As the sun blazes and the roads ahead grow ever tempting, we can all sit safe in the knowledge that summer has finally arrived. We may have the perfect, two-wheeled cruiser for the adventures ahead, but are we clad in the right kit? Here’s some of the best summer cycling gear from the Bike Factory…
The great bib debate
Bib shorts may be commonplace throughout the professional peloton and the uppermost echelons of the amateur racing scene, but some of us – let’s say – hobby cyclists, may prefer to opt for a pair of cheaper, tight-fitting ‘normal’ shorts. Yes, they’re often the more budget option and don’t require a complete strip when heading to the bathroom, but boy can they grow uncomfortable as the waistband begins to dig in on those longer days in the saddle.
There’s a reason the pros opt for the security of bib shorts, and it isn’t always to avoid that ‘builder’s bum’ look. Bibs are just a whole lot more comfortable, providing greater support and comfort . Santini make some of the best, their bib shorts ranging from the entry-level Fase variants made from soft and reflective Papaya fabrics, to the top-end Tono 2.0s constructed from the most elite Thunderbike Power fabrics and with minimal seams. All of Santini’s bibs come complete with a super-comfortable inner chamois with cooling technology and an ergonomic 3D surface, making them some of the best to ride on long, hot summer rides.
One of the best pieces of kit to invest in is a super-lightweight and breathable jersey, one with porous fabrics to wick away the clinging sweat and let your body breathe. As well as constructing some of the most comfortable bib shorts for warm weather riding, Santini also impress in the jersey department, particularly with their lightweight Tono 2.0 Short Sleeve Jersey. The front and back are constructed from Sesia micromesh making the whole piece incredibly breathable. The slim-fit design, raw cut sleeves and Bodyfit fabric also help to keep the jersey really light, almost like a second skin.
Santini’s Ace Short Sleeve Jersey is another showstopper, especially when you learn that the same fabrics used in the Ace are also used in the make-up of the official UCI World Championship jersey. Their Classe SS jersey is another intended for summer use, engineered with lightweight melange fabrics to ensure supreme breathability and comfort whenever the temperatures ramp up.
Don’t forget those mitts
Warm weather coupled with worn bar tape isn’t the best recipe for smooth palms, that’s why – in spite of rising temperatures – mitts are an essential item of clothing that should never be left at home. They’re also awesome at protecting your palms and knuckles in the event of crash, your hands usually taking the full force of the blow as you hit the deck.
Many mitts can be used all year round, but there are some super-comfortable summer-specific ones if you’re looking to avoid sweaty palms mid ride. Specialized’s Bg Grail mitts come with a porous upper surface to increase airflow and their proprietary pad system is specifically engineered to prevent hand numbness and increase circulation. the US brand’s entry-level Body Geometry Sport mitts are another fantastic option, gel pads and reinforced Micromatrix synthetic leather creating a glove that is comfortable, supple and extremely durable.
Exceptionally light with attractive melange monochromatic fabric on the back, Santini’s 365 Classe Short Finger gloves are the pinnacle of summer comfort. With a porous upper and supple, protective palm pad, these mitts are ideal for a long, warm day in the saddle.
We’re constantly at the mercy of the whims of the British summer and its notorious downpours, so it may be a good idea to have a quick look at the weather before heading out on your ride. If there’s rain forecasted then you may just want to pack a lightweight and storable rain jacket.
If you’re looking to rock the same kit as the pros riding for Quick-Step Floors and Bora Hansgrohe, and end up as dry as Peter Sagan’s sense of humour, then Specialized’s Deflect Sl Pro Rain Jacket is the perfect option. A three layer fabric makes the jacket both extremely waterproof and highly breathable, thanks to a trio consisting of: a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) treated outer, a breathable middle PTFE membrane and a light inner hydrophilic lining.
Altura’s Pocket Rocket 2 is a great value option for a lightweight, waterproof summer jacket, as is Santini’s 365 Marzo Windbreaker. Both jackets can be easily compressed and stored in a jersey pocket, ready for that inevitable summer shower.
As well as all the summer Santini garments listed here, the Bike Factory stock a whole lot more. To view the rest of the Santini range, click here. If you’re looking for some kit to get the jump on the approaching winter season, then head over to our winter collection here.