The return of spring means it’s probably time to refresh some of your warmer weather cycling kit, and pretty much every brand is ready to get you kitted for transition season riding, so it’s time for a clothing roundup… Shimano’s light new Explorer mountain bike kit should keep you trail-ready ’til summer. Santini has literally been working on a ton of new riding clothing in their lockdown, from road to gravel to trail. Velobici’s has that classy collaboration look going for Factor road bike riders. And Velocio updated their Luxe-urious bibs, added more merino & more high-performance, low-cost Foundation kit.
Shimano Explorer mountain bike riding gear
Shimano’s latest Explorer mountain bike clothing is the most recent move by the component giant to deliver simple, high-performance cycling kit at competitive pricing under their own brand, rather than subsidiary Pearl Izumi. Shimano calls the new kit high-value gear you can trust, ideal for new off-road riders.
The Explorer Collection includes a lightweight jacket, short & long sleeve loose-fitting jerseys, and a couple of different baggy shorts. Tons of new fitted jerseys, jackets, baselayers, padded bib shorts & tights have also been added to Shimano’s rapidly-expanding road & gravel-oriented clothing families.
The most interesting highlight of the new MTB gear is probably the lightweight, windproof and showerproof Nagano Variable jacket. I’ve ridden in the 160€ Nagano jacket, and it works well as a simple, packable shell. The waterproof fabric (but doesn’t get taped seams) feels lightweight, and even though it has a rubbery inner coating, it still seems reasonably breathable as you ride.
Pair it with one of the geometrically-patterned, short- or long-sleeve Myoko synthetic jerseys if you want a relaxed fit, or the Kita for a more traditional full-zip jersey. The light Fukui shorts offer a casual trail-ready look in a couple of color options, or the move heavy-duty Yoshimuta shorts get a bit more technical in black-only.
All of the new Shimano kit is available now through brick-and-mortar shops and online, taking advantage of Shimano’s huge distribution networks.
2021 Santini road, gravel & MTB spring clothing roundup
Everything at Santini seems to look new for 2021, across all disciplines. While a lot of their Spring/Summer 2021 road collection boils down to new looks and specifically their Mix & Match colors to cross every product in matchy-matchy style (Granatina pink/black, Nautica blue/orange, Military/Neon green & Silver grey/teal for ’21), there still seems to be some tech-focused updates & upgrades.
The premium Redux road family gets an “aggressive aerodynamics” focus for the 195€ Instinto jersey & 239€ Instinto bibs, featuring Santini’s most advanced minimalist construction and materials. On top of that, the new 199€ Redux Vidor Wind Jacket keeps your chest and arms warm with soft Polartec Alpha active insulation inside.
Another unique new piece of road kit are the 159€ ultra-ventilated Tono Freccia Bib shorts. Beyond just a mesh set of bib straps, these shorts include open perforated mesh lower leg panels to keep you from overheating on hot days (and to give you super weird tan lines!)
The 2021 MTB kit looks like it might be trying to recall the 1980s in bright, at times neon colors that are unabashedly Italian. Neon orange 59€ Sasso jersey, bright blue 79€ Selva shorts… why not, summer’s coming soon, right?
The Gravel collection dials it back, sticking with thankfully more conservative earth tones, maybe best highlighted by the new 129€ techno-wool Gravel Shirt. Essentially a premium wool blend button-up with reflective details and a hidden rear pocket, it hopes to look good on or off-the-bike. Add to those Gravel bibs or tights with mesh cargo pockets on each thigh and two jersey-style pockets on your lower back so you wear a loose-fitting top.
Factor x Velobici road bike riders’ collection
The new/upcoming Factor x Velobici cycling clothing collection was developed to give Factor bike owners a high-performance, classically-designed kit to match their bikes. It’s only now being previewed, but you can get exclusive early access if you pre-register for the kit now via Factor. The full line-up is made entirely in England by Velobici, and available in both men’s & women’s cuts. Sticking with classic black
The £195 bibs, socks, caps & an off-the-bike jacket stick with classic black. The £190 jersey and baselayer let you pick red or gray, or a £190 gilet in gray only. Register now to secure a spot in line, with actual orders & availability starting at the earliest in April.
Velocio’s new Luxe, Concept & Foundation spring cycling kit
For Spring/Summer ’21, Velocio have given their popular Luxe bib shorts two new updated options. Both lean heavily on the core soft Luxe-orious compressive fabric, swapping out leg grippers for a raw-cut with low-profile integrated grip lining. The standard $259 / 222€ Luxe Bib Short keep the same low cut, thin & stretchy bib straps, while a second set of $289 / 243€ Luxe V2 Bib Short adds a more structured upper back panel to blend upper support with the soft, compressive bottoms.
To pair with the fancy shorts, a new $189 / 170€ Concept Merino Jersey adds natural merino wool fabric to Velocio’s premium race cut jersey, offering more shoulder season comfort on variable temp rides.
Then, the expanding Foundation line aims to deliver top-level performance at more accessible prices. The $89 / 74€ Foundation Jersey uses a new lightweight 100% recycled Italian polyester fabric in a semi-relaxed cut with simple, classic looks, zipper garages, and reflective detailing. Pair those with the 78% recycled returning $129 / 96€ Foundation Bib Shorts or new 100% recycled ThermoGreen $159 / 149€ Foundation Bib Tights.