OCG buying experience and initial thoughts
The only time I can go bikepacking is during the three weeks shutdown my workplace has over Christmas and New Year. That time of year is high-summer in Australia and it's hot. During my short bikepacking tour last year, with little shade from the sun and up to 38°C, wearing my normal mountain biking gear of baggy shorts and baggy jersey, I was just too hot!
I'd seen a few adverts on my socials for road cycling clothing and it got me thinking, road cyclists ride in during the summer and for long long distances sometimes, perhaps their tight-fitting clothing helped them do this and not just aerodynamically . So, I decided I would get myself some and give it a go!
I'd seen perhaps ten or more different companies advertising flashy road cycling gear on Facebook and Instagram, I checked them all out, some were very expensive (to me) like $120 for a top! some were in my price range, but I didn't like the designs, some I liked the design but were winter tops.
Exasperated at not finding what I wanted, I was so excited to come across the Online Cycling Gear advert! They had designs I liked, at a good price, you could customise the tops and you can order different size shorts to the top.
It's always worrying when something looks too good to be true on the internet, but I did my due diligence and spent some time checking out reviews on OCG, and with 69% ***** reviews on Trustpilot, I thought them worth a punt!
Women's Ride Free Sunset Short Sleeve Cycling Kit
Short Sleeve Cycling Kit - M / Green Customization: Remove Jersey Back Pockets Customization: Change Pants Size - 4XL Customization: Add Side Panel Text (nosecondseason.com) Customization: Make as Long Sleeve - No Fleece
Total in Australian dollars including postage and a first time buyer discount of 15% was $118.14
The OCG experience
Now, it wasn't all plain sailing, as you can see I ordered a long sleeve top with a few customisations, and size 4XL shorts. This actually came as a short sleeve top with no customisations and size M shorts.
The top was too big anyway, but the shorts were perfect! You may wonder why, being a UK size 10 that I ordered size 4XL shorts! Well that's what I determined from the size chart, but I think I mixed up my waist and hip measurement! My hips measure 97cm and that does correspond to a size M. My chest measures 92cm and that corresponds to a size S. So, i'd say the chart looks correct, at least for my size anyway.
I contacted OCG support via email and immediately got a reply with instructions to follow their exchange process, which is very organised and simple. Within 10 days my replacement top had arrived, in size S and with all customisations! All I had to pay was $16 because I changed the size.
The jerseys are made from a 145GSM soft and cool moisture-wicking polyester, the summer and autumn long sleeve range have 120GSM mesh side panels for extra comfort and breathability. I can only presume the shorts are made from similar.
Points to note
I wanted tight fitting gear, the sizes I ended up with suited me perfectly
The top has a full-length zip
The shorts have seat bone padding
I have long arms for my height 175cm and the arm length is just right
Bear in mind there's a possibility you could be sent incorrect items
OCG customer support is good to deal with and are efficient
The OCG returns process is easy to use
The goods look like they are made in, and sent straight from the factory
There's a large range of designs and they are customisable
Delivery time is around 10 - 14 days (in my experience)
The clothing is good value for money (time will tell if this remains so)
The manufacture of the clothing looks reasonably good
The size chart is reasonably correct
The padding in the shorts makes my bum look a very strange shape!
For a UK size 10, a small top and medium shorts was perfect
I went for a trail ride in my OCG kit and loved that I could unzip my top in the heat and that my bum had some padding
I'm very pleased with my purchase and plan to order another set so I'll have enough kit for a bikepacking adventure.
I'll report back here any further points of note after I have ridden further in the kit👍