Adelaide-based Biketivist have seen launched a new collection resplendent in some eye-catching new designs and a new logo (farewell monkey thing). I put some serious sweat through them during a scorching Australian Summer to see what’s what.
Words - James Raison Images - Mike Boudrie
Biketivist have gone all-in-on-cooling with their new collection. Mesh panels and light materials abound to keep your body temperature down. That’s a good thing given Adelaide’s recent weather has been hawt.
Let’s start with the $185 Wanderlust jersey. I rather like the aesthetics with spots scattered all over a very light pink. The fit is aimed at the long and lean. I’m 183cm and 67kg and I piled into an XS without any problems. In The sleeve length is the longest I’ve had, going all the way to my elbow. I’m a lanky dude, so shorter riders will probably find it goes below the elbow. The length extends easily down to my waist where a rubber gripper keeps it in place. It has a nice low cut neck that’s a little higher than an aero jersey, but lower than a standard collar.
There’s a smattering of different materials over the jersey, all with fancy names: “Luxe, Ligero and Cool Air” and they all create a very light, and highly breathable jersey. It’s held together by a lovely, thick YKK zipper that slides up and down with blissful ease. There’s a standard three-pocket layout on the back, the central pocket having a waterproof shield and angled side pockets for easy entry..
On the bottom, the Pro Bib Short 2.0 continues the lightness theme set by the jersey. Biketivist have upped their bibshort game since I last reviewed their Penumbra kit. At $265, they’re moving into the higher kit echelons. The gripper is a nice 7.5cm silicon band that’s firm but comfortable. Material is a 200gsm Lycra that houses an endurance focused chamois for hours in the saddle. The upper features a soft and stretchy mesh that I’ve spotted on more expensive knicks.
My unusual proportions coincidentally suit this kit unusually well. So I enjoyed riding in it quite a lot.
I’m perpetually bleating about lack of kit choice for tall, skinny cyclists. Many kits assume all people who wear XS gear are several inches shorter than me so I struggle with jersey and sleeve length. The Wanderlust jersey fits well and is a pleasure to ride in.
The breathability is very good, thanks to the smart material placement. There’s a continuous mesh panel that runs from waist to elbow, offering exceptional airflow where you need it. That mesh is endemic on summer kit but tends to be used as just the underarm or the sleeve. Such a large panel helps cooling greatly.
The design touches are all nice with the gripper keeping the jersey in place, the pockets are firm enough and the angled side pockets make ingress easy, and the zipper is easy to adjust during the ride. Really, the only problem is the fit. Sure, it’s good for me but someone equally skinny but a few inches shorter will likely find it too long. It’s one of the longer jerseys I own, and the longer XS jersey by far.
The Pro Bib Short 2.0 is a decent performer, with its focus on cooling and comfort. It feels supportive in spite of its lightness. The chamois has a nice skin-feel to it and I never crossed a discomfort threshold in rides around three hours. Its mesh upper is cut quite high which made my natural breaks a little more awkward because I’m already taller than the recommended range for this size. The leg gripper does its job adequately.
Like the jersey though, the bibs are long for the size. I had to pull them up really high to make sure everything stayed in place. You’ll have to excuse this next part. It’s awkward but relevent so here we go. When bibshorts aren’t aren’t firm enough, it can lead to something I call “junk void”. It’s a lack of support downstairs that causes uncomfortable freedom of movement. I had to battle with junk void often with the bibs. That meant some awkward mid-ride adjusting. I do recognise that's a fit issue though, so I don't expect everyone to share my experience.
Biketivist has taken a step forward with their newest collection, but they’ve put themselves into a higher price bracket. Their last kit I reviewed, the Penumbra (check out the review), represented impressive value. This kit doesn't. Instead, it delivers expected performance for the investment. It's not troubling the MAAPs, Pedlas, or Raphas of the world but they've surpassed most brands in the $400 full-kit price range.
I came to quite like this kit. It's aesthetically different, and the fit suits my lank. The jersey is a quality piece; cut well, with nice finishing touches, and with good breathability. The Pro 2 Bibs are fine. They have the accoutrements I expect. Ultimately, this is a kit you buy for the styling. It looks great and feels good to ride in. Just be aware, this one favours the longbois (sic).
Beware #junkvoid though...
Disclosure statement: This kit was supplied for review.