In its second year of trading with Wiggle, Primal wanted to show off their top-end range for 2015 called Helix Exion. This consists of their Primal Exion Helix Bib Shorts and their matching Primal Exion Helix Jersey and I was only too pleased to give it a good couple of road tests.
My first impression is the kit looks really great. The colours on both garments match really well with each other, and as you can see on the images below, it has subtle branding - not over kill. My first test ride was a 100 mile bike ride from Portsmouth to Trowbridge - a chilly wind was blowing and being early May, leg warmers, a softshell jacket, and long finger cotton gloves were still required.
The Primal Exion Helix Bib Shorts
The size medium Primal Exion Helix Bib Shorts felt great and was very comfortable to wear, fitting snuggly against my body (thanks to the three dimensional pattern design) not being too constrictive (tight) either. Straightaway I liked the simplicity of the shorts with the red and white styling, the separate panelling around the crotch area, the side panels, which were free of branding, and the low level of the mesh straps.
The coloured bandings around the grippers are made from Primal’s Z92 fabric and offers excellent 4-way stretch properties that conform well to your leg shape. The actual silicone grippers, which are embossed with Primal’s logo, also offered good grip - not too tight or constrictive. This same carbon weave fabric (Z92) is also found at the rear of the shorts as shown in the image below. Again, the properties allow the fabric to stretch over your body shape really well and it is also designed to match in with the jersey of the same name. Yep, it’s not visible when on the bike, but I like these kind of touches to garments.
The most important part of any bib short is the chamois. You sit on this for hours a day riding over all sorts of road conditions so having a chamois that feels good and comfortable is paramount. The shorts use Elite’s HX8 seamless chamois, which during the ride was perfect. Larger than some of the chamois I have in my other shorts, it was still superbly comfortable and thanks to the anatomically shaped, 4-density padding, gave great support and comfort throughout the ride.
The Primal Exion Helix Short Sleeve Jersey
The medium sized Primal Exion Helix Jersey fitted very well against my medium-framed body and this was due to the race-cut aero design. The jersey displays ‘go-fast’ red and white stripes vertically and is designed to be aero and body conforming, which I prefer. Like the bib shorts, the jersey felt light, airy and very comfortable with the zips being solid and precise when called into action.
The jersey features three deep spacious rear pockets that are not placed too high up. The side pockets are angled and easily accessible, this meant I was able to reach in and grab what I needed during my ride. Like the bib shorts, the jersey also features the Z92 fabric on the arms sleeves allowing for greater comfort stretching well over my shoulders.
Thanks to the well positioned panels and high-tec fabrics used, the Primal Exion Helix Jersey felt comfortable to wear providing a good aero fit. The jersey remained securely in place and didn’t rise up which is thanks to the good quality of the jersey gripper and the zip functionality was spot on.
The Primal Exion Helix Bib Shorts felt light, are well elasticated and give good support. The fit isn’t excessively tight or constrictive, and not too baggy either – tight enough though to be comfortable and supportive.