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Primal women’s cycle clothing

Written by Fiona

October 23 2015

I had not heard about Primal cycle clothing until I received an email asking me if I’d like to test a few products. Always on the search for good quality and well-fitting women’s cycle apparel I readily agreed.

I then discovered that Primal is a UK brand, based in southern England. It’s also a company that has kit made by keen cyclists for keen cyclists. The collections include mountain bike and road clothing products.

I have been testing bib shorts and a short-sleeved jersey for women from the Frequency collection. These are best for summer cycling wear but could be matched with arm and leg warmers or combined with a long-sleeve cycling jacket.

The other products I have been trialling are a winter warm Primal Lucerne jacket, sports bra and gym-style leggings.

Primal Frequency Women’s bib shorts

FRE1S59MThese are race-fit bibs with the focus on performance and durability. They include an “Italian-made TMF chamois for ultimate comfort in the saddle”.

Apparently, too: “The E6 Carbon chamois is a revolutionary leap in chamois technology with Resistex anti-static carbon fabric that promotes blood flow and the reduction of lactic acid, as well as being antibacterial and antimicrobial.” Who knew?!

Other features include:

  • Promesh bib uppers for good stretch and easy airflow
  • Contour Race cut fit
  • Vero fabric
  • Silicone leg grips
  • Flatlock stitching.

The fit is lovely. The small is ideal for my UK10 size. It’s not too tight and not too loose. The only thing I would prefer is that the legs were a little longer. I know many women who prefer a shorter leg, especially in the summer (for a larger tanning area?) but I have long legs and like to see a hem that comes further down my thigh.

The bib section is comfortable and the straps go around the side of the chest. Also, the fabric rises high up the hips and waist and this means you never suffer from a cold breeze on mid-torso skin.

However, bib shorts can be a real hassle when you need a toilet stop because you have to take off all the layers above the shorts. I like that the shorts come up high but I think, on balance, I’d prefer bib shorts with a back access zip or the system of a stretchy halterneck as with dhb Aeron shorts.

The leg width and fit is good. I’d like the bottom hem of the shorts to be a little wider but really there’s nothing to moan about.

And I love the chamois insert. I have no idea if the E6 carbon chamois does all that it claims to (see above) but it certainly gives lots of comfort. This is a padding with a decent amount of cushioning.

If you prefer your padding to be thinner do not choose these shorts but if you like lots of cushioning it’s a great choice. I felt like I was riding while sitting on a sofa!

The shape of the padding is also excellent for women.

Another good point is the design. The black, white and green looks super striking. I am bored with plain black shorts and it’s nice to find a company that is trying something new in terms of looks.

Overall, for £90, I think the Frequency Women’s bib shorts would be a good buy and they look well made so I’d expect them to last at least a couple of full seasons.

Frequency Evo short-sleeved jersey

FRE1J45WThis top matches the bib shorts. I quite like matching kit so this suits me. The fabric feels really light and silky and could easily be worn against the skin without irritation.

Again the fit is good. A size small is perfect for my UK10 torso. I think you would struggle to fit larger boobs in this so perhaps if you are a bit bigger chested choose a medium.

The fabric is meant to wick and disperse moisture from the surface of the skin so as to keep the body temperature at a comfy level. It does just this.

The double-knit fabric is also nice and stretchy, but not too stretchy, if you know what I mean. There are mesh side panels for even greater breathability. This is a good jersey for summer wear especially as it boasts SPF 35+.

Other features include:

  • Full-length hidden YKK sipper
  • 3 angled rear cargo pockets
  • Silicone waist gripper

It would be nice to se a zipped security pocket as well but that’s a minor quibble on such a well-designed and good-looking jersey. It’s priced £65. See Frequency Evo short-sleeved jersey

I notice that both products go up to a L, XL and 2XL sizing, which is good.

Primal Lucerne jacket

GetImageI have also been trialling the Primal Lucerne second layer long-sleeved jacket. The winter warmer jacket has been developed and tested in the harsh and unpredictable conditions of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, so you would expect it to work well in the UK.

It’s made with Primal’s Strata fabric, which is a midweight, thermal material and boasting a four-way stretch. Apparently the jacet is ideal for temperatures ranging from 0c to 24C. That’s a very wide range and I can’t imagine why you would need a thermal style cycling jacket when it’s as warm as 17C or more.

Anyway, I found it was best in the cool air of a Scottish autumn.

The brushed fabric feels lovely to touch and the fit is comfy rather than racy so it easily fits over other layers. I prefer my jackets to be neater fitting but if you are looking for a looser style this is it.

There are three good-sized pockets at the rear. The colours are quite funky too. I like the striped design mixed with the dark grey main panel.

I would probably be more likely to wear this jersey for autumn and winter mountain biking than road cycling.

It costs £90. The jersey stops at a large. I’d like to see bigger sizes.

AireSpan sports bra

AIRPB10WThe Primal sports bra is super comfy. It’s not the most supportive of bras but I don’t really need anything more than good support, especially when cycling.

If you are bigger chested or planning to do a lot of bounce in your activity, such as a gym aerobics session, this might not suit you but for most cycling activities and for most women it’s a great bra.

The seamless construction makes the bra very comfortable against the skin while the fabric offers really good breathability. The design provides support in all the right places.

It’s also a reasonable price of £28.

Primal Clast tights

CLA1T20WAnd why stop at cycle-specific clothing? Most cyclists also like to go to the gym or do yoga so Primal have made a range to suit these activities. Part of this is the Primal Clast tights.

They are a looser fit with lots of stretch and a lovely wide and comfy waistband. These are the perfect leggings for slouching around in post-bike ride.

£70 is a little steep in my opinion but they are good quality and well designed. .

There are lots of other products for men and women and in all kinds of funky and colourful designs. This brand is well worth checking out. See

Wiggle also sell Primal at slightly cheaper prices.


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