With so many clothing brands already vying for floor space in shops across the U.S., the thought of yet another company might be hard to process. On the outside, Alé Bike wear looks like a lot of high end cycling kits. It boasts interesting design, clever use of technical fabrics, and some of the best construction methods which come straight from Italy. Then what will set Alé apart from the rest of the crowd? The price.
Don’t let the affordability fool you though, Alé Bike Wear looks just as good as some of their high priced competitors. And it should – there is a good chance they made those, too. Well, Alé Bike Wear’s parent company APG, that is. As the clothing equivalent of a bicycle component manufacturer introducing their own house brand of components, Alé is poised be quite competitive when it comes to selling you your next kit…
Like most clothing brands it seems, Alé offers a production line as well as a full custom program. Spanning nearly their entire range, teams or anyone else looking for custom apparel can work with APG to produce their ideal kit like the DIVO bikes jersey above. Alé’s standard line includes the Plus, Ultra, and top of the line PRR or Pro Racing Reasearch. Across their entire line each piece of men’s clothing is also available in a woman’s cut. Available with 2 hour, 4 hour, and 8 hour (custom only) chamois, APG prides themselves on their construction of each garment and it shows.
At the top, PRR uses carbon stitching, fast drying carbon fabric, and their LG gripper system to create a kit that feels as good as it looks. The Krakatoa pattern in the photos above has a decidedly Italian flare, though there are a few other patterns that are slightly more subdued. Provided with a test kit including the Krakatoa kit, cycling vest, and arm and leg warmers (not pictured), I can attest to the fact that it really does feel like a much more expensive kit. Standard retail pricing on the PRR Krakatoa is $150 for the jersey, and $160 for the shorts plus $140 for the matching vest. After a few warmer Winter rides, the LG grippers and bib harness are the real standouts, though the chamois gets high marks for going unnoticed.
Completely new for 2015 is an addition to the line called PRR 2.0. Modeled here by Alé Bike Wear President Pietro Caucchioli, PRR 2.0 was created to use dyed fabrics for a lighter weight construction. Because of the desire to make it lighter the jersey and shorts do not use carbon fabrics and instead use fabrics chosen for their breathability. The construction has changed as well with all seams now on the inside of the garment to reduce drag, and there are less of them. The sleeves have been designed with a rib knit elastic to keep them tight and aerodynamic. Pockets are positioned on a longer tail for easier access, and the jersey includes reflective piping to keep you visible.
Similar changes have been made to the PRR 2.0 shorts with a woven crotch area for better breathability while staying durable. Like the PRR, the 2.0 bibs still use a Free System harness for comfortable support and a 4 hour chamois. The PRR 2.0 line will be available later this year.