Northwave Extreme Graphic jersey and bibshorts, and Aircrosser helmet (2014)

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This season, I had the chance to wear, test, take to the limit and push some Northwave cycling apparel close to its breaking point. Even if the pieces of equipment I use still have a long way to go until they will be taken out of service, enough miles were rode to form a complete picture about what these 3 products can offer.

Northwave Extreme Graphic jersey and bibshorts

Manufactured out of a light fabric, the jersey had its fair share of washing after being taken through most conditions that cycling in spring and summer imply, but didn’t give way to wear. At least, it showed no obvious signs of it. Also, I can safely state that the Stretchlight fabric is resistant and you can count on it for at least a full season, while the seams and the zipper both feature the same high-quality, none of them showing the slightest trace of deterioration. Stretchlight also helps evaporate moisture quickly, because I can hardly remember moments when the jersey was wet, and it also features mesh sleeves and side panels, that enhance air flow in a manner that improves thermal comfort. In what regards back pockets, Extreme Graphic has the typical 3, and an extra one situated on the middle regular pocket, that is smaller and features a small zipper, which means you can store there valuables, like money or your phone, as long as they fit in there.

As for the bibshorts, I highly appreciated the fact that at each leg’s end there was a wide stretch of elastical fabric that sorrounds the thighs, instead of the typical narrow and thight band that usually leaves traces and squeezes your legs. Northwave’s solution, found also on other high-end pieces of cycling apparel, has a soft touch and feel that provides extra comfort while riding. The bibs themselves are manufactured by sewing together several panels of fabric, and this makes for a very natural feeling once you pulled them on. Also the chamois turns out to be a quality one, even if at first glance you wouldn’t tell, providing comfort, and perfectly integrating with the rest of the garment and your body, in the same time. As for opinions on the visual aspect, I found it rather simple, and appealing in the same time, but if tastes differ, and they do, you have at least other 3 colour schemes available.

Rating: 4/5

Northwave Aircrosser helmet

Featuring very efficient ventilation, Aircrosser provides the head with a constant airflow, highly regarded especially on hot days. Maybe a direct implication of the generous air vents, or just another feat achieved by the manufacturer is the gram count of this protection device, which tips the scale at 250 grams. It further includes an efficient, but not revolutionary retention system, holding the helmet in the place you designated, and perhaps it is also worth mentioning there is a wide array of possible adjustments. Aircrosser features Northwave’s Hi-Eps technology, which implies using microscopic air pockets that optimally absorb the impact forces during a crash, according to the manufacturer’s statement. Well, I didn’t get the chance to test this claim (and personally hope I never will), but the helmet seems strong overall, and my assessment is, if it already features superior technology in other key places, it might as well do the same in this one. You will also find washing the padding easy, as is removing it, and in terms of visual appearance, it’s also up to you to decide. I personally liked the rear part of the Aircrosser, with its very classy and elaborate air vent layout, but couldn’t feel the same way about the front end.

Rating: 4/5

 

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