The switch to British Summer Time soon means a switch from heavy duty winter cycle clothing to lightweight summer clothing, swapping tights and jackets for shorts and jerseys. If you're in the market for some new clobber, we've rounded up a bunch of interesting new clothing products that have arrived in the road.cc tech email inbox recently.
Sportful introduces new jerseys
One of the big focuses for the Italian company Sportful is an overhaul of its popular BodyFit Pro range. This is a range of jerseys and shorts developed for professional cycling, and being raced by Bora-Hansgrohe and Bahrain-Merida this season, but you can buy it without the sponsor's logos. Pro performance without the pro looks.
The revised range comprises three jerseys intended to cater for different conditions, from hot to cold weather and one that straddles both extremes. They include:
The BodyFit Pro Light Jersey (£80) is, as the name suggests, designed for cycling in hot weather so is made with a lightweight mesh material. This one would be ideal for riding a European gran fondo or a cycling holiday someplace warm like Spain or Italy. And it’s light in name, and light on the scales, a claimed 99g.
The BodyFit Classics Jersey (£90) is intended for cool weather, so should be an ideal choice for UK spring into summer conditions, with a thermal brushed fleece construction.
If you’re not sure which of those two jerseys would suit you, and you want one jersey that can cope with most conditions well, then look no further than the new BodyFit Pro Evo Jersey (£90). We’ve just taken delivery of these three jerseys so we’ll put them through the paces, watch out for the reviews soon.
Sportful launched the brand new R&D Celsius jersey (£110) at Eurobike last year, and with its radical fabric technology, it was one of the standout products from the show.
What Sportful has done is integrate a 3D structured mesh material on the inside of the front-facing panels and its job is to pull the outside layer away from the skin to better let moisture escape whilst trapping a warm layer of air against your body. It’s designed for a wide range of temperatures and be able to adapt to changeable conditions, so should be ideal for those rides that start a little fresh before warming up as the hours roll on by.
“Many of our longest summer rides involve early starts, long hot climbs and cool higher altitudes,” the company says. It’s an interesting design and we’ll be putting it through its paces soon.
MAAP launches lightweight jersey and rain jacket
Australian brand MAAP is increasing its presence here in the UK - we’ve been impressed with the performance and style of the few items we’ve tested so far - and for 2018 it has launched its lightest and most breathable jersey to date, plus there’s a jacket that looks ideal for the UK, designed as it is to keep you dry and visible in horrid weather.
Let’s start with the new M-Flag Ultra Light jersey (€150). It’s really designed for the intense heat many Australian cyclists have to endure, but it’ll be right at home for any cycling trips to hotter climes you might have planned this summer.
It’s made from a featherweight fabric with an “innovative perforated knitting style” that gives the jersey a weightless feeling, and a claim of just a 93g weight for a size medium jersey. That’s very impressive and easily makes it one of the lightest jerseys we’ve ever written about. It has a race-focused cut with a low-profile collar, and the back panel has added SPF 30 protection, plus there’s a full-length zipper and fashionably long sleeves and three rear pockets.
Probably more apt for UK spring and early summer weather is MAAP’s Block Out Pro jacket (€255). The name alludes to its intention, it’s designed for keeping out bad weather, so rain and wind, keeping you dry and protected.
It’s made from DryTech fabric, a Japanese sourced fabric that is fully waterproof and windproof using an internal ClimateControl membrane, with fully welded and taped seams. It’s intended to obviously keep you dry in the rain, but also allow body heat to escape to help regulate your temperature.
There are neat Lycra cuffs for providing a snug fit, a full-length zipper with a zip garage on the collar. And to ensure you stand out when visibility is limited which is typically is when it’s raining, there are large reflective MAAP graphics on the side panels and tape on the rear seams. As with all MAAP clothing, the fit is on the racy side of close for maximum aero performance, it’s clearly a jacket for racing and high-intensity training rides.
Craft commemorates the cycling monuments with new jerseys
Craft has taken inspiration from the Monuments of cycle racing for its new range of jerseys, with five collections that each pays homage to the biggest races.
Those races if you’re not aware are Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia. Each collection includes a jersey, bib shorts, base layer, hats, socks and arm warmers. Oh, and the jerseys are limited as well, so once they’re gone they’re gone. Above is the jersey celebrating last weekend’s Milan-San Remo and features a triangular design that is a simplified representation of the route as well as a symbol of the rock wall adjacent to the sea.
The jersey is available in men and women’s sizes with a close fit and mesh panels for summer ventilation, and elastic sleeves and side panels to improve the fit. The bib shorts are made from Lycra Sport Energy fabric with an Infinity C2 padded insert, silicone leg grippers and inner seam construction.
Castelli revamps summer clothing
Castelli replaced Rapha as the sponsor of Team Sky this year and its latest summer range of clothing has been influenced by this partnership. Here are some highlights of the new range.
The Entrata 3 FZ is a performance-focused jersey designed for all-around use as well as racing. It uses a textured polyester fabric with an Air Mesh fabric on the shoulders, sleeves and side panels with a slightly more generous fit that Castelli says “doesn’t constrict or make you look like you should have bought a size larger,” so that’s nice to know.
Developed specifically for Team Sky riders to use whilst training is the Podio Doppio FZ. It uses a Prosecco GT fabric that is claimed to be very good at wicking sweat so is ideal for a wide range of weathers but particularly mild conditions. It features a “proper” collar and inset sleeves for a slightly more traditional look.
The Velocissimo IV bib shorts have been revised with a new anatomical shape intended to move the stitching away from sensitive areas, whilst the leg hems use a new raw-cut elastic design with vertical silicone gripper tape. Inside is the company’s own Kiss padded insert that is apparently the preferred choice of some members of Team Sky. So if it’s good enough for them it’s probably good enough for you.
Designed with long rides in mind, the Premio bib shorts employ additional compression in the legs and lower back that Castelli reckons provides extra comfort over its more minimalist bib shorts. The front also comes up a bit higher to “hold everything in”. I think we all know what that means… Inside is the proven Progetto X2 Air seat pad.
Everybody needs a good base layer, even in the summer, and designed for a wide range of temperatures the Pro Mesh Short Sleeve Jersey uses a 3D mesh fabric to ensure it provides good ventilation in warm weather. It also has a snazzy design available in a choice of colours for an added bit of style when you’ve unzipped your jersey.
Something new from Pas Normal Studios
Hailing from Denmark, Pas Normal Studios is one of the newest cycle clothing brands on the block but its understated and contemporary aesthetic, compact range and technical design with a focus on dealing with the European weather and riding conditions, has been winning it many fans in the UK. Pas Normal Studios, or PSN for short, splits its clothing between the Mechanism, Essential and Solitude lines, with everything made in Italy.
Mechanism is where it all started, a range of shorts, jerseys and accessories designed for racing and training. The bib shorts use a fully dyed fabric with a proprietary design and detailed textile definitions on both crotch and side panels, an “optimised” chamois and fitted bib straps. The jersey is made from lightweight materials with breathable side and back panels.
The Essential range has been designed for endurance riding where the focus is more on comfort, so the clothing has a slightly more relaxed fit and cut. The company says this is perfect year-round clothing and should be ideal for sportives, training and leisurely rides.
Solitude is a range developed for the summer, with a race fit throughout and extensive use of lightweight breathable materials and colours and designs inspired by the summer, so there’s more colour than in the Mechanism and Essential ranges.
Altura expands spring/summer clothing range
British brand Altura has established itself over the years as a solid choice for dependable and value for money cycle clothing, and for 2018 it is aiming high with its new Peloton 3 range which introduces new colours, and a revised NV 2 Elite range with dynamic reflective detailing.
road.cc tested the company’s Peloton long sleeve jersey and we were so impressed that we gave it 4.5/5. The company is clearly doing a lot of the right things.
For spring/summer 2018 it has added new colours to its Peloton 3 range with “bold new designs, colours and intricate reflectivity” and includes a matching jersey and bib short. The Peloton jersey costs £49.99 and comes in a variety of colours.
The NV 2 Elite is a range of understated, or stealth in the company’s words, jerseys and bibs but still with 360-degree reflectivity to ensure you stand out despite the blackness.
It’s clothing designed for combatting hot weather with strategically placed vents to keep you cool when the going gets warm. The NV 2 Elite jersey costs £79.99 and the bib shorts £99.99. The jersey has a useful five pockets with an all-length zipper, the bibs feature the company’s own Pro 3D padded insert with “full carving conch construction.” Yes, we’ve no idea what that means either!
We'll be testing some of this clothing over the coming months so watch out for reviews on the road.cc homepage.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.