Pas Normal Studios takes their road clothing line to new levels of performance with the new tech-heavy Mechanism Pro family of road race-ready cycling kit. Incredibly light, aerodynamically optimized, and compressive in just the right places, this new Mechanism Pro was created to feel like a second skin. For now, Mechanism Pro is limited to a pair of lightweight bib shorts, a lightweight jersey, a superlight zip-less mesh jersey, and a mesh baselayer, but we expect this pro-line to expand over time.
Pas Normal Studios Mechanism Pro road race cycling kit
In their new PNS headquarters in a renovated weapons factory in Copenhagen, we got a sneak peek at an all-new Pas Normal Studios Mechanism Pro line of pro race-ready cycling kit that the Danish clothing brand sees as their stepping stone to move up into the professional road peloton.
Founded with an international cycling club ethos as an alternative to what they saw as uninspiring cycling clothing on the market just over 8 years ago, the brand is growing by leaps and bounds. And it looks like the kit is evolving just as fast.
What started out as a single private event jersey outsourced to Giordana, now culminates with custom-developed materials from an all-new aero stretch-woven fabric, race-tuned compression, and structured mesh to optimize fit and performance at the absolute peak level of cycling, and all made in-house by Pas Normal.
So what’s actually new?
The core of Pas Normal’s new Mechanism Pro line is all-new proprietary fabrics. And that’s what actually makes it both unique and interesting. Instead of just taking existing performance fabrics and adapting them to tailored cuts, Pas Normal worked with their fabric mills in northern Italy to create all-new lightweight 4-way stretch woven synthetic materials. In fact, it’s quite similar to what Rapha did with their Shadow fabric a few years back, but the Pas Normal Mechanism Pro solution takes it a step further – creating something a lot lighter, more breathable, and with a woven texture for improved aerodynamics.
The result is a comfortable compressive fit that hugs your body on the bike, wicks well & dries incredibly fast, and is said to be abrasion resistant. The fabric also integrates grippers for a feel that simply stays in place and raw laser-cut edges that transition smoothly to your skin.
Mechanism Pro Jersey
The regular Mechanism Pro jersey is the highlight of the new second-skin line-up, and one of the lightest aero jerseys available. The race fit is based on Pas Normal’s standard Mechanism kit, but with a more aggressive cut for a forward position on the bike. It gets wind-tripping textured aero ridges around your arms, the sides of your hips, across the shoulders & lower back to reduce drag, while optimizing seam placement for compressive support and a fit that follows the body as you move. Made in Portugal from 3 different polyamide/elastane stretch-woven fabrics, the ultralight jersey features a classic 3-pocket layout, a YKK zipper, laser-cut sleeves without gripper & laser cut hem with integrated woven-in silicone-free rear gripper.
All-in all, the minimalist $245 / 220€ Mechanism Pro jersey looks very simple in classic black or almost translucent white (for either men or women), but the unique fabric details pop out in the men’s Mahogany red with orange) or the men’s & women’s Earth two-tone green.
Mechanism Pro Bib Shorts
The $325 / 300€ Mechanism Pro Bib Shorts are equally techy sharing similar ultralight 4-way stretch woven fabrics and more supportive ‘zoned’ compression. Pas Normal calls the compression an evolution of that found in their standard Mechanism bibs to enhance blood flow & muscle support, but these shorts are in fact compressive while feeling less tight & less restrictive than their predecessors, a testament to the upgraded “structurally-mapped” stretch-woven fabric and more advanced 7-panel main body cut.
The bibs get new white mesh & elastic bib straps with an offset rea radio pocket, silicone-free woven-in grippers at the raw cut leg openings, carry over the stretchy 4-layer light chamois pad of the standard Mechanism & Escapism bibs, and are also made in Portugal in black or Earth khaki in men or women-specific cuts.
Mechanism Pro Baselayer & Zipless Jersey
The Pas Normal Mechanism Pro Baselayer & Zipless Jersey are effectively the same thing – a structured knit polyamide/lycra mesh baselayer developed to regulate your temperature by pulling sweat away from your skin and allowing passing air to evaporate it for a cooling effect. The Pas Normal solution uses alternating bands of smaller & larger openings in the mesh to give it structure and make it conform to your body.
The $80 / 75€ Mechanism Pro Baselayer is a simple sleeveless affair with a men’s cut only, made in Lithuania in black or white.
The $220 / 200€ Pas Normal Mechanism Pro Zipless Jersey is effectively the same mesh fabric transformed into a ridable jersey on its own. It adds sleeves, a hem gripper, and a traditional 3 rear pocket layout in an ultralight jersey that you can pull over your head, made in Portugal. The men’s-only jersey is incredibly light for riding on the hottest summer days, comes in Celeste or Earth greens for a bit of modesty since they are still just mesh, and does NOT offer UV protection so requires wearing sunscreen if you don’t want to get a weird sunburn.
First Rides Review
So far, I’ve had a chance to ride the new Pas Normal Mechanism Pro kit racing around the warm dry air of the indoor velodrome of Denmark’s oldest cycling club, causally riding sunny spring roads in the Czech mountains, and an all-day cool-weather gravel ride in southern Poland. All three have highlighted some of the new kit’s best features, and together hint at its race-ready versatility.
The kit is also incredibly lightweight. My size Large (I’m 185cm & 82kg) Mechanism Pro Jersey truly weighs just 68g, L bib shorts at only 152g, L baselayer at 58g, and L zipless jersey at only 87g.
In the warm and dry air of the velodrome, I was amazed at how quickly the lightweight jersey wicked sweat away from my body and instantly dried. I sweat a lot and continuously. And after about an hour of chasing each other in steep-banked wooden circles around the 250m Ballerup Super Arena track, the pads of my helmet were soaked, my jersey & shorts were bone dry with just a hint of sweat on the chamois.
Outside on home roads & gravel trails, I quickly was reminded of how thin the jersey fabric was on a cool morning descent (paired with the classic Mechanism bibs shorts and insulated leg warmers in these few photos.) A lot of air flowing over those textured side panels does a good job of cooling. But once muscles warmed up, I was comfortable all day even in low double-digit °C weather.
Of note: The Mechanism Pro kit does not say PNS on it anywhere, thankfully!
Wearing the mesh Pro baselayer under the Mechanism Pro jersey in more humid riding conditions at 16-20°C, as I would sweat I could feel some moisture held against my lower back doing a good job of evaporative cooling. I never felt sweaty, and finished a 5-hour ride with dry shorts and a mostly dry jersey & baselayer, just slightly damp in the lower back under my full pockets.
Overall, I’d rate the Mechanism Pro wicking & drying in the top-5 of any kit I’ve ridden in the last decade. And I look forward to proper hot weather to see how the jersey, and just the mesh zipless jersey fares in intense heat. Plus, while a lot of “pro-level” kit feels overly compressive, this Mechanism Pro kit is more gently compressive. It’s simply comfortable to wear and ride in.