Lancashire’s Ribble Cycles has built it’s reputation on feature-packed, brilliant value bikes. They’ve been in business for well over a century so it’s perhaps surprising that only now have the decided to make their own clothing. Just as with their bikes, Ribble’s Nuova range of apparel looks like it’s going to offer a fair bit of detail for a very fair price.
I’ve been using the Nuovo kit on heavy rotation with Madison’s new 77 range (I have to wash stuff obviously – I’m not a use once and throw away kind of guy!) and for the money the Nuovo stuff is pretty good. The lightweight jersey is priced at £55 and the matching shorts are just tenner more. The Italian fabric used is superlight, thin, and has a proper 4-way stretch, so the fit is form fitting without being restrictive.
I like the geometric design and its good to see a proper full length YKK zip used – I’ve had too many premium jerseys, from some big brands, end up in bin over the years as the cheap zips have corroded and failed . The jersey isn’t as technically shaped as the Madison ’77 I’ve been testing, but it is close. The Nouvo relies on traditional silicon grippers on the hems to keep its shape, rather than its cut. I do like the reinforced pocket arrangement on the back, which is a bit more supportive than most budget jerseys. It’s especially impressive when the jersey weighs 142g (XL) – Ribble claim the medium only weighs 130g.
The bib shorts are impressively light with the 4-way stretch fabric used on the legs allowing plenty of free movement but with little in the way of compression. I did find the legs a bit on the wide side so got a bit of bagging around the hems, though the length is good. The lightweight mesh uppers make them great for hot days, though I would prefer a bit more support for tired legs after four or so hours of pedalling.
I reckon the jersey is the star here as it is easily the equal of significantly pricier jerseys. The shorts are a decent pair of budget bibs more suited to hotter days. I’ll certainly keep using the Nuovo kit, as it is comfortable and looks good – and anyone who’s bringing decent kit out at realistic prices is certainly worth supporting in my book.
Sign up to the Cycling Plus Newsletter here
Cycling Plus has been testing road cycling apparel for 25 years – to get the best tests in the business every month subscribe here!