Universal Colors burst onto the scene in 2020 and has since established itself as a brand that creates aesthetically great kits, but is also conscious of its impact on the planet. Committed to improving the way cycling clothing is made, Universal Colors’ mission is to provide cyclists with high-performance, durable, ethically and sustainably made gear.
All of its collections feature unisex pieces and feature the same color palettes across genders as the British brand aims to channel its ethos of sharing the joy of cycling together, and its latest AW23 collection is no different , with a range of beautiful and vibrant colours. , including French blue, almond beige, caramel brown, plum purple and soft pink, adding some warmth and brightness to our winter wardrobes.
But while it’s always nice to have great-looking gear when you’re out and about, it’s essential that your gear also keeps you comfortable and warm, especially on cold winter days. To see how the Universal Colors kit held up, we put it to the Review as the leaves fell and the nights drew in to see if their kit delivered on fashion and function.
Tights with straps Mono for women
Of the pieces I tried on from the collection, the Mono Bib was my favorite. First, because of the extremely soft, brushed thermal coating, and second, the pee-friendly “Nature Calls” design.
The bib tights are made from recycled nylon fabric that has been brushed on the inside for warmth, which I can testify feels very luxurious and keeps me warm when I’m out in temperatures of 0-10 degrees Celsius. The exterior has a PFC-free DWR (friendlier to the planet) coating that repelled any light rain or road spray while riding, but also remained breathable. Fortunately, I didn’t get caught in any heavy downpours while testing these tights with bibs, so I can’t say if they performed as well in the same conditions.
The other feature mentioned is Universal Colours’ easy-to-pee ‘Nature Calls’ design, a godsend in cold conditions, saving you from removing any of your layers and basically freezing to death. The design features a small zipper on the back of the waist and super elastic straps that allow you to simply pull down the tights with bibs without removing any other clothing.
The most important thing in a tight or short bib is the comfort of the chamois, and I found the Mono’s pad to be comfortable for a certain period of time, then I found it to be a little uncomfortable on longer rides of more of two and a half hours. . It’s not a bulky chamois, though, and that adds to the sleek look of the tights. Universal Colors logos are placed on the back and mid-thigh on the front of the leg, giving it an understated and cool look, as well as being reflective for safety.
The bib tights retail for £160 which is average in the market for bib tights that perform well in winter conditions. They also come in a range of muted colors – black, brown, navy blue, green and purple – allowing people to pick and choose if they want to add some color to their cycling wardrobes. I tried the brown color and found them to be a nice color alternative to black, adding a different type of bib to my collection.
Women’s T-shirt mono long sleeve
One thing I’ve always found with Universal Colors is that the fit of their women’s shirts is excellent. Although the brand claims it’s unisex, the brand has really nailed the feminine fit, making it very flattering to wear and just as good when in the riding position. The jersey again uses the same recycled nylon fabric as the bib tights, but the brushed interior is not as thick as the tights. But the shirt is still nice and soft and has a very stretchy construction, which is good because it’s a shirt that runs quite small, especially around the chest and underarms; Universal Colors has even recommended one size fits all on this shirt. I didn’t see that statement on the website and went for my usual size small, and I can say it was on the tighter side and you’d struggle to fit a long sleeve or thick base layer underneath and it felt non-restrictive. .
The shirt features three back pockets and a secure zipped pocket that has a waterproof lining. This was a very nice feature as I could relax that any of my valuables would get wet or damaged if it started to rain or there was a lot of spray on the road. The back edge of the shirt also features pinch points to make sure the back of the shirt doesn’t ride up at all, and I found it stayed pretty secure throughout all my rides.
The sweater color I chose was fudge brown and it really was a beautiful color, perfect for fall and winter riding. It is also available in other colors such as plum purple, mint green, French blue and black. I was worried that with such a light color you might see sweat marks (which I have with the brand’s summer shirts), but I was pleasantly surprised that no marks appeared on the shirt. The shirt retails for £120, which I think is pretty reasonable for a long sleeve shirt in today’s market, but remember to size up when buying.
Chroma insulated unisex vest
An essential for staying warm in autumn and winter is layering, and I found the Chroma vest to be an essential for riding in the colder months, especially as the front panel and collar are insulated. Universal Colors says the gym uses Comfortemp Phase Change Lattice Insulation which allows you to use your own body temperature to regulate your temperature, absorbing and storing heat during hard exertion and then releasing heat when you start to cool down. I really liked the insulated feature of this shirt and found it to be effective at keeping me warm, but not so warm that I was overheating.
Unlike the t-shirt, the vest has a lot of room for movement due to the unisex fit, and the extra small size I wore was just big enough. It also had a slight stretch, which made for more movement and comfort on and off the bike. Unrestricted, I was able to easily reach the three back pockets as well as the secure zippered, waterproof lined pocket. I liked having extra pockets on the vest as it is sometimes difficult to easily reach items in the sweater pockets when there are other layers on top. It also packs up nicely and stores easily in your shirt pocket.
The Universal Colors branding on the back is a nice addition to the gym look, and having a shade similar to the gym color is very minimal. I chose to try the almond beige color which I really liked, but it also comes in a variety of colors including lilac, gray and teal. It retails for £155, which is a steep price for an item like a gilet, but it’s very versatile and I’ve found myself reaching for it over the past couple of months, whether it’s to put on a little extra of a t-shirt or as an additional layer. between my t-shirt and jacket on those cool winter days.
I really enjoyed wearing the Universal Colors AW23 kit; not only was it stylish on the bike, but it also performed well in changeable weather conditions and during winter rides. The total cost is £435, which is definitely an investment if you buy all three pieces together, but you could wear each of the items through autumn, winter and spring, getting more use out of each piece. If I had to recommend one item, it would definitely be the tights with bibs. I really enjoyed wearing them; they were comfortable, warm, splash proof and allowed me to enjoy riding in the colder months.