Italian clothing brand Q36.5, founded by Luigi Bergamo (formally of Assos), has unveiled its new Cruise Equipment line of clothing which is aimed at dealing with the tricky demands of autumn and winter cycling. We've just got some in for testing so before we get all sweaty in it, here is a first look.
They tell us the clothing range is nicely suited to UK conditions at this time of year, which as you probably know if you've been cycling for a couple of years is a really tricky season to dress for. It's all changeable and unpredictable weather, sunny one moment and raining the next.
"The Cruise Equipment line was conceived to be a riding companion for various occasions when you need better insulation no matter what the conditions. It’s a compact range of apparel, specifically designed to uncompromisingly meet the demands of intense training in variable conditions," explains the company.
But first that name. It's apparently inspired by the fashion world when during the beginning of the 20th Century, designers created clothing for wealthy people who wanted to take a cruise through mild climates in the winter season so needed versatile clothing that could cope with any sort of weather.
The parallel with cycling is the fact that many cyclists regularly make winter trips to destinations like Mallorca and Lanzarote, where the weather can be unpredictable, and you need clothing that will insulate and protect you through the variable weather. Reflective details have been added as well to ensure good visibility during lowlight conditions. Closer to home the weather can throw up all four seasons in one day and choosing what to wear can be nigh-on impossible.
So you need versatile and adaptable clothing, and that is what Q36.,5 has created. The company develops all its own fabrics, nothing is off-the-shelf, and it works closely with local manufacturers to produce cutting-edge material that meets its particular requirements. For this Cruise Equipment collection, it combines natural merino wool with polyamide with a low weight of 175 gr/m2 and finished with a durable water repellent treatment, applied to the fabric threads rather than a finish to provide the best performance in drizzle, and to meet the demands of high-intensity riding and training.
“For this line we have developed a woven blend of polyamide and merino wool, an innovative combination of synthetic and natural yarns with a specific construction that enhances functionality by creating a push & pull of the internal sponge structure that removes the moisture and leaves the skin less clammy: all this with the incredible light weight of 175 gr/m^2! The fabric has been given a durable water repellent finishing to allow proper thermal comfort during interval training under any weather conditions,” explains Q36.5 founder and designer Luigi Bergamo.
Let's take a closer look at some of the range then. Starting with the Jersey Long sleeve WoolF (€190), a stylish long sleeve jersey providing a close fit and insulation for 10°C to 16°C when born over a base layer. The snug fit means it’ll make a good mid-layer paired with a wind or rain jacket, making it a nice versatile option for challenging weather.
The woven fabric (a combination of merino wool and polyamide with a durable water repellent finish) is soft next to the skin and is designed to provide good temperature regulation, and there are nice details like the seamless and stretchy cuff construction and a tall double layer collar to provide a seal against the elements.
There are lots of reflective details including a big fat vertical stripe...
...and the large dropped tail.
There are three open pockets and one zipped pocket for your valuables, and a nice long dropped tail. It’s also very lightweight, just 195g, and feels light on.
The Salopette Wolf 2.0 bib shorts (€204) are a thermal and water resistant bib short designed to be good in a temperature right stretching from 5 to 15°, which covers the majority of typical autumn and winter conditions. For those cyclists that dislike bib tights and prefer to wear bib shorts with knee or leg warmers, these could be a good choice.
They’re made from a lightweight and stretchy fabric with an outer face that provides the wind resistance of a 2-layer outer shell without the membrane, which ensures good breathability. Inside the shorts is the company’s own Super Moulded padded insert manufactured by Elastic Interface.
To complement the shorts are the Woolf Leg Warmers (€85) which are made from the same polyamide and merino wool as the jersey with a durable water repellant treatment. Like the jersey there are reflective tabs for extra visibility and they use a neat seamless leg opening construction to give a smooth and comfortable fit around the top of the leg without squeezing your legs into sausage rolls.
Reviews soon. More at www.q36-5.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. 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.