Sixs sportswear are a small Italian sportswear company producing high-end sports undergarments and cycle wear. Marco Dallolmo, the company founder, has over 40 years experience making undergarments (what a job!) and has put together a team to bring Sixs’ original carbon underwear technology into the sports field. This is where us cyclists step in.
Sixs has a range of jerseys, (sleeveless and short sleeved), undershirts and knicks (both bibs and shorts) and I had the opportunity to try a selection and do some direct comparisons with my standard cycling kit.
It must be said that on the fashion side of things, the Sixs gear is not understated. You will stand out and you will need to be ready to answer some questions about your fashion sense with your riding buddies. With the SLP3 knicks for example, many people will think you are wearing them inside-out, as the chamois is visible from the outside.
First the knicks. Having both the SLP2 (internal chamois) and SLP3 (external chamois) bibs at my disposal was a great comparison, not only to standard kit but also to each other. The idea of the chamois being sewn as part of the garment, not an added internal section, is catching on slowly these days. There are several other major cycle clothing companies working with this design as well.
The big change here with Sixs is that the body of the knicks almost feels knitted. The material is nothing like your normal Lycra. The only seams are around the edge of the chamois so there is no unwanted pressure or hot spots on your muscles from the stitching. The inseam length was a slight stumbling block. The Sixs bib knicks are a lot shorter than I am used to, up to 8cm. This felt odd and exposed the tan lines but also, due to the lack of any gripper, caused the legs of the knicks to creep up while riding and become even shorter. It might be good for Cipo, but for myself I’m not so certain.
The shorts that I also tested (SHO 2) were longer in the legs and didn’t move at all. With a comfortable chamois, no pressure from seams and the cooling effect of the weave, they were a very welcome addition to hot weather riding.
Then the Jersey
Called the Bike 3, the top followed the lines of a pro fit, full-zip short sleeve jersey. With the standard three pockets, the middle one secured with Velcro at the top and minimal seams, it is a comfortable garment to wear.
The open weave of the material did suffer when the pockets were really loaded up with food and spares for a long trip, as it is very stretchy and started to sag. If you travel light or race it’s OK. The full zip is sturdy and easy to use with one hand when the going gets hot.
The big claim of Sixs’ carbon technology is its sweat-wicking ability. This required waiting for a hot day through the wet Sydney December, kitting up in the Jersey and SHO 2 shorts and hitting the red zone.
After 30 minutes of pain, I noticed that I actually didn’t feel overheated. I was hot of course, but still ok. As soon as I touched the outside of the jersey it all made sense. The outer layer was soaked, feeling like I had been sprayed with a garden hose yet my skin was almost dry to touch.
Switching to my normal kit, the same punishment was endured and within a much shorter time, I could feel the heat from my body trying to escape around the neck of the jersey. I felt much hotter and more uncomfortable than while wearing the Sixs kit. My jersey was damp but not wet and the perspiration on my skin was much more noticeable.
Climbing back into the now-dry Sixs kit and destroying myself once more for the sake of science, the results were again quickly confirmed. Wet outside of the jersey, dry skin and also a noticeably cooler body.
Looking past the fashion and into the technology, there is no doubt Sixs’ carbon technology is an advantage in hot weather. Worn without an undershirt, it has the ability to keep the body cooler by moving more perspiration from the skin to the outside of the garment, to be dried by the passing air. This can only be a good thing for comfort and fatigue and is ideal for racing and short rides. Riders carrying a bit extra around the middle may find the head-turning fashion and racer fit something of a challenge. But if you can get over this then you’ll find the Sixs a very comfortable garment.
Distributed by: Sportzwise
Price: Jersey $124, Bib Knicks $127