Specialized SL Pro Jersey and SL Pro Bib ShortsJersey $150; Shorts $180 1 of 8
The Specialized SL Pro Jersey offers excellent breathability and kept us dry even on the most humid days. Plus, our broad-shouldered tester really liked the fit where the arms met the body of this jersey. The Specialized SL Pro Bib Shorts offered just the right amount of padding with no extra bulk. But it is the slightly stretchy straps, which lay flat without ever tugging or shifting, that make these cycling shorts so wearable.
Great For: any conditions
Notable Features: stretchy but firm bib straps; comfortable jersey sleeves
Louis Garneau Icefit 2 Jersey and Carbon 2 Bib ShortsJersey $94; Shorts $169 2 of 8
The Louis Garneau Icefit 2 Jersey almost draped on our tester's shoulders and torso, offering a lightweight, breathable feel but without ever billowing in the breeze. Bold reflective bands at the sleeves and at the bottom of the jersey added a functional and fun detail. The matching Louis Garneau Carbon 2 Bib shorts provided energizing compression, so our tester felt ready to ride even after hours on the road.
Great For: hot weather cycling
Notable Features: loose fit jersey with hi-viz details; compressive shorts keep legs fresh
Louis Garneau Icefit 2 Women's Jersey and Carbon 2 Cycling ShortsJersey $84; Shorts $149 3 of 8
The Louis Garneau Icefit 2 Women's Jersey has a slightly relaxed—but not too loose—fit and felt smooth against our tester's skin. This jersey effectively managed perspiration and kept our wearer cool and dry. The matching Louis Garneau Women's Carbon 2 Short stayed in place thanks to a snug low-front/high-back waistband. The articulated shape of the chamois at the leg seams set this pad apart from the rest.
Great For: hot weather cycling, relaxed days in the saddle
Notable Features: loose-fit top was flattering and offers hi-viz elements; low-rise waist on shorts
Craft Verve Glow Jersey and Verve Glow Bib shortJersey $89; Shorts $149 4 of 8
Wearing the Craft Verve Glow Jersey could best be described as wearing a comfortable T-shirt on the bike. This cycling top was ideal for rides that started out cool and heated up as we rode into the day. The matching Craft Verve Glow Bib short had remarkably comfortable, tape-like straps. Reflective details throughout this kit kept our testers visible in early morning, as well as late-day rides.
Great For: rides with cooler starts and warmer finishes
Notable Features: bib straps that lay flat; jersey that fits like a fitted t-shirt
Assos Summer Cycling KitBaselayer $69; Jersey $109; Bib shorts $159 5 of 8
The Swiss-made Assos NS.Skinfoil Summer baselayer wicked sweat and allowed the Assos Mille GT Short Sleeve Jersey to keep the wearer dry and comfortable even on the hottest days. This summer-weight layering system kept us cool, dry and comfortable—and looked more than a little bit "pro." The most notable feature of the Assos T.milleShorts_s7 Bib short is chamois, which felt like it vanished as soon as we saddled up in the form-hugging cycling shorts.
Great For: long days in the saddle, in any weather
Notable Features: chamois that seemingly vanished; temperature management through jersey/baselayer combination
Castelli Womens Climbers Jersey and Free Aero Bib ShortJersey (W) $119; Jersey (M) $129; Aero Shorts $199; Bib Shorts $199 6 of 8
The unique feature of the ¾-zip Castelli Women's Climbers Jersey is the additional built-in front panel: When unzipped on climbs our tester stayed cool; when zipped on descents, the wind blocking panel provided a second layer of defense from the breeze. The Climbers Jersey has a long-cut torso but is snug at the shoulders and waist, so be sure to size-up if you have any doubts. Also available in a men's cut, the Castelli Climbers jersey features breathable panels throughout and a full-zip front but without the wind blocking panel.
With extra stretch at the waistband and light compression through the leg panels, the the Castelli Womens Free Aero Short hugged our tester without being overly snug. She commented that if you like a chamois that offers a little extra padding in the center to relieve pressure at sensitive points, you'll like these bibs. The men's Castelli Inferno Bib Shorts were most-notable for their extra-long, extra-sheer second-skin-like leg cuffs.
Great For: climbing, hot days
Notable Features: jersey with built-in breeze blocking panel; chamois offers padding where needed most
Machines for Freedom Womens Cycling KitJersey $178; Bib Shorts $235 7 of 8
The sheer, lightweight Machines for Freedom Avant Women's Cycling Jersey has a cut that eliminates any unsightly and uncomfortable bunching in the front of the jersey while riding in the drops. The extra-long back panel with minimal but effective grippers, kept this top in place, even when riding hard out of the saddle. The premier, matching Machines for Freedom Endurance Bib shorts was most notable for a high-rise, mesh-fabric waist, which offered additional support while also creating a most-flattering fit. Most notably, these bibs had our tester feeling like she just slipped on these shorts—even after 50 miles of riding.
Great For: any conditions
Notable Features: high-rise waist and comfortable straps for compressive support