While the cycling apparel segment continues to turn-out a glut of small, boutique brands, each vying for market-share by touting bold new claims of performance, there’s no checkmating a titan like Santini when it comes to developing the latest innovative designs. Besides, most of these company founders were still in diapers, if even born at all, when the storied Italian brand was already outfitting the world’s most celebrated teams and prestigious races.
That said, there’s no better example than Santini’s latest UNICO bib short and REDUX SPEED jersey, which feature the Bergamo-based company’s latest cutting-edge materials and designs.
In the case of the UNICO, it comprises new a microfiber construction that’s almost completely devoid of seams, along with the company’s signature C3 chamois pad, while raw-cut legs and laser-cut bib straps that are treated to a trippy-dippy color fade on the inside further punctuate the bib short. This psychedelic effect is also complimented by an iridescent Santini logo on the right leg, which offers a smidgen of added visibility thanks to its reflective property.
“This is a game changer performance bib-short that will blow your mind! Featuring thermo welded seams and innovative grip-less fabric technology for a second-skin weightless feel that’s designed for long distance road riding, but great for anything. Made of a high performance, soft feel, Italian microfiber. Incredibly stretch, it provides a light compression without being restrictive. So weightless and comfortable you won’t feel you are wearing it. Also, the raw cut finish results in superior fit, keeping things in place while pedaling without the need of a leg gripper. Stitching is also reduced to the bare minimum thanks to thermo-welded seams on the thighs for chafe-free comfort, while our top of the range C3 chamois is designed for long distance,” boasts Santini.
Like the Redux Instinto bib short that I previously reviewed, the material used in the UNICO has a similar membrane-like characteristic, but to the touch it possesses a very soft feel. However, one might initially think this could cause an encapsulating effect on the body, resulting in poor breathability. Not the case!
In fact, out on the road, the material had the opposite effect, providing plenty of ventilation. Still, this caused me to wonder if the UNICO might develop into a sponge on days when the mercury was really spiking, resulting in a soggy feel against the body.
To the contrary, even on the hottest of rides, the bib short remained composed, conceding nothing in the way of comfort. As for the C3 chamois, as experienced in the past, it continues to reign supreme, offering the requisite amount of density and moisture management during the most grueling of rides. Something my unmentionables thanked me for after each and every long-distance jaunt.
Additionally, I especially liked the wide straps and ventilated rear cross section, which anchored the UNICO perfectly across my chest and shoulders, while also offering excellent ventilation. Why some brands still resort to using spaghetti straps is beyond me?
As for my top-half during the review, I was treated to the REDUX SPEED, Santini’s foremost aerodynamic jersey, which features lightweight, shuttle-woven fabric on the sleeves and back that’s aimed at contouring the body in order to achieve the most aerodynamic signature possible, resulting in one of sleekest, most breathable and comfortable jerseys that I’ve ever donned, while also upping the elan quotient unlike any other.
Like most of Santini’s top-tier apparel, the UNICO and REDUX SPEED are aimed at enthusiasts and professionals who are conditioned, featuring a very close fit that’s designed to act and feel like a second skin. So, if you’re not at your fighting weight, I suggest that you bust-out your Suzanne Somers work-out video in between rides.
The UNICO bibshort sells for €199, while REDUX SPEED jersey fetches €190. Both are available in a wide range of sizes and stylish colors.
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