With eyes on warmer weather ahead, Sporful just rolled their Summer 2017 line out to retailers. We saw some of their top WorldTour racing kit coming to you back at Eurobike with the race-proven R&D Cima line and packable Stelvio rain jacket. Off the racing circuit, they’ve got even more to satisfy the general riding public. A new Giara line developed with a slightly more relaxed fit and toned down look to meet the needs of riders out on all-day adventures that want performance without a kit screaming ‘Euro Pro’. At the same time, Sportful has something new in their popular, super packable HotPack range. A new HotPack NoRain Ultralight rain jacket gets Sportful’s lightest ever fully waterproof fabric to take away any remaining excuse for being unprepared for a surprise thunderstorm. Get a closer look at it all, after the jump…
Sportful’s all new Giara range combines classic styling with modern performance fabrics to make it at home on or off road, designed especially for those of us who want to head out on an adventure and maybe blend in with non-cyclists along the way. Built for exploration then, the all new line is meant to transition smoothly off the bike as well as it performs while riding. It has a bit of the look of the modern crop of merino wear, but is in fact all about performance synthetics.
The line includes a comfortably fitted but not overly tight 90€ jersey that is available for both men & women (not like the painted on fit of the R&D Cima range below). Both get a black body fabric with heather upper body and reflective color contrast stripes, in a design that will at once be both flattering to any cyclist, while also holding up to riding in either wet or dry conditions. The fast-drying structured polyester jerseys get standard 3 pockets out back and full length zippers.
On top of that there is a wind & water resistant jacket that gets a similar relaxed performance cut so it won’t slow you down in the saddle, but has simple classic styling that doesn’t scream ‘roadie’, even if you are one. The 130€ jacket for men or women again sticks to the same subdued color palette, but gets functional features like 360° reflective elements, a zip rear pocket, and decent packability so it can be stuffed into most jersey pockets (it claims a weight of 180g).
For shorts there are two options. Men get a 100€ lycra bib short while women get a 80€ standard pair of lycra short, both with simple smooth black lycra, a matching contrast color strip, and Sportful’s endurance focused chamois pad.
Then there is an unpadded 80€ pair of overshorts, available for men & women. They uses a DWR treated four-way stretch fabric for a close fit and comfortable pedaling on the bike, but features like a functional fly, a 4-pocket layout, and even belt loops so they can double off the bike, and help you blend in with the locals.
A 20€ mesh polyester cap is also available as part of the line to keep sweat out of your eyes and helmet hair in check. It’s lastly joined by a 38€ pair of fingerless padded gloves and some 20€ socks
HotPack NoRain Ultralight jacket
While the Giara line is nice looking and has its own jacket, the new ultralight rain jacket from the HotPack line is probably the most interesting piece of kit to me in the new season, and the best way to stay prepared on those long adventure rides or granfondos. I’ve long been a fan of the simple packable jackets and vests of the HotPack lineup, and to bring a seam-sealed, fully water proof jacket to the line-up is a big step up in performance. At 200€ the HotPack NoRain Ultralight jacket doesn’t come cheap, but promises a fully waterproof fabric, with breathability features in a shell that still weighs just a claimed 105g and packs down as small a a wind jacket. Just for a frame of reference that’s more than a 1/3 lighter (smaller) than their Stelvio that we stuffed in a bottle here, and 1/5 lighter than their previous attempt at a light, packable waterproof shell the 150€ HotPack NoRain Jacket.
The ultralight jacket come in both fluorescent yellow for visibility or a more low-key silver, and in a huge size range from XS-XXXL. It includes an extended tail for better coverage, a close cut fit to limit flapping in the wind, reflective detailing, a waterproof zip and a storm flap, plus a rear zip pocket and a tiny stuff sack to pack it into the bottom of a jersey pocket.
The R&D Cima line that we saw last fall includes a premium spec 130€ jersey, 130€ bib shorts, 15€ socks & 40€ road mitts all designed for hot weather riding. It was developed together with Sportful’s sponsorship of the Tinkoff team as their ultimate kit for ascending big mountain climbs in the peak of summer racing. It uses a highly stretchy Hexalight fabric for the jersey that lets Sportful cut down on seams, while delivering high breathability and low aerodynamic drag. The shorts get open mesh legs and a double alternating mesh back that maximize breathability while still providing some modesty.
Another that we saw last autumn was the packable Stelvio rain jacket. Designed again for Tinkoff, the 300€ jacket was developed to offer premium protection from rain at a race pace, while maintaining breathability and a close aerodynamic fit. It isn’t the most packable rain jacket on the market, but still gets down to almost the size of a standard 500ml bidon so it can be stuffed into a jersey pocket. But its benefit is more that it offers a level of breathability and comfort, that riders won’t be looking to pull it off at the first chance like you usually end up doing with other sealed but poorly vented shells. It works by combining a 3 layer construction with a stretchy waterproof membrane and an external DWR finish on a durable polyamide outer layer to shed water.
All of this new kit, plus a couple of other lines with revamped graphics are making their way out though retail channels now. Some of it is already in shops while all will be available in stores in March.