Wednesday, April 9, 2014

CycleStar: Fitness Fix Review

If you haven't worked it out already, I'm a massive fan of cycling kit that's a bit more.... 'out-there' than just black. I have a new found loathing for pink, mostly because so much women's sports kit seems to come in varying shades, but I don't always want to wears blocks of black and grey, especially since my work wear has to be so conservative.

AnaNichoola is a range designed by MTB champ Anna Glowinski who also presents a TV programme on one of the ITV channels. The kits is super cool in that it features some proper considered design for the female form, and it comes in an interesting palette of colours for all sorts of women and all sorts of taste. And since I laid eyes on them, I've been wanting the star tights!


At an RRP of £55, I had high hopes when I did eventually get my hands on a pair of these beauties. Women's cycling kit can be a whole more expensive than this, but for me, £50+ is a lot of money to spend on any one item. The spec on these babes says they should be a whole lot of substance to go with the style- the tights have a pretty special waist band that rises up at the back, no flesh on show for the world at large, and as I'd expect, ankle zips to make getting the off easier. Oh, did I mention that these are made from Italian Thermo-Roubaix backed fabric? That means the inside is a light fleece, whilst the outside is shiny and sporty- cool stuff. Those stars are rubberised, which is good for wet and/or muddy days although how cool would it be if they were glow in the dark or reflective?

Oh yes I did. #fitchicks #fixiegirl #womenscycling pretty glad too since it's Baltic out there again.

Ana Nichoola Star Tights #womenscycling

So far, so good. They're a reasonable fit, although I probably could have sized down rather than up, as per the suggestion of many reviews I'd read. But then disaster struck, Holy mother of HOLE

Holy hole... Gutted my star tights have a  hole in after just one whole ride.

After just one ride, I was super sad. thankfully, the customer service was pretty awesome, and after a couple of tweets, a couple of emails, a shiny new pair landed upon my doorstep, ready to rock and roll. The hole looked very much like a manufacture fault- you know the ones, where the seam isn't quite caught properly? So I'm really pleased I was able to get a prompt replacement without any quibbles. 

So, new pair, new trial. Thoughts:

PRO- they look freakin' awesome. Who needs pink when you have stars?
PRO- they design of the fit is brilliant, I hate it when my kit leaves flesh on show, the high rise back of this means it's a thing of the past
PRO- the fleece back is so cosy. My legs get the coldest when cycling, so I'm a loving these, even if it is starting to warm up a bit.

CON- the rubberised stars started to stretch and peel after the first wash- sad face!
CON- the fit is a bit... not quite right. I could have sized down on my waste, but the XL is a good fit on my legs themselves, which leaves me wondering a. what happens if you're any bigger than my 12ish frame and b. what would happen if I tried the size L?

Conclusion- there's a whole lot of good design work in these tights, and the whole AnaNichoola range. I LOVE the ethos of styling your ride, this is kit for women who love leisure cycling as much as women pushing the times and the tracks, BUT I'd definitely think carefully before buying from AnaNichoola based on materials used. I think there's room for improvement on the overall quality of the garments, which for £55+, I'd expect. 


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