The prodigious rise of indoor cycling and the eRacing phenomenon as a whole has brought about a burgeoning demand for indoor-specific gear as riders continuously look for ways of staying comfortable while spending time on Zwift or RGT Cycling. We recently tested the NoPinz SubZero indoor cycling kit and felt that while it genuinely aided the indoor experience, and even bolstered on-the-bike performance, it was more aimed at the racer than the casual rider.
La Passione on the other hand has kept things simpler by adopting a more traditional cycling kit design approach, choosing to eschew any special cooling gadgets and focus on lightweight, breathable fabrics instead. With a no-fuss, neutral colour palette coupled with the Italian brand’s trademark premium feel, its new range of indoor-specific garments – dubbed the NDR collection – caters for the cycling spectrum in its entirety.
We put it to the test over the course of December covering everything from Zwift races and workouts to leisurely group rides. Here’s what we thought.
Design and aesthetics
In terms of design, there’s nothing particularly ground-breaking on offer here but that’s part of the appeal – it’s traditional-looking in every sense. We were sent the La Passione NDR jersey and matching NDR bib shorts to test, finished in black which is one of two colour options available (the other being orange).
Comprising highly-breathable ultralight fabric, the shirt and bib shorts incorporate perforated ‘punch holes’ that aid in the cooling process. This attribute also imparts a semi-transparent effect to the jersey, while the bib shorts fittingly only employ this approach on the outer sections of the leg.
The design is simple-yet-elegant and stays true to the company’s sartorial ethos and minimalist approach. The La Passione wordmark logo is emblazoned on the upper right shoulder alongside the collar line and on the lower flanks of each leg. A bonded hem replete with silicon gripper bands hold the jersey firmly in place and nullifies any unwanted pulling.
As expected, the bib shorts are manufactured from premium Italian lycra. They feature a low-cut waist for improved comfort but perhaps the most defining feature is the indoor-specific chamois pad. Utilising what La Passione calls an ‘Elastic Interface’ pad, it combines a slim fit which aids in protection from hotspots, moisture build-up and numbness.
Sizing across the range is pretty comprehensive. It includes options for XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL which in turn unlocks the NDR offering to a greater demographic of rider. My small jersey and bib short combo were a perfect fit considering my 176cm/61kg frame. Despite the slim fit, the fabric is supportive and stretchy enough to provide comfort on lengthier indoor training sessions.
The bib’s chamois pad is truly impressive. While it’s not as chunky as the pads found on regular outdoor kit, it still provides adequate comfort even after hours in the saddle. The moisture-wicking properties are excellent, too, and I’m yet to experience any numbness or discomfort after over month’s worth of extensive testing.
While some will argue that there’s no real point in using an indoor jersey owing to the excessive heat build-up stationary cycling brings to the experience but I felt the NDR jersey positively complimented the experience. The highly breathable fabric keeps you cool – even during high-intensity efforts and never feels like it impedes performance. It also doubles up as necessary torso coverage for those who live-stream their Zwift workouts and races or exercise next to a public-facing window.
To date, I’ve used the La Passione NDR jersey/bib short combination during highly-competitive racing events on Zwift such as the WTRL TTT and Zwift Racing League as well as Zwift workouts and more relaxed recovery sessions, and have come away mightily impressed by what it offers the indoor cyclist.
Furthermore, those who live in hot-weather climates may get extra use from the kit and use it outdoors when summer temperatures start to ramp up.
Do you really need indoor cycling kit? If you’d have asked me this question a year ago I would have chuckled but the more time I spend in my pain cave the more I realise how important the comfort factor has become – especially when you aren’t moving around as much as you would outdoors not to mention lacking the same sense of ventilation and cooling that you’d usually get from moving through the air.
Having swapped between indoor-specific kit and outdoor cycling kit across sessions, the differences are staggering and immediately evident. Outdoor kit, while perfectly up for the task, tends to become very soggy, heavy and moist after just 15-20 minutes which can cause unnecessary chafing and lead to saddle sores. With the NDR Collection, La Passione has created a superb portfolio of indoor cycling gear. There’s even an indoor towel (ideal for wiping sweat from your face or draping across your handlebars to prevent bolt corrosion) and specific socks to go with the kit – that latter of which I’m certain will help aid the indoor experience even further.
In terms of price points, La Passione has looked to occupy the middle ground in the segment which opens the door to a broader audience. So if you’re fed up with riding in uncomfortable – read moist and soggy – clothing the NDR Collection is definitely worth a look.
La Passione is also currently running a sale with 20-25% off selected NDR Collection items.
Tech Specs: La Passione NDR indoor cycling kit
- Sizes: 7 (XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)
- Colours: 2, black or orange
- Price: NDR jersey (£60), NDR bib shorts (£105), NDR towel (£15)