Giro Republic ShoeLooking good may not be requisite to riding well, but these five new pieces for 2014 will make certain you do both
Though we were a bit underwhelmed with the New Road line to begin with, Giro seems to be picking up speed and showed a handful of beautiful looking new pieces at Interbike, including a trim jacket called The Mechanic and a homerun sweater for the women called the Wind Guard Hoodie. Our favorite, however, is the Republic Shoe, which, in spite of blending the style of a retro bowling flat, a classic 40-year-old leather cleat, and a Dutch clog, also manages to look quite cool. The nylon, contrast-color sole is totally walkable thanks to replaceable, rubber-coated, gumwall treads, and the perforated microfiber upper should be tough enough for the mean streets of any city. And while it’s plenty capable and much more high-tech than it looks, the main point of the Republic is concealing its credentials so you can blend in when you’re out biking around town. ($150)
Assos S7 CampionissimoFew brands elicit stronger emotions—often scorn—than Assos, mostly because the only thing more over the top than their marketing are their prices. Yet anyone who has spent much time in their apparel, especially the bibs, and especially the T FI.13_s5 model, would probably sooner pay double the $370 asking price than give them up. And with the new S7 generation just launched, after eight full years of waiting, it’s possible to do almost that as the new shorts, with four models versus the current three, range from $200 all the way up to $520. How Assos can possibly improve on the S5 remains to be seen, though the breadth of fabrics and attention to detail look as outrageous and painstaking as ever. (From $200, pictured $520)
POC Essential Spring JacketWe don’t get terribly excited about apparel these days, but we can’t wait to ride in the Essential Spring Jacket. No, not everyone will love the clinical Scandinavian look. And yes, all of the color options have some high-vis accents, which POC realizes may not make them popular but will hopefully at least prevent a few more cyclists from getting run down by oblivious cars. Mostly, though, it’s the sumptuous fabrics (including a windproof stretch material up front and a stretch-mesh rear) and the gorgeous detailing (laser-cut edges, glued seams, and a high-vis waterproof pocket for your papers in case of trouble) that sold us. It looks like a piece that we’ll wear from early autumn to late spring, and perhaps even on chilly nights during summer. ($250)
Demarchi HeritageOther companies make heritage style clothing, but De Marchi, which started in 1946 and claims to be the oldest cycling apparel company in the world, is the only one we know of producing exact replicas of the same gear they were making back in the day. There are seven wool jerseys in the Authentic collection, each one commemorating a decisive moment in history. For instance, the Louison Bobet jersey is an exact copy of the one he wore when he won Milan-San Remo in 1951. Like the entire line of Authentic jerseys, it is sewn from super fine wool in the classic tube construction with set-in sleeves, mother of pearl buttons where applicable, and hand embroidered logos that are still sewn by Demarchi owner Mauro Coccia’s mother and aunt. These pieces aren’t cheap, but then again a day will soon come when it’s impossible to buy anything like it because the knowledge and skill to create them will be lost. ($250)
Rapha Cross Transfer JacketThe first generation of the Transfer jacket, a lightweight puffy filled with Primaloft One that launched last year, became the piece that we almost literally haven’t taken off since we got it. It is lightweight and not bulky at all, and yet it cuts the chill even on frigid days and is stylish enough to wear over an Oxford and tie without looking like you’re from Boulder. This second iteration keeps all the features of the original but steps up the self-assured style, with a color palette inspired by the Rapha-Focus cyclocross team. The contrast interior and slender embroidery on the shoulder is the perfect contrast to the navy black shell. This is the perfect piece for everything from pulling on post race to kicking around Europe in for a few winter months. ($295)
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