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REVIEW: POC Fall / Winter Riding Gear 1

POC’s all-new collection of gear was developed to keep you warm, dry and comfortable during the coldest and wettest times of the year.

REVIEW: POC Fall / Winter Riding Gear

With the days growing shorter and temperatures beginning to plummet, having a dialed riding gear setup is crucial for extending your mountain bike season through the winter months. If you are serious about riding all year long, staying dry and warm when the trails become wet and cold can make all the difference between an enjoyable ride and wanting to hang up your bike until next spring. Launched just a few months back, POC’s new line of fall and winter riding apparel uses high-end waterproof materials and breathable fabrics to keep you out on the trails when conditions take a turn for the worst. With plenty of quality garments to choose from, we were excited to see how POC’s newest mountain bike-specific wet weather gear would perform against the elements. And not surprisingly, the all-new, $500 USD Consort MTB Dungaree bibs caught our attention the most!  

Photos by Dan Cardon

POC Consort MTB Dungaree Highlights

POC Signal All-Weather Jacket Highlights

POC Ardour All-Weather Pants Highlights

  • 3-layer stretch weave fabric with reinforced zones of abrasion-resistant Cordura fabric and a 15,000mm water column rating, plus a fluorocarbon-free DWR (Durable Water Repellent) treatment
  • Highly breathable with a moisture vapor permeability of 30,000gsm/24hr 
  • Taped seams and waterproof zippers keep moisture and mud out 
  • Lower leg cut designed with extra room to be worn with knee pads 
  • Velcro waist adjusters 
  • Elasticated, adjustable suspenders 
  • Elasticated ankle cuffs to keep excess fabric out of the way when pedaling 
  • Two large zippers along the hips used for ventilation and ease of entry 
  • Zippered chest pocket, two side pockets and a card pocket on the back  
  • MSRP: $500.00 USD 
  • 3-layer waterproof material with a 20,000mm water column rating and a Ripstop outer finish for durability 
  • Highly breathable with a moisture vapor permeability of 20,000 gsm/24hr
  • Utilizes RECCO® reflector for search and rescue visibility
  • Includes twICEme® NFC Medical ID chip to provide instant access to vital medical and emergency contact details
  • Cut for a narrow fit with a longer back
  • Designed to be packable into its own pocket
  • Adjustable hood can be rolled up and stored in place when not in use
  • Soft jersey finish on inside for comfort
  • Open ventilation under the arms and on the back to exhaust heat
  • Taped seams and waterproof zippers used throughout
  • Offered in men’s and women’s sizes
  • MSRP: $350.00 USD
  • 3-layer waterproof material with a 15,000mm water column rating used over the calves, knees and rear-seated area 
  • Lightweight stretch fabric used over the front of thighs and behind the knees for mobility and comfort  
  • Fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment used throughout 
  • Highly breathable with a moisture vapor permeability of 30,000gsm/24hr 
  • Versatile pants that can be used in almost any season 
  • Velcro straps around the waist for a customized fit  
  • Elasticated ankle openings 
  • Zipped hip pockets and card pocket in back 
  • Offered in men’s and women’s sizes 
  • MSRP: $250.00 USD

POC Reform Enduro Jersey Highlights

POC Thermal Glove Highlights

  • Made from recycled polyester with exceptional wicking capacity 
  • Weight: 220g/m2
  • Regular fit is cut to give room for body armor underneath
  • Raglan style sleeves provide comfort when in a natural riding position
  • Small zippered card pocket on the side is handy for a credit card or lift pass
  • Available in seven different color options
  • Offered in men’s and women’s sizes
  • MSRP: $80.00 USD
  • Constructed from water-repellent stretch fabric with a thin leather palm for enhanced grip
  • Primaloft Gold Aerogel insulation on the back of the hand for warmth
  • Primaloft Gold ECO with grip control insulation on the palm is made from 90% post-consumer recycled fibers
  • Elasticated velcro strap
  • Reflective fingers enhance visibility
  • Touch screen compatibility on thumb and index fingers
  • MSRP: $90.00 USD 

The Lineup and Initial Impressions

POC’s Consort MTB Dungaree’s are a unique product in the mountain bike world and had us smiling when pulling them out of the box. After skiing in bibs for years, it makes sense to try riding bikes in bibs when the trails are wet, cold, or even frozen. The bibs are made from a highly durable 3-layer stretch weave fabric with reinforced zones of abrasion-resistant Cordura fabric, providing a 15,000mm waterproof rating, plus a fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment. Combined with taped seams and waterproof zippers throughout, the Consort MTB Dunagree’s are more than ready to take on some moisture. But don’t worry, POC made sure the bibs were still up to the task of managing body heat with an even more impressive 30,000gsm/24hr breathability rating. On one side can be found a double zipper that makes it easier to get in and out of the bibs, while the other side features a single zip for additional ventilation. Keeping the bibs in place are elasticated suspenders and an adjustable waist strap. The lower leg cut is designed with enough room to be worn with knee pads, while the ankle cuffs are elasticated to keep excess fabric out of the way when pedaling. No quality piece of gear is complete without some storage and the Consort MTB Dungaree bibs have a sufficient amount, featuring a zippered chest pocket, two side pockets and a small rear card pocket. Undeniably a quality piece of wet weather gear, it was clear the performance of the bibs was going to be tough to beat when trail conditions called for them. However, with an MSRP of $500 USD, we suspect they will be a purchase few can justify when they will likely only get pulled out of the gear bag a few times a season. 

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Finding a go-to rain jacket ideal for riding can be tough when balancing body heat, sweat, rain and cold temperatures. Luckily, POC’s Signal All-Weather jacket strikes a happy medium between these factors offering excellent climate regulation. Constructed from a 3-layer fabric with a 20,000mm waterproof rating and 20,000 gsm/24hr breathability rating, the jacket is designed to be a light, easily packable outer shell optimized for longer riders. As expected, all seams are taped and waterproof zippers are used throughout to ensure the jacket is completely waterproof. Despite having an intentionally narrow fit, we still found the Signal Jacket fit true to size without limiting movement when riding. On the inside, the jacket features a soft inner finish for added comfort, while a Ripstop outer finish improves durability for if and when those muddy slide-outs occur. The hood is adjustable via drawcords but is not oversized to fit over a helmet. Located on the back of the right arm is a twICEme® NFC Medical ID chip which provides instant access to vital medical and emergency contact details when scanned with a smartphone. The last feature that really stood out from our first few rides in the Signal Jacket was the open ventilation zones under the arms and on the back that, when matched with the vapor-permeable fabric, push the jacket above its competition when it comes to breathability.     

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The Ardour All-Weather pants are unique because they use a combination of 3-layer waterproof materials and lightweight stretch fabrics, making them feel more similar to typical riding pants than stiff rain pants. The 3-layer waterproof material has a 15,000mm waterproof rating and can be found over the calves, knees and rear-seated area. The lightweight stretch fabric is used on the front of the thighs and behind the knees to achieve optimal comfort and mobility. Additionally, a fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment is used throughout to increase waterproofing. When your body does heat up, the Ardour Pants offer excellent heat management with a 30,000gsm/24hr breathability rating. This mixture of materials used in strategic areas adds up to a seriously comfortable pair of rain pants. Simply put, the Ardour pants are the most comfortable pants we’ve ridden in all year long. And the fact that they are waterproof is just icing on the cake. Final features include a velcro-strap waist adjustment, elasticated ankle cuffs, zippered hip pockets and a small back pocket. 

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Having a comfortable base layer jersey is vital when it comes to fall and winter riding. While POC’s Reform Enduro jersey is not designed to be the toastiest jersey, it is constructed from recycled polyester, which offers exceptional moisture-wicking qualities. They say cold kills during winter, but in reality, moisture plus cold is the real killer. The Reform jersey is great at managing body perspiration and is wonderfully comfortable when used as an initial base layer. As a bonus feature, there is also a small zippered card pocket to stash some cash or a lift pass. 

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All this talk about fair weather gear would be for nothing without appropriate gloves to keep your hands from becoming frozen nubs. After all, it’s pretty tricky to ride a mountain bike without being able to feel your hands. POC’s Thermal glove uses a mixture of water-repellent stretch fabric and insulation to keep your hands protected from cold temperatures and wet weather. The back of the hand features Primaloft Aerogel insulation, while the palm uses Primaloft Gold ECO insulation made from 90% post-consumer recycled fibers. Both insulations are designed to provide maximum warmth in a lightweight and flexible package that does not hinder dexterity. Other details of the Thermal glove include an elasticated velcro wrist strap, reflective fingertips for improved visibility and touch screen compatible pads located on the thumb and index finger for touch screen compatibility.  

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On The Trail

During the shoulder seasons, one of the best places to ride in Burlington, Vermont, is Saxon Hill. Thanks to the sandy base soil, the trails do a fantastic job soaking up the heavy rain received in October and November. And this year was no exception, with plenty of days spent playing in the slop! Saxon is filled with multiple short loop options that begin with a quick climb to the top, rewarded by four to five rooty and technical descents to choose from. Finish off the ride with some flowy jumps and drifty turns that take you back to the car, and that’s a typical, fun ride at Saxon Hill. 

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With the Consort MTB Dungarees being such a unique piece of gear, it didn’t take long to see and feel the pros and cons out on the trail. The dungarees can be categorized as an outer shell, designed to keep your body’s heat in and nature’s cold and wet weather out. On days where 30-degrees (-1-degrees Celcius) was the high, the Consort MTB Dungaree’s offered an added level of comfort and kept our base layers from moving around. On very cold days below 25-degrees (-4-degrees Celsius), we found the dungarees paired best with a long underwear base layer. Up top, the Reform Enduro jersey performed well as a base layer due to its moisture-wicking ability. An additional insulation layer was typically worn over the jersey but underneath the dungarees to achieve a comfortable level of warmth. 

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Now, of course, you may not always want to keep all your body heat trapped inside. Luckily, the large zippered vents on either hip are super effective for cooling off and can be opened up to almost eight inches (20cm). We found ourselves opening the vents about halfway during climbs to keep from overheating. Next to the vents on either hip is a zippered pocket ideal for holding a phone or your favorite trailside snack. These pockets are generously sized and, at times, felt almost too deep, causing our phone to slap against our thigh while pedaling. To play devil’s advocate, we would still rather these pockets be too big rather than too small and unusable. The zippered pocket across the chest was handy for smaller items like a credit card or cash.  

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The only real drawback to the Consort MTB Dungarees is the limited adjustability around the waist that keeps you from locking the bibs to your hips. In our case, the size medium fit a tad big and had us longing for a size small with more usable waist adjustability. When riding, this caused the dungarees to be too baggy in the crotch and interfere with our saddle. This wasn’t an issue when seated and pedaling, but coming in and out of the saddle during punchy climbs did cause some snagging and was distracting. We are confident a size small would fit how we desire and resolve this issue, but this does go to show that picking the correct size in the Consort MTB Dungarees is all the more important due to the limited adjustability. 

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The Ardour All-Weather pants and the Signal All-Weather jacket were a perfect package out on the trail and should be considered a staple in your gear bag during winter. Both offered proper waterproofing and succeeded in keeping us dry even on long rides with sustained rain. When we were laying down some power at the pedals and would begin heating up, the ventilation of the Signal jacket and breathability of the Ardour pants helped us regulate our body temperature nicely. We hardly had to remove the jacket to avoid overheating, which kept us from making unnecessary stops or having to ride with our base layers unprotected. Speaking of base layers, the ability of the Reform Enduro jersey to keep us warm and dry during testing came as a bit of a surprise. The jersey is simple, but the recycled polyester material is both comfortable on the skin and extremely moisture-wicking. When utilized as a base layer with additional insulation layers on top, the jersey complemented the breathability of POC’s rain jacket and pants perfectly.

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The Ardour pants have more than enough room to comfortably fit over most knee pads. Combining 3-layer waterproof materials and lightweight stretch fabrics strikes a balance of mobility, waterproofing and breathability, making them ideal for long days in the saddle. The Ardour pants were so comfortable that we think they will eliminate riders’ negative stigma that rain pants are stiff and uncomfortable. Looking towards the future, we can see the Ardour pants becoming our go-to pants all year long. And as an additional plus, after hitting the ground multiple times during testing, they proved impressively tough with no signs of wear to show.

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POC’s Thermal gloves are undeniably intended for the coldest winter rides. With that in mind, if you aren’t used to riding with winter gloves, the additional Primaloft Gold ECO insulation used in the palm of the glove will feel slightly fat in your hands. With extra material does come a lack of dexterity, which is the case with most insulated winter gloves available on the market. As for keeping your hands warm and dry, the Thermal gloves did precisely that and kept us comfortable with feeling in our fingers on even the coldest or wettest days. However, when temperatures are above freezing, we would be more tempted to grab POC’s Resistance Pro DH glove with a traditional perforated palm to achieve more feel and control on the handlebars. 

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Things That Could Be Improved

One area that could be improved on both the Consort MTB Dungaree bibs and the Ardour pants is the overall fit. Fit is tough to judge depending on personal preference and body dimensions. However, the dungarees and pants simply run on the big side. For someone 5-foot 11-inches (180 cm) and 165-pounds(74 kgs), the size medium dungaree bibs, in particular, were just all around too big. Even with the shoulder straps adjusted as tight as possible with just enough velcro to still lock the straps in place, the bibs hung too low. As mentioned above, this became an issue when standing and shifting our weight back as the dungarees were too baggy in the crouch and would catch on our saddle. Even though the Ardour pants have a more usable adjustment in the waist and lock into the hips nicely, the lower half of the pants were a bit baggy for our preference. After riding in both the Consort MTB dungarees and Ardour pants for a while now, we would be interested to see how a size small in both would fit. We recommend riders take a good look at the sizing chart before picking up either piece of gear and it might be necessary to size down to achieve a more familiar, athletic fit. 

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Long Term Durability 

One of the most critical parts of any piece of riding gear is the durability of the stitching. Having faulty stitching in critical or high-stress areas can be a real deal-breaker if you have a blow-out mid-ride. Both the Consort MTB Dungaree and the Ardour All-weather pants are well-thought-out products when it comes to stitching. The dungarees use hidden taped seams and have reinforced stitching in the lower back and crouch. Similarly, the Ardour pants use double stitching on the seams where the 3-layer water-resistant material and stretch fabric meet. Overall, the stitching is clean and thoughtful where it matters and we have had no seams show signs of unraveling or wearing. 

On top of durable stitching and taped seams, the waterproof zippers across the lineup have been very resilient to the elements during testing. In particular, the Signal jacket uses a robust main zipper that comes in handy when wet dirt and grime cover the jacket’s front. Finer tooth zippers used on other jackets always seem to get jammed up when conditions turn nasty. This may be a small detail, but having quality zippers built to be thrashed checks our durability box for winter riding gear.  

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What's The Bottom Line?

Having fun riding in cold and wet conditions can be dictated by having the proper gear to battle mother nature. Luckily, POC’s expanded fall and winter apparel line will set you up for success during winter’s worst months, with each piece of gear checking all the boxes for durability, warmth, breathability and functionality. The Consort MTB Dungarees provide the most protection during the wettest moments and are perfect when worn with base layers. The only stipulation is the steep price tag for a piece of gear that won’t be worn every day. The Ardour All-Weather pants are incredibly versatile and should be considered waterproof, year-round pants due to their mixture of waterproof and flexible stretch materials. Suited best for shoulder season riding, the pants can easily be worn during a summer rainstorm or layered in the heart of the winter. Both the dungarees and pants have a baggier fit that might not be for everyone, so be sure to do your homework on sizing before purchasing. The Signal All-Weather jacket offers true water protection with taped seams and quality waterproof zippers. When paired with the extremely moisture-wicking Reform Enduro jersey as a base layer, the highly functional vents and moisture permeable fabric make it one of the most breathable jackets we’ve worn to date. Finally, the Thermal gloves did their job well and kept our hands dry and warm. But like most cold weather gloves, riders should expect the thickness of the gloves to limit hand mobility and connection with their handlebars. Now, there is no excuse not to get out there and ride this winter!

For more information, please visit na.pocsports.com


About The Reviewer

Max Morgan - Age: 29 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Height: 5' 11” (180 cm) // Weight: 165-pounds (74.8kg)

After spending most of his 20s traveling and racing downhill mountain bikes at the World Cup level, Max now lives in Burlington, Vermont, working for an outdoor power equipment company. Max loves riding bikes and has a passion for racing and competition specifically. The experiences of racing and riding bikes worldwide combined with Max’s engineering frame of mind give him a unique perspective when it comes to testing and riding different cycling components. If you don’t see Max out on the trail, chances are he is probably in the garage tinkering on the next project. 

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