Chuck Pena from PEZ Cycling News recently got his hands on a Cycology 8 Days kit. Read his full review below or at PEZ Cycling News here :-)
WARNING: If you’re a traditionalist who prefers muted shades and to not stand out in the crowd, you can stop reading now. But if you’re someone who dares to be a little bold and wants to put some fun in your ride, then Cycology kit is for you. But there’s more to this kit than just what meets the eye…
Cycology is an Australian-based brand that’s been around since 2011. If you’re on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen an occasional post from them pop up on your feed. Husband and wife, Michael and Sarina, started Cycology
“to share the thoughts, emotions & feelings that cyclists, runners & triathletes experience. We hoped the artwork would resonate with our followers and they’d recognise the kindred spirit, the magic of our sports and how it helps us all in every aspect of our lives. I try to portray the happiness, fulfilment, humour, pain and joy I feel, the things we say, the mantras we live by. It is a lifestyle and culture we hope to share.”
What started as a home business in Sydney is now a worldwide brand.
8 Days Collection
The Cycology catalog offers a lot to choose from, both men’s and women’s. My choice came down to two factors. First, I wanted a jersey and bibs that were matchy-matchy. Second, I wanted a jersey that was race fit (Cycology makes three different fits: Relaxed, Performance, and Race) because I’m a skinny ectomorph and that’s what tends to fit me best. I ended up going with the 8 Days kit because I liked the urban graffiti look of it (I live and ride in an urban area so that seemed appropriate) plus I’m old enough to remember the Beatles hit “8 Days a Week.”
8 Days Race Jersey – $119.95
The 8 Days Race Jersey is fairly “typical” in its construction (and that’s not a bad thing). Meaning it consists of a front panel — divided by a full length YKK zipper (the gold standard of zippers), a back panel, and two side panels (plus a fairly low cut collar, which is what you would expect with a race jersey, and set in, laser cut sleeves). The front and back panels and sleeves are a “solid” stretch material. The side panels panels are a mesh stretch material to help vent/wick. All the panels are serge stitched together.
Backlighting to be able to see through the mesh
The mesh is more readily apparent from the inside
With the graphics, it’s hard to see that there are three rear pockets (especially because the graphics extend to the inside of the pockets), but they’re there!
Low collar and long, laser cut sleeves are the hallmark of a race jersey.
Of course, it's full zip (with a YKK gold standard zipper)
Based on my 5’8″, 130 pound build, Cycology’s fit guide, and trading emails with Michael and Simon at Cycology (thanks guys!), I decided to go with size XS for my 8 Days Race Jersey. It fits the way I like a jersey to fit: pretty much like a second skin but not binding and still allowing for freedom of movement (if you’re carrying some extra pounds/kilos and prefer your kit to not show them off as much, you probably want to look at Cycology jerseys that are the Performance or Relaxed fit). I wear a base layer when I ride, but the jersey material was soft and smooth against my bare skin.
Low collar and long, laser cut sleeves are the hallmark of a race jersey
Of course, it’s full zip (with a YKK gold standard zipper)
Left: Cam lock zipper up to zip. Right: Down to lock in place. NOTE: The backing at the collar to keep the zipper from rubbing against your neck.
Cycology doesn’t spec weight, but at 118 grams the 8 Days Race Jersey is definitely race jersey weight
All in all, the Cycology 8 Days Race Jersey is everything you would expect in a race-level jersey. If I had two suggestions for improvement (and neither of these are deal breakers):
8 Days Logo Bib Shorts – $109.95
Like the jersey, the 8 Days Logo Bib shorts are fairly “typical.” And again, that’s not a bad thing because it’s a tried-and-true design that works:
The Y-back of the bib section is mesh to help vent/wick
The top of the side panels is also mesh
Not as wide a leg gripper panel as in a lot of other race bibs, but these do the job, i.e., no leg creep
Reflective tab on the back of the leg
Of course, the make or break of any pair of bib shorts is the chamois aka seat pad. It’s not about the padding per se. As the PEZ himself recently pointed out: “the real problems in our nether region almost always result from friction between our skin and the pad itself – not how much ‘padding’ is there.” Cycology doesn’t say where the pad they use in their bib shorts is sourced from. Visually, it looks a lot like other pads I’ve seen.
For me, the padding felt firm enough without being squishy. I’ve done several ~4 hour rides (including rest stops) and my undercarriage parts haven’t had any complaints. I’m sure I could ride longer without having to worry about any aforementioned friction issues.
What you expect in a chamois: different density/firmness padding and channeling to wick away sweat and provide relief for the important bits
Because the weight weenies will want to know
If the 8 Days Race Jersey is race fit, the 8 Days Logo Bib Shorts are a little less than that. That’s not a criticism — simply a statement of fact. The first hint that they’re not race fit is that they don’t take as much work to slide on. Compared to other race bibs I have, the compression is much lighter. That’s not saying there’s no or not enough compression — simply a point of comparison. For me, the compression was just this side of firm enough to feel it and not worry about leg creep. Overall, these bibs lean more towards comfort than race (although they would’ve been considered race bibs back in my racing days a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away). They’re the kind of bibs that most (probably the vast majority) riders could ride in for hours on end.
8 Days Base Layer – $39.95
Cycology’s base layers are different than most other base layers in that they are essentially a short-sleeve t-shirt rather than sleeveless. I was a little concerned that this might be an issue with the race fit sleeves of the 8 Days Race Jersey. But the sleeves on the base layer are “skin tight” (even on my skinny arms) so the jersey sleeves slide right over them and conform to my “guns.” One note of interest is that even though my 8 Days Race Jersey is size XS, my base layer is size small (small being Cycology’s smallest size for the base layer). But because the base layer fits like a second skin, the XS 8 Days Race Jersey fits over it just fine, i.e., like a second skin without any wrinkles or creases.
Very much an open mesh for venting/wicking
Otherwise, the base layer is pretty much like any other base layer in that it’s a fairly open mesh material to provide airflow for venting and wicking away sweat. As it’s that time of year here in Babylon on the Potomac when temps in the 90s(F) and high humidity are not unusual, I’ve been able to put the base layer through its paces. I know it’s counterintuitive to a lot of people who don’t use base layers (and I used to be one of those doubters), but the additional layer actually does help to keep you cooler/dryer because it takes sweat away from your skin and transfers it to the jersey (which also wicks the sweat away) that isn’t in direct contact with your skin. To be clear: a base layer isn’t the equivalent of air conditioning. It’s not going to cool you down. But what a good base layer can do is help keep you “less hot.” So yeah … layer up … even in hot weather.
Of course, what’s really cool (no pun intended) about the 8 Days Base Layer is that instead of plain white (Cycology does have a basic white base layer), it’s the same graphic design as the jersey. So even with the jersey un-zipped wide open, it still sort of looks like the jersey is zipped up.
8 Days Socks – $16.95
I’m a big fan of #sockdoping and making a statement with my cycling socks (much to the chagrin of my pals Ed Hood and Alastair Hamilton) so had to go all-in with the 8 Days Socks.
One thing that’s different about Cycology’s socks is that they’re “one size fits most” rather than coming in different sizes. Cycology doesn’t say what the size range is, but they fit my US size 9 feet the way I expect a pair of cycling socks to fit. Which is to say they need to be pulled on and stretched over my feet to fit, i.e., they don’t just slip on. The result it that they have enough compression to stay in place and you don’t have to worry about them bunching up or falling down.
When you turn the socks inside out, you can see the details of their construction
More 8 Days Stuff
PEZ readers know I’m not a ride with gloves guy (at least in warm enough weather), but Cycology was kind enough to include a pair of 8 Days Gloves ($24.95) for me to try out. They fit comfortably (size medium based on my palm circumference measurement). And the padding is perfectly placed for riding on the hoods (probably where I spend 80-90 percent of my time). So if I was a gloves guy, these are gloves I would wear.
The graphics on the palm padding are a nice touch
Cycology also included an 8 Days Cycling Cap ($19.95). It’s a traditional cycling cap construction-wise. But instead of traditional cotton, it’s made with a quick-drying and highly breathable lightweight mesh fabric that’s very soft. So you could easily wear it under a helmet as a wicking liner with the added bonus of a visor for some added sun protection.
But the 8 Days Collection doesn’t stop there. If you want to go totally Full Monty, other stuff includes
Have some fun!
I’ve done short (20-something miles) to medium (50-something miles) length rides in the Cycology kit. And in typical Babylon on the Potomac summer weather, i.e., hot and humid. There’s no avoiding getting hot and sweaty in that kind of weather, but the Cycology 8 Days kit weathered the weather as well as you could expect — including on one of my Wednesday Night Hill Rides on a 90F feels like 97F heat advisory day (we’re not a very much smart bunch, which is why my ride crew is dubbed the “useless idiots”). I’ve also ridden in the rain (not on purpose, but got caught in an unexpected pop up downpour) and while I got soaked, the kit didn’t get water logged/weighed down. And when the sun came back out, it dried out (as in got less wet) fairly quickly.
In a word (or several words), the kit is fully functional and up to snuff. To be sure, Cycology isn’t the highest of high end kit … but it’s not trying or pretending to be. What it is is bang-for-the-buck high value kit that works and won’t break the bank. In other words, quality kit that most riders can afford.
Everyone is smiling and my kit is looking good after cresting the climb in 90F feels like 97F heat and humidity
But what sets Cycology apart from a lot of other kit is the fun quotient, which can often be missing amongst the die hard roadie crowd. I know everyone’s style tastes are different, but I’m a fan of the 8 Days design. It gets a lot of attention … even from non-cyclists. You’ll definitely be noticed. I’d be more than game to ride in the Velo Tattoo or Day of the Living collection (both offer race fit jerseys). Not race fit, but other fun designs I like are Motown, Rock N Roll, and Live to Ride. (NOTE: If you prefer something a little more “sedate,” Cycology has Incognito jerseys in basic black and two shades of blue and a basic black bib short.)
Riding (no matter how serious a rider you are) is supposed to be fun. The Cycology 8 Days kit (or any of their other kit) can make it a little more fun (even if just on occasion). So have some fun.
According to Michael and Sarina: “The Beatles + paint + paper = this graffitied artwork came from listening to their songs and realizing they were singing about cycling! Oh yeah, we would ALL ride 8 days a week.” I couldn’t agree more (and now can’t get the song out of my head).
Note: 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!
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Learn more about the author Chuck Pena by following this link.