Review: adistar CD.Zero3 Bib Shorts and Jersey
The new adidas CD.Zero3 bib shorts and short sleeve jersey have got to be up there on the 'cycling fashion' scale, and they're also up there for design features, quality and fit. Whilst it has only recently been getting warm enough to test these lightweight products in the UK, I feel I've done enough miles in them now, to cast my vote on this latest edition to the adistar range...
The adidas CD.Zero3 Bib Shorts
Bib shorts are perhaps the most difficult piece of cycling apparel to get right. The material needs to be light and flexible enough to breath and not restrict movement; yet weighty enough to cover your muscles and provide decent durability. The bibs themselves, need to be tough enough they won't stretch over time; yet not so heavy-duty they leave red indents on your shoulders from their tightness. The pad needs to be comfortable and long lasting. Then the fit, of course, needs to be good.
With so many components to consider, it is no wonder that there are plenty of shorts on the market that don't really make the grade. With adidas taking the aero/lightweight/high quality path on the adistar CD.Zero3 bib shorts, I was keen to see how well they stood up to the test of time...
The first thing you notice with these bibs, is that fit and weight have clearly been ranked as the top two targets; adidas call it FORMOTION®. The lower legs feature an ultra wide elastic gripper band, whilst the rest of the short is form-hugging and aerodynamically focussed. Weight has been targeted in areas like the bib straps, which have been pared back to just the elastic mesh, and are lower cut than is the norm, to reduce material and increase ventilation. The result of this focus, is that once on, the adistar shorts look and feel like a great fitting pair of bibs, and there is little excess material or creasing to be seen.
Out on the bike, the chamois performs well. It is a Comp HP pad from Elastic Interface, which is designed to give up to six hours of comfort in the saddle. I certainly found that to be true, and have used these shorts for 90 mile rides without the slightest hint of discomfort.
The CD.Zero3 fabric seems to be performing well, too. It is branded as a compression fabric, and without doubt it fits very well and is keeping its shape. The lower cut straps at the front and centrally aligned back strap, provide a free feeling and are great in hotter weather (I tested these on several Mallorcan rides).
If I have one criticism, it is of the white leg grippers; which aside from being rather difficult to keep clean (especially in Mallorcan dust), threaten to lose their elasticity rather quickly. I've seen fabrics like this before on leg grippers, and after multiple washes their thinner nature can lead to them becoming wavy and unsightly. That said, these are holding up well at the moment, and any real fit-loss is only likely to be seen after several months.
Overall, these are an interesting and impressive new short design. With a focus securely on fit and minimalist weight, they're perfect for the approaching *he says optimistically* summer. The strap design is great for hot conditions, and the fabric weight is breathable and close fitting, to give a great look and feel. The pad is spot on, and although the leg gripper may grey a bit over time, they're holding up well despite my initial doubt of their multi-wash durability. They're not cheap, retailing at £120 RRP, but they're high German quality.
If you're looking for a pair of lightweight summer shorts, these are worth considering.
The adidas CD.Zero3 Short Sleeve Jersey
To accompany the look of the black and white CD.Zero3 bib shorts, there is also the adistar jersey. Its lightweight design could be perfect for the next heatwave (more weather optimism here).
The jersey, much like the shorts, has a firm focus on fit and dynamic movement. With a low cut drop tail, a strong elastic hem gripper and wide sleeve cuff grippers; this is a top that is made to fit close and stay securely in place, even when you put down the power.
It is made from a lightweight breathable mesh, and is quite definitely a summer piece of kit. The material allows heat to dissipate and wicks sweat away from the body, leaving you comfortable. The full-length zipper is also a clear benefit when you really need to open things up and cool off.
Pockets come in the form of three well sized open pockets, plus an additional small zippered pocket on the left hand side that is ideal for valuables.
The jersey comes in either all-black, or black upper and white lowers. I opted for the latter, and it's a smart looking garment. You probably don't want to be wearing it on a wet road day, as the white lower-back may get a bit splattered, but it is washing very well on a standard 30'C wash.
Much like the adistar shorts, this is a great performer. The wide grippers on the sleeves keep things in check, and provide a definite aero look and feel. The pockets are practical and well thought out, and the fit is form hugging and stylish.
Coming in at £80 RRP, it's towards the upper end of the price spectrum for a jersey, but with its aero profile and long list of high-end features (including wind-tunnel tested fabrics!), it warrants it, I think.
Overall, a great top to complete the adistar look this summer. If you're in need of a lightweight and stylish new set of summer gear, which stands out from the crowd, the adidas CD.Zero3 may well be a good option for you.
Shop the adidas range at adidasspecialitysports.co.uk (Link)
Shop the adidas range at Wiggle.co.uk (Link)
N.B on Sizing: I opted for a size small jersey and shorts in this adistar kit. I was between sizes in all honesty, and they are both a little bit on the snug side, especially on the short and sleeve grippers. If you're on the border between sizes, I would recommend opting the larger of the two.