Own-brand cycling kit FWE has been designed with input from staff at Evans Cycles. We review the jersey and bib shorts.
FWE cycle kit is very reasonably priced and would be ideal for newcomers to cycling, or riders who are looking for replacement kit that is budget-friendly.
Yet, for the price, the clothing is surprisingly well designed and manufactured.Â In fact, staff at Evans Cycles haveÂ had a part to play in the design of this own-brand clothing range for both men and women.
What is FWE?
FWE is taken from the original name of the bike shop, F.W. Evans Cycles. BK is also significant because the shorts, both men’s and womenâ€™s versions, were tested on one of Evans staff’s favourite trails in the Surrey Hills called Barry Knows Best, hence BK.
Lunchtime Ride is shortened to LTR and refers to the times staff sacrifice their sandwiches to go out and test bike kit.
On test: FWE BK bib shorts
More cyclists are realising the benefits of bib shorts, including:
- A better fit: Bib shorts generally feel more comfortable than waist highs.
- No gap: Bib shorts reduce the chance of a gap of bare skin between the waist of the shorts and the hem of your jersey.
- Warmth: In winter, there is nothing worse than a cold lower back when you wear waist high shorts.
- No digging in: Bib shorts do not dig in or pinch at the waist.
- No slippage: Bib shorts stay up.
I like the length of the shorts. In summer, I prefer the leg hem to be around halfway along my thigh rather than close to my knee or nearer the top of my leg. The shorts length is comfortable and practical.
The leg gripper is also nice and wide. A narrow leg grip can dig into the thigh and feel too tight, while also allowing skin/flesh overspill, which looks horrible. Having a wide leg grip keeps the legs of the shorts in place without digging into the skin.
I have noticed that leg grippers have become far wider in recent years and these shorts reflect this more comfortable trend.
On the label it says the main body of the shorts is made from Polyamide/Elastane. It feels silky smooth on the skin and lightweight.Â The multi-panel design also gives support in the right areas, such as thighs and butt.
The straps of the shorts are slightly different in the male and female FWE BK shorts. They sit nicely on the shoulders but in the womenâ€™s version they are wide enough to accommodate our fuller chests. Itâ€™s a simple design and works well for me.
One thing Iâ€™m not so keen on is the padded insert. Â The inserts are different in the male and female shorts to accommodate physical differences. However, the padding feels a bit bulky for me and I would prefer something a bit less plump. I imagine this will soften and flatten over time though so it would not put me off buying these shorts.
The padded insert is made from anti-bacterial Coolmax fabric to eliminate the bacteria that can build up after hours in the saddle.
There are a couple of thoughtful extra features, too, such as flatlock seams for comfort against the skin and reflective trims on the bottom edge of the leg of the shorts. Evans Cycles could have added more reflective detailing but this is a small quibble in a pair of full-featured bib shorts that sell for less than Â£35.
FWE LTR Short Sleeve Jersey
The FWE LTR menâ€™s short sleeve jersey and FWE LTR womenâ€™s short sleeve jerseyÂ are designed to offer a â€œclassicâ€ fitÂ rather than a super tight racing fit. This means a looser fit, which many cyclists will like.
Again the price tag is very good at Â£29.99. For this you get lots of great features including:
- Wide sleeve hems for good comfort
- Silicone grippers at the back and base of the jersey
- Back pockets, including a zipped security pocket
- Reflective details
There are cooling and warming fabrics in different areas of the jersey. The front is a more solid knit to cope with windchill, while the back and sides have an aerated mesh fabric so better cooling and sweat wicking.
There are two colourways, black and blue for men and black or red for women.
The jerseys are easy to wear and very practical. They look stylish in a retro kind of way and at Â£29.99 they offer excellent value for money. Only time will tell how they cope with the rigours of Scottish cycling weather and repeated washes.