New dhb Blok and Classic autumn cycle clothing
I have been riding in Wiggle’s new own-brand dhb cycle clothing since the spring. (I also favour Gore Bike Wear for women but dhb has been claiming its share of my riding mileage, too.)
Now dhb has extended its ranges of Blok and Classic to an autumn/winter collection, including short and long-sleeved jerseys, bibbed tights, arm warmers, buff and socks. They come in both male and female fit.
There are several things that I really like about the dhb clothing:
Fit: I wear dhb women’s small and I am a fairly standard UK10. The fit is really good. It’s neat fitting but not too tight and the arm and leg length suits me even at a long-legged 5ft 8in. It is a tiny bit tight across my shoulders but for my size I have fairly wide shoulders.
Price: The price tag of most of the clothes are at least half the price of many other brands and even less than brands such as Assos and Rapha. Prices are £6.65 (socks) to £61.75 (dhb Women’s Blok Meso Softshell W/S Roubaix Jacket) at Wiggle.
Quality: Despite being fairly cheap, the quality is still very good. For example, I have worn my dhb bibbed shorts as much as my pricier Gore bibbed shorts this summer over many hundreds of miles of cycling and they are still in great shape. The padding is perfect, the quality of fabric is high and the shorts still look and feel as good as when I first tried them on. I have washed them and dried in a tumble drier yet they remain supportive and good-looking.
Look: I like bike kit to be bright and well designed. For too long, kit has been a bit black and bland but dhb designers have really upped their game. The new Blok winter range is fantastic. The “plus” design that was in the summer Blok range has been used again in the winter collection but I think they colourways are even better.
The orange and blue design for women is beautiful. It’s also good to see bright colours for men and designs that are far more funky than normal. If these colours are too bright and cheery, there’s a more subdued Classic range.
Clever features: The bright orange and yellow has been used in the arm warmers and buff. These offer high visibility for dull winter days. These colours are also found in the jerseys.
Pockets, zips, cuffs etc are also well thought out and would certainly hold their own against other much more expensive and better-known cycle brands. In particular, I like the longer fit “short sleeves” and the neat sleeve cuffs on the long-sleeved jersey.
A fleece-lined fabric has been utilised in arm warmers and jerseys (both the Blok Micro Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey and Blok Meso Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey) to offer great thermal properties for winter cycling while also effectively allowing sweat to wick away.
Other details of dhb autumn kit
- Jerseys have silicone-lined waistband, three vertical rear pockets plus one
- with a zip, and a full-length YKK Zip.
- “Windslam technology” is utilised in the softshell Roubaix Jacket to keep out the wind at the front.
- New for Autumn 2015, there’s dhb Blok Neck Tubes constructed from a soft, four-way stretch micro brushed fabric. They are like buffs but more windproof and made from a lovely silky fabric.
- Back for autumn 2015 are the dhb Women’s Classic Roubaix Bib Tights (£52.25).
On test: dhb autumn/winter cycle clothing
It’s not often that I go out in full matching kit as I would feel a bit self-conscious. But in this case, the dhb Blok autumn/winter clothing looks really good together, so I went for it!
The ride started out a little chilly, warmed up and then the temperature dropped again. This is a typical late summer’s day in Scotland.
At the outset I wore the dhb Blok Women’s Meso Lightweight SS Roubaix Jersey combined with dhb Blok Arm Warmers and dhb Blok Meso Neck Tube.
I had on my usual dhb Women’s Aeron Pro Halterneck Bib Shorts (the shaping is flattering with super comfy wide leg cuffs, while the halterneck gives easier access for toilet breaks. See a previous review.) I also wore the dhb Blok Cycle Socks.
As I warmed up I shed the arm warmers and neck tube. Then, later on when it became far cooler, I put on the dhb Women’s Blok Micro Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey.
Blok Meso lightweight Roubaix jersey
The super light and silky fabric is amazing. It’s really lovely to wear against the skin yet it still keeps out the wind, has a UPF of 30+ and is great at wicking away sweat. It’s also been treated with anti-bacterial control.
There are three vertical drop pockets at the rear and one with a zipped pocket for valuables.
A silicone hem grip stops the back of the jersey rising up while a full-length zip allows you to do it up or open it according to how warm you are.
I have a summer version of this jersey that has perforated fabric, presumably to allow for better heat and sweat control. I much prefer the autumn version because I really love the fabric.
The dhb Blok Meso Neck Tube is made of a similar fabric with a great design and can fit around the neck and over the chin and mouth or over the head, under a helmet. It is a dream to wear because it’s so silky and light. It also loks amazing and is made of a very bright yellow or orange colour.
The dhb Blok Arm Warmers are made from a thicker fleeced back material. They stay tight on the arms thanks to silicone tops and they are just about long enough for my Mr Tickle-long arms. They keep out the cold well and because they re also made of a bright yellow or orange colour they are easily seen by other road users.
dhb Women’s Blok Micro Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey
The same thicker fleecy fabric is utilised in the long-sleeved jersey. (The Micro and Meso differ only in colours and patterns.)
The long-sleeved jersey also has a full-length, lock-down YKK zip (the puller stays flat against the zip when pulled into position) with a chin guard (to stop annoying rubs when fully zipped up).
There are dhb’s standard three vertical pockets with secure centre YKK zip pocket, an internal elasticated silicone gripper on the hem and simple elasticated cuffs.
It’s easy to wear because the fabric is not to heavy and is perfect for adding as an outer layer on late summer or autumn days or as a mid-layer underneath a waterproof jacket in the winter.
The fit is perfect for me and it effectively kept out the wind yet still offered good breathability when cycling hard to get home on a chilly evening.
dhb Blok Cycle Socks
The only item I am not so sure about is the socks. These come in a trendy new calf height. This is what all the pros are sporting these days but I think they look a bit silly. I prefer my socks to be shorter.
Then again, they might be more practical in the winter when you need to wear shoe covers that rise above the lower ankle. The design of these socks is also brilliant.
(All of these same products can be bought from the dhb Classic collection, too.)
It’s clear that the design team has thought long and hard about how to make the new dhb Blok and Classic collections. The fit is good (I imagine the men’s items are as nice as the women’s although I have not tested these) and the fabrics are both lovely and highly practical. The colours are superb and they are sold at a very good price.
I would have normally suggested that dhb was a good entry level brand for cyclists who are fairly new to the sport but having worn them all year I would rate them as good, if not better, than any other pricier brand that I have worn. I have become a dhb convert!
Photos: The dhb models are far nicer looking and better at modelling the kit than me so I’m using stock pics in this blog.