It feels great to be wearing cycling kit that no one else has, or even knows about. Unfortunately, I was doing it in the middle of winter and a combination of jacket, leg and arm warmers meant I wasn’t able to show it off. That didn’t really matter though because I focused on the functionality of this technical clothing, but then summer arrived and I could also show-off the new cycling gear from OORR.
We reviewed the first cycling jersey that Australian cycle wear brand OORR released in 2015 when founder Tim Christian began to build the OORR brand around sustainability. He wondered why you couldn’t have cycling wear that looked good, performed well, and was also ecologically friendly, so he created great looking riding kit with fabric made from recycled PET bottles.
The new range keeps this foundation and extends on a number of fronts. Firstly, there is a larger range of styles for both men and women. With two main lines, a performance line and a super-performance line, you can opt for subtle designs or “Dude, my eyes are bleeding” designs.
In the area of fabric technology, OORR are promoting two new features: coffee enhanced garments and frog skin technology. They both deserve some explanation, so I sat down at a cafe for a coffee enhanced discussion with Tim, to find out how coffee actually enhances the cyclewear, or whether this was all simply a clever marketing angle because cycling and coffee tend to go hand in hand.
There is actual substance to this technology; it is quite simple and uses coffee grounds, a waste product from cafes, as part of the manufacturing process for the polyester yarn used in the jerseys. As the yarn is produced, the coffee grounds cause irregularities in the surface of the yarn, so rather than having a smooth surface, it is rough. It means that when you sweat, the moisture dissipates faster from the multifaceted surface; in other words the moisture wicking is better.
In practice, this advantage depends how much you sweat and what you are wearing. During the dark winter months I was wearing layers and coming into spring I am still wearing a base layer, which helps with moisture wicking. It was a close fitting jersey, however, and it was lightweight and breathable. I can’t wait for summer for some serious sweating.
An additional effect is that the fabric is odourless, so it will stay fresher and more hygienic longer. But seriously, I am not going to leave my cycling kit unwashed, which means there’s no way I’m going to validate this claim via a sniff test.
Frog skin technology is the second feature and refers to the fabric used in the knicks. It’s like the skin of a frog in that it repels 99.9% of bacteria, which is something I did not previously know about frogs. As a technology, it is somewhat invisible, but if you consider that a washing machine is not designed for 100% sterilisation, having more hygienic knicks is a plus.
The fit and the look
I received the OORR Men’s Pro Dazzle cycling jersey and bib knicks, both in size L. They are designed for a race fit, so if you have anything to hide, it’s going to be displayed in all its glory. The wide hems and cuffs are comfortable and grip nicely. The jersey sports details such as a zipper protector, high quality zip, and delightful spots of colour inside the collar. I felt that it could be a centimetre or two longer in the tail, but I should also note that the OORR cycling kit I wore is pre-production and the brand are also collecting input from a group of testers to flow into the final production versions.
The matching bib knicks are truly fantastic; they are well constructed and have a very individual look and fantastic feel. One leg cuff on the knicks repeated the jersey pattern, which is a very elegant continuation of the theme. The padded chamois in the knicks required a little time to get used to – it is thicker than other chamois but after a few rides and a few washes, the padding became more compliant and I was able to enjoy a comfortable seat without the desire to shift position.
When I open my wardrobe and choose my kit for the day, I automatically gravitate towards the better fitting and designed cycling kits such as the new OORR. I’m going to love wearing this out in summer; the black and white stripes are a head-turner and I put them in the same category as Rapha, MAAP and Attaque. OORR has created its own unique style and delivers good looking and performing cyclewear.
Where do you get it?
As noted earlier, I have been wearing a pre-production sample and OORR are launching this new range on Kickstarter. There is no doubt that Kickstarter doubles as a valuable marketing channel and this kit may well be hyped as “The last cycling kit you’ll ever need”, or “The world’s only sustainable performance cycling wear”. But beneath this, you will know that it actually is a good looking and good performing kit. Because OORR have already successfully released and sold cycling wear they are no-longer a novice.
Yes, it does have an Australian factor, it’s an Aussie brand which is manufactured overseas. But the sustainable manufacture and the underlying brand approach of ecological responsibility appeals to me most. Riding bikes is certainly ‘green’, but all of the equipment required for cycling is only rarely approached with environmental consideration or motivation.
OORR gets my thumbs up; I think you will look good and feel good about wearing OORR.
The OORR Kickstarter campaign starts on 31 October with a fundraising goal of $79,000 – get in quick for the early bird prices.