I attended a Pedal Mafia ride held in Roula on the West Side of Manhattan a few years ago. I am eternally amused by this ride. I don’t think I owned a PM back then – if I did, it was their artist series unicorn jersey, which I still have and still wear from time to time even though I never found the bibs for that. Later I received a custom Pedal Mafia kit from a friend (#sayitwithyourlegs) which is still one of my favorites for fit and comfort. Clothing has changed a lot since then; the new Pedal Mafia kit has kept up with the times – there are no longer leg bands and separate sleeve grippers, and the old-school perforated polyester outer fabric has been replaced with softer polyester knits.
Advantages: racing cut par excellence, discreet branding
The inconvenients: brand silicone sleeve grip torn after 5 uses
Size weight: Extra small/117g
The PMCC jersey has the race cut style. Weights are provided to get an idea of the feel and substance of the clothes. I like the pattern, with longer sleeves and a low collar with a slight v to keep the pressure of the zipper on the rider’s throat. The jersey additionally benefits from a zippered garage at the neck and a waterproof pocket for valuables at the rear right. The main zipper is a “Riplock”, which means that when the zipper pull is pointing up, the zipper can be opened from the tension of the fabric, and when the zipper pull is pointing down, the zipper is locked; he will keep the jersey closed. Nice feature for those who use it, and I’ve seen it on other jerseys like Biehler, but I don’t want to have to adjust the orientation of the pull to prevent my jersey from opening – if I show my bra I want it to be intentional.
The pockets are deep and they are patched as opposed to bellows pockets so they lay flat when empty. They’re also made of a less sheer fabric than the jersey, so you can store a fair amount in the pockets without everyone behind you on the road knowing what Clif bar flavor you’re carrying. I was surprised to see gathers on the pockets as it disrupts the otherwise smooth look of the kit, but it is functional.
As for the sleeves, the Pedal Mafia brand silicone grippers do their job almost too well (as long as they last); I had a dripping sweat line under that silicone when I took the shirt off, which scared me a little as I don’t usually sweat in a line around my biceps. Maybe the printed brand is supposed to have better breathability than a solid band of silicone, but that wasn’t my experience. Not sure if they wanted the dart to be visible from the outside, but it is – the sleeve fabric stretches over the print underneath, creating texture at the end of the sleeve which somehow spoils the stylish look. And worse: the delicate silicone lettering on one of the grippers ripped on the fifth wear, so now I have to deal with the broken section to get this sleeve flat.
When I get monochromatic jerseys like this, I look for a crisp, current fit, and for the little touches that make a jersey better than basic, like the seams, the zipper and the zipper garage, and in this case , that unfortunate silicone sleeve. This is in addition to quality assurance, customer support and delivery time; It’s the palpable differences that separate premium brands like Pedal Mafia from budget brands, as well as AliExpress jersey smugglers like Runchita. That’s on top of the brand cachet, of course. The choice of paying more than $100 for these differences is up to the rider.
The PMCC jersey is meant to be minimalist, sleek and comfortable, and it is, except for the darts. I feel the jersey is better overall than these clamps – otherwise the PMCC jersey is attractive, with the features a rider needs to comfortably ride 100 miles a day.
Advantages: High waist, excellent chamois
The inconvenients: Chamois marking
Size weight: Small/164g
They don’t break the mold with the bib platform: it’s a racerback fit where the straps are elasticated bands and the bib body is a perforated mesh, both hued in a rich black. The silicone leg grippers are wide and integrated into the leg panels, and therefore no sausage leg and no painful seam around the leg. These clamps are meaty and tight though. I was wondering if I could have gotten a little more comfort in the leg with a bigger size, also a little longer (a problem only for “The Talls”, since I’m 5’11”), but a size any larger would leave the buff moving, which I definitely don’t want since the fit in that area of my body was ok.
The density of the five-layer foam chamois is excellent, but it features what looks like a brand name iron-on. Based on the information they provide on their bibs, I know the company takes their kit seriously, but I don’t understand substantial printing or branding on a chamois, because literally no one other than the wearer will never see it. And since it looks like an iron, I’m afraid the thing will rub on my skin as the bibs age. It’s a shame, as they’re great standard bibs for long rides without that little quibble (which I hope will prove unfounded).
Overall, Pedal Mafia’s premium collection is stylish and will keep you comfortable all day long. But there are a few small details – like the iron on chamois and branded silicone on the arms – that surprised me to see such serious riders. For fit and quality, the garments still score a 4 out of 5. This flattering cut looks like something a fit man who has a good relationship with his suit would wear. It’s a nice everyday kit with a bib that seems well made to last as long as the chamois survives.