When it comes to road bikes there is a lot of talk about how various tires, frames, and saddles transmit road vibration to the rider. But what about the chamois? Part of the standard road kit, those padded shorts play a critical role in rider comfort. Why not try to make a chamois that is better at absorbing the chatter that is broadcast through the bike?
In a major redesign to their Formula FXE chamois, Sugoi hopes to do exactly that. Using a technology that we’ve only seen once before in a chamois, Sugoi is looking to the world of flexible protection to cancel out unwanted vibrations. At the opposite end of the pad, Sugoi is tackling another issue of rider comfort with something they call the Cradle…
Originally designed specifically for impact protection, Poron XRD is a microcellular foam that remains flexible at rest, but stiffens on impact. Having been used for body armor, electronics protection, safety boots, and other protective duties, someone along the line figured out that the same properties that make it great for flexible protection also make it incredibly suited to absorbing vibrations. An easy demonstration includes the large steel ball above that bounces repeatedly on standard foam but stops dead on the first drop on the Poron XRD. On a chamois level that supposedly will keep all of the constant low amplitude vibrations at bay which is said to keep you fresh in the saddle for longer periods of time.
Housed in a triple density chamois with a 6mm foam base, the Poron XRD foam (red layer, above) is added on top of a 5mm layer of 60 density foam under the sit bones.
While the Poron XRD has your back, Sugoi has tailored the other end of the chamois to better fit the bits. You know what we’re talking about – that uncomfortable feeling many road shorts have that leave you feeling rather constricted? To combat the squeeze Sugoi has a new 3D formed cradle that is meant to give you some breathing room – just enough to be happy. The Cradle is only part of the 3D molding for a proper fit with an aggressive center channel and die cut holes for breathability.
You’ll only find the new Cradle equipped chamois on the RSE kit for 2016, but we’re told that the rest of the technologies will make their way to the rest of the line. Using Ti Grid Lite fabric to bring the weight down, the RSE jersey is Sugoi’s lightest ever at 140g. Combined with 172g bibs and you have an impressive weight reduction of a 1/4 of a pound! Even so, Sugoi says they weren’t going for the lightest jersey ever but a good all around weight that also won’t leave you sunburned with the outline of your bibs underneath. Built with four rear pockets including a waterproof cell phone pocket (protected from your sweat, not necessarily the elements), the jersey will sell for $220 and the shorts come in at $240. One interesting thing about the new shorts aside from the FXE chamois – they now use a silicone dipped fabric which means they can make the leg grippers without any seams for more comfort and less weight.
Elsewhere in the line the RS Pro Climbers Jersey is updated with new fabrics, Zap Tech reflectivity on the hems, and a waterproof phone pocket for $120.
And on the casual road side of things the RPM line has been updated with a relaxed fit and casual styling that still includes performance features. Most importantly, the RPM kit is very competitive with other casual road gear priced at $65 for the jersey and $80 for the shorts with a removable liner with RC100 chamois.
Even with winter pretty far off in the distance, we were pretty excited to get a sneak peek at the new RSE Alpha Jacket. Building off their relationship with Polartec from the Neoshell waterproof jackets, Sugoi will be introducing a new jacket that is less about water/weather proofing and more about absolute breathability. Thanks to the Polartec Alpha material on the arms and chest, the jacket is said to breath like a jersey while providing needed warmth. Between the water resistant outer, lined interior, offset zipper and reflective accents and rear pockets we can see ourselves in the RSE Alpha when the temperature finally drops later this year. Pricing and availability TBA.