Santini have sent us three items from their winter range to test through December: the Argo jacket, Argo jersey and SP 1180 GIT Blast bib tights. Here’s a ‘first look’ before testing begins.
Santini’s winter 2013 range is split into three collections: randonnée, gran fondo and criterium. Randonnée is the most expensive, promising the most innovative fabrics, developed with professional riders and with what Santini call an “aerodynamic race fit”, while Gran Fondo is the mid-range collection, with a “regular stretch fit”, and clothing in the Criterium range looks to balance value and quality, and with a “regular” fit.
The Argo jacket and jersey are from the Criterium range but still attract a not insignificant price tag, at £139.99 and £74.99 respectively. The two share the same colourway – Santini’s take on model year 2013’s fluro trend – but are otherwise very distinct.
The Argo jacket is a heavyweight softshell, made from a 100 per cent polyester fabric which Santini say is breathable, windproof and water resistant, and with a recommended temperature range of between minus eight and five degrees, making it one for the ice-cold weather of late.
The jacket has a lightweight, fleece lining, with a little added stretch on the side and under-arm panels. There are three pockets are the rear, and the central one is zipped, while Santini have opted for a elasticated band on the bottom of the jersey (and on the cuffs) rather than using silicon grippers. Other details include a reflective Santini logo and a zip garage to protect your chin when the jacket is fully done up.
The Argo jersey, on the other hand, is made from a lightweight polyester, not much thicker than a summer jersey, and it comes with a recommended temperature range of eight to 15 degrees as a result. That perhaps rules is out as an outer layer for many winter rides, but it’s sufficiently lightweight to use as a mid-layer on really cold days, or as an outer layer on mild days or when winter begins to merge into spring.
There are three regular pockets at the rear, a silicon band on the hem, a zip garage and a reflective Santini logo. The Argo jersey is also available in white/blue and white/red, as well as the black/fluoro of our test kit.
The Santini SP 1180 GIT Blast bib tights (£84.99) are new for model year 2013 and are part of the Italian firm’s 365 range – a wide-ranging collection which covers just about every item of clothing you’ll need to ride, well, 365 days a year in the UK.
The tights are constructed from a fleece-lined fabric, with a three-dimensional Santini insert on the lower back, and mesh bib straps. The tights are ergonomically cut, with obvious shaping around the knee. A reflective Santini logo sits on the rear of the left hip, while there’s a generous amount of reflective piping on the rear of each leg. Foot loops often divide opinion and Santini have chosen to go with them on these tights.
The not-so-catchy name of the tights comes from the fact they use a GIT chamois. GIT stands for Gel Intech; a gel insert which is said to absorb shock while maintaining its elasticity and shape over a long ride. The gel insert is then in turn surrounded by three layers of foam.
That’s as much as we can tell you now. We will log some miles over the Christmas break and report back.