Stylish, Well-Fitting Kit with Cooling Tech
Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate well-fitting, snug-rather-than-loose cycling kits. And with Atlanta fully meriting it’s “Hotlanta” nickname every summer – with sauna-like temps and humidity – I’m always on the lookout for anything that might keep me cooler on sweltering rides.
So when an email from Garneau crossed my inbox a few months ago touting its CB Carbon Bib and Jersey, with its cooling technology, I was intrigued. The “CB” stands for coldblack, “a special finishing technology for textiles which reduces heat build-up and provides reliable protection from UV rays,” according to a description that accompanies the kit.
The stylish kit promises a minimum UV ray protection of UPF 30, with its already lightweight materials staying cool to the touch and avoiding heating up due to sunlight.
All the Details You’d Expect
Garneau’s CB Carbon kit also features other details that add up to a true high-quality offering: aero lazer bands at the cuffs on both the jersey and shorts that offer a “smooth transition for improved aerodynamics and muscle support.” To me, those elastic cuffs just enhance the fit, keeping the ends of the sleeves and shorts comfortably in place. I like jerseys with sleeves that don’t “ride up” your arms.
The cut of the jersey, and a nifty special pocket – along with the traditional full-zip, 3 back pockets, a bit of reflective trim, and elastic at the hem – round out the top. As for the cut, it’s “racer fit” and features “pre-shaped” shoulders to enhance the fit in the cycling position. The typical medium size I wear fit me snugly but not tightly. Overall, it’s quite comfortable.
Now, about that nifty little pocket. On the right side of the jersey, next to the right-hand back pocket, Garneau has added what it dubs an “enviro” pocket for your empty gel or other food packets. It’s not a big deal, to be sure, but it’s a nice touch. I always appreciate solutions to small issues that show a bit of extra thought from actual cyclists.
The bibs are equally feature-filled and comfortable, with 12-panel construction, an ergonomic fit with material that stretches with body movements (more on that in a minute), stretch trim on the bib straps for additional comfort (and easily accommodating bio breaks), and reflective accents. Garneau’s airgel chamois rounds out these comfortable, nice-fitting bibs.
What stands out to me most about these bibs is the combination of materials that make up the shorts. The upshot is that they stretch in basically every direction, which makes for a unique, and comfortable, fit.
Standing Up to the Heat
Because our recent terrible winter lingered into spring, I got a late start in testing this kit. But on those full-sun days that required only shorts and a jersey, with temps extending into the 80s (27+ C), the kit worked as promised, not heating up in the sun, and keeping me (my engine burns hot!) as comfortable as possible. It won’t be long before avoiding rides that creep into the 90s (32+ C) becomes impossible, and I’ll be glad to have this kit in my arsenal.
The Bottom Line
One issue some riders might have with this kit is that, while certainly stylish, it does feature a good amount of black in the jersey tested (there is a white model, however). Yes, I know that black’s currently trendy – and always stylish. And that part of the reason for being for the coldblack tech is to allow the use of darker colors in “summer” jerseys. But I also know some riders simply don’t want to wear black for visibility and safety reasons.
That said, to me, there’s enough contrast in the materials (white and blue panels contrasting nicely in the jersey I tested) to offer balance and visibility, along with the cooling tech benefits and style.
So if you’re looking for a stylish, well-fitting summer kit with cooling tech and high-quality details, Garneau’s CB Carbon kit is certainly one to consider.
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of “less than podium” talent, he sees himself as RBR’s Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR’s great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That’s what we’re all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John’s full bio.