Pretty psyched for a change of season I ordered up some new gear. I needed some new colder weather stuff and wanted to try something different from Ornot, a smaller San Fransisco company that has been around four years now. Their brand stuck in my mind from the play on words in Ornot’s clever campaign – “You can be a rolling billboard, Ornot”, the whole point being that their kit has no logos, no sponsors, no massive branding. In the cycling world we have all been subjected to logos everywhere on cycling kit, some tastefully done, some not. Browsing through the website you see an array of products all with minimal branding and really nice patterns and designs. I ordered up some Winter bib shorts, a winter jersey and socks for the full matchy match look.
Cut and sewn in San Fransisco seems like an expensive endeavor and considering what they cost I was expecting a lower quality than other gear I have tested. I was proven wrong – the materials are really nice, the construction well done with the fit pretty good too. I say pretty good because I did have to exchange some sizes which can be annoying to get to the right fit. 160lbs and 6ft 3 ” – I went by the guides on the website, I would say they are a size off. Initially ordering small, the bib shorts were crazy tight and a medium fit much better, even if on the web it showed they were too big for me. As far as jerseys go, I’m not a spot on fit, closer to a large in this winter jersey, than to a super skin tight medium, so it’s worth considering sizes before ordering. Generally I would say their pattern grading is different than published sizes on their website. For reference i’m a medium in Rapha and large in Castelli. Translating to a medium bib short and large jersey in Ornot.
The materials are of a higher quality and are sourced from abroad, while the pattern, design and the construction happens in SF. Employing local people in the US costs comparatively more than manufacturing in foreign countries. Generally profit margins in apparel are pretty high, but given quality of material, construction in the usa, I would say Ornot are willing to accept some lower margins to support an American workforce.
DWR THERMAL BIB SHORTS ($175) – MENS & WOMENS
The bib shorts are made from a heavier-weight lycra backed with a brushed fleece lining. The fleece traps pockets of air in its weave and keeps you more insulated and thus warmer, ideal for cooler temperatures. Along with a full dyed black material (meaning it lasts longer) it has a DWR coating to repel water. DWR coatings are used in a lot of outdoor gear and rain jackets, effective at repelling light rain and stopping the material from soak-through.
Leg grippers are taken care of with a 2″ flat band with light silicone backing for a smooth taper to leggings or bare skin and embrocation. The pattern is very form fitting and the main panels have a high amount of compression that makes the shorts feel snug and holds the muscles in place from vibration. The seams are high quality flatlock variety with no lose ends. The chamois is an unperforated Cytech pad (this is the same Italian manufacturer that Rapha, Assos and Capo use) – Ornot have oped for a slimer design 4hr pad, which makes sense as a 6+hr pad in a winter short is probably overkill.
The bib shorts feel a lot like broken-in Rapha Pro Team Winter shorts 2015/2016 and thats a really good thing, as my Rapha’s are excellent. Slightly compressive the shorts fit well and the chamois doesn’t feel bulky at all. I personally like the slim pad as it doesn’t feel like a lump that gravitates to the back of the shorts. The leg grippers are thin yet tough material and work really well with knee or leg warmers to give you a tapered smooth transition. With a few sprinkles I did notice that the shorts resisted water and I will definitely have to catch up with some leg warmers also.
CODE THERMAL JERSEY – ORANGE ($150) MEN & WOMENS
The jersey has raglan cut shoulders for a wide fit range and good shoulder articulation. The arms are cut longer for a good coverage when in bike position. Polyester geotherm material (185 gsm, milled in Italy) is used for the whole jersey and has a nice brushed fleece feel internal with a thin silicone gripper on the hem to keep the rear drop in place. The jerseys construction includes side panels which help with a good fitment of the garment and stops puffing at the front. Pockets are ample and cut straight across. 7″ deep on my size large with a double sewn elastic cinch hem at the top.
On the esthetic front, the kit has an autumnal feel in it’s deep orange and covered by a subtle tonal graphic in the geometric abstract Ornot style. The finish of the material is slightly shiny probably due to the top surface being polyester and has a matrix light pattern on the geotherm.
The jersey is versatile, pockets are the right height, zipper is easy pull and the fuzzy feel near the neck is nice. I wore this several times on days which were low 50’s to low 60’s with a very light base layer and it felt great. The jersey doesn’t have any wind-block built into the front, it’s just jersey, so if you are sensitive to this on descents you might want to carry a gillet. I found the pockets to be more than ample, and actually bigger than most. I folded small rain jackets in there no problem and a gillet would be easier. The one thing I do wish this jersey had was a small zippered pocket to put a credit card in.
Subtle graphics embellish the whole jersey in a tonal manner that doesn’t scream at you.
The Ornot gear looks, performs and feels great, it’s fully available in both mens and women’s specific fits (womens fit not tested). Supporting a USA manufacturing economy at a price that provides really good value for money is something I can rally behind. Subtle branding, performance and great value, You might like this kit, ornot. 🙂
Chilly with a slight chance of rain = Regular base ss layer, Knee Warmers and a small pocketable rain jacket.
Cold slightly windy = Wool base Layer SS or LS, Leg warmers and a wend vest or lightweight jacket.
Versatile setup = light wool base layer, knee warmers, pocketable rain jacket.
Cyclocross setup = light base layer and embrocation for knees is all you need.
Socks, Bib shorts and jersey colourways sync up for a put together look.
Hem and gripper detail.
Italian brand Cytech chamois pad and fleece backed material
Leg gripper details