Pactimo’s Summit Jersey (L) and Summit Raptor Bibs (R) deliver solid upper-tier performance without breaking the bank.
Why You Would Want
You’re a passionate – and frequent – cyclist who’s looking for a classic-styled jersey-and-bibs combination that delivers solid functionality, but are not prohibitively expensive.
Pros and Cons
Beauty will forever remain in the eye of the beholder. Some prefer loud-and-proud. Others trend toward the more inconspicuous. I fall firmly in the later category, especially when it comes to cycling apparel. Just because I’m riding my bike, doesn’t mean I have to dress up in bright neon or wrap myself in argyle, hounds tooth, or whatever happens to be the pattern du jour.
This leaning toward the understated is what first attracted me to Pactimo’s burgeoning collection of branded cycling apparel. Though the Denver, Colorado-based company remains best known for its custom offerings, its non-custom line has come a long way since its launch three years ago. And it’s all available on-line, which helps keep costs down.
Top of that line is Pactimo’s Summit Series, including the Summit Jersey ($100), which even after the review process, has earned a regular place in my riding rotation. For starters it’s not overly flamboyant, hyper-colorful or otherwise flashy. Instead low-key styling, subtle color accents, and loads of well-thought-out functionality stand out.
The jersey melds several fabrics with fancy names such as Eschler Powergrid, Transfer–C, Speedskin and Zero-Weight mesh. Marketing speak aside, the end result is a nicely contoured top that’s noticeably soft to the touch, and has just the right amount of stretch in key spots such as under the arms and at the pockets.
A full length zipper and mesh material under the arms improve cooling on hot days.
Like a lot of apparel companies, Pactimo makes some bold claims about temperature reduction and skin cooling. I wont profess that slipping this top will negate the hardships of riding during a 90-degree day. But the Summit Jersey certainly performed better than some similarly priced jerseys I’ve tested, which instead of wicking moisture, absorbed it to the point that you felt like you were wearing a wet towel.
Other highlights include non-elastic sleeves (I really don’t like elastic sleeves), safety-enhancing reflective trim (always good to be seen by cars), and a silicone gripper at the waist (helps keep the jersey from riding up). The three rear pockets are well-placed, and there’s even a small waterproof sub-pocket inside the center pocket that’s just big enough for an iPhone.
Moving over to the Summit Raptor Bibs ($160), it’s mostly a similar story. Styling is understated (though, I’d prefer a smaller logo on the leg), and functionality is generally solid (though I do have some nitpicks).
The main material is a nylon/Lycra blend, which yields elasticity, mild compression, and good abrasion resistance. Flat lock seams reduce the chance of chafe. A subtle silicone gripper on the inside of the double-turned leg band prevents ride-up without causing binding or irritation. And the unique double-layer knit (polyester inside, polymide outside) helps move moisture in the right direction.
Bibshorts fit is tricky to evaluate. No two bodies are created exactly equal. Along these lines, Pactimo trumpets what it calls silhouette articulation, which is another way of saying proper fit in the riding position. But for me these bibs fit good, but not great, mostly due to bunching around the inner thigh.
The chamois has a pressure relief channel to enhance comfort. A subtle silicone gripper on the inside of the double-turned leg band prevents ride-up without causing binding or irritation.
Of course the most important element of any bibshort is the chamois. The Summit Raptor’s is designed with a curved anatomic shape, and uses high density foam and a pressure relief channel to enhance comfort. It all worked well enough on the bike, but the padding is definitely on the high-volume side, which will illicit “diaper” comparisons from some users. I personally prefer a little less loft. Chamois placement is also a little off, further back that I would like.
Subtle bibshorts fit issues aside, this is a great combo that’s very reasonably priced. If you appreciate subdued styling – and just want something that works well, you wont go wrong with the Pactimo Summit Jersey and Summit Raptor Bibs.
Rating: Summit Jersey 4 out of 5 ; Summit Raptor Bibs 3.5 out of 5
Price: Pactimo Summit Jersey $100; Pactimo Summit Raptor Bibs $160
Colors/Sizing: Jersey: white or black, S-3XL; Bibs: Black, S-2XL
More Info: www.pactimo.com