It’s From the Future!

Enjoying your summer? I am, for the most part. I could have done without the ER trip for my son, who was only following directions when he jumped over the fresh sod in the back yard. We told him not to step on it, true, but we didn’t say “don’t jump over it, miss the landing and whack your chin against the edge of the porch steps.”

We should be more specific next time.

But summer itself is a good thing. And it’s so good that we’re already thinking about what kind of products will live here next summer. The downside of that kind of forward thinking is when we have to talk fall/winter clothing as winter itself is waning. When it’s just starting to get warm, the last thing you need to see is a trunk full of windproof-this, waterproof-that, triple-thermal-lining wonderment.

No, you just want to go ride — in summer kit.

But the summer-clothing preview? At least you can still imagine wearing that stuff. And so far, the most interesting of that stuff is from Castelli, clothier of Team Garmin-Cervelo. Long known for its technical prowess and innovation, Castelli has upped the bar once again for 2012.

The piece garnering the most attention is the Sanremo Speedsuit:

Remember Milan-San Remo 2009, when Heinrich Haussler, then of Cervelo Test Team (now Garmin-Cervelo), got pipped at the line by Mark Cavendish? Haussler was wearing a standard jersey-and-shorts combo that day. And it was a long day. Milan-San Remo is nearly 300km long — almost seven hours on the bike. How much of a difference would more aerodynamic kit make?

And that’s not to say Haussler’s kit wasn’t aerodynamic to begin with. But could it have been more like a skinsuit — slipperier — but with the features of a standard jersey — the zipper and pockets? The Sanremo Speedsuit came out of that discussion, and was worn to victory in this year’s Paris-Roubaix by Johan Van Summeren of Garmin-Cervelo.

As you can see in the picture, it looks an awful lot like a skinsuit. It’s Castelli’s Body Paint short fused to an Aero Race jersey. The business parts of it fit like a skinsuit — it’s tight around the shoulders, hips and legs. But it has a full-length zipper and three pockets like a normal jersey.

Mark, one of our buyers, thinks we’ll all be racing in it (and maybe even training in it) within five years. I can see his point — aero benefits of a skinsuit but the convenience of a jersey-and-bibs setup. And by convenience, I mean peeing. Having to visit the bathroom after you’ve put a skinsuit on is like dressing a kid for a blizzard and then hearing, “I have to go potty,” right as you’re pushing them out the door.

Hmmm … aero and easy to pee in … sign me up.

Of course, I need more kit like I need another bike in the garage. And I can’t really race in it, as we have team kit and all. But I’ll get it anyway, because it’s awesome. And if there’s one word that describes me my wardrobe, it’s awesome.

Price-wise, it’ll retail at $300, which sounds like a lot for one piece. But when you consider its construction — a $250 short mated to a $160 jersey — that’s not bad at all. The only downside I can think of is crashing. If you blow out the shorts, you’ve effectively toasted a jersey, too.

But the answer to that is easy. Just don’t crash. No problem, right?

2 Comments to “It’s From the Future!”

  1. dicky 4 August 2011 at 7:56 am #

    You had me right up until the $300 part.

  2. Velo Jones 6 August 2011 at 9:21 am #

    Well, it is a high-end, team-level piece. And it’s still cheaper than buying the pieces separately. But, agreed, it’s not for everybody and everybody’s budgets.

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