This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Cuore, in case you were wondering, is a large cycle clothing manufacturer that's only recently made significant waves in the custom clothing game under its own name. Such growth isn't too surprising given the former heads of Pearl Izumi are now behind this Swiss label.
The brand has shot to high visibility by sponsoring WorldTour team IAM Cycling, supplying the kit for Strava and a handful of others. Such rapid growth doesn't come without the right product and Cuore offers the ability to custom order a single item, tailor sleeve and leg lengths, chamois choice and even pocket orientation in its garments.
- Highs: Superb fit, impressive comfort, great for hot days, easy to get in and out of, so many custom options
- Lows: Hard to source outside of custom orders, pricey in small quantities
- Buy if: You’re seeking comfortable custom wear to suit your racing ambitions
In the past if you were racing against the clock, then a one-piece skinsuit was the answer to shaving every crucial second. But when the clock stopped, the comfort and greater versatility of a jersey and bibs would always win over. Now, helping to add a whole lot of confusion into the mix, there's the Cuore Two-in-One.
As we mentioned when we first profiled Cuore, its custom range is made up four quality tiers. For a pro-level item such as the Two-in-One speedsuit reviewed here, it makes sense that it's only offered in top-tier 'Gold'.
Built as a one-piece suit, the 2in1 is only joined at the back, with the front section featuring what's effectively a jersey with a full-length zip. It's a design seen before with a few other brands, such as Castelli. This is far easier to get in and out of compared to a traditional skinsuit; while being lighter, cooler and generally more comfortable than a bibs and jersey combination.
Like a skinsuit should, the top half acts as the 'bib straps' to the lower half. Some tight-hugging and highly stretchable materials mean that once you're zipped up, the wind will certainly believe you're in a skinsuit. Cuore claims the Two-in-One has spent plenty of time in the wind tunnel, and states it was tested twice because the company didn't believe the extremely positive results in the first instance, with the second time just confirming the original findings… that this is a fast suit.
No doubt it's a race fit best suited to an athletic body. There's enough material stretch to cope in case you're not built like a T-Rex dinosaur, but it's certainly body hugging.
Such a form fit comes from the use of multiple different materials. For example, the front of the jersey is a high stretch lycra, a thinner version of that used in the front and rear panels of the legs. A far less stretchable mesh appears on the back panel, while a highly flexible blocked mesh runs the full length of the sides.
The legs stay exactly in place too, with no offensive leg squeezing or skin strangling. This comes down to Cuore's use a textured leg band that's infused with the material. No matter how hard I pulled on it, this grip material stayed perfectly in tact.
This body hugging nature means it's ultimately comfortable, and the clichéd adage of cycling clothing feeling like a 'second skin' most certainly applies here.
Without the double layering of bib straps and jersey, the Two-in-One is noticeably cool feeling. Air flows in on the hottest of days – a feeling you typically only get when using 'climbing' type kit that can leave you feeling partly naked with its see-through materials.
Here, thankfully, the chamois comes up high enough in the front and features some clever stitching to maintain your modesty. The front top zipper and paneling does help to remove focus from the area too.
It's not only about discretion though – the Gold 'Embody MS2' chamois, which is proprietary to Cuore, is a very good one functionally. It's rare for a brand to have its own chamois, but Cuore has done well to offer something that's insanely high in comfort without being restrictive to movement.
While it's technically possible to ride with the Two-in-One's top half unzipped, it certainly works best when somewhat or fully done up – after all, it is made to be aero. I've found its possible to have the zip down to about half way until it makes a noticeable difference to the secure fit.
Our sample features the optional two rear pockets, which make it more a road race suit than one for time trials – something that it's perfect for. These pockets sit flush and are spacious enough for essential food and spares.
If you chose to go without the rear pockets, the Two-in-One would be ideal for warm-weather cyclocross or time trial races. There's a long-sleeve version too for cooler days or situations where every millisecond counts.
The custom aspect
While it's possible to buy the Cuore Two-in-One in a few stock colours within the United States and Australia (as we tested) for $300 and AU$350 respectively, it's designed to be sold first and foremost as a custom piece.
Having your desired design sublimated onto the suit is part of the package, but the real story is in Cuore's fit customization options. Our sample was a stock small, but things like sleeve length, leg length and even torso length are all available to change. Additionally, you can elect for different stitching, pockets or even a pouch for a race radio.
All these changes add to the baseline cost, which of course varies based on the quantities ordered. While it's not exactly cheap to do so, Cuore does allow custom orders of just a single item. Turn around for custom orders are about six weeks from final design confirmation.
The pricing of $275 / €240 / AU$330 is based on an order of 5-10 pieces and excludes shipping and design costs. For an accurate quote, visit Cuore's custom wear website
This suit is undoubtedly comfortable enough to want to wear it day and day out. Sadly, it's still a skinsuit, and so while its perfect for chasing the top step of the podium, it's not the ideal frock for the local café.