Review: adidas Supernova Winter Tights and Supernova Winter Jersey

Wintertime is without doubt a period when kit testing becomes a 'sink or swim' style judgement; the torrential rain, gusting winds and freezing temperatures mean that if kit isn't up to scratch, then you'll soon find out! I've been putting in the miles in the new adidas AW14 range over the last month, and I'm pleased to say it has been keeping me comfortable and productive on the bike.

There are some interesting new technologies in this kit: there's the Cocona carbon fleece fabric with its windproof and insulating properties, the Thermodream fabric with its micro-pocket insulation, and there's the strong close fitting cuts that feature in the adidas kit with their large drop-tail hems to keep out unpleasant winter drafts.

In this review feature I look at two of the signature pieces, the Supernova Tights and Winter Jersey.


adidas Supernova Winter Tights

For all weather cyclists, winter tights are definitely one the most valued pieces of kit as you charge through the wet and cold months at the year-end. They'll protect your legs from the elements and keep them functioning. They will also be what protects you from numbness and discomfort around the saddle area, with their endurance seat pads cushioning you from the rough winter roads.

The adidas Supernova is a high-end tight, with a fairly high price point to match. However, they've squeezed a lot of technology into these bibs, and they certainly keep you riding in comfort on those long base mile ventures.

The first thing worth mentioning is the fit. Adidas seem to have really upped their game on cycling kit fit, and this product uses their new FORMOTION® articulated cut, which gives a sportier and more contoured profile than most. It is very comfortable, with its flowing seams that wrap the material around your legs.

The material itself is also impressive. It's a fabric I haven't come across before, but serves its purpose very well - the MITI hollow-fibre Thermodream sounds a bit like the name of a fancy heated mattress, but in effect it works in a way not that different from a duvet; trapping pockets of air within the material to give greater insulation in cold conditions.

The outer fabric is a windproof soft shell material, which also has a degree of water-repellency - enough to shrug off the odd (frequent) November shower. The combination of the windproof and waterproof outer and the thermal inner, means that these have stayed toasty even in very low early morning temperatures.

The cut works well from an insulation perspective too. The strirrups around the ankles prevent the fabric riding up and giving you chilly ankles, whilst the high cut front and back help to give an extra layer of insulation on your torso. These kind of features make these tights very capable of providing comfort even in the coldest months.

Your legs are kept warm and dry, but the CyTech Endurance 2 pad also does a great job of keeping your undercarriage in comfort. This pad is well proven, and has featured in a number of shorts that I've tested and use regularly. It gives great comfort even on lengthy winter training rides, and I used a CyTech pad on the Falmouth-London without any signs of saddle sore (pretty much the best accolade I can give).

Overall, these are a very impressive pair of winter-ready bib tights. The fit is superb (I have a size small), the pad is one of the best out there, and the fabrics and cut mean that you'll be kept well insulated and protected even when the elements are against you. One of the best pairs of bib tights I've used.   


adidas Supernova Winter Jersey

To accompany the Supernova Winter Tights, there is the matching adidas Supernova Winter Jersey, which promises to provide equal protection for your upper body.

This year, I seem to be finding myself wearing "winter jerseys" far more than "winter jackets"; technology has progressed so that you get as much protection from a close fitting thinner fabric winter jersey, as you do from a traditional winter jacket. That's a great thing in terms of less weight and bulk in your winter kit.

The adidas Supernova Winter Jersey seems to have significant input from people that ride bikes in the winter time, and as such it really is a strong performer.

Starting from the bottom up, you get a nice low drop-tail hem, which helps to protect your lower back from the cold. Then progressing upwards, there are three rear pockets and one zipped pocket that provide plenty of storage space for tools and winter rations - the central pocket even has an elasticated loop in it, so you can secure a pump or jacket without the risk of it bouncing out - neat!

The jersey features a full length zipper, with reflective detailing and a zip garage on the high cut collar. These features combine with the wind-resistant outer fabric to enable you to regulate body temperature with ease, whilst also allowing you to seal the jersey up and protect from the Arctic winds.

The interior fabric is a luxurious fleecy brushed material that keeps warmth sealed in, it's retaining its soft and deep pile feel as well, even with multiple machine washes.

When it comes to sizing, adidas labels the Supernova Winter Jersey as having a "slim fit", much like the adidas Supernova Summer Jersey. I wore a small size in that jersey, so opted for the same in this garment. The cut is a little closer than the summer option, which makes it slightly tight in places (in hindsight, I probably would have opted for a medium to give more length in the sleeves and a slightly more roomy feel), but the fit itself is spot-on for a "race trim" and provides a great silhouette.

As a whole, this is a great winter warmer. It has everything you need from a mid-weight winter layer in terms of insulation, wind protection and storage, and it has a nice close fitting cut to avoid flapping material in the winter gales. Another great bit of winter kit.

Shop adidas apparel at adidasspecialitysports.co.uk (Link)

adidas cycle kit is available at Wiggle (Link)


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