If you’re like me then you appreciate the performance of real cycling clothes, but you don’t want to look like a Tour de France wannabe with lots of logos and crazy ‘colorways.’ Fortunately Twin Six makes cycling clothes for riders like us. All their gear features high-end technical fabrics but with low-key graphics and toned down colors. Twin Six recently sent me a full kit to review: bibs, jersey, and socks. Read on to find out how it wears.
Based on my waist measurement and the Twin Six sizing chart I needed a medium, which I ordered and the bibs fit great, but I wouldn’t mind if the legs were a touch longer. The Black Team Bibs ($95 MSRP) have an almost compression-like fit and seem to help keep my legs fresh even as the miles pile on.
This is my first pair of bib shorts so I wasn’t sure how I’d like having suspenders. I was happy to discover that the suspenders going up my back were not super hot like I feared. I did notice a little extra heat on my lower back, before the mesh material starts, but it wasn’t much–wearing a hydration pack makes a much bigger difference. Standing up, the suspenders first felt like they were a little too tight, but once on the bike and in the riding position they just disappeared and didn’t cause any discomfort. Bibs don’t have an elastic waist band since the suspenders hold things up, and it really is more comfortable without the waist band digging in. For bigger-waisted riders this probably makes even more of a difference. And, having suspenders and a little more lycra going up your lower back means your riding buddies won’t get a view of your crack–something I’m sure they’ll appreciate!
Comfy and breathable – what else do you want?
The fabric on these shorts is really thin, thinner than my usual cycling shorts (Pearl Izumi Attack). The Black Team Bib almost feels like wearing nothing at all so it’s great in the heat–it breathes really well and dries very, very fast. The silicone leg grippers offer just the right amount of grip: enough to stay put, but not so much that they pull your leg hair out when they go on. No complaints with the chamois, it breathes well, fit my butt well, and has kept me nice and comfy on 4+ hour rides. I was worried the chamois wouldn’t offer enough support at first since it feels really soft in your hands, but it has proven to be very good on the bike.
The suspender straps are mesh and you hardly even notice them when riding.
I really don’t have any complaints besides the legs being a little on the short side–I really like these bibs. When heading out for a big ride, these are the shorts I grab on my way out the door.
The bibs double as a wrestling unitard when off the bike.
I measured my chest to see what size jersey I needed, and according to the sizing chart a medium would fit, which is what most of my other jerseys are as well. But when I tried it on, it was too tight. I swapped the medium for a large and it fit much better, but was a little longer than necessary. Twin Six describes their jerseys as being between a “euro” and “american” fit–I would describe it as being for skinny people!
Front and back of the jersey
Like the bibs, the Speedy Motor City Jersey fabric ($75 MSRP) is thin, soft, and very comfortable. I was worried the black would be really hot, but the fabric breathes so well it was never an issue… not any more than any other color jersey anyway. The fabric dries quickly too–well, as quickly as can be expected with 80% higher humidity. I like the size of the pockets; they’re pretty deep and do a good job supporting long/tall items. I’ve carried a water bottle, a mini pump, and a folding hand saw in the pockets at one point or another without dropping anything.
My only complaint is the zipper. It works just fine, but I wish it was a full length zipper. Pulling a sweat soaked jersey off is a thousand times easier with a full zipper–just open it up and peel it off. Full length zippers do sometimes bunch up though, and give you funny looking humps on your stomach, so at least this jersey doesn’t do that. The good news is that some of the special edition Twin Six jerseys do come with full length zippers.
These socks ($12 MSRP) are super comfy. I love the supportive fit of cycling socks, and I actually wear them almost all the time, even when not on the bike. The Coolmax fabric dries quickly after creek crossings, and the ankle is a nice height–tall enough to protect you from thorns and occasional crankarm rub, not so tall that they look dorky. I don’t know what else to say: they’re socks, and they’re comfortable and cool.
Johnny Cash Approved. Photo: David Kozlowski
The items I reviewed are just a few of the many pieces of clothing offered by Twin Six. They’ve got a big collection of technical riding gear, casual t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets for both men and women, and even some kid stuff. They also have other accessories with the signature Twin Six styling like bottles, bags, caps, posters, and even flasks. They also collaborate with others to do special edition gear. They did a t-shirt for Cyclofemme (in both mens and womens shirts), lots of Fat Cyclist gear, Dopers Suck jerseys and tees, and many others. Heck, they even have a few frames including a SS ‘cross rig built by Raleigh. In other words, browse around their site for a while – you’re bound to find something you can’t live without.
I’d like to thank Twin Six for providing the bibs, jersey, and socks for review. See their full line up on their website right here.