TUCANO URBANO PETTORINA WINDBREAKER BIB
181g Black €39 (about £33 at time of writing)
With a big nod in the direction of Tucano Urbano’s motorcycling heritage, their Pettorina Windbreaker Bib offers protection from cold blasts and downhill wind-chill. It may well be a little niche for many, but it certainly works. It also looks expensive, but I have seen it significantly discounted on-line.
Pros: effective and flexible.
92% polyester and 8% polyurethane, the Pettorina is described as 100% windproof. The “brushed” type finish gives the same softness on the skin as Tucano Urbano’s Polo Nord and Sud base-layers. Very pleasant indeed.
The Pettorina just covers the torso and neck – chin, too, if you wish - held in place by wide bands that enclose the neck and the waist. These have Velcro fastenings, so they’ll fit most girths and shapes comfortably. At the same time, they’ll prevent cold blasts down the neck and chills around the kidneys. It pulls up high enough to cover chin and mouth. Needless to say it is not designed to be waterproof.
A zip-up bag is provided to stow it away when not needed. Given the Velcro fastenings, that is a definite plus.
It could be worn next to the skin or as a mid-layer, but really comes into its own worn over the top of other garments for all or part of a ride. In the latter scenario, it offers rapid flexibility to changing terrain and temperature.
Its natural territory is on cold commutes when the temperature has been a little above 0C and bustling along at 20 mph or so, and on long downhill at thirty. The wind-proofing has stood up well: chilly arms, warm chest.
When the day warms up – and the max I used it in was 7C, or you hit the flat, just undo the Velcro and you are free. There is its charm. However, those with a limited budget might prefer to go for a traditional base-layer, whilst faster sports-commuters may well prefer season specific garments, such as Stolen Goat’s Deep Winter Grid or Everyday Orkaan jerseys, which are also waterproof. On the other hand, the Pettorina, fits nicely over civvies, adding just that bit of protection, so may have appeal for the more stylish commuter. Equally, as racers once stuffed paper down their jersey fronts on long Alpine descents, I could see myself pausing at the summit, donning the Pettorina, and heading down the other side.
Whilst it has kept my chest dry in a brief shower, rather like the Maginot Line, the invader does not need to penetrate, it goes around the obstacle. A brief shower has seen it dry in situ in around fifteen minutes. On rainy days, I’d ditch it and use a waterproof. Machine wash and you can expect it to be dry in about an hour and a half
I could not describe the Pettorina as a cycling necessity, although it does what it is designed to do with aplomb. Personally, I’d go for their Polo Nord, if I wanted to keep warm, and because of its additional casual appeal. On the other hand, the Pettorina adds flexibility – think of cold summer mornings and/or long downhills, as well as winter commuting.