It has been a busy couple of years for Angry Pablo. While things might have began with socks and baselayers that were born out of the idea of making cycling clothing a little bit more fun, the last 12 months have seen the brand expand into activewear and cycling clothing. Angry Pablo has now assertively thrown its hat into the ring as a brand to watch in the burgeoning sports apparel industry, aimed at those who want to add a little bit of flair and character to their activewear.
Founded by friends Jago Leckie and Felix English – both former athletes with English competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for track cycling – Angry Pablo is certainly a brand unafraid to do things differently. While cycling kit manufacturers are normally competing to create the most high-performance clothing with the biggest technological advancements, Angry Pablo is designed with the aim of making people feel a certain way when they wear it. It’s about being part of a community and offering newcomers to the sport a less intimidating and more lighthearted way of getting involved in cycling, away from marginal gains and aerodynamics.
While both Leckie and English are vocal about the fact that Angry Pablo is about more than just performance, they still affirm that every detail has been looked at to ensure the kit works as well as looking good. With English being a former professional cyclist, he believes he knows what he wants out of his kit, making him a perfect testbed when Angry Pablo designed its first riding collection earlier this year. Both men talk about endless factory visits and painstaking deliberations over fabrics that went into creating the jersey, bib shorts and gilet that form the crux of Angry Pablo’s riding offerings.
Over the last couple of months, we’ve been putting Angry Pablo cycling kit to the test. While most of us will be able to get behind the ethos of the brand, is it functional as well as fashionable?
Angry Pablo EarthTone Cycling Jersey - £120
A crucial element to a good outfit for cycling, especially in the summer months, is a high-quality jersey that looks as good as it feels. Angry Pablo offers the EarthTone jersey to fit this bill – one of the flagship products in the brand’s new cycling range. I tested the jersey in a khaki green that Angry Pablo calls the ‘Woodland’ colourway and found this to be a great option for both road and gravel riding – it offered some visibility on the road without being too loud. The Angry Pablo branding is minimal with just a small logo on the chest, something that keeps the jersey looking premium and understated.
When it comes to fit, I tested a size small – I usually would wear a medium in women’s specific kit but Angry Pablo currently only offers unisex fits in its jerseys, something that I was sceptical about at first. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the fit – it felt comfortable and wasn’t too long in the torso as can often be the case with a unisex item. I would have preferred slightly shorter sleeves on the arms which I think would be achieved with a women’s specific fit, but this is a personal preference. The hem on the sleeves doesn’t feel especially premium – I think the jersey could be elevated if the sleeves were laser cut or had reinforced hems to keep them looking sharp and in place. Overall, though, the jersey is race fit without being too restrictive, striking a nice balance on rides that are hard but span for multiple hours.
While riding, the jersey is breathable and wicks sweat well, though it should be kept in mind that the Woodland colour does pick up sweat patches visibly, if this is something that bothers you. The material feels lightweight but it’s heavier than some other summer jerseys I have – it would be good to see Angry Pablo offer an even lighter weight version with some mesh panelling in the future to help with extra ventilation, the current offering feels like its best suited to a British summer, rather than extremely hot temperatures. The zipper on the front of the jersey feels sturdy and durable – it’s easy to zip up and down for added breathability when needed on the go.
My favourite feature of the EarthTone jersey is the innovative reflective and water resistant pocket on the rear – a perfect example of why it's important to have new brands like Angry Pablo come to market and offer something different. The zip along the top of the pocket gave me confidence that items like my phone or keys were being kept safe and also allowed peace of mind during rain showers that any electricals were fully protected. It allowed extra storage space for snacks and spares, something that was an asset for all-day adventures which is exactly when I felt this jersey was right at home.
Angry Pablo EarthTone Women's Bib Shorts - £140
Having tried countless pairs of bib shorts in my time as a cyclist, it’s become clear to me that shorts are perhaps the most subjective item of cycling kit – what works for some simply won’t work for others. Personally, I had a couple of issues with the fit of the Angry Pablo women’s bib shorts, I found them slightly restrictive in the material and far too long on the leg for my liking. While the straps allowed me plenty of room and flexibility, the material of the bib shorts themselves felt like it was lacking the elasticity that allows a full and comfortable range of movement. For riders with longer legs, this might not be an issue and I’d say these are a good option if you often struggle with bib shorts being too short.
Fit aside, the chamois on the EarthTone bib shorts was impressively comfortable, even on rides that crept over the four hour mark. I didn’t experience any chafing, nor did I struggle to get used to the feel of the chamois – it felt supportive throughout my rides. The mesh material used on the straps and body of the shorts meant they were breathable and certainly weren’t adding any bulk to my outfit, and I liked the Angry Pablo branding going down the side of the thigh. It was also a nice touch that the Angry Pablo logo was carried through to the inside of the hem of the shorts – if you’re partial to rolling your shorts up to avoid tan lines, this is a cool feature to have on show.
Once again, I was impressed by the additional features on the bib shorts when it comes to storage. Like on the jersey, there’s a water resistant rear pocket which gives you the option of wearing the bib shorts alongside a t-shirt and not being short for storage (Angry Pablo also offers a great selection of both casual and workout tees) and there’s a zip at the top of the pocket to protect any valuables. This extra feature makes the EarthTone bib shorts a good choice for gravel riding and multi-day trips where additional options to stash your tools and food are an asset. For the women’s version of the shorts specifically, an easy-pee option would be welcome to make nature breaks on the go a little bit quicker – this is something it would be great to see Angry Pablo add in future releases.
Angry Pablo EarthTone Sleeveless Undervest - £40
Baselayers are often thought of as an unimportant piece of cycling kit, but they actually can serve a crucial purpose when it comes to keeping you cool and dry on tough rides. The material of the Angry Pablo EarthTone sleeveless undervest surprised me at first for a garment which is described as breathable and moisture regulating – it was a far cry from the thin, mesh numbers that are sold by other cycling apparel brands.
However, I loved the soft feel of the material as soon as I put the EarthTone baselayer on and I was impressed with the fit despite it being another unisex item. Being slightly thicker than a usual lightweight undervest, the baselayer is a great option to add another layer on chilly mornings when you expect the temperature to rise throughout the day. While it does the job at keeping the cold out early on, the blend of wool and recycled yarns used by Angry Pablo is also fast drying and breathable as the temperatures creep up. Once again, the branding on the EarthTone Undervest is spot on, with the Angry Pablo logo peeking out in the middle of the chest, visible when the jersey is slightly unzipped. The fact that the jersey isn’t a thin, mesh material also makes it more multi-purpose – I’d feel comfortable heading out in the summer with this on when doing walks or hikes in the heat.
Angry Pablo EarthTone All-Purpose Padded Gilet - £150
The only item of outerwear currently available from Angry Pablo in the brand’s first, limited riding collection is the EarthTone All-Purpose Padded Gilet. Out of all of the items on offer from the Brighton-based company, I found that the gilet was the most unique and had the potential to become a must-have piece in any cyclist’s wardrobe that stands out from what other brands are currently offering.
The construction of the EarthTone gilet is unique, the front section offers a thicker, windproof panelling while the rear is made up of a thin mesh layer. This combination of fabrics works extremely well when riding – the front protects your chest from the elements while the back dispels heat and keeps things cool and breathable. Pulling this gilet out of my pocket and putting it on before long descents has been a real game changer on my rides, especially in unpredictable conditions. It feels like a warm hug at the front of your body and the high collar ensures that you are fully protected from the wind. My only wish would be a two-way zip so that the gilet could be unzipped without it flapping around as much on the downhill and on the flat.
The gilet is easily packed into a small pouch which makes it especially useful to take on bike-packing trips and it features the same water resistant pocket as seen on the EarthTone jersey. I feel like Angry Pablo has successfully targeted cyclists who are looking for functionality over high-performance with this gilet – it’s certainly not the most aerodynamic of options but it does a fantastic job at keeping you warm and can be used in a plethora of conditions. Like the baselayer, it’s also an item which could be used off the bike for hiking, walking or just worn casually, which makes it a worthwhile investment.
Angry Pablo is a brand that is trying new things and successfully seems to be breaking the mould of traditional cycling clothing with fresh thinking and innovative ideas. This mostly translates into extremely useful and practical cycling kit that is also priced at an affordable point for the everyday rider. Like any brand new to market, I think there have been some teething troubles, mostly in fit and sizing specifically from a female perspective, but with some minor tweaks these could be easily resolved. It might not be the kit of choice for the high-performance, super serious cyclists amongst us, but if you’re looking to support a young, new and brave company with a great ethos, culture, strong sustainability message and very cool branding, Angry Pablo is the perfect option.