When shopping online for cycling kit it’s easy to vanish down the rabbit hole and emerge hours later, tired and bleary, with more questions than answers.
Personally, I always lean towards the smaller companies, hot off the press with fresh ideas. It’s helpful if they have a memorable hook to help their kit leap out from the crowd.
Catella are a small California based brand who I first came across some months ago. Their kit caught my eye immediately as ‘one to watch’.
I also found the dog logo seared into my brain for future reference, so when the opportunity to review came along that was my mental reference point – a silhouette of one of founder Rodolfo Saldana’s Vizsla dogs, imagined while on his bike and deep into the effort of a Californian mountain climb.
Aesthetically, Catella are right up my street.
The Montrose jersey on test is a grey and celeste combination (one for the Bianchi fans), with understated style and minimal logos. The bib shorts deviate very slightly from standard issue black, and look great.
Both items also have the length that I love; long (short) sleeves down to the crook of the elbows, and legs that (on me) grip tightly a couple of inches above the knee.
Match this stuff with a pair of 6 inch socks and you could send the online cycling style mafia into a protracted debate liable to risk folding in on itself!
Beyond the aesthetics, there’s some serious technology going on.
As Rodolfo explained to me: “I had seen how outer wear was being seamed together perfectly flat and decided to try this with kits. It uses the best of everything, with elastic interface chamois (in the shorts), and Schoeller coldblack fabrics all welded together.”
The seams are “bonded to each other at a microscopic level” using a process called weldeskin, making them “70% thinner than traditional flatlock stitched seams.” The coldblack technology is designed to help regulate temperature and repel UV rays.
In terms of the fit, as Rodolfo describes it: “the kit fits as a pro-peloton level kit and it will ‘disappear’ on your body when wearing it, it’s so smooth and light.”
And it is.
It has a lovely feel against the skin, but with the impression of sturdiness and durability too, because of the high quality materials and construction.
I’m thin, without being super-skinny, and the size Large is a skin tight fit. Early indications are that it’s snug and comfortable rather than restrictive. That suggests good design – if kit as tight as this doesn’t fit right, it just feels all kinds of wrong.
At just shy of $450 for the shorts and jersey together, this is premium stuff, and so you would rightly expect a lot of bang for your buck.
Right now, in a northern English winter, my opportunities to get out in this Catella kit have so far been non-existent. The acid test can only follow several long rides, but the signs are good.
Look out for my full reviews in spring 2017.
And check out the Catella website.