BBB….bbbut I did everything I could to destroy but nothing worked!
Okay, I agree. Telling a supplier that you intend to trash their gear is probably not what they want to hear. So when BBB offered for me to try out some of their products I kept my intentions quiet. But the offer was timely – I was headed off to the Great Victorian Bike Ride! Renowned for the basic camp conditions and potential for anything white to end up grey, this was going to be my testing ground.
I was supplied with two jerseys and one pair of 3/4 knicks and was instructed to simply ‘tell us what you think’. I quietly giggled knowing this gear was about to be punished! I can’t even begin to tell you the traumas I placed that gear under…and at the end of it all, I have to say I was disappointed!
But no, I’m not disappointed about the gear, I was disappointed that my efforts to completely THRASH this clothing to bits failed on all accounts. In fact, as we took photos of me wearing it today, my son commented that it looks like it is brand new! And because of that, here’s the cool bit…sorry BBB, I’m not giving it back!
I tested both the PowerGirl Jersey and the ComfortGirl Jersey. I guess in a way I was sold right from the start because both jerseys come in the gorgeous colour scheme of black with hot pink and white highlights. But the other part I love about both jerseys is the inclusion of a 4th little zip pocket on the rear pocket section…what’s not to love about something to safely stash the money and credit card in? I also love the full length zip – it means you can wear a tank or technical t-shirt underneath if you like and unzip when it gets hot.
I wore both jerseys for 2 days each on the Great Vic, thinking this would be a fair test. Both jerseys ended up soaked each time I wore them. The biggest issue was how was I going to get my gear dry, but I have to say both times the jerseys dried really quickly once I had them inside the tent out of the rain. This is essential if you are going to wear them a second day and don’t want to get up and change into wet gear – I was impressed with the quick dry and some of my other jerseys on the ride didn’t perform nearly as well in this regard.
The PowerGirl on the left, and ComfortGirl on the right.
I also manged on several occasions to just stuff this gear into my bag while it was wet, thinking it would just ruin them. But nope, they came out looking fresh and sparkly each time! They didn’t even stink as I expected them to…I was seriously impressed. They got covered in mud, dirt and everything else you can expect on a Great Vic, and after a wash when they came home, they look like brand new! There isn’t even a stain up the back where all the mud flicked up from the tyres!
The comfort level on both was fabulous, though I guess I wasn’t as comfortable in the PowerGirl just because it is a Race Cut, so I felt like it was a little firmer. I like a looser jersey, but that’s just me. But I do think the Powergirl, which retails at $110, has a far more flattering cut than the ComfortGirl, which comes in at $65. The race cut is definitely more flattering, but it just felt a little more constricting for me. Both have silicon grippers at the hem line and that meant that I didn’t suffer from a cold spot on my back on those freezing days – the jerseys both stayed where they were meant to.
The PowerGirl is slightly different fabric and feels a little more at the higher end than the ComfortGirl. It’s a little ‘scratchier’ to the touch, but it feels like it is just a better quality fabric than the ComfortGirl, which is a bit ‘floppy’…but having said that, they both feel great on. I’m no svelte cyclist, and feel kind of body conscious in tight jerseys and these were no different. But the nice thing was that I felt good in both of them.
So, post Great Vic, I needed to test these guys minus the rain. There is no question that the PowerGirl is the one for best wicking, and the mesh inserts make for a cooler ride with nice ventilation. But the ComfortGirl was not far off…I actually liked the fact that the ComfortGirl was a little looser. Best part is that both come in a size that fits…hooray for the brands that appreciate that not all women riders are built like starving waifs!
I wore these for a few days in a row again, which I wouldn’t normally do with my jerseys. I also threw them in the wash with a bunch of other stuff – normally I put my good jerseys in a wash bag so they keep their shape. But I wanted to push them to see if they ever got smelly or or ended up looking like they had been wrestling with a washing machine…it didn’t matter what I did to these jerseys, they still look new damn it! So, I guess I’ll just have to keep wearing them and make this an extended test…let’s see what happens over a year!
So that brings me to the knicks. I hate buying knicks – I have so many pairs I have bought only to find that actually the chamois is a shocker! I usually end up wearing two pairs of knicks for extra protection and comfort on longer rides and I know I’ve wasted a load of dollars on bad knicks. I expected that the same would apply with the GirlTech 3/4 leggings. But I must admit when they arrived at my door and I took a peek at the chamois, I was filled with hope…and I am pleased to say these more than fulfilled my dreams of owning a great pair of riding duds! I love these knicks, albeit for just one niggling issue…the waistband.
I know we all like different things in our knicks, but I’m a fan of the wider waistband. Like REALLY wide waistband…none of this ‘wow I’m a one inch waistband’ for me. Nope, give me 2-3 inches and I’m in heaven. The GirlTech fell short on that department with a wider band in just one section, though the design means it is still better than a narrow waistband all the way around. It didn’t pinch or anything, it just felt different.
The chamois is made of anti-bacterial fabric and has a very comfortable multi-density foam pad with a little bit of ‘hollowness’ to allow some air movement. These dried quickly when wet as well, but on a hot day I just don’t feel sweaty down below like I might in some of my failed knicks.
I guess after wearing these now on many occasions, I can do without the wide band just to have the assurance of the fabulous chamois…I love it! I tried trashing these knicks along with the jerseys, but after days of riding, getting wet and totally muddy, they too look like new. Truth is, if I were made of money, I’d have these in the short version too…but at $120, you need to know these will work before you buy them. Here’s my tip…they work!!
That’s my opinion, but what did you guys think? I asked quite a few of you while I was wearing them on rides, and I asked a few while I was on the Great Vic. The consensus seems to be that you love the colours…me too! I’m not a fan of black jerseys from the safety aspect, but these look great despite that. The hot pink highlights look fabulous against the black and they aren’t too girly. In fact, everyone seemed to think they looked kind of ‘powerful’…a little stealth with the black, but a little bit of bling with the pink.
So the verdict? I love them all…the PowrGirl is certainly my favourite as far as the looks, but the ComfortGirl is not far behind. Both match my bikes so I can’t complain about that. And the knicks…well, just try getting them off me!! They are seriously comfortable.
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