Louis Garneau Custom Apparel: New Products

Louis Garneau Custom Apparel: New Products

Since its founding Team Sixcycle-RK&O has worked closely with Louis Garneau on a wide array of products and projects. In addition to partnering in a global online advertising campaign and the Louis Garneau Custom Apparel Catalog, Team Sixcycle-RK&O has reviewed a variety of products including the custom apparel line and the Diamond helmet. For 2013 the team added several new Louis Garneau products to its apparel line-up, chief among them the Elite Mondo Jersey and the Speedzone Vest. Very quickly these two additions have become some of our favorite pieces of cycling apparel from any manufacturer, custom or retail. Our thoughts on these items follow below.

If you’re interested in learning more about Louis Garneau custom apparel visit the Louis Garneau Custom Apparel Site.

To read out prior Louis Garneau custom apparel review, visit the following link: http://team.sixcycle.com/2012/11/25/louis-garneau-custom-kit-review/

Louis Garneau Elite Mondo Jersey Review

Custom Product – Elite Mondo Jersey
Related Retail Product – Course Race Jersey

In our first year of racing Team Sixcycle-RK&O exclusively wore the Louis Garneau’s Performance Classico Jersey though for 2013 the team also added the high end Elite Mondo jersey to our mix of apparel options. While the Elite Mondo comes at a higher price point versus the value oriented Classico, the Mondo (and its retail cousin the Course Race Jersey) is one of the lightest weight and most aerodynamic cycling jerseys on the market today.

Designed with maximum performance in mind, Louis Garneau uses the company’s impressive CB Mondo material for the core of the jersey, taking advantage of Mondo’s combination of elasticity for fit and aerodynamics and breathability for comfort. Taking the materials one step further, Louis Garneau utilizes CB Speed Tech fabric on the shoulders, with the dimpled fabric both improving aerodynamics and generating a wicking effect. As as you would expect for a jersey with breathability in mind, there is heavy use of mesh on the side panels to insure this jersey is cool on even the hottest August days (its the only jersey we will wear when temperatures pass 90 degrees).

Reflecting its performance oriented design, the cut of the Elite Mondo Jersey / Course Race jersey is decidedly aggressive. However Louis Garneau went beyond simple measurements and included pre-shaped shoulders in the design, thus dramatically improving on the bike comfort – this is a jersey that is built for riding.

While we originally upgraded to the Elite Mondo thinking it would be a high performance race day only jersey, we quickly found ourselves using it extensively in training as well – the comfort and performance makes it difficult to wear anything else, particularly on hot summer training rides where the breathability of the Elite Mondo really pays dividends. And despite this heavy use the Mondo has held up well throughout the year – even surviving crashes that would normally destroy a jersey thanks to its elastic characteristics.

The Elite Mondo jersey was also a great stand in for a skin suit in criteriums and time trails – the aerodynamics are easily on par with a typical skinsuit with equal or better comfort.

While the Elite Mondo Jersey / Course Race Jersey carries a big price tag, in our experience the performance more than lives up to that price point and easily outperforms other similarly priced custom cycling apparel. That’s why we’ll be wearing the jersey once again in 2013.

Mondo Features

  • Fully sublimated: Allows maximal sponsor visibility
  • 15”/38 cm invisible zip: Uncut display of the front logo
  • Pre-shaped shoulders: Enhance comfort in cycling position
  • 3 back pockets with reflective trim: Enhance visibility
  • Multimedia pocket: Allows for headphone wires to be channeled inside the garment
  • Overlock seams: Enhanced aerodynamics and great strechability
  • Aero Lazer band at arms: Lazer-cut, smooth transition to improve aerodynamics and muscle support
  • Signature silicone gripper at hem: Maintains fit

Likes

  • Super comfortable
  • Great fit
  • Expansive pockets

Dislikes

  • Race number pins are not friendly to the fabric

Louis Garneau Elite Superlight Speedzone Vest Review

Custom Product – Elite Superlight Speedzone Vest
Related Retail Product – Course Speedzone Vest 

While it doesn’t see the regular year round use of jerseys or bibs, behind those two items a high quality vest is perhaps the most essential piece of cycling kit – appropriate for an array of conditions ranging from fall training rides to early season races. While the aesthetic and functional appeal of a vest or gilet is readily apparent, there have been few innovations in the realm of cycling vests over time. New materials and high visibility colors, yes. But at its core the cycling vest hasn’t changed much in recent years – until now.

After significant development work with Team Europcar, at Eurobike 2012 Louis Garneau introduced their new and award winning Speedzone vest. Using a patent pending design Louis Garneau sought to answer two key concerns from racers: (1) easy access to jersey pockets and (2) race number visibility. While the design, featuring a unique rear cutout that allows access to rear jersey pockets, was born out of race requirements the end product is is one of the lightest weight and most packable cycling vests on the market today, making it equally appropriate for racers and non-racers alike.

Aside from the innovative rear cutout, the first thing that you notice about the vest is how lightweight and comfortable the materials are – constructed of a combination of Super Lite Dry on the front for windproofing and Power Mesh on the rear for breathability, the vest is the least intrusive piece of cycling outerwear that we have ever encountered, with a nice elasticity and form fitting cut. For those going the custom route, the vest is also fully sublimated, allowing incredible design and branding flexibility.

With regard to our use of the vest there is no doubt that the rear cutout is a game changer – prior vests that we have worn either lack pockets and thus restrict the ability to easily access food on the bike or have pockets which in turn add heft to the vest, making it less packable. The Speedzone design eliminates both of those concerns, and at the same time for racers preserves number visibility when pinned to the rear jersey pockets.

While the Speedzone doesn’t have the heavyweight insulation of the Louis Garneau Winddry Vest, which we wear in the depth of winter, the Speedzone is perhaps the more flexible of the two options – appropriate for cool riding weather in the fall as well as colder spring races. And since the vest is packable, its an easy option for the early miles on chilly rides.

In short, the Louis Garneau Speedzone has changed how we think about vests – and in the process it has become one of our favorite pieces of cycling kit.

Speedzone Features

  • Fully sublimated: Allows maximal sponsor visibility
  • Full length size 3 zip: Light zip that allows to easily detach the vest
  • Inner flap: Increases protection against the wind
  • Zip garage: Prevents neck irritation
  • Hole in the back: Offers easy access to jersey pocket and allows race number to show
  • Overlock seams: Enhanced aerodynamics and great stretchability
  • Stretch trim at collar, wrists and hem: Provides a good fit
  • Front reflective piping: Enhances visibility
  • Back reflective accent: Enhances visibility

Likes

  • Super comfortable
  • Great fit
  • Ecces to jersey pockets

Dislikes

  • Nothing, it is one of the best pieces of cycling kit we have ever used

 

About Roger Parmelee

Roger Parmelee is a member of Team Sixcycle-Rk&O's road racing team, one of the squad's cyclocross racers and resides in Brooklyn NY. The former pro snowboarder found himself looking for an outlet after his snowboard career wound down and dove directly into bike racing and hasn't looked back.