Monday, June 22, 2020

Odlo Women's Cycling Apparel Review-- Streamlining with ODLO!

Article by Dominique Winebaum

Odlo Women's Cycling Apparel Review

After testing and reviewing a running outfit from the ODLO Summer Collection (RTR Review), I was hooked on the brand and purchased a few essential pieces - sport underwear and sport bra - to streamline my workout wardrobe.  

Like many during this Covid-19 pandemic, I have a new set of wheels - in the form of a gravel bike - and a renewed appreciation for cycling.  When it came to look for cycling apparel, I opted to purchase the ODLO Zeroweight Ceramicool Pro Cycling Shorts - a choice  based on my prior experience with ODLO (running/sport underwear) even though there are many cycling specific apparel brands out there.  

A few weeks later, I received courtesy of ODLO, a cycling top - Shirt Zeroweight Ceramicool Pro -  and Ceramicool socks.  After several cycles of dated hand-me-downs, albeit with the branding of an elite LA velo club, I am really excited for my new cycling gear.  


A few words about  ODLO apparel as the brand is not necessarily well known in the US.

 “Born in Norway and engineered in Switzerland” ODLO has been around since 1946, and is the innovator of the three-layers principle. They are especially known for high-quality technical base layers and sports underwear.  Originally designed with Norwegian Nordic Skiers in mind, over the decades, the brand has expanded into many sport categories, including running, cycling, hiking, trekking, fitness, yoga, and skiing.  They outfit many national ski teams including Biathlon Switzerland, Norway and France. Oldo is also a leader in the Fair Wear Foundation an independent, transparent initiative which seeks to improve labor conditions in the textile industry.


ODLO’s apparel is engineered with a wide range of technologies to keep you active and comfortable all year round and whatever the conditions.  Ceramicool is one of the technologies widely featured in the Summer Collection, with active cooling properties “designed to reduce skin temperature by 1°C.”  Made with a low bulk yarn with fast heat transfer, Ceramicool is both breathable and lightweight. 

The cycling shorts, which are made with Ceramicool technology, are extremely comfortable and are designed to keep your skin cool in warm conditions.  My rides are fairly moderate in mileage with an average of 25 miles, part gravel and part road, two to three times per week.  Butt issues have been non existent and I can credit in part my Ceramicool Pro Cycling short for all that smooth riding.  No sticky feeling sitting on the saddle as moisture and heat are not trapped inside your shorts --  thanks to the Ceramicool technology. The padding, which is “cycling specific” and designated as ODLO “Padding Gold” also has a breathability factor, in addition to an optimal anatomical configuration, all of which are conducive to riding more comfortably.

Stretches of 3D light mesh in the center back of the waist (a triangle) and in the back of the legs (1 ½ ‘ wide band) provide extra breathability.  Among my favorite features are the sleek looking elastic silicone leg grippers which won’t budge as you pedal.  

At the edge of the grippers, thin white lines create a visual interest and a wider reflective gray line adds a safety component.  

The wide waistband, three-inches wide with a one-inch elastic insert, is designed to keep the cycling shorts securely in place in the most comfortable way.   

Overall, the cycling shorts are making a huge difference in my ability to ride comfortably -- as with my bike I needed an upgrade for sure!  I selected a size small for the shorts and the fit is perfect  (5’5” and 135lbs).  

It’s easy to forget I am wearing anything as the shorts are extremely lightweight, breathable and stay cool against the skin.   Stretchable with a comfortable fit, the shorts are attractive looking.  ODLO is not necessarily on the radar for cyclists, yet the brand produces high quality cycling specific apparel.  The Zeroweight Ceramicool Pro Cycling Shorts, which are also available as a bib, are their top of the line cycling shorts.  Made in Europe (Romania) under the directives of the Fair Wear Foundation.  


I received the cycling shirt courtesy of ODLO two weeks after I had purchased the cycling shorts.   

An ultra lightweight cycling top, the Shirt Zeroweight Ceramicool Pro, features many of ODLO’s technologies: Ceramicool, Zeroweight, Effect (counteracting the unpleasant smell of sweat) and UPV 30 (protection against UV radiation).  It is not a jersey, but a cycling shirt -- ODLO carries both.  

The cycling top hugs nicely the contour of the torso and is designed to help you achieve top performance by keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable when riding.  The fabric in the lower part of the top (below the contrasting colored band) is extremely breathable and has excellent moisture wicking properties, even more so than other parts of the top (torso and sleeves), which are made with Ceramicool.  

On the aerodynamic side, the fit is tight and comfortable and the sleeves are designed with aerodynamic hems that have a reflective border. 

I selected a size medium and the fit is perfect and snug.  As a personal observation, the sleek and tight fit means that if your tummy is not super flat, it will spill over in gentle rolls. 

As with any bike jersey, it has plenty of pockets -- 2 large pockets in the back with a third zippered pocket to keep your valuables safely tucked away.  

The design is different from a jersey with the shirt being more aerodynamic.  I specifically selected the shirt for its engineered technologies -- Zeroweight, Ceramicool, Effect, X-Light.  With the odor control technology - Effect - incorporated into the material,  the shirt stays noticeably fresh smelling after a workout. Fewer washes will extend the life of your garment, which is especially true for the UPV 30 protection against the sun’s UV rays. 

 This cycling shirt from ODLO is a sure contender among other cycling specific brands.   


It’s only fairly recently that I discovered the ODLO brand. As a runner, hiker, Nordic skier, and biker, I like the idea of streamlining my workout apparel and interchanging pieces for different types of activities, which is easy to do with ODLO’s gear.  When I purchased my cycling shorts and selected the shirt, I was already familiar with some of ODLO’s technologies, such as Ceramicool and Zeroweight, guiding my choice and facilitating my decision to go with ODLO despite all the cycling specific brands out there.  

We also received a selection of socks for running, hiking, walking, and biking, with the Ceramicool technology   Designed with different types of support: soft, medium, and high, depending on the activity; they are extremely comfortable and well fitted.  The active cooling technology helps keep your feet cooler and the open mesh knit structure feel drier on your skin.

Reviewer Bio

Dominique has run for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles. She races rarely, but always surprises more hard core runners in her age group when she does. She has a 1985 marathon PR of 3:16 in her second marathon which at the time put her on the top 10.Swiss women’s lists. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and enjoys cycling, nordic and alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, cooking, and gardening. 

The product reviewed was a provided at no charge. The opinions herein are the authors'.


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