In a really weird way I owe a lot to my cycling kit, as it has helped me overcome a lot of body confidence issues, which in turn has given me the confidence to get out there try other things. For me its important to have kit which feels good and looks good, because when I feel happy in my kit, I perform well. When I first started cycling, the thought of cycling shorts and jerseys filled me with dread. Skin tight lycra that clings to every lump and bump- it’s the stuff of my nightmares. But if I wanted to ride my road bike and survive the 100miles of ride London I had to accept that I needed to get acquainted with cycling kit. Firstly, I must highlight that this set was gifted to me to test, I had the option of what kit I wanted to choose and made the decision that a lovely bright matching two piece would calm the lycra nerves and opted for the B’Twin 900 women’s short sleeve cycling jersey and the B’Twin women’s 900 padded cycling shorts. The reviews for both online are fantastic, with 4.6 out of 5 for the jersey and 4.1/5 for the shorts.
Comfort and fit
The set is extremely comfortable without compromising the quality or functionality. The jersey is designed for intensive cycling with a mesh back and lightweight fabric. It survived the soaring temperatures of the exceptional London summer we just had, and I always felt cool and well protected from the sun. There are four rear pockets one of which is a water repellent zip pocket (ideal for a phone). I assumed a zip pocket would be standard on cycling jerseys, however I’ve found many top cycling brands don’t include this feature, which just doesn’t make sense as it is so handy to be able to secure valuable personal items. I particularly love the ergonomic cut and th elastic around the waist which grips to your shorts. I never had any issues with the jersey riding up, which at 5ft 10 I have found it difficult at times to find jerseys long enough at the back to remain comfortable when I have stuffed my snacks in the pockets. I found the fit on the arms comfortable- something I have struggled with a lot of other jerseys.
The shorts are exceptional. I used these for the 100 miles of ride London and didn’t have a single saddle sore. They were comfortable throughout, even in the pouring rain (the only reason I didn’t use the jersey during ride London was because the one I did wear was a gift with sentimental value). The comfort comes from the large pad with gel inserts and 3 levels of density. The seams are flat- specifically designed for reduced chafing. Without a doubt these are the most comfortable shorts I own and are noticeably more comfortable and better padded then shorts from leading cycling brands and online sports competitors. They are ideal for endurance cycling, and I will be purchasing another pair. It is easy to see why they have over fifty 5*reviews online. The thick and colourful band above the knee prevents them from riding up and grips your leg without digging in. What I love most is the flattering scooped waistband which hugs your hips and tummy and doesn’t cut in. I was most nervous about wearing cycling shorts. I don’t run in shorts, or really wear shorts full stop unless I am on holiday. I have become so comfortable wearing these shorts that I now don’t think twice about getting my legs out. It has meant I have been able to face my fears and return to swimming consistently for the first time in three years.
Both the jersey and the shorts are true to size. I am a UK 8/10 and opted for a size medium short and a size 8 jersey. I do wish I had gone for a size 10 jersey, simply for my own demons about having tight things around my tummy, but the 8 still fits fine and is extremely comfortable. When I started trying on cycling kit I was horrified by how some some of the brands were. One leading brand I have had to purchase a size large in and that’s still a bit too snug. It is ridiculous!
Value for money
I cannot fault the value for money of this set. The jersey and shorts retail at £34.99 each. When I first got into cycling I found the cost of equipment and kit a real barrier to getting involved and I am extremely pleased to see that decathlon offer a range of affordable cycling kit. These are the top of their price range and if you were on a budget you can easily kit yourself out.
I think the bright, bold appearance of the kit speak for itself. If you are self conscious about the lycra clinging to any lumps and bumps the jazzy design on the jersey certainly made me feel like it was distracting from my tummy.
Well the shorts survived 100 miles in the monsoon conditions during ride London and it hasn’t affected the density of the padding, so I think that is a massive achievement! Both the jersey and the shorts have been washed multiple times throughout my training and still maintain their shape and quality (and I am known for incorrectly washing things and shrinking jumpers!)
I love how bright, comfortable and functional this set is. It has proved that it is ideal for intense endurance cycling as well as leisure rides. I’m so glad I found the Decathlon B’Twin cycling range.
Thank you to Decathlon for kindly sending me this set to test. All views expressed are my own and in no way influenced by Decathlon in any way. I have since gone on to purchase further sets based on how pleased I am with the performance of this one!