The Q36.5 L1 Gillet In Black And Camo 07/27/2014


gilletSometimes a piece of kit comes along that is just so perfect that you know it might be the last time you need to buy that particular item again – in this case I think I have my last Gillet. Chad at Above Category introduced me to Q36.5 performance wear from Italy. Living where Luigi Bergamo the founder does, at the bottom of the Dolomite,s he tends to be in close proximity with some of the best technical fabric makers in the world. Here he is able to have them develop fabric that is only used in the Q36.5 Collection. Luigi’s general design philosophy is keep his pieces as close to one piece as possible, with minimal use of panels, keeping a snug and aerodynamic fit. One thing you will notice about Q36.5 products is the surprise you get when you pick them up. They are incredibly light. I mean really noticeably light. This is mostly due to the fabrics they have commissioned that offer good protection and comfort but still let them construct a beautiful super light product. The best example of this is in their socks – they weigh about half the weight of a normal pair of performance socks – I am telling you this not as a weight saving that is going to make you go faster – it is just pretty incredible. It does help a lot in making you feel comfortable. The name Q36.5 comes from the optimal body temperature of a healthy body (Quaerere 36.5˚). A very cool new brand that I can only imagine are going to keep on improving and developing some of the best performance kit out there.

Available in the US through Above Category.

Categories: Design / Kit

The Clybourn Shirt By Upright


Upright_ClybournUpright make clothing that looks great off the bike and is designed to work beautifully on the bike. Their latest piece is the Clybourn shirt, made using a cotton, nylon and spandex fabric with a raised embroidered Chambray pattern. Also a nice little touch in the back where the Upright brand mark becomes a reflective label.

Available here

Categories: Design / Kit

The Sportful Water Carrier 07/13/2014


water_carrierCan’t figure out why it took so long for this piece of kit to come along. Sometimes the ideas are right there in front of you – although somewhat of a limited market. I cringe every time I see riders stuffing bottles down the back of their jerseys riding a few inches from the team car. I might find the images that produces funny, but at the same time there had to be a better way. Sportful and Team Tinkoff seam to have figured that out for the Tour this year. Apparently the idea came from Michael Rodgers, probably because he was tired of looking like the Michelin man on global TV coverage.

Categories: Design / Kit

The Ass Saver Extended Team Edition 06/05/2014


ass_saversI managed to get my hands on a very nice and very professional new Ass Saver, the Team Rapha Condor edition. They just released an extended version for the road and did this nice brand partnership with the team. I have wanted to try one of these out since seeing some of the Pro’s using them at the GIRO in Belfast. Thanks to the lovely Claire Beaumont @Condor for letting me get my hands on one. Hopefully I won’t need it for a while.

 

Categories: Design / Kit

CVNDSH S-Works Shoe 04/27/2014


cavendish_shoesThe new CVNDSH S-Works shoe might be my favorite S-Works show yet, and I am on a third pair. Prefer the simpler graphics on this shoe than the standard S-Works graphic. Looking forward to seeing them in the flesh.

Categories: Design / Kit

Training Is Basically An Act Of Faith 07/27/2014


training_t-shirtWe have a new t-shirt at the printers in honor of legendary coach Franz Stampfl. The coach behind Roger Bannister and his four minute mile, he was probably one of the first legendary coaches. Renowned for strict training methods and an eccentric personality. Once spotted washing his car trackside during an athletics meet wearing only Speedos, he was the first of a breed. The coach who introduced the concept of “Interval Training” that we all suffer by week-in-week out. As someone who originally trained as an art student it is not surprising that he once said “ ”I sometimes think that my ideal athlete would have the mind of a poet. He would be a man with rich imagination, capable of intensely feeling physical, mental and spiritual emotions.” He had an incredible ability to get into the heads of his athletes and make them feel like the had the ability to beat anyone in the world. We should have the t-shirt in a few weeks.

Categories: Design / Kit

Topo X John Fellows Water Bottle


topo_designsA beautiful bottle by Colorado based TOPO designs who commissioned Denver artist John Fellows for a map inspired mountain illustration. Made out of recycled materials by Liberty Bottleworks.

Categories: Design / Kit

The Orion Jacket By Mission Workshop 07/04/2014


Orion_JackteIf you are looking for an extreme weather riding shell The Orion jacket by Mission Workshop should hold up to anything the weather can throw at you. They have done a limited run in this brilliant Hi-Vis orange made with 96 g/m2 Polartec® NeoShell® , one of the best technical fabrics around. It is packed with features that make it a great on and off bike product. Underarm pit zips for ventilation when riding. An external front access pocket on the chest. An internal ported media pocket for your iPhone, and a rear stow pocket. And maybe my favorite feature the lined hand warmer pockets. Mission Workshop products are incredibly well made which is reflected in the price of $439, but my experience is that whatever you buy from them will last you a very long time.

The Orion Jacket is available here.

Categories: Design / Kit

Anatomy Of A Jersey – Bardiani-CSF 05/25/2014


Bardiani_JerseyEvery year when the Grand Tour wildcard teams get announced there is the customary rumbles of national “favoritism“. How some of those wildcards don’t deserve their spot – “its just because they are Italian“. How they don’t have the riders that warrant them getting a ride ahead of the bigger names. Bardiani-CSF is one of those teams. Italian through and through, a team built of up and coming young talent. A team that in Belfast were preparing in camper vans dwarfed by the bigger buses and trucks of the big budgets. Yet here we are more than half way through this years GIRO and they have two stage wins, and have been in the action practically every day since Belfast. Not just interested in getting “TV time” for their sponsors they have been chasing stage wins from the start. That is two stage wins more than a lot of the super teams like Sky, with what seems like an endless budget and an abundance of GC contenders. So who actually benefited from the money shot? As their stage winners crossed the line, arms aloft in victory, who were the sponsors that have gotten behind this young team and brought us two exciting victories, and maybe some of the next generation of Italian racing talent. A kit that can’t afford to be cool and minimal, every inch is covered with fractions of what it takes to scrape together the budget to compete at this level. Names we have barely heard of, sponsors making products that mostly sell things that we will never buy. So why are they sponsoring this team – probably because they love the sport and get more for their media money off these two wins that buying straight up advertising.

Categories: Design / Kit / Riders