Alé Race Nordik Mens
by Robert Thorpe
The Alé Race Nordik Men’s jacket is superb winter garment designed for extremes and it works well in these cold and harsh conditions. Let’s start off with the design for a change, as this really is a very smart and stylish looking jacket. It oozes quality in both the body mapped cut, which clings to your form so comfortably due the strength and stretch of the material, and the simple design aesthetic.
It’s stylish and high quality garment, with a high collar to protect your neck and slim cut sleeves that extend across the back of the hand at the cuffs. The waist gripping is designed into the front panelling, and is a super strong stretch band, which Alé call their J-Stability System, enabling further aerodynamic gains and a perfect fit. This system shapes the jersey at the sleeve and bottom hem to sit smoothly when you’re settled in the riding position, helping to maintain a natural fit and reduce drag – and yes, it works well and looks and feels great in action. It’s finished off with simple black styling to the fabric at the rear, with 3 deep and easy to access rear pockets. There’s ample room for all the essentials in the pockets and importantly, they’re held well in place. The zipper is very strong and I loved the wide elasticated fabric band behind the zip, all the way from the waist to the collar, which really helped to keep the wind out.
I tested the deep red jacket which is described as being ‘Bordeux’ after the red wine. It’s trimmed on the inside of the collar in hi-vis Orange, which was also used to trim the rear pockets and to add stylish reflective Alé logos at the rear, on the arms and to the front, all looking superb. The inner lining for the high cut collar is a soft perforated fabric that extends above the collar at the rear, adding that little extra wind protection. All too often, high cut thermal collars can cause us to overheat and sweat, but this additional fabric works well to wick moisture, whilst giving that added protection. It’s these small details that Alé seem to be very good at, adding a great deal of technicity to their cycle clothing.
The rear of the jacket has a curved bottom panel to cover you when in the riding position, and it’s super stretchy for all shapes of rider 😉 Like the collar, this is lined with the perforated cloth and finished with a gel band to hold it firmly in place when the jacket is fastened. And, when it is fastened, I felt so good and the jacket looked amazing. Yes, it’s a race fit garment, so be careful when ordering; but when wearing the right size, it offers good freedom and movement and feels great when riding.
How does it perform – time to look at the fabrics. When putting the jacket on, you immediately notice the thermo winter fabric, so soft on the inside. The jacket is well fitted and you immediately feel this, being warm straight away. Movement is not restricted and I felt comfortable in the riding position. The outer fabric is a tough and strong 4 way stretch laminate, which meant that when we rode in bad weather, the rain simply beaded away and we were kept dry. It also ensured that the wind was kept out too, and the jacket worked well with just the Alé winter base layer underneath. If you get a bit warm, which can often happen when wearing a heavy winter jacket, the under arm pit zips improve air circulation, and are articulated with a fabric mesh too. For such a tough winter jacket, we also found breathability was quite good, and even on some tough hill climbs, we didn’t overheat or sweat too much, instead remaining feeling comfortable and able to concentrate on the riding.
The very best kit isn’t necessarily the cheapest and this Alé Race Nordik jacket is no exception, but it’s price fits the quality. It’s designed for the coldest of conditions and performed well on winter roads here in North Yorkshire. At the end of the day, that’s what you need from a good winter jacket: performance and style, and the Alé Race Nordik simply oozes quality in performance and style.