This year, staff rider Daniel Oakshott is 'Living with Isadore Apparel'. Throughout the season, he'll be reporting back on his testing of the unique brand, established by the professional cyclists, the Velits brothers.
Being a part of the Cycle Soft Goods team at Wiggle, means I often get to be one of the first people to hear about the exciting new cycle apparel coming to market. I don't think I've yet been as excited about seeing a brand on site, as I have with Isadore though; so you can imagine how quick I was to say yes to getting my hands on the kit and ‘living with' it for the next year!
The style of riding I do is very mixed. I ride my Felt F85X as an ‘Adventure Road' bike, on a mixture of terrains. I love exploring the country lanes, but also having the option to head off-road for some gravel paths, dusty trails or muddy woodland. I like to make every ride into an adventure!
About Isadore Apparel
Isadore is a relatively new brand to the market. It was founded by the Velits brothers - Martin and Peter; both professional cyclists. Coming from a Pro scene, they have the knowledge and experience to ensure everything they produce is perfect for miles and miles of riding.
The Velits brothers are from Slovakia, and everything that Isadore produces is hand-made in their Slovakian factory, just a short bike ride from their office,
Everything is sustainably and ethically sourced, too; and they only work with fabrics and materials from Oeko-Tex ®, from certified suppliers. Pretty cool!
The whole Isadore ethos is about top performance kit, which doesn't look out of place in cafés and pubs midway through a ride. This ethos suits me down to the ground; as I don't need super techy kit, but it's always nice to have. I much prefer kit which looks awesome and is really style-focused.
The tag line for Isadore is 'Road is the Way of Life': This sums the product up well; it is apparel that fits the cycling lifestyle perfectly; kit for every ride.
The first batch of kit I am testing this year includes:
- Isadore Asymetric Jersey
- Isadore Bib Shorts
- Isadore Arm Warmers
- Isadore Leg Warmers
- Isadore Socks
- Isadore Cap
When I received my first batch of Isadore kit in the post, I was pleasantly surprised by something I've not yet seen from the cycle clothing brands I've bought from in the past. The packaging is amazing!
I'm a real sucker for packaging/advertising in shops, and Isadore have done a great job with theirs. Seeing a small glimpse of the kit through the 'peephole' gets you exited; before sliding off the outer sleeve to reveal the tagline 'ROAD IS THE WAY OF LIFE'.
Before I'd even got the jersey out of the box, I was excited to go and road test the kit!
First ride impressions
Despite the very low temperatures and bad weather we had at the start of the year, I was too desperate to get out and ride, so like a kid at Christmas, I unboxed everything, put all the new kit on and headed on the bike with no real route in mind.
The route turned out to be a mixture of road riding, gravel paths, and a quick loop of a local nature reserve. Only 16 miles, but it was only intended to be a quick blast to get a feel for the kit, before some bigger rides!
Here are a few quick thoughts on the kit, before I get more miles done in it and review the whole lot in full!
- The Isadore Bib Shorts: I've always sworn by my trusty dhb Aeron Bib Shorts, but these Isadore Bib Shorts take things to the next level. The quality of the finish, the softer shoulder straps, the wider grippers to ensure the shorts stay right where you want them, the mix of Lycra for support in the right places and sturdiness where the shorts come into contact with the saddle. Obviously I haven't put in big miles at this point to get a real feel for them; but off the bat, I'm very happy. The TMF® 4D chamois isn't super thick, but is designed to absorb shock and impact in the right places – it feels like it was designed around your body shape. Also seamless which means no chaffing! The all black design is exactly what I like in a bib short too.
- The Isadore Asymmetric Short Sleeve Jersey: When I first saw the Asymmetric jersey, I wasn't won over by it, but I have definitely come around to the off-centre zip and two colour design. Now, I love it. The fit felt great, it kept me warm enough on a cold day. It looks awesome.
- The Isadore Climbers Socks: Definitely a lighter sock for warmer months, but the toe section is padded. Nice simple design.
- The Arm and Leg Warmers: Absolute winners. I love the single seam on the Isadore Lycra Arm Warmers, so there is no pinching at the elbows. The zips on Isadore Lycra Leg Warmers are handy, so you can remove them easily mid-ride. These have an understated black design, with reflective detail in the right spots.
- The Isadore Haleakala Climbers Cap: Good fit, lovely designs across the range. Does what you'd expect from a cap!
On the whole, this First Impressions ride has just made me super excited to put this kit through its paces, and really experience some good miles on the road in it – be that tarmac roads, or gravelly/muddy ones! Until next time…