If you need to spruce up your cycling wardrobe for the warmer weather then here’s a first look at some of the new 2019 clothing range from Italian clothing company Sportful. In the video below we’ve highlighted some of the best items from the BodyFit and Fiandre ranges as well as a first look at its new gravel lineup, Super Giara.
Designed for the pros but available to us mere mortals is the BodyFit range. It’s clothing designed for the highest performance, so racing and fast rides where you want a great fit, aerodynamic benefits and supreme comfort.
New in the range this year is the BodyFit Pro 2.0 Evo jersey (£90) in this snazzy blue design (other colours are available) constructed from a lightweight material intended to maximise breathability in warmer weather.
There are minimal seams to provide the best aerodynamics and fit with a low profile collar and wideband sleeves for a figure-hugging fit, and three generously sized pockets for all your essentials.
The BodyFit Pro 2.0 LTD shorts (£115) provide comfort by way of a proven TC Pro padded insert with 13mm thick foam, with a taper at the edges to prevent irritation and ensuring there’s just padding where it’s really needed.
The shorts themselves are made from the company’s own AeroFlow Compress fabric developed to both reduce drag and provide support for the muscles by way of light compression, hence the name.
Really exciting are these new BodyFit Team socks. They are unique in that the two-part construction allows Sportful to be more creative with colours and logos on the top half of the sock in a way that regular socks don't allow. The footbed of the socks is akin to a normal cycling sock and there’s a thin band of silicone around the opening to ensure they don’t slip and slide and to ensure maximum aero benefit.
Pictured below is the brand new Bomber Suit 111. We’ll have a video all about this new outfit soon but for now, all you need to know is that it's a one-piece skin suit designed and developed to give the Bora-Hansgrohe team a competitive advantage. As you might know, there has been a bit of an arms race in the clothing pro teams in recent years in the quest for every possible gain.
Peter Sagan actually wore a prototype when he won both Gent Wevelgem and Paris-Rouabix in 2018, and a year later it’s commercially available. The name? That’s a reference to Sagan’s race number at PR and also a nod to his three consecutive world championship victories. Expect most of the team to be rocking it this year.
The shorts and jersey are constructed as one, with minimal seams and careful panel shaping and use of materials to enhance the aero performance. It’s been tested in the wind tunnel and obviously in actual races where the company gains valuable feedback to inform the design.
At £280 it’s not going to be a big seller but instead is intended as a product that showcases the company’s desire and commitment to providing the best cutting-edge clothing it can to those most demanding of cyclists, professionals like Sagan. We’re excited to try it out so watch this space for more.
Super Giara gravel clothing
A few years ago I got to ride the stunning Strade Bianche event (thoroughly recommend it) and I was wearing Sportful’s then brand new Giara line of clothing aimed at gravel and adventure riders. It was understated designs with a more laid-back fit and well-received.
Now there’s a brand new Super Giara line which is aimed at more demanding riders getting into gravel and adventure riding, who want the same fit as the company’s race-focused lines but with the toned down colours and designs of that original Giara range.
The Super Giara jersey (£90) has a few interesting details. There are three pockets, so far so normal, but the middle pocket is taller for extra storage, plus there’s a zipped valuables pocket. The jersey construction is strongly influenced by the Body Fit jersey but the shoulders are more relaxed to promote comfort over aero concerns.
Matching the jersey are the new Super Giara bib shorts (£115) which are interesting because they have pockets. We’ve seen pockets on bib shorts before of course, but it does seem to be the start of a trend in adventure clothing to add extra pockets for more storage options when you’re bikepacking or adventuring. What do you think?
Sportful has added three extra pockets, two at the lower back and on one leg. They can be used as well as jersey pockets or instead of. You might scoff at pockets on bib shorts but I’ve found them useful on off-road rides, where stuff is less likely to bounce out of them compared to jersey pockets, and for longer rides, as you have more capacity to carry extra food or store excess clothing.
For changeable weather, there's the matching Giara vest which is extremely lightweight and packable. It has the added bonus of two large rear slits so you can access your jersey pockets. As you can see in the video it takes up little space when rolled up into a jersey pocket.
Fiandre and NoRain
Sportful has found huge favour with British cyclists tasked with battling through all sorts of weather on this small island, often all in the same ride, thanks to its Fiandre range which utilises rain resistant NoRain technology.
New this year are two updated bib shorts, one designed for chillier rides with a thermal lining and a lighter option for warmer rides when you might still need some additional wet weather protection.
Both shorts share the same fundamental NoRain fabric technology. It’s a water repellant treatment consisting of tiny nano-filaments of silicone integrated within the structure of the fabric. It helps to prevent water from getting through but also really good breathability.
The Fiandre Light NoRain shorts (£90) above have a lighter version of this fabric for warmer weather. There are light mesh bib straps, laser-cut leg openings and a Bodyfit Pro seat pad.
For colder weather conditions are the regular Fiandre NoRain shorts (£100). They have a brushed fleece lining for extra warmth, ideal for early morning rides and commutes and spring/autumn seasons.
Not new but worth reminding you of because they are hugely useful and massively increase your adaptability to changeable weather, and because they’re nearly 10 years old, is Sportful’s NoRain Arm (£27) and Knee warmers (£32).
They are extremely useful and very versatile, keeping you warm and dry and it’s cold and wet, but breathable for warmer weather. They are a must-have in your cycling wardrobe.
Sportful’s Hot Pack range of lightweight and extremely packable windproof jackets and vests have been very well received over the years, - the first Hot Pack was launched in the late 90s - and new this is year is the Hot Pack Easylight Vest (£60).
It’s designed to be a more appealing price while staying true to its roots of being a very lightweight and packable vest for when the weather changes, you need a bit more protection on early morning commutes or you’re riding in the mountains where, as you likely know, the weather can change very suddenly.
Its development owes much to the fact the company is based in the Italian Dolomites where the vest is apparently referred to as the Dolo-mate”.
Stay tuned for full reviews on these new items of clothing over the coming weeks, and there's more info over at www.sportful.com
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