Happy Little Unicorns
One Bright spot in the pandemic has occurred. My level of fitness has continued to increase despite terrible circumstances. As a gift to myself for moving beyond my 1/2 way point for 2020 miles in 2020 (now at 1398 miles or almost 70% of my goal), I decided to buy some new cycling clothing.
I decided to go all-in and buy something really loud and obnoxious. I went full-on bright and loud by purchasing the "Stay Magical" race kit from Bicycle Booth which will custom print jerseys based on your preferences.
Part of my decision to go this route was to impress my preschooler. She loves unicorns so much and I figured I could wear it on our rides together. Part of it was it was just a cheery message during a bleak time. My kid did greatly approve of this and called me a "princess" which is the highest honor she can bestow on you.
I did like the kit. It fit well and the chamois felt even better than my other bibs did. Likewise,the material was a notch above on the actual bib straps. It can accommodate someone with a large bust comfortably. That is something I struggle with because I have this issue with bibs. The material in the bibs was breathable but not see-through (another issue I have had with colored bibs and shorts).
The shorts also did not ride up and the leg grippers neither gave me sausage leg nor felt itchy. I have wide thighs so this is so appreciated. They also accommodated my really small length of thigh being neither too long nor too short.
The jersey was of great breathable material and while I hate a hem with elastic, it's almost on every single jersey. I did appreciate the minimal riding up because of a full-surround of silicon. When it is just on the back, jerseys seem to ride up. I have a huge differential between my very small waist and very wide hips.
You can see that the material is especially thin and breathable on the sides.
I decided to put these through a full test of their stamina. I rode a bike for 18 miles in what became a torrential downpour. It was... unpleasant... but manageable. I returned home absolutely covered in debris and sand. It even got in my hair.
However, after washing, these things looked great again. I was worried I had really stained them since I couldn't wash them until they had dried the next day. It was a good test, I guess.
In the end, my main criticisms are as follows:
1. their sizing chart did not work with my measurements. I went up 2 sizes from the size I am in my preferred brand of cycling shorts (Louis Garneau). Comparing size charts, I should have been only a large (LG's medium) but I read on Reddit that they run small vs. true-to-size so, on a whim, I ordered up. That was, as you can see, a good choice!
2. The shipping and custom printing took 4 weeks. They warned of delays but this was a major lag. However, if you can stand to wait, you will be impressed.
And the pros:
1. These are super affordable for the quality you get - I paid $166 for 2 kits - shipped. Granted, that was during a sale but they have a ton of sales. My last pair of bibs alone cost more than $150.00 and my race jersey was $80.00 so, that is a steal of a deal.
2. The quality is not better than my $150.00 bibs but it is still really good and definitely great for price.
3. The ability to customize your outfit is exceptional. I even got a Canadian maple leaf on one of mine (it's a Canadian company). I hate black, boring cycling clothing. They offer those things, too, but if you want to match your bike (like I did) or do something fun (yes, please), do it!
4. If you are not particularly satisfied with shorts but bibs seemed out of your price range, these cost about the same as standard shorts with a good quality chamois so you should look into them. They do also carry a full line of custom-made shorts but I was looking to upgrade my bibs since I had sized out of my last race pair.
5. They offer everything in both women's specific designs and men's designs. You are no longer relegated to buying men's clothing or settling for blah things, ladies!
I will be sure to post of photo of my second kit (a pink and blue camo print) later. I do intend to purchase another kit or two when fall rolls around and I need long-sleeve jerseys.
Note: Bicycle Booth did not pay me or provide anything to me for this review. I purchased these on my own. These are my honest opinions.