When we started working with Altura at the beginning of 2017, I wasn’t too sure how they were planning on tackling an increasingly competitive premium cycling wear market. As a brand I was aware of their range of commuter apparel, but hadn’t really seen much of their top end range.
I was pleasantly surprised when I got my hands on some of their Podium Elite range last winter and when our team kit arrived in the Spring I was amazed with the quality and finish. It really was the best kit we’ve ever had in terms of material and fit (I’m the one to blame if you don’t think it’s our best design to date!).
After our first year together as team and sponsor I was delighted to find out that they wanted to continue the partnership and we can carry on using their range of excellent premium training gear alongside getting our new kit manufactured by them for 2018 too.
Straight out of the box the Gloves and Overshoes shone out at me. The new Darkproof technology that Altura have created makes them really stand out and it’s very noticeable on those dark winter morning and evening rides.
I was a little doubtful whether the lack of bulk in the gloves and overshoes would keep me warm, but after riding in sub zero temps, I can vouch for the Altura Thermo properties of both the gloves and overshoes. I didn’t even need to use a liner glove, although this is an option as you can fit a thin knitted glove underneath with no problems.
The touchscreen thumbprint is a nice touch too and it allowed me to take some pics on the ride without having to fiddle around with getting the glove on and off mid-ride. Most importantly though, the gloves aren't restrictive at all, meaning you can keep a strong feel for the controls on your bike. Sometimes winter gloves can obstruct your ability to feather the brakes especially when the conditions call for a bit more skill and a lightness of touch for the brake levers, but I've never felt like I've been wearing a pair of winter gloves the whole time I've been using them.
Moving onto the neckwarmer and cap. It’s hard to go wrong with these in winter, although I did notice that the neckwarmer is more breathable than some other ones I’ve used in the past. Quite handy, if like me, you choose to cover a lot of your face at the beginning of the ride until you warm/get used to the temperature outside a bit more.
The cap is a bit more tech though. Although it may not be as sharp looking as the thousands of printed cotton cap choices out there, the construction of the panels is where this cap excels from the others. The centre panel is a windproof type fabric that keeps the right amount of heat in, while the side panels are made of a vented fabric meaning your head doesn’t get too hot. A problem I often get wearing a classic cotton cap under my helmet. All in all, a great option for under the lid if you aren’t wanting to make a statement with a printed peak.
If you’d like to give any of it a try, you can buy online direct from the Altura.co.uk website and use the code BLOG10 for a festive discount from us. The code is valid until December 27th, so make sure to act fast if Santa doesn’t sort you out with suitable winter training kit this year!