We've already reviewed Paramo's first cycling-specific jacket the Ciclo on the site, but we thought it'd be interesting to get a second opinion from Paramo-sceptic OM reader Jake Gordon, so we loaned him our test jacket for a couple of months. Would a hands-on experience of the Ciclo change his mind? Over to Jake.
- £200 / 670g (medium)
- Nikwax Analogy fabric with single mesh pump liner throughout
- Helmet-friendly hood with vertical and horizontal adjustment
- Short-front and scoop-tailed cycling friendly cut
- Articulated long sleeves and shoulders
- Sleeve/torso vents with two-way zips
- Hand, chest and single zipped tail pocket
What Paramo says
'This lightweight, close-fitting jacket has been designed for cyclist commuters looking for a stylish waterproof for city riding. It offers flexible ventilation options for swift temperature adjustment and is packed with pocketing options for secure storage. Constructed from Nikwax Analogy fabric it guarantees the ultimate in waterproof, windproof and breathable performance. Unlike many other cycling jackets, the Ciclo offers an adjustable hood which can be worn under or over a helmet in the worst of weather conditions.'
This Jacket looks pretty good. I wouldn’t go as far to call it “stylish" but in the flesh it looks a whole lot better than the PR photos suggest. The cut is thoroughly modern and it’s poles apart from the sack-like Paramo Scala I owned many, many moons ago. The Ciclo even earned me a few compliments along the way including a rare one from my better half who describes most of my outdoors wear as “1970’s sweet wrappers". If I wear Haglofs, Norrona or Arc’, she sees Opal Fruits, Texan bars and Spangles.
Paramo claim the Ciclo is “lightweight" but that’s a stretch at 670g for a medium. However not being a weight weeny it wasn’t a problem for me. It certainly didn’t feel overly heavy or cumbersome.
Soft Feel Face
The face material is soft to handle and unlike many traditional membrane shell waterproofs it doesn’t rustle and crackle like a crisp packet. The construction and build quality appear to be of a decent standard with neat stitching and some bartacking to reinforce stress areas. I did notice one seamstress error on the rear hem of the jacket. The rear lining hangs down and shows below the hem but I think this may be down to this jacket being a sample version as last week I looked at a rail of Ciclos in store and none of them had the same problem.
The zips are super reliable YKK and the concealed zip pockets are a lovely touch making for a sleeker looking piece. The main zip is two-way YKK with storm flap but doesn’t have a zip garage.
Paramo are renowned for making long-lasting, reliable gear and I’m fairly certain this will stand up to regular use commuting or touring.
I am a fairly bog standard 5’10" with broad shoulders and a 40" chest. In the majority of brands I take a medium. However the Ciclo comes up large and the size small fitted me almost perfectly. Paramo describe the fit as athletic and if sized down I agree. It is close without being overly fitted with room for a mid-layer if needed. The garment length is spot on.
A scooped drop tail gives plenty of protection from road spray and the front hem is cut shorter so as not to interfere when mounting and dismounting or bunching up when riding. I also found the arm length perfect. Velcro fastened cuffs closures stop any drafts and make for a secure fit. The cuff pull tabs are quite short which initially felt slightly alien but turned out to be dead easy to use even when in the saddle and wearing gloves.
The Ciclo also has a nicely-designed wired helmet compatible hood. It fitted neatly under my helmet, but most of the time I preferred rolling it down. Tightening a toggle prevents the hood obstructing the back of your lid and flapping in the wind. Off the bike it also fitted over both my road helmet and my POC multisport. However unless you have a death wish I wouldn’t recommend wearing it over a lid when riding as it’s very restrictive and also blocks peripheral vision.
I did find one issue with the fit. The jacket has a surplus of material across the top of the chest which gives the appearance of Madonna-esque cones. A bit of a shame as otherwise the fit, patterning and articulation is absolutely spot on.
Venting. two-way pit-zips that run from roughly elbow to bottom of ribs.
Pockets. Plentiful. A total of six in all. two very useful slanted Napoleon’s,two hand warmers, a modest interior one that will at a push fit a small phone or a wallet plus one small rear pocket to stuff a couple of energy bars in. Despite the concealed zips none of them snag even when used on the go. Impressive stuff.
Safety. There’s a reflective strip across the chest, a reflective ‘ANALOGY’ logo patch on the right arm plus smaller ‘CICLO’ on the left hip. There nothing on the back, which I think is a mistake.
In the saddle
The high collar is really nice for hunkering down and keeping out of the wind but after a few miles I found the lack of zip garage on the main zip plus the placement of toggles caused irritation. The zip rubbed my chin and toggles both sides of my mouth. Unzipping the collar sorted out the problem but obviously I wasn’t as snug. Not a huge design fault by any means but a small and very annoying one that should be addressed for any future versions.
I used the Ciclo from March ‘til April both on my road bike and MTB on my local hills and woods. We had our fair share of wind and rain during that time, including one serious stormy downpour. The jacket lived up to its maker’s claim and proved to be pretty much waterproof and breathable.
Even during horizontal rain riding on the top of Scratchbury and Battlesbury Hill Forts it managed to keep most of the rain out. However this jacket is warm. Very warm. Even at 5-7c on a sedate ride with my daughter I found it uncomfortably so. I had the pit zips and main zip open I was still overheating. I was actually glad of heavier downpour to cool me. Below 5c was more bearable but if I’m honest most of the time it wasn’t ideal.
I reckon the Ciclo would come into its own when the mercury hits minus figures, in serious wind chill or better still when fatbiking. Unfortunately at the time of testing and living in the South West of England I didn’t get the chance to test in sub-zero conditions.
Paramo have pitched the Ciclo as a lightweight cycling waterproof for city commuting and if I were to judge it on that it I’d say it’s just about average at best. However as a mid-winter cycling jacket or perhaps for those who really feel the cold I think it’s probably only a couple of minor niggles away from being very good.
- Waterproof and breathable
- Decent hood
- Athletic fit (if sized down)
- Too warm for year round use
- Lack of rear reflective
- No main zip garage.
- Odd fit across chest.