PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Fashion or ‘Fast’ion? Rock & Republic Kit

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Fashion or ‘Fast’ion? Rock & Republic Kit
OK so when I got the box and saw the label I thought for a minute that a friend of mine who had stolen stole a set of shoes from me that had cost (honestly) more than my first car had actually decided to pay me back with a pair of Ball’s blues. Then I remembered an email I had a week earlier about testing the latest kit from the Rock Racing store…

Popped open the box and presto. I’m back in black…

Now the first thing I think about when kit shows is I can’t go wearing pro team stuff on the street unless it’s handed over from a team member or a gift from a manager (yeah it’s Fred-justification, but I am firmly in the camp of telling self righteous semi-pro’s and local low cat racers to piss off when they try the whole “you’re not worthy” guilt trip on the people they wish were their fans…). But in the case of the Rock kit, in basic black form, I think it’s just out there enough that the Fred factor just drops off. And one of the biggest reasons not to wear a team kit is also lost with the Rock stuff… It’s damn well made.

The jersey raw material is poly. But the fabric weave is of the better variety that is dual density. You can pick up the detail in the picture of the sleeve below, noting the little oval spots that help that inner weave with the wicking duties.

You can also note the sleeve stitching is tight and looking carefully, I think, at least in the case of the test Jersey that this was hand cut fabric rather than heat stamp cut… The sleeve pattern is a raglan sleeve. I used to think a “raglan sleeve” had something to do with the material but it’s actually the pattern cut, as a raglan sleeve is one where the sleeve is one piece running from the cuff all the way to the neck seam, rather than having a seam that goes around your shoulder (and rubs more and is less durable under heavy activity).

The hands doing the cutting are also here in the US… Rock’s Jersey and Bibs are both made in the USA.

The jersey body is also cut from the same wicking material and the sublimation quality is very detailed and deep.

The zip on the jersey is a hidden type that looks neat and is usually a thinner lighter variety. It’s also good old YKK quality (“good old” because I grew up near the YKK plant in Macon Georgia).

The zip is topped with a pretty cool little pull…

Next up are the Bibs
And for me, priority as relates to bib shorts (and or literally everything else on the planet) starts with anything that can directly interact with my genitals…

My rocks are well looked after by Rock, in that they chose a similar chamois padding material to a couple of other tip top brands, an elastomeric gel foam that is a great combination of density and movement that makes similar versions the choice of companies like Assos and Capoforma for their top end stuff.

The density is light for easy moving along the sides and builds to a goodly amount where it counts…

It also has a thin recessed section down the center to help avoid bunching and help keep pressure off the palls…

The fabric for the bib panels is a very supportive 80% poly/ 20% spandex Tricot blend that has good density and support and has a feel that is so supple it almost feels wet to the touch…

The lowers are multi panel, cut to cycling shape and there’s also a radio pocket for the .002% of you that need it!

Next on the bibs are the shoulder straps and upper back. They’re made of a very breathable 75% poly/ 25% spandex mesh that have rolled edge seams…

Last on the bibs (round the leg bottoms) and also round the bottom hem of the jersey are the goo-gel (silicone) grippers…

And nothing matters in a set of bibs if at the day’s end, your top quality chamois and your multi panels of supple but supportive fabric are not properly brought together.

The stitching on both jersey and bibs (especially the bibs) was damn near fanatical in detail…

Done Then
Not that it should be any surprise that bike kit offered by an ultra-exclusive clothier is all done to the 9’s, but lots of companies first crack at gear is a miss.

This stuff looks and feels like it was made by a guy who takes the phrase “BANG for the Buck” and simply drops the “for the buck” part.

Top end fabric, solid full length expensive zipper, nice broad elastics, all stitched together as if someone expected it to serve as a tow rope in it’s life after cycling…

The graphics are what they are. Done in black and white, they’re going to fit in with anything and everything as long as you like the design. Personally I would love to see a few non team edition designs… (Maybe a Rock take on an oldschool GP stripe down the center of a white kit Mike? It’s both slick, clean, mean and hides the family jewels…)

The cut of the jersey sleeves as well as the legs of the shorts is long. It’s about an inch longer for the jersey and a solid inch and a half for the shorts. That’s a styling cue, but if you listen to sports physio guys that are into compression, it’s also about how muscles perform with the right support… That’s not anything that I heard from the Ball Boys (or girls) but it’s noticeable on a few pros whose kit is cut different (like a certain Armstrong guy used to, er um will again be sporting).

You can have a look at this design and more over at their site Rock Racing. Just click the shop link and you’ll find several designs. And judging by the multiple versions of the Union Jack used this week in Britain and the fact that Tyler Hamilton gets to fly the red white and blue now probably means several more will be on the way…

The constant design changes sure as hell beat the same old / same old from most teams, but then Rock’s not most teams…

Hope you liked it.

Charles Manantan

Thanks for looking. If you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

PezCycling News and the author ask that you contact the manufacturers before using any products we test here. Only the manufacturer can provide accurate and complete information on proper use and or installation of products as well as any conditional information or product limitations.

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