Upon my first cycling season using the Champion System gear I was very surprised. I always saw a lot of competitor teams using the gear but had never tried it on myself.
When I met up with my SoCalCycling.com Team Manager Frank Sarate for the first time to get my proper fitting kits for the beginning of the season, it was then that I was already very excited to use the Champion System gear. Not only was it comfortable, lightweight, and breathable,but it had all the awesome things that I love having, such as name tags so you always know which kit is who’s, the bands around the leg so my tan line doesn’t show, lower pockets so they are easy to access and mesh side panels for venting on the hot days, etc. But, what I didn’t mention yet was that this was last years kit. Frank had told me that we would be making the order on the newer stuff soon and that I would be surprised, but I had no clue that cycling kit’s could be so comfortable and that I could even be this happy about lycra for that matter. HA!
Well, some time had gone by and we were presented with the opportunity to go to the Champion System Pro Cycling Team launch. It was then that they asked if I had tried the new clothing on. Not only did they give me a kit to test out but I got the inside low down on a few of the innovative things they put into making the 2013 gear. The kit that I have been testing out is the Champion System Pro Cycling Team kit – the 2013 CS Razor Lite Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey (Race Cut), the Custom CS Razor Bib Short and the Custom CS Elite Pro Cycling Sock.
Starting with the jersey, it is loaded with goodies. Not only is the jersey made with three different materials to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable, but it also stands up to a 100% UV ray protection test. The pockets are great for carrying anything from gels, bars, and a cell phone, to holding water bottles and food for the team (when necessary). The material is ridiculously soft and durable and at times I forget I am wearing lycra.
Then we have the bib short. WOW! Talk about incredible. When they say, “Razor”. They mean RAZOR! It is by far the thinnest most aerodynamic short I have worn to date. You would think that it being so thin that it would be chilly in cold weather or not so tough in rough situations. Well, let’s just say I was at 7000 feet elevation and climbing on a rainy and snowy training ride, when I realized that my legs weren’t freezing in them and that they were somehow warm without leg warmers. Did I mention the greatest invention yet? The exclusive silicon-injected gripper. Unlike other silicon grippers, these grippers are made by a process where the silicon is bonded to the material by melting the molecules together by heat. Tell me that isn’t thinking outside of the box to bring you the finest cycling bibs on the market. This leaves me with the one and only most important question. How is the chamois? The chamois is incredible. It not only is made from a chemical free 100% seamless material that helps fight off any bacteria to keep you from saddle sores, but it also is very comfortable due to the elasticity of the pad so that it may go with your every move on the bike. This allows it to flow with your pedal stroke instead of ordinary “blocks” of padding/chamois that get stuck to one side.
And that leaves me with the socks. I know, I know. How great can a sock be? Or feel? Well I can tell you this. If I had a pair to wear every day of the week I would throw out every pair of socks I have in my drawer. I mean the craftsmanship that they put into every article of clothing is truly amazing. From the lightweight materials, to the mesh cooling panels, to the aerodynamics, this 2013 Champion System kit is truly my favorite kit I have ever had, tried on, and owned. I can’t wait to have more than one.
You can find out more information on Champion System custom clothing at champ-sys.com.
Product Review by Anthony Canevari