Test Ride: MAAP Cycling Apparel

A few of us here at the shop have had a chance to try out some of MAAP’s current kit, including the new Pro Bib Short and their Encore Pro Base Jersey. Here are a few initial impressions of the latest appareal brand to join the Mellow Johnny's family.

MAAP Cycling Apparel Review

Fairly new to our shop is MAAP Cycling Apparel. MAAP is a Melbourne, Australia, based brand founded in 2014 by a group of cyclists, designers, and folks that worked in technical apparel design and fashion. MAAP supports a number of professional athletes and teams including Tom Pidcock and the MAAP-Enve team. But whether you're racing or riding for fun, like we like to do, you're likely to find much of MAAP's line interesting and desirable. A few of us here at the shop have had a chance to try out some of MAAP’s current kit, including the new Pro Bib Short and their Encore Pro Base Jersey. Here are a few initial impressions after a quick spin.

MAAP’s Pro Bib Short

MAAP's Pro Bib Short Review

MAAP’s Pro Bib Short is classic and simple. At first touch, the materials in both the main leg panels and bib straps feel thick and somewhat stiff. While I was worried that the on-the-hanger feel would translate to a lack of comfort, I was pleasantly surprised in how well the bibs fit. The 4D stretch fabric is very elastic and the on-the-body feel is quite supple. And the wide and wide-set in the front bibs straps are remarkably comfortable and soft against the skin and hold the shorts portion of the bibs in place well. Against the back, the bib straps are fairly narrow set, which adds to the comfort level.

The leg panels are cut for performance, most comfortable in the riding position as compared to walking around the coffee shop. And there’s seemingly a level of compression to the shorts, that I didn't mind, but that Will, who also tried out a set of bibs from MAAP, was not a fan of at least in terms of the leg grippers on his pair. On the Pro Bib Short the gripper is narrow and elastic, and I actually found myself wishing it was ever so slightly wider, but not so narrow as to be annoying while riding. To me the race-cut nature of the piece, the fabrics, and the architecture of the Pro Bib Short results in bibs that move with you like a second skin as quality bibs should. But, buyer beware, they are snug, race-cut bibs.

The Pro Bib Short chamois is microfiber and quite soft and supple to the touch. The padding itself is dual density, heavier where you want it, thinner where you need less. To the touch the foam springs back quickly. Time and more rides will tell if the “liveliness” of the chamois will hold. As far as placement, the chamois seemed positioned inside the short well, at least as best one can tell from a single ride.

MAAP's Encore Pro Base Jersey

MAAP's Encore Pro Base Jersey Review

The Encore Pro Base jersey is top notch. Cassandra tried out the women's version of this jersey a week or so ago and found it really great. And Will who like me tried this particular jersey said that MAAP "nailed it.” The fabric across the chest and back is incredibly soft and lightweight and moves moisture off the skin well—at least as well as can be determined on a cool spring day on one ride. The zipper is a high-quality locking one and the three pockets across the back are placed fairly well above the elastic waistband to reduce sagging, although the pockets' height can make them a bit tough to reach. There are small reflective logo touches on the Encore Pro Base jersey, which were welcome on my otherwise all black kit.

The most modern touches on MAAP’s Encore Pro Base top is the increasingly popular low collar, which honestly I’m not a fan of personally--it’s just a style thing—and the sleeves, which are amazing. First, the sleeves are an on-trend longer cut short-sleeve design comparable to other brands’ aero jersey offerings. But the material that MAAP uses for the sleeves on this jersey is quite interesting as well. The sleeves are essentially a waffle texture, sits well against the arm without riding up, and while I’d prefer a laser cut sleeve, the hem is flat stitched and minimally intrusive. “The sleeves are great,” said Will, “very comfortable.”

MAAP's Outline Vest

Cassandra also wore the Outline Vest a week ago and thought it nice and well fitting. And given the slightly cooler temperatures this past weekend, I also got to try out MAAP’s Outline vest, a piece I didn’t think I’d get to wear until the fall. Wind and rain resistant materials coupled with a sturdy zipper make this vest, like others, a must have piece. The tall collar does the work of the collar not on the Encore Pro Base jersey and is particularly functional at keeping cool breezes at bay. I did think the back was cut a bit long. Then again added coverage from wheel spray off wet roads can be nice. However, the Outline vest wasn't quite snug enough to keep from flapping in the wind around the top of the shoulders, a common issue with vests from many makers.

I would describe MAAP’s overall aesthetic as one of refined boldness and as definitely influenced by classic European racing. But it’s also modern, particularly MAAP’s brand typeface, colors, prints, and patterns. Put another way, and setting aside my nearly all-black demo kit, it’s comfortably between the over-the-top European Continental pro team kits with intense hues and loud graphics and logos, and a stodgy old pair of solid bibs and a muted jersey.

With women's and men's pieces now in stock, come by the Austin shop and check out the newest items from MAAP's line. You can also find the collection in our on line store.


Pictured are MAAP's Pro Bib Short, Encore Pro Base Jersey, and Outline Vest all in medium.