If you’re a pro cycling fan you’ve heard of Alberto Contador; you’re probably also aware of the various incarnations of the Caja Rural team (currently Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) roughing up the big boys in the Vuelta Espana; you might even remember Italian Ivan Basso, former Grand Tour winner and now blueberry farmer.
They wear Gobik cycling kit.
Conceived in 2010, I only came across this Spanish brand in the last year or two. And then, as is the way in our social media saturated world, they appear everywhere, all at once, all the time.
And their output is slick.
And so you are wondering: is it any good?
I gave it a try during the final few weeks of our cycling summer of 2020; a time here in the UK where the sun often shone. Not quite viva Espana! but definitely long days, short sleeves, and big miles.
I capped it off mid-September with a 100 mile loop of Lancashire where I asked myself the very deliberate question: is it comfortable, on a big day, for six hours in the saddle?
Because you can only truly judge new kit after a BIG day.
(Images via Gobik.com)
But before that, first impressions…
I’ve learnt to trust my gut. I pulled on the ‘savage red’ version of their CX Pro Jersey (£71) paired with the Absolute Bib Shorts (£100) and I waited, briefly.
And then it came.
Lovely fit and hug of the material. The gory red of the sleeves and those dots and dashes of colour. Minimal, easing towards some kind of digital, electronic aesthetic, perhaps?
I felt compelled to get out in the sun, right now, and ride!
Always a good sign.
Sadly, we haven’t all got a Contador-esque physique. To try a lightweight, second-skin of a jersey as modelled by our pal Alberto felt like a risk. It’s light, and flyweight, and figure hugging, but it is designed for real people. I’m 1.82 metres and 80 kilos and the size Large fits a treat.
Bib-shorts, as you’ll be aware, take a few rides to reveal themselves. They shape and reshape as you rack up the miles, before settling.
On those first, short rides the Absolute bibs immediately felt good. With a tight compression effect and a nice long length to the leg. Gripping down towards the knee and looking pro. Great texture and detail.
A perfect fit at size Medium (for my 32 inch waist).
At this point I checked the website because the price didn’t seem quite right.
Around £70 for the jersey and £100 for the bibs? Surely too cheap? Coming in at these less than premium prices I figured out quickly that Gobik are delivering quality and value by the absolute bucketful! Right in the sweet spot!
So, the big six-hour day.
I’m happy to report the bib-shorts and I remain the best of friends; a close personal relationship consummated on the roads of northern England. No rubbing or chafing, no hoiking or pulling them into position, and an all-round dependable and comfortable experience.
Easily on a par with other, more expensive shorts. I will happily reach for these for my next big ride. They are super-comfortable and look cool-as-f***.
I mean, what else do you want in your shorts?
And the jersey was light, airy, and coped easily with the abuse of many hours out on the road. It looked great and turned heads.
So…my experience? My summary? My findings?
This is not fake news. Gobik kit is as desirable as their Instagram feed would have you believe.
Contador, Basso, et al, are definitely onto something!