What's Cool In Road Cycling

Eurobike ’16 #6: Sportful Apparel

The name may not be so well known in the US,  but you’ve seen it on Alberto Contador for several seasons, and the technical clothing on display at the Sportful apparel booth was a showcase of the latest jackets, jerseys and bibshorts from the Italian brand.

 

SPORTFUL Apparel
The Italian brand perhaps best known as the clothing sponsor of Team Tinkoff, and a prolific supplier to the Italian National Cycling team started the show off right by winning a Eurobike Award for the Stelvio jacket, which just might be the next big thing in performance rain gear.

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It’s lightweight at 146grams, folds up nice and small to tuck into a pocket or water bottle, and is made of their RainWick Stretch fabric.

The Sportful product card reads like this:
Exceptionally breathable stretch waterproof fabric that has been developed and tested in the harshest wet weather conditions. Highly waterproof membrane will keep you dry in torrential rain external DWR finish will shed water. Excellent breathability will reduce internal condensation and moisture. Light stretch allows for garments that will have a close fit and will move with your body. 3 layer construction with polyamide outer for resistance, light polyester mesh inner with microporous polyurethane membrane 20,000mm waterproof fabric. 50,000 g/m2/24hrs.

There’s enough stretch in the material to allow a compact and tailored fit, so the typical bulk of a rain jacket is eliminated.  The material is a three-layer construction that breathes but also keeps out the hard rain, thanks to the waterproof membrane and taped seams.  The long back, high collar, stretch cuffs and storm-backed zipper seal the deal to keep out the wet stuff.

It’ll cost US$299, come in two colors – anthracite and fluo yellow, sizes XS – 3 XL, and look for it in stores in March 2017.

 

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The R&D Cima Jersey (US$159.99) & bibshort (US $199.99) is offered as a kit for climbers conquering mountain passes –  it’s all about lightweight, breathability and aerodynamics thanks to the lo-profile and snug fit of the Hexalight stretch fabric.  The jersey is made with fewer seams, and the high-stretch fabric has been cut to fit close to the body to reduce bunching.   The Cima bibshort features all mesh legs and a double mesh back panel for incredible comfort and breathability in hot conditions.

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The Cima glove (US $39.99) is made for climbers too – lightweight and breathable with minimal construction. The stretch mesh back could be the most breathable glove you’ve tried, but there’s still some padding in the palm for comfort that maximizes breathability but still provides light padding and bar grip.

 

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HotPack NoRain Ultralight Jacket (US $159.99): Designed to show off just how lightweight a rain jacket can be, while still packing in some pretty decent tech to keep you dry.  Weight is a claimed 105 grams, but it’s fully seamed and made from RainLite fabric that offers stretch for close fit & comfort.  It’s really small too, folding up into a tiny ball so there’s no reason to not take it with you.

Some quoted at the booth saying: “It’s the secret weapon for gran fondos with a wet forecast.”  Ok – they probably got that from the press card, but they were saying it a lot.

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GIARA JERSEY
The all new Giara range features more casual cuts and styles in modern fabrics that make  sense for anyone who wants to ride a bike for more than just racing of fitness.  The fit is relaxed and comfortable, and Sportful calls it “Refined and relaxed, the Giara jersey is a technical jersey that is perfect for your next two-wheeled adventure.”  The jersey is priced at US$99.99.

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GIARA OVERSHORT (US $79.99) is a technical overshort for pretty much any type of riding.  The Protec Stretch fabric stretches 4 ways, and is treatedto resist moistures and stains.  Four low profile pockets are zippered jean-style in front, plus two in back, plus belt loops and a traditional fly  – these will be perfect for riding to your local watering hole.  Look for it in men’s and women’s cuts.

 

Finally – and just so we don’t forget Sportful’s deep roots in competitive cycling – Sportful updates their BodyFit road suit (US $249.99) – first seen in 2010, and worn by Peter Sagan as he won the 2016 Ronde.  Given that uber-breathable mesh body, you may want a certain swagger to pull this one on.

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The design features seams that are placed out of the airflow to be more aero and dimpled fabrics help airflow more quickly around the garment.

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See more info at https://www.sportful.com/

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