FUNKIER Cycling Clothing – Quick Test: by Banks & c_g

funkier clothingHere is one for all those folks looking for something a little different in cycling gear. I am fairly certain most of you who are reading this will have never heard of FUNKIER  before. We actually stumbled across them by looking at some super cool race team kit at the AMERICAN CLASSIC Eurobike´11 both that has been made and printed by FUNKIER and then seeing them taking a Eurobike Design Award in ´11.

Though not widely known the company isn’t brand new. Funkier is out of the Holy Land of Israel, which I find pretty cool. In fact Funkier has been doing business with leading global bicycle and biking gear companies since 1990, all the while developing relations with internationally renowned professional biking teams whose riders wear Funkier Bike clothes and give their feedback – assisting the company in designing and manufacturing truly advanced biking apparel. Apparently this is working out as FUNKIER have won Eurobike Awards two years running for some of their pieces, and one Taipei show award this year. Funkier is big on blending performance and style, which shows in their colorful poppy designs, and in the clear thoughtfulness put into fabric choice, fit and features.

Most of their business still goes into producing specifically branded (team or company) clothing, but they also do some business selling pieces customer direct at really competitive prices. For the Euro market FUNKIER is distributed out of the Czech Republic, Greece and U.K. (or Israel direct). The US Market is served through their US distributor out of Florida.

We have had the chance to ride their “20-Panel Winter Pants (Long)” all winter and have found them to be a well designed and excellently manufactured piece of cycling clothes. With such positive experiences we requested some more FUNKIER clothes to ride and evaluate. FUNKIER has been kind and sent us a nice kit including baggies, two jerseys (long and short sleeve), a reflective bike vest and a set of knee warmers.

So let´s take a look at the individual pieces:

The “MTB Shorts” we received are the style B3204 in burgundy color. The most obvious thing about them is the 2-tone very light weight material that makes for extremely light garment. The nylon fabric should be some very quick drying material and great for warm weather riding. They have a full array of pockets in varying sizes to stash your goodies, The front and rear pockets are closed via zippers while the side pockets on the lower leg have Velcro closures. Two about 5” long zipper on the front side add some extra ventilation.

The MSRP of them (just like any other of the multiple shorts in the FUNKIER line) is from USD 101,99. Diving in to the burgundy shorts, it is clear that the Funkier team put a lot of time and thought into these shorts. They simply make sense and are extremely comfortable and – somewhat to my surprise – have proven to be durable, too. FUNKIER really has hit the sweet spot for me on bagginess and length. They are baggy enough to look cool even when your not on the bike but they don’t creep up or down and snag on the saddle. I like the functionality of the drawstring on the inside and the elastic waist is extremely supple. The design attributes hit a nice balance of non-boring graphics and subtlety (depends on your taste).

The fabric is very light weight, but doesn’t just let all the elements in on you. Were talking very mildly water resistant, but retaining pretty good wind protection. The combination of shorts and knee warmers suited my legs just fine all the way down to single digit temps (in degree Celsius that is) when it was dry … and I am a wimp when it comes to cold. So the shorts for me are capable all the way from dry spring through early fall. The occasions I have had to ride them in really warm temperatures were few, but enough to appreciate the breath-ability and cooling of the material as well.

I am super impressed with the design and placement of the pockets. While there are several, they all are placed strategically and anatomically so they don´t interfere with pedaling. Great job there as well!

The “Sublimation Long Sleeve Jersey” ,despite being from the 2010 summer line, is something we couldn’t help but request for testing. With high quality sublimated print – a wheel/spokes all over and saying “29ers” above the left breast, it is a big wheeler fashion statement. It is made of quick drying polyester. The full length zipper helps control the climate. The jersey also is a large and fits me how I would want it too, not too tight, just right. The quality seems to be top notch too, underlined by very high stitching quality, and the silicone gripper on the waist. One cool little addition is in the three back pockets where there is a waterproof one in the middle. Good idea eh? The LS jersey with its special sublimation print sells for USD 79,99.The “29er long sleeve jersey” (style J-b584-L) has a fit I´d call a happy medium between athletic and relaxed. The overall quality of the jersey is top notch and Funkier didn’t skimp anywhere. The weight of the fabric perfectly matches the intent and application range of a long sleeve jersey. With its tasteful sublimated print and full length zipper, this is one of those jerseys I often reach out for when going on moderate temperature rides. I really have enjoyed the color/graphic scheme of this jersey.

I will also mention again the water proof pocket in the low of the back that zippers shut. It is and has proven to be an extremely functional and well thought out touch that I have been growing to get used to from the Funkier bunch.

There are no weird or odd qualities to the jersey. It´s simply great looking and high quality with some very well thought out details. I would recommend it for cooler to moderately warm days. The jersey is very comfortable, durable, and is just the ticket when you are after something you don’t have to be afraid will fall apart if you hit the ground. Bonus points for still looking good while doing it. :)

The short sleeve jersey plays with our love for night rides and is called “Midnight Tales –Sublimation jersey”. It shares the same high quality material, trim athletic fit and wonderfully detailed print as the long sleeve jersey.

We liked that it came with a hidden 3/4 length zipper as well and find the retail price of USD 59.99 very modest. The short sleeve “Midnight Ride Jersey” that c_g and I have taken turns in wearing is good for extending the wearing range into warmer temperatures. With the same features as the long sleeved jersey and this awesome sublimation print it is not only a sight to enjoy but also a pleasure to wear. No negative aspects there either – simply a great high quality jersey with exceptionally good looks.

The “Reflective Windbreaker Vest/Gilet” is the design that has won a Eurobike award in 2010. This puppy is made with fully synthetic wind stopping and waterproof clear ripstop fabric and a reflective zipper in the front. Out back there is a very bright orange reflective mesh with one back pocket (that also works as a stow away pocket). To maximize the safety features there is a wide reflective strap across the shoulders. The size large I have fits me well and this easily packable safety vest will make you visible all around in bad visibility situations or night riding. MSRP of this piece is USD 72.-.

It’s really impressive to look at and to ride with because it truly does keep the wind out. It does keep the water outside too, for the most part. The vest as a whole is extremely light weight, and the orange back is great to wear with a backpack as I get the shield for my front and my back doesn’t get smothered at the same time.

The clear fabric and bright orange are definitely “loud” but you cannot dispute the function. I would recommend this to wear in windy dry weather where your core just needs that little extra warmth. But if the there is a chilly breeze and you know you will be ridding and not standing around, this is just what the doctor ordered…. It is super packable and takes almost no space leaving no reason, really, to not have it with you.

Again top notch and well thought out stuff that in this case would be ideal for a commuter to have and those out on the trails during hunting season :)

As a universal accessory FUNKIER also sent a set of “Knee Warmers” which are nice and comfy and stay reasonably in place thanks to the silicone grippers, and well, keep my knees warm. Nothing spectacular, but good quality throughout. They are size large and while a medium would have probably served me better as I am the type with skinny getaway sticks, the larges do just fine when I pull them up a little higher than usual. Overall they seem to follow suit in being high quality and easily packable.

VERDICT: Overall SIZING is European driven… I am an American and in America I was universally a medium. Here in Europe, that is not the case. Both of these shorts are size large and they fit wonderfully. Meaning large would work well for someone that is 6ft tall and is about a buck sixty five. Its rare for me to be able to say this, but I have had completely no problems with any of the FUNKIER cycling garments that I have had on test. They quietly do their jobs and let me have a great time on my bike. Quite often too good of a time, and I end up on the ground in varying degrees of grace, which to me says much about the durability of these generally light weight articles.

Ride on,