Etxeondo (pronounced “etsje-ondo”) from the Spanish Basque Country has been making and supplying high-quality cycling clothing since 1976. The family business is known for its high quality and continuous innovation. The clothing is designed and handmade in Spain. The company has since grown into a serious company with a broad customer segment: from recreational riders to professional riders from the WorldTour. Tom Dumoulin, for example, won the Giro d’Italia in 2017 wearing Etxeondo clothing.
I had the pleasure of testing a selection of their winter clothing: the versatile Dena cycling jacket, the Orhi Hydro cycling shorts, and the Etxe winter gloves. Before I share the (fantastic) test results with you, it is good to explain the structure of the clothing line: Etxeondo supplies four “lines” with different types of chamois in their cycling shorts. The three main lines are Pro (“maximize performance”), Endurance (“optimizing comfort”) and Essentials (“value for money”). The fourth line (Lux, “where style meets performance”) is positioned above the Pro line.
Per line they work with different types of chamois:
- Uda (incorporated in the Essentials line): a comfortable chamois for the novice cyclist.
- Eraso (included in the Endurance line): a slightly wider chamois, for the cyclist who sits a bit more upright. For example for the long distance cyclist or the recreational cyclist.
- Urraki (used in the Pro line): a three-layer chamois, for the demanding and competitive cyclist.
- Carbono (in the Lux line): a three-layer chamois with a special carbon fiber, for the most demanding cyclist.
As with the long and short cycling shorts, Etxeondo continues the same idea with the shirts and jackets. The Dena jacket that I was testing is from the Pro line. By offering a wide range of apparel products, Etxeondo has the right fit for every rider at every level.
What immediately stands out when unpacking the long sleeve Dena (meaning: “everything” in Basque) cycling jacket, is the fantastic finish. The jacket is nice and tight on wrists, arms, shoulders and chest. The jacket is slightly longer at the back, so that it easily falls over the lower back to keep out cold and water. A handy feature is the double zipper, which can be opened from both the top and the bottom. The shoulder panels are provided with a strip of black elastin, which ensures a wonderful fit around the shoulders.
This wonderful fit is immediately noticeable on the bike. I rode the jacket with a black sleeveless merino base layer at 8-10 degrees Celsius, and that was actually too warm. The solution is a cotton base layer, or use the jacket on colder days (personal note: of course every body reacts differently). At 1 degree above zero, the jacket still offers enough warmth in combination with a long sleeve merino base layer.
The windproof jacket is provided with Gore-Tex Infinium, which is water-repellent. (video). With the Dena jacket Etxeonde delivers a wonderfully lightweight and breathable jacket. Personally, I like the jacket better than model 76, which is very warm due to its fleece layer on the inside. Especially at temperatures of more than 5C.
Points of improvement
Fortunately, there are also points for improvement. For example, I found the pockets at the rear positioned a bit too high: I had trouble getting food out while driving. I also missed an extra pocket with a zipper on the front or back. The jacket does not have any reflective strips, which could be experienced as a loss during rides in the dark. Etxeondo states in the description that the jacket can be used at an outside temperature of 2-18C. Anything above 10 degrees would be more comfortable in my opinion in combination with two ventilation zippers under the armpits.
Orhi Hydro cycling tights
The Orhi Hydro winter tights have everything you would expect from tights in this price range: a good chamois that provides sufficient support and cushioning during (longer) cycling tours, a great fit, water-repellent effect without limiting perspiration, (slightly too small) reflective strips at the back, and sturdy shoulder straps. The knee part is sewn separately, which ensures a comfortable fit while cycling.
All together with the Orhi Hydro tights in combination with the Dena jacket Etxeondo delivers a set that you can use during a long winter of cycling. You can buy the two items together for € 428, which is comparable to other brands that deliver the same quality. Buy one or two base layers, a buff and the Etxe gloves (handy with extra layer), and you are assured of kilometers of cycling pleasure during your winter tours.