Bike kits are moving away from the blocky patterns of yesteryear in favor of stylish, muted designs. Aside from style, many kit makers are adding side pockets to further extend the capability of the jersey, thus allowing you to haul more and stay out longer. With those two goals in mind, Louis Garneau has introduced their new Equipe kit, which I’ve been testing for both road and MTB use.
2017 Louis Garneau Equipe Bib Shorts and Jersey Features:
- Zircon, Diamond and AirFit Mesh fabric construction
- Looser-fitting than the race-focused line
- Three jersey pockets with a side stash (Enviro) pocket
- Waterproof liner in center pocket
- Motion Airgel chamois with beveled edges
- Bib shorts feature flat lock stitching throughout
- Wide, laser-cut leg cuffs
- Available in four matching jersey/bib colors (Minimalist tested)
- MSRP: $99 (jersey) and $149 (bib shorts)
Stylish Equipe jersey and bib shorts
Personally, I’m loving all the stripes and such that are appearing on many kits these days, so when I saw the mixed blue striped pattern of the new Equipe jersey and bibs, I had to give it a try. Style is personal, but of all the color options, I’m quite fond of it.
Fit is critical, so when sizing is generous, it kind of throws me for a loop. My typical large/large didn’t quite work out here. The large bibs fit well overall, but the large jersey was simply too big on my 5’11” 170 lb. body. After a quick swap for a medium jersey, I was set with a much more streamlined fit.
On the bike, everything stays put quite nicely. You can tell that Louis Garneau spends significant time ensuring their kits function well and the Equipe jersey and bib shorts are evidence that they are masters of their craft. Historically, my favorite kits have been from Garneau and this one comes close to that while keeping things on the affordable side. Price is a key selling point of the Equipe line and at $99/$149, it’s certainly not a budget kit, but for the quality on display here, that’s a solid price.
On long rides, the chamois performed well, but not quite on par with the best ones on the market. It is a fine chamois, but there are certainly better ones available. Also, the comfortable bib straps always kept everything in place and never chaffed in any way. Compression is nice and the wide leg openings keep in place without any nasty grippy rubber.
The jersey does have a generous fit, so size down if you want a normal fit. Aside from that, the pockets do seem to be a little narrow and lack pleats at the bottom to carry larger items. The center pocket is nearly-impossible to reach into due to the narrow width as my hand can’t gain entry. The Enviro pocket on the right hip is a really nice touch as I used it often to stash consumed gel packets. In the center, you will find a waterproof phone sleeve but I didn’t use it much since that pocket was so narrow and I usually carry my pocket on the right side (which works dandy here).
Zippers are important and I found the front zipper to be easily-moved up/down while on-the-go. Additionally, the medium collar height is nice for all-around use. Overall, it is a really comfortable and stylish kit that breathes well in warm weather.
- Really excellent price point overall
- Good chamois for long rides
- Fabrics and straps are comfy next-to-skin
- Zipper is easily-moved in the saddle
- Trash pocket is convenient
- Love the stripes
- Believe them when they say the jersey fit is oversized and size down for a proper fit
- Middle pocket is so narrow it’s almost inaccessible in the saddle
The Bottom Line: Louis Garneau Equipe Jersey/Bibs
Busy jerseys are out and muted, classic styles are in. I’m absolutely in love with the striped pattern on this kit. I’ve used it for both MTB and road and it’s been durable and comfortable for both pursuits. The chamois is good, but there are better (not at this price point) and that middle jersey pocket is really small, but it’s hard not to like this kit for the overall value.