This week I have been mostly wearing dhb ... the latest threads from Wiggle. dhb, for those not in the know, is online cycling retail giant Wiggle's own clothing brand. I was pretty excited to get to choose two items from their autumn/winter range to review because I'd always secretly admired their distinctive but classy designs - and with lower end prices I'd long thought the brand looked hot - but not so hot as to tempt me to buy it.
So what put me off? Just that it was Wiggle's own brand - is that cycle snobbery? Perhaps. Which brings me back to that old Fast Show quote: "this week I have been mostly wearing..." Well dhb, and not just because I had to review it. Once I'd tried it out on Monday, I took it for a spin on Tuesday, and by Wednesday we were old friends. I put it in the wash on Thursday and, for fear of turning into Craig David, stopped there!
What I liked: well the styling is great and this season dhb have pulled off a good fake Cafe du Cycliste long sleeved jersey. For those of us who lusted after, but couldn't afford the gorgeous C du C Claudette jersey, the dhb version is a pretty good lookalike for a fraction of the price. Sadly the navy jersey is just for men, so I opted for the women's Breton style top in burgundy and orange, feeling properly autumnal.
The Classic Breton thermal jersey £50 and its companion Classic Thermal Waist Tights, arrived promptly at the beginning of September. I was super keen to try them out and wriggled into them one sunny morning, taking them off about five minutes later as my body temperature shot up thanks to the super cosy, fleecy linings. Feeling like a boil-in-a-bag cyclist, I knew I was going to have to be patient and wait for cold weather... It's been a long time coming, reader!
Finally this week we were predicted a 7am temperature of 4 degrees with a stiff northerly wind. Perfect. I donned my new kit and skipped off to work - a six mile commute along Brighton's blustery south coast. My new togs kept me toasty warm and are breathable not sweaty. The sea was glassy and the sunrise spectacular - I arrived at work with a smile on my face.
The journey home was even better - as I dashed up the cycle path a storm brewed over to my left, while the sun blazed over the sea to my right and a stunning rainbow spanned the sky arching over the (rather hideous) i360 tourist attraction. The heavy raindrops started to fall but no-one cared as we skidded to a halt taking photos of the scene. Of course the heavens properly opened shortly after, but I was happy to be able to test out the kit in all conditions. The Breton jersey and tights kept me warm and almost dry. When I arrived home, I'd dried off completely within five minutes - I was impressed.
What I didn't like: the only problem with the dhb gear is that it seems to have been designed for cyclists who must look like Barbie. Now I'm a pretty standard size - I can go into Primark and H&M and pick up cheap clothes that fit perfectly. Sadly, the dhb women's clothing has all the wrong proportions for me and I suspect most other women cyclists. I'd say that unless you are 5ft 10ins and very slim you're going to find that the arms and legs are way too long. The jersey was also weirdly tight around the hips - a problem I've never had with Rapha, Vulpine, Aldi, Cafe de Cycliste etc etc. But if you're busty then dhb will amply accommodate you.
So would I buy it? Probably - if they brought out a Breton style jersey for women in navy - it'd be perfect for my seaside commute.