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Pedal Mafia PMCC kit review

The kit made men would wear.

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I attended a ride Pedal Mafia hosted at Roula on the West Side of Manhattan a few years back. I am eternally amused by that ride. I don’t think I owned any PM at the time — if I did, it was their artist series unicorn jersey, which I still have and still wear occasionally even though I never did find the bibs for it. Later I got a custom Pedal Mafia kit from a friend (#sayitwithyourlegs) that is still one of my favorites for fit and comfort. The garments have changed a lot since then; the new Pedal Mafia kit has kept up with the times — gone are separate leg bands and sleeve grippers, and the old-school perforated polyester outer fabric has been replaced with softer poly knits. 

PMCC Jersey – $169

Pros: quintessential race cut, subtle branding 

Cons: branded silicone sleeve gripper tore after 5 wears

Size/Weight: Extra-Small/117g

The PMCC jersey has got the race-cut style down pat. The weights are provided to get an idea for the feel and substance of the garments. I like the pattern, with longer raw-cut sleeves and a low collar with a slight v to keep the zipper pressure off the rider’s throat. The jersey gets a plus for a zipper garage at the neck, and a waterproof valuables pocket on the rear right. The main zipper is a “Riplock,” meaning it’s one of those that when the pull is pointed up the zipper can be pulled open from fabric tension, and when the pull is pointed down the zipper is locked; it will keep the jersey closed. A nice feature for those who use it, and I’ve seen it on other jerseys like Biehler, but I don’t want to have to adjust the orientation of the pull to avoid having my jersey open up – if I show off my bra I want it to be intentional. 

The jersey gets bonus points for a slight v-neck cut.

The pockets are deep, and they’re patch as opposed to bellows pockets so they lay flat when empty. They’re also made of a less transparent fabric than the jersey, allowing you to store a good amount in the pockets without everyone behind you on the road knowing what flavor Clif bar you’re carrying. I was surprised to see ruching on the pockets since it disrupts the otherwise smooth look of the kit, but it is functional. 

As for the sleeves, the branded Pedal Mafia silicone sleeve grippers do their job almost too well (while they last); I had a dripping line of sweat under that silicone when I took off the jersey, which freaked me out a little bit since I don’t usually sweat in a line around my biceps. Maybe the printed branding is supposed to have better breathability than a solid strip of silicone, but that wasn’t my experience. I’m not sure if they intended for the gripper to be visible from the outside, but it is — the sleeve fabric stretches over the print beneath, creating a texture at the end of the sleeve that kind of ruins the sleek look. And worse: the delicate silicone lettering on one of the grippers tore on the fifth wear, so now I have to fuss with the broken section to make that sleeve lay flat. 

The silicon grippers on one sleeve had already torn after five wears.

When I get monochromatic jerseys like this, I’m looking for a flawless and current fit, and for the little touches that make a jersey better than basic, like the stitching, the zipper, and zipper garage, and in this case, that unfortunate silicone sleeve. That’s in addition to quality assurance, customer support, and delivery time; these are the palpable differences that set higher end brands like Pedal Mafia apart from bargain brands, as well as AliExpress jersey bootleggers like Runchita. That’s besides brand cachet, of course. The choice to pay more than $100 for those differences is up to the rider. 

The back of the jersey features standard pockets plus a zippered one.

The PMCC jersey is supposed to be minimal, stylish, and comfortable, and it is, except for the grippers. I feel like the jersey overall is better than those grippers — otherwise the PMCC jersey is attractive, with the features a rider needs to comfortably do 100 miles in a day. 

PMCC Bibs – $259

Pros: High waist, excellent chamois

Cons: Chamois branding

Size/Weight: Small/164g

The Pedal Mafia PMCC bibs.

They’re not breaking the mold with the bib platform: it’s a racerback fit where the straps are elastic bands and the bib body is a perforated mesh, both dyed a rich black. The silicone leg grippers are wide and embedded into the leg panels, and as a result, no sausage leg, and no painful seam around the leg. Those grippers are meaty though, and tight. I wondered if I could have gotten a little more comfort in the leg with a larger size, also a little more length (a problem only for “The Talls,” since I’m 5’11”), but sizing up would let the chamois move, which I absolutely do not want since the fit in that area of my body was correct.

The grippers worked well, but were a little tight, making me consider sizing up.

The five-layer foam chamois density is excellent, but it features what looks like a branded iron-on. Based on the information they provide about their bibs, I know the company takes its kit seriously, but I don’t understand substantial printing or branding on a chamois, because literally no one but the wearer will ever see it. And since this looks like an iron-on, I’m worried about the thing rubbing off against my skin as the bibs age. It’s a shame, because these are great standard bibs for long rides without that tiny worry (which I hope will prove unsubstantiated). 

Final thoughts

Overall, Pedal Mafia’s premium collection looks slick, and will keep you comfortable through the day. But there are a few little niggles — like the chamois iron-on, and the branded silicone on the arms — that surprised me to see from such serious riders. For the cut and quality the garments still rate a 4 out of 5. That flattering fit looks like something a made-man who has a good relationship with his tailor would wear. It’s a fine daily-wear kit with a bib that seems well made to last as long as the chamois survives.