Shimano has followed up their blingy road shoe with a range of clothes to match. We were luckly enough to get an early look at the Tour Down Under. So which of your kids are you going to sell?
Words - James Raison
The brand spankin' new line of clothes includes: jerseys, bib shorts, skinsuits, gloves and socks. With the S-Phyre shoes already available, and the recent acquisition of Lazer helmets, you can now deck yourself head to toe in Shimano. We already dig the shoes, so we're pretty keen to see the clothes. Check out the S-Phyre RC-9 review.
Reading the S-Phyre material it soon becomes clear that Shimano want a covering so inconspicuous it borders on body paint. It's all meant to act like a second skin. Pull it on and then forget it while you go really fast.
Everything has been developed with more than basic fit in mind. It's about efficiency and energy conservation. If you reduce small losses from aerodynamic drag, overheating, and friction then you get free speed.
The jersey has completely seamless shoulders with 3D construction to avoid any wrinkling, thereby reducing drag. It's all subtle, and low profile. Pockets are anatomically constructed to hold your stuff while maintaining the overall subtlety of the kit.
It feels like an extremely light neoprene to touch. It's reminiscent of POC AVIP jersey. It's outrageously light as well, which will please the weight weenies. Pulling it on there's plenty of stretch to let it mould to your shape. There's going to be a lot of aero dudes at your local crits in the S-Phyres.
On the bottom, the knicks feature a shock absorbing winged chamois, integrated woven leg grippers to hold the leg more securely and inner-thigh high-thread count weave patterns for a zero-loss interface between the saddle and the garment.
The panels have a glossy, ribbed feeling to them and will give you some compression benefit. The straps are light, and there's a light membrane back panel. Despite the solid panel, it looks very porous and breathable. Chamois has a long split in the rear to help conform to your body while pedalling.
There will be a skinsuit option too with a single unit construction. We'll have too wait and see exactly what that means but we like the sound of it! According to Shimano the skinsuit will be "Hard-to-make, easy-to-wear, faster-than-fast."
The rest of the kit includes socks, already shipping with the S-Phyre shoes, and some insanely minimalist gloves. They've gone all-in-on-aero, with zero padding. I wrestled my way into an XL, a size or two bigger than normal. We'll have to reserve judgement on comfort until we've had a chance to test them properly.
The new line of clothes will be in action aboard the Lotto-NL Jumbo team at the Tour Down Under.