Bellwether saw its start in 1972 where it has been focused on listening to its riders and customers to create great cycling apparel. Profile-Design stepped in to improve the brand a few years later and ultimately it saw a re-birth, as a finely tuned machine in 2009. The goal is to create cycling apparel of high quality, best fit and performance, while maintaining a realistic price range.
Bellwether sent over a kit and gloves that would be suitable for a California winter, spring and fall. Essentially, an outside temperature of about 40 to mid-50 degrees. This past winter was unseasonably colder than normal so on a few occasions it saw upper 30 degree weather including some fog and rain. The kit consisted of the long sleeve Zone Jersey in white/red/black, long sleeve Base Layer and the ThermoDry Bib Knickers. The gloves, so as not to forget the ever important digits, are the Climate Control Fleece Gloves.
The Zone jersey comes in size small to XXL so able to fit a wide range of riders. I reviewed the large and as always best to review the size chart for your own personal fit. While on the topic of fit, I was pleased to find the Zone jersey to fit well, with and without the base layer. I am a tall, “fit” cyclist and have a long wingspan so any clothing that is long sleeve I am hesitant to try as it typically rides up my arm an inch or so. Such is not the case with the Zone. It is made from a mid-weight fabric and breathes nicely. Paired with the base layer, I did not feel the cold from the wind or the air and felt comfortable on those aforementioned cold day rides. Getting into the jersey is simple, as the full length locking zipper opens easily and during rides, as the sun comes out or on long climbs, one hand is all that is needed to open the zipper. The Zone offers four ample and easy to access pockets. One of them being a five inch zippered pocket for your iPhone, keys, ID, anything you would really like to ensure you still have at the end of your ride. I use my iPhone a lot, especially for my rides for GPS, but found I could easily open the zipper to get to it. Also to note, the zipper on the pocket is reflective and the jersey has a couple of reflective accents to help you be seen. I typically and more so while mountain biking have to pull my jersey down from being bunched up. The Zone has a silicone bead around the base to help hold it down, a little extra that goes a long way in my book. The Zone has an suggested retail price of $75 which in my opinion for it quality, functionality and fit, is a great price. As mentioned prior, the Base Layer is recommended for those colder days and fits well, it didn’t bunch up while wearing and I like the fact the back of the trunk length is longer so you can tuck it in to your shorts. The Base Layer’s suggested retail price is $29.99.
The ThermoDry Bib Knickers are a great addition to your cycling wardrobe. Like the Zone jersey, it fits a wide range of riders with sizes from small to XXL. The fit of the bibs overall were great. At the leg end it was only slightly loose, during a couple rides I had to pull it down a tiny bit. Now, to say, you can’t create apparel that will fit absolutely everyone perfectly, it could mean I just need to work on my calf muscles… So this wasn’t at all a deal breaker. Similar to the trunk base of the Zone jersey, the leg end has the Silicone bead to help keep the legs ends in place. The top of the bibs has a mesh on the back to allow for breathing, which avoids sweat build up. The Chamois fits well and is comfortable, it gives great coverage while avoiding the feeling your wearing a pillow or a diaper, as some other shorts do. It has a slim design so as not to be bulky, the ECS Elite chamois make well for long rides and you can read up on Bellwether’s chamois tech here. Inside the bib is a lightly brushed fabric similar to that of a low cut fleece, keeping you warm on those chilly rides. The ThermoDry Bib Knickers have a suggested retail price of $90.
The Climate Control Fleece Gloves keep the fingers nice and warm. I could just stop there. On many of occasions on past rides, as I am sure other riders have experienced as well, cold and/or numb fingers. Next to toes, this can really place a damper on the fun meter on a ride. To solve this, you will find your fingers will be comfortable in the fleece surround. Sizes available are small to extra large and tested was large. They fit well and are true to size. I have long fingers and didn’t find my fingers tips pressing hard against the ends, as I have on other similar type gloves. From the pointing finger to the thumb there is terrycloth to help in wiping your glasses or the ever present nose wipe. The palm of the glove is low profile with Silicone grip and padded palm. The wrist of the glove is slightly elongated, which is nice as you can tuck under your jersey to keep the chilly wind out. The gloves are machine washable and I alway like to let them hang dry. After several washes, seams and padding are still in great condition. Suggested retail price for the Climate Control Fleece Gloves are $22.49.