- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 10 December 2012
Prendas Ciclismo are an established UK label and online retailer best known as a source for re-released classic team wear, such as kit from Peugeot and Mapei. Prendas Ciclismo have their own brand of cycling wear, much of it made in Italy, and also stock cycling wear from other Italian brands such as Nalini and Santini. A visit to their website is like a trip down pro-cycling memory lane, but they also stock more recent teamwear such as GreenEdge (Santini) and HTC Columbia High Road (Nalini).
The cycling jerseys and bib knicks they stock all have an air of “classic”, from the retro team jersey reproductions to current era pro-team wear, you quickly get the feeling that it is a well collated collection. Some of the classic style jerseys are Prendas’ “interpretations” of original team wear, made with modern materials to keep you looking good and feeling good.
When Prendas put together a few items for me to review for BNA, they concentrated on the functional side of their product line: “Made in Italy”socks, gloves and a base layer short sleeve vest. While the socks and gloves are solid performers, they don’t neglect style.
The Socks have a straight forward construction, they are relatively light and feature a lovely thick cuff and perfect length; not too short and not too long. As all-rounder ‘Coolmax’ socks, I found them well suited to medium to high temperature riding conditions and opted instead for thermal/winter socks for cold early morning starts.
When I start to like a pair socks, they find their way on to my feet when I am not riding. This, typically, adversely affects the lifespan of the socks. For the Prendas Ciclismo socks, though they show signs of regular use (and washing) they are holding up well, unlike cheap and nasty socks that quickly get holes and lose their shape. With a current Aussie price of $8.62 a pair (or $26.51 for four), even for classic style socks, it’s pretty hard to pass by.
The Prendas Winter thermalite socks and High Summer Dryarn-Resistex Carbon Socks both feature a more high-tech construction and weave; for $10.54 a pair they compare favourably with other brand socks that cost twice the price.
I fell in love with the New Generation Track Mitts/Summer Gloves. These are solid and functional fingerless gloves that do away with velcro and instead have a longer wrist support section. They are purposely a little tight to get on, but have a comfortable fit and include little loops to help pull them off again after the ride.
My other cycling gloves tend to destroy themselves when I wash them; the velcro will attach to the lycra and, after a while, they become scruffy. The New Generation gloves have a more solid feel and the well constructed grip is solid and comfortable. I have used these gloves both road cycling and mountain biking and they are simply my favourite gloves to wear.
In the kit they sent me, Prendas included their custom DeFeet (USA) made DuraGloves, which reminded me of my BMX riding days as a kid. While they are a warm glove, I didn’t warm up to these simply because I feel more comfortable with a more rigid long finger glove with a solid grip. It is really down to personal choice and if they are for you then you will have a bit more comfort than a “stiff” winter glove, and a more natural handlebar grip.
Base Layer Short Sleeve Vest
The Prendas Comfortec 1000 Base Layer seems really simple; an all white vest with a Prendas logo on the chest. What I noticed with this is that I didn’t notice it – that is a real plus. I have several other base layers that have: hi-tech chemical impregnations (which make them uncomfortable ), slim sport cut or no sleeves (also uncomfortable), or hi-tech weaves (that seem more at home on a pair of fishnet stockings). In contrast, the Comfortec 1000 is comfortable and reliable. It is just happy being a normal base layer without a song and dance. The price is just right too: $24.52
All in all, the Prendas Ciclismo cycling wear builds on quality manufacture to create reliable and functional kit. Cycling tradition and style play an important roll at Prendas, so if you’re after a more high-tech look, except for the current proteam kits, you may want to skip the jerseys they stock. Either way, you will find the functional socks and gloves, as well as the knee warmers and arm warmers, to be quite appealing.
Given that they’re an online retailer, I found the Prendas Ciclismo website to be cluttered, after a while it reminded me of a trusted local family store. Where it was lacking in flashy buttons, bling and usability, it made up for with photos from yesteryear of cycling legends wearing classic jerseys as well as current pros in Prendas wear. The average jersey is about $66, but some of the run-out gear can be a little as half of this, but with limited sizes available. The Prendas branded gloves, socks, arm and leg warmers and overshoes are all attractively priced
In the comments below, tell me in less than 25 words what your favorite moment in cycling history is. You’ll have the chance to win a Prendas cycling cap and matching socks. I have two to give away and will choose the best 2 responses. This give-away closes in 7 days from publication. Terms and Conditions apply.