Test riding Champion System

May 31, 2014
Category: General 

During the recent Amgen Tour of California, Champion System not only provided the race leaders’ jerseys and skinsuits, but they outfitted the entire race staff in Champion System sportswear each day so I got hooked up nicely. But in my 30 years (gulp) as a cyclist, I had never ridden in one of their kits. Champion System’s marketing mavens Kelly and Katy generously sent me home with the great-looking specially-designed “California Bear” kit that was a hot-seller at the Lifestyle Festival. I took it out for a couple rides and it’s...well...a champion.

Donning a fresh kit always feels good. The bib shorts fit like a second skin providing support to muscles. They gripped my thighs and held on from start to finish. The length was perfect – an inch and a half above the knee. I liked that the chamois was sufficiently thinner in some places and abundantly plush where it is most needed: where the body makes contact with the saddle.  

The jersey’s CS Tech fabric kept me cool while climbing on a hot California day. It’s an exclusive polyester microfiber blend that wicked away the moisture while providing 100% permanent UV protection from the harmful rays of the sun up to UPF50+. The three ample-sized pockets on the back of the jersey easily fit my cell, keys, a couple of tubes, pump and energy bars without feeling bulky or crammed and were easily reachable while reaching back while in riding position. My only criticism is something that could easily be remedied: I’m 5’5” and 135 lbs. and typically wear size small yet the small jersey is too long for my torso requiring me to fold the excess length under. I’m betting that the extra small jersey would be an ideal fit so depending on the length of your torso, you may also need to size down.

The colors are vibrant and made me feel visible to motorists on the road. The Champion System kit felt fast and aero, and if it feels fast, you tend to ride fast.