Adelaide’s cycling apparel company Biketivist wants you to join their pedaling cult. They’ve also got just the thing for you to wear: their animal print party they call the Penumbra kit. It sure turns heads, but how is it to wear?
Words - James Raison Images - Lana Adams
Biketivist is one of Australia’s younger apparel makers, just approaching their first full year of life. Boy-oh-boy, they have been busy though with several kits put out in that time. They make limited runs of gear, designed in Australia and made in Italy. Their philosophy is “look rad, not pretty’’ and I sure felt rad!
The Penumbra jersey is one silky smooth operator with plenty of clever considerations. The fabric feel nice on your skin. Sleeves are satisfyingly long and very on-point for the current kit scene. My size Small reached down to slightly above the elbow. Around the waist is a wide but dispersed gripper. It grabs hold but never cuts in or feels uncomfortable. On your back are 3 pockets, with one of them with a clever waterproof zipped section to stash essentials.
It hits a lot of good notes while riding. It handles mild and hot temperatures well and its lightness suits most of the Aussie Summer. It keeps step the current trend of almost perforated back panels that have popped up in almost all of the kits I’ve tested recently. The thinness helps you cool down and a UPF 50+ protection rating for the fabric protects you from the nasty sun. I didn’t have any issues with sunburn but I do usually wear a base layer all year round. It's not the outright most breathable jersey I've tested recently, it struggles a little in humid conditions. That does make it better in milder conditions though.
On the bottom, the knicks are another good performer. The best praise for knicks is that you’re not aware of them and I was (almost) never aware of these. The leg grippers are pleasantly soft and hold them in place without feeling restrictive. Under-yer-butt the Rekord BIO TRS pad offers up a lot of comfort. I rode this kit up to 4 hours at a time and was pleasantly surprised at what a good job the chamois does. I love that Biketivist have put animal print on the lovely soft bib straps, it's a nice touch. The straps are the only very small gripe I had with the kit. There’s some stitching that blends the from and back of the straps that sits on the back of your shoulders. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but I could feel it when riding without a base layer. Overall that’s my only criticism of the kit.
The Penumbra kit retails for $350 AUD, making it one of the best value kits I’ve tested. I didn’t know the RRP until writing the review, and I was surprised that it was this cheap. It certainly performs above its price point and is one of the better dollar-for-dollar kits I've worn.
The Penumbra’s mix of aesthetics, quality, and value makes it one of the best kits I’ve tested this year. It gets a lot of comments on the road and in the bunchies I’ve ridden it on. I’m keenly looking forward to what Biketivist comes up with next. They’ve already shown me that they can do high quality at very reasonable prices. What design will the come up with next?
The Penumbra kit is available to purchase on the Cycle Closet website.
Learn more about looking rad not pretty on the Biketivist website.
Disclosure statement: Biketivist provided the kit for review. This is not a paid review and La Velocita does not receive any benefits from the sale of Biketivist gear.