Shimano is courting urban riders and those out on tour, not looking to stand out in spandex, with a new range of technical performance clothing in their Explorer line, minimally designed for riding on both road and trail. Not too different from what we’ve seen from Giro’s clothing styling in recent years, Shimano’s new Transit city and mountain collections add a line-up of cycling-specific shorts & pants, jerseys, shirts, shoes, gloves, backpacks, and more with a subtle look on the bike….
Shimano says they are ‘channeling minimalism’ in the new Transit collections unveiled this week to appeal to both the city commuter and the day tripper looking for understated performance on their rides. While Shimano talks about the clothing as the highlight of the Transit collection, what jumped out at us were the great looking shoes on offer.
The sharpest looking are probably the classically styled road shoes with their perforated, breathable synthetic uppers. They are actually touring oriented so are designed to be able to walk in them and get regular mountain-style SPD compatibility. First is the modern look with the RT5 and their three simple Velcro straps. The RT5s will come in beige, black, blue, and white and are claimed to weigh 300g per shoe.
Or there’s also the RT4 that goes for a more retro look with lace-up styling. They will be available in a perforated synthetic in weathered gray or white, or a patterned fabric in dark or light gray melange. The RT4 are claimed to weigh just 275g a piece.
Both get a glass fiber reinforced shank for an efficient pedaling platform, a full length rubber sole for comfort off the bike, and reflectivity from all sides for visibility
For those touring riders looking for something a bit more substantial, the off-road MT5 and MT3 shoes have a more rugged design for more off-the-bike use exploring the places that you’ve ridden to.
And for hot weather riders, not a slave to fashion, a new SD5 SPD sandal provides the option of clipping in and still feeling the wind between your toes.
For the clothing there is a lot of talk about looking and feeling good both on and off the bike, and the new offerings seem to hit that mark.
The Transit gear has two main aesthetic approaches. On one side there is the subtle, low-key look that will most likely suit the commuter looking to blend in on the street with the rest of the populace. Colors here are mostly earth tones and fairly muted. While these are aimed at the commuter or touring rider, the gear all gets technical touches like anti-bacterial silver ion-treated fabric and subtle reflective elements throughout that almost disappear in the daylight, but light up when hit by lights after dark for real-world functionality.
Transit Path shorts and pants keep your seat covered with water-repellent and stretchy fabrics and deep front pockets. Both get discrete reflective details, and the pants roll-up cuffs.
On the other side of the coin are some brighter colors in the collection geared more towards the off-road rider and adventure tourer. These designs are still on the uncluttered spectrum, but get a little some bright block color designs. These more technically oriented elements include features like an advanced fabric finish similar to ColdBlack that is said to reflect the sun’s heat, keeping you up to 3°C cooler on hot sunny rides.
In addition to standard cut jerseys, there are also bike-specific polos and checkered button-ups with hidden chest and/or rear pockets, all with special anti-odor fabrics and UV protection.
Pretty much the complete clothing range for either riding style comes in complete jersey and short offering with both men’s and women’s specific cuts and subtle design distinctions.
Besides the riding shorts and jerseys one of the key pieces from the new collection is the light Transit Windbreak jacket. It gets a water-repellent finish, an adjustable waist, and a mobile phone pocket on the chest. It comes in both tan and gray with black detailing and subtle reflective elements.
Transit also includes a wide range of accessories to add on top of shoes and the main tops & bottoms. That includes several smaller items like short and full-fingered touchscreen-friendly gloves, as well as matching socks and a number of bag offerings. There are even a couple of new sunglasses for a bit of protection for your eyes.
For computers, books, and clothes the 17l or 23l Tokyo pack has a padded internal laptop pocket, document organizers, and an array of accessory-storage pockets. It includes a hi-vis raincover, the same discrete reflectivity seen throughout the Transit range, plus a water-resistant base and a roll-top closure.