First thing first. Maloja (pronounced mah-low-yah) is named after a small Swiss mountain village. The German (not Swiss) brand focuses on producing quality bike and snow wear that looks stylish and unique.
Lets start with the visuals. Maloja’s clothing is striking, but not in the standard loud colors paired with ’90s graphics way so much of the cycling world succumbs to. The designs in the Summer 2018 line are clean, simple and modern and the colorways are fresh and complementary to the overall look. What’s more, the designs and color choices flow throughout the line, so you can be sure your bib, jersey and jacket will all get along perfectly.
I’m partial to a jersey that’s not only functional, but that also looks cool doing so. The Maloja FlurinM. jersey delivers in both categories. The vibrant print inspired by the Alps, which serves as inspiration for Maloja’s alpine-focused brand ethos, is scrawled across cool-wearing Pushlite bi-elastic fabric. The highly elastic lycra provides a perfect fit and resists pilling at joints. Additionally the fabric provides an ultra violet protection factor of 40 which is an excellent feature, especially for us fair skinned folk.
The jersey’s cut sits somewhere between racing and endurance. It offers half-length sleeves and a very aero front profile which closely resembles the cut of a race jersey or skinsuit, but you still get the utility of 3 large pockets and a zip pocket on the back. There’s also a very nice siliconized waist band which keeps the jersey in place. Additionally, the jersey is finished with Polygiene odor control, which fends off funkiness after a long day of riding. Although I still plan to wash the jersey after every ride, Maloja says you can go a few without a wash, the jersey does remain surprisingly funk free after long summer miles.
PushbikersM. SQlab Pants 1/2
Functionally speaking, the PushbikersM. SQlab Bib Short is where this kit really shines. Developed with extensive input from Maloja’s Pushbikers cycling team, the short combines compression muscle stabilization with a great chamois to keep things comfy over long miles on the road.
Combined with my Brooks Cambium C17 I found this to be one of the most comfortable bib shorts I’ve ever worn. Fifty miles into my first ride with the shorts I realized I hadn’t yet been forced to give thought to my nether region, a welcome realization. Similar to the jersey, there was zero pilling, something I typically have a lot of trouble with thanks to the C17’s rough-ish texture.
The Bike Stretch Eco HC fabric found in the PushbikersM. bib is the most technical fabric in Maloja’s collection, offering a tightly knitted structure that hugs hard-working muscles with compression and stabalization. The fabric gets its eco credentials from Econyl fibers, which are entirely comprised of recycled nylon. I’m not sure I can tell any difference between a compressive short and any other bib when it comes to riding performance and recovery, but the shorts are definitely comfortable over the entire leg. They hold on tight and with the help of a very wide and comfortable siliconized cuff (with laser-cut leg endings) don’t walk up your leg during a long ride regardless of how sweaty you get. Finally, smooth flatlock seams keep irritation at bay throughout the short’s construction.
Where it matters, you’ll find Maloja’s Manner S.A.T. chamois developed with seamless top layer. At first I was a little worried as the chamois appears to be only race-thickness. Thankfully, riding proved me wrong. The seamless chamois conforms brilliantly to everything going on down there and I haven’t had any issues with chafing. Just like the FlurinM. jersey, it employs a Polygiene odor control finish to keep the shorts fresh over extended periods.
I was a little worried I wouldn’t get a chance to actually put the MaxM. Jacket through its paces here in Colorado. Rain is a fairly rare occurrence. Thankfully, I was proven wrong with a thoroughly windy and soggy ride through the foothills where the MaxM. got to shine.
First off, looks. The MaxM. jacket is probably the best looking pocket-able wind/rain cycling jacket I’ve worn. It’s incredibly simple. The colorway matches the accents of jersey and bib shorts and it is adorned only with a small Maloja patch on the chest. Finally, at the waist and cuffs is a thin line of reflective piping.
Functionally, the MaxM. jacket has a couple of standout features, the coolest of which are the laser-cut ventilation holes in the armpit area which keep the jacket from turning into an oven in quickly varying weather conditions. Additionally, the jacket folds up quickly into a small attached pouch and can be easily stowed in a jersey pocket. Any experienced rider should be able to easily put this one on or take it off in a pinch without losing a pedal stroke.
The durable water-repellent finish (DWR) kept rain out nicely and the jacket did a superb job of blocking nasty winds. Overall, I was able to quickly deploy the jacket from my jersey pocket, stay dry and warm through the rain and pack it back up without much effort when conditions cleared up.