thought out touches that separate Alè® from their competitors; and, at this price point, you’re unlikely to the same quality finishes elsewhere. The fabric is styled to be functional and essential, with its minimal and ergonomic cuts, it can be worn during mid-Winter season and right through to mid-spring. The area above knees is embellished by a small, sublimated insert. The stretchy SuperRoubaix microfiber fabric has a slight compression effect that massages the muscle during the ride, and fits close the body and stretches easily, making them super comfortable all day long.
They’re quite simply, a very nice and very comfortable pair of bib tights, and they have definitely worked a treat and kept me warm in the harsh weather of the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorks Moors.
Finally, it’s onto the CLIMA WARM PLUS tights, which cater for a slightly damper ride. Designed to be the warmest and most protective bibs in the REV-1 series, they’re highly insulating, and they maintain a constant cycle of heat generation (up to 1°C) to actively keep you warm, and to reduce heat loss and stabilize a consistent temperature. They’re suggested to be worn between zero degrees and 10°, and they have all the usual quality finishes that you’d expect from one of the world’s top cycle clothing companies. Best of all, the B-HOT THERMO DWR and W-WIND 3L SHIELD DWR fabrics are treated and really do protect you from the rain, as I can testify from rides here in the Yorkshire Dales. They’re comfortable and super stylish, performance tights, which utilise all the Alè® body mapping expertise, to maximise your ride comfort – and we really like them.
The one thing that cyclists cannot rely on is the weather. Thankfully Alè® know this and they also know that we’re crazy enough to cycle outside on all manner of cold days, and through the rain and wind. That’s why they take so much time and effort to produce so many options for us cray cyclists! The selection that Larisa and I have been testing are most certainly of the highest quality, for finish, comfort, style and performance; and they’ll keep you smiling on those long, cold cycling miles.