Last Updated on January 22, 2022 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
For the last 14 years, my world has revolved around exercise. It’s been both my passion and my career, and thus, approximately 98% of my closet consists of workout apparel. (If you invite me to your wedding, I may show up in a running skirt, FYI.) So imagine my surprise when I took up another sport, that required EVEN MORE clothing and gear that I didn’t already own. That’s right: my new love of mountain biking (and adventure racing) forced me to replace my long outdated (and honestly, they didn’t fit anyway) triathlon gear from that time about 10 years ago when I thought I’d give a triathlon the good old “college try”.
So I did what any good social media welding woman of 2020 does – I reached out to my internet community to find recommendations for women specific cycling gear. A number of brands came up, but more than once, fellow female athletes recommended Coeur Sports. I bit the bullet and purchased a pair of triathlon shorts back in April – and absolutely loved them (more on that soon). More recently, I had the opportunity to try out an entire cycling specific kit as a part of a campaign with my friends over at Flex & Flow. And I’ll be honest: they asked me to do some social media shares, but didn’t require a full blog review. But I truly love my Coeur gear so much, that I need to go into blog-length detail about it.
So without further ado:
Coeur Sports Cycling Kit Review
Coeur Sports is a women’s triathlon, cycling, run and swim gear company based out of Los Angeles, California. Founder Kebby Holden started the company because she struggled to find exactly what she was looking for in the existing endurance apparel industry. “Coeur” means “heart and courage” in French, something every endurance athlete needs to reach the finish line. Coeur Sports offers awesome prints in a variety of styles to help get you to the finish line.
But let’s face it: we need so much more than “pretty” when it comes to our training and racing apparel. So let’s get to the good stuff:
Lisse Elite Bib Shorts
Let me first be transparent and say: this is the first pair of cycling bibs I’ve ever owned. And frankly, I’m now wondering why waistbands are even a thing. I’d like to make all bottoms bib style: running shorts, business wear, jeans (I guess that’s already a thing)…you get the idea. Perhaps it’s the incessant hernia issues I have, but I loathe when shorts dig into your waistline. NOT AN ISSUE with bibs! But, on with the review:
- 8 inch inseam
- Free cut leg bands (smooth, no seam or band to dig into legs)
- Gentle hypoallergenic silicone dots prevent leg bands from riding up
- Side Pockets on both sides
- Slim suspender straps
- Lady-Bit Specific Chamois
- Elite Italian fabric: compressive for muscles but stretchy for curves
- Two inch reflective strips for each hip for increased visibility.
- MSRP: $149.99
I find the Lisse Elite Bib Shorts run true to size, if not a teeny tiny bit small. I’m hovering between a size small and medium these days, and the medium bibs fit me perfectly.
Fabric: I have publicly stated before that I don’t understand when people say clothing “feels like butter”. I envision that to mean greasy and slippery, and who wants to wear anything like that? BUT – for those of you who love the “feels like butter” descriptor…insert it here. These bibs are so light, soft, and smooth. Practically the “barely there” feel – except there is just enough compression to make you feel supported. I first wore these bibs for a 2 hour ride, mid day, in 95 degree sun. And I didn’t feel as if they were too thick or too hot.
Further, I’m a rough and tumbly kind of athlete. I get dirty. I fall – a lot. And I almost always come home with some kind of cut or scrape. So I can’t afford to have clothing that can’t stand up to that sort of (inadvertent) abuse. So far, Coeur Sports apparel has withstood everything I’ve put it through (including a hell of a lot of bush/ bikewacking).
Leg bands (or lack thereof): My thighs – like most female endurance athletes – are comprised of a hell of a lot of lean muscle mass, covered with a nice layer of adipose tissue (that’s the scientific word for fat). It is what it is. But I’ve found so many cycling and triathlon shorts create the unflattering “sausage leg” effect with a super tight, elastic band designed to keep the shorts in place. That’s functional and all, but definitely not my favorite look.
The Lisse Elite bib shorts feature a “free cut” on the leg, with tiny hypoallergenic silicone dots to keep your shorts in place on your thighs. As a result: my shorts did not ride up my leg, and I definitely did not experience sausage thigh. Win-win.
Chamois: Perhaps it’s because I’m newer to the cycling world, but the chamois – or padding – in the butt of many cycling shorts still feels like an awkward adult diaper to me. However, the chamois in the Lisse Elite bib isn’t ridiculously thick. It’s definitely there, and it definitively does it’s job (I experienced absolutely zero discomfort or chafing while wearing them), but it doesn’t feel unwieldy in my shorts.
Pockets: Who doesn’t love pockets? These shorts have two, one on each thigh. And they are deep enough to safely hold my cell phone, which they did, for about 2 hours.
Summary: I feel like the Lisse Elite Bib Shorts are quickly becoming an essential piece of apparel in my endurance closet. I can see myself wearing these for both short and long rides, and constantly reaching for them as they are so damn comfortable. In short, I highly recommend these.
Infrared Women’s Cycling Jersey
Nothing makes me feel like “hey now, I might actually BE a cyclist” like donning a jersey. As you can tell from my instagram feed, I’m almost always riding in cycling shorts and some sort of running top (or even a cut up old t-shirt). A jersey though – watch out world.
(Here I am, normal goofball self, normal half cycling/half running getup:)
- Super lightweight Italian performance fabric
- Three deep rear pockets
- Waterproof zip pocket
- Rear gripper to prevent ride-up
- MSRP: $129.99
I found the Infared Women’s Cycling Jersey to fit true to size. Typically I wear a size small top, and a small in the jersey fits just fine. I could have sized up to a medium if I wanted a bit more length and a loser fit. But as far as range of motion and general fit goes: small works for me.
So, out of the gate I’m going to tell you that the design of this jersey is stunning. I pulled it out of the box with an “ooohh” and immediately heard “ahhh I want one!” from my 13 year old, who doesn’t really ride a bike but absolutely loves the color red. But again, “pretty” alone doesn’t cut it, so let’s get to the details:
Fabric: Coeur claims on their website that this Infared Women’s Cycling Jersey is made with “super lightweight Italian performance fabric”. And in short: they were not kidding. As mentioned earlier, I took this jersey out of a 2 hour maiden voyage, midday, in 95+ degree heat. Geoff said to me “you’re going to take that off about five minutes into the ride”, which I initially absolutely agreed with. Hell, I can’t even remember the last time I wore sleeves, it’s so hot here in South Carolina.
But imagine my surprise when TWO HOURS LATER I was still wearing the jersey, and still completely comfortable. The fabric is so lightweight and breathable, it was almost as if I didn’t have anything on at all. I couldn’t believe it.
Pockets: I’m used to seeing pockets on the back of cycling jerseys for gels, water bottles, etc. But what do you do with your car key, or debit card, or the things you absolutely cannot lose when you wipe out an unexpected patch of loose sand on the trail (is it just me?). The solution: a waterproof zippered pocket. Again, WHY DOESN’T ALL ENDURANCE APPAREL HAVE SUCH FEATURES?
Summary: The Coeur Infared Jersey looks good, fits well, and performs fantastically. Again, 5 stars, absolutely no doubt about it.
Other things you need to know about Couer Sports:
Coeur sports offers free standard U.S. shipping and no-hassle returns. And I can 100% confirm they mean it when they say “no-hassle”. My first order that I mentioned, a pair of triathlon shorts? I guessed wrong on what size I wanted to try. When they arrived and didn’t fit, it was a painless process to reach out, get a (free) return label, and exchange them for a pair that did fit.
Also? Nothing says “small business love” like custom notes in your orders.
But wait, there’s more! A discount for you!
If you’re looking to order something from Coeur Sports, I’ve got some discount options for you.
Second: if you are a return customer OR looking for a bigger discount based on your purchase, the code HeatherLovesCoeur15 will score you 15% off of your cycling gear purchase (this code only good for cycling gear – sorry runners!)
So, if you’ve come to this blog post wondering if Couer Sports triathlon, cycling, or running gear is worth the investment: I can 100% confirm yes, it is (well – on the cycling and triathlon gear. Hoping to get my hands on some running apparel ASAP, so stay tuned).
Again, a huge thanks to Coeur and to Flex & Flow for hooking me up with this amazing cycling kit!