Santini's new Downtown range is due in stores this autumn, and we've been given a sneak peek at what to expect from the Italian company. The collection is aimed at city riders and combines technical performance with a look that's designed to suit the urban environment.
The 'Paris' jacket we tried certainly ticked the right boxes for town use – it wouldn't look too out of place if you wore it off the bike. The medium we tried was a normal UK medium size, unlike a lot of undersized European brands, and offered a comfortable, slim fit.
It’s a double-layer stretch jacket, and its long back and high front give it an ergonomic design perfect for riding. Features include an internal elasticated windbreaker, a full-length zip with button closure at the neck, two zipped front pockets, a rear zip with covering and rear reflective detailing. RRP is yet to be confirmed – for more information, visit www.santinisms.it.
The Paris jacket from Santini's new Downtown collection wouldn't look out of place off the bike
This week we also got a glimpse at another winter 2011/12 collection, this time from fellow Italian manufacturers MOA Sport and aimed at road riders rather than commuters. Made from the company's proprietary Kamaltex fabric – a thermo regulating membrane – the waterproof and windproof Sirma jacket certainly stacks up in the technical department, and its shiny, almost reflective, black finish gives it a distinctive look.
An inner fleece lining, restricted to the lower back, will keep the wind off in winter. Features include detachable arms for warmer conditions, vents on the upper back and rear reflective details. It has an anatomical design, which means a tight fit all round, and is a high fit on the front and back. RRP £199.
The Sirma jacket has some neat features but the shiny look won't appeal to all
The Kletno jersey is part of the same range as the Sirma and has a similar fit. It's made from a high performance stretch fabric called Mitiotech, with a fleece lining on the inside and a low back. The lack of reflective detailing and its colour mean we'd avoid using it as an outer layer in winter. RRP £125.
The Kletno jersey's stretchy fabric provides a comfortable fit
Complementing the MOA range are the Anapa gloves, made from a water and wind resistant material called mantoVent. Fleece lined throughout, they look like they should offer great protection throughout the winter, but are thin enough to be worn during spring and early summer. RRP £49. For more information about MOA Sport clothing, visit www.moasport.it.
The Anapa gloves are water and wind resistant, with a fleecy inner
The third Italian brand to grace this week's round-up are urban and road specialists Pistard. Started by two cycling enthusiasts in 2010, the company's goal is to produce high quality, Italian-made technical cycle wear which is comfortable and fashionable at the same time. At the moment you can only buy products from their website, www.pistard.cc, but they're on the hunt for distributors.
The Bike Pants are Pistard's attempt to create a pair of trousers that can be worn as comfortably in the office as they can on the bike. They're made by hand using a specially treated technical fabric that's claimed to offer excellent temperature control and not to absorb sweat or retain odours. A hidden button and tab on the inside of the right leg does away with the need for trouser clips. RRP £127.
Pistard's Bike Pants look and feel like normal office trousers
Pistard say their Windproof Cycling Jacket is suitable for use in varying weather conditions thanks to its heat-regulating membrane and breathability. Features include a full-length zip and two zipped front pockets. There are a couple of small reflective strips on the back, but no rear pocket. RRP £95.
Pistard's Windproof Cycling Jacket has a slightly shiny finish and some Rapha-esque pink drawcords at the waist
The Milano is a traditional looking jersey made of a merino wool/polyester mix. It has five pockets on the back, one of them waterproof to protect valuables. Complementary fleece-lined arm warmers are included with the jersey for chillier mornings. RRP £110.
The Milano jersey comes with matching red arm warmers
Finally, Pistard’s bib shorts are made of multiple panels to ensure a good fit, with a Cytech pad, mesh panelling on the back for improved breathability and silicone grippers on the legs. RRP £102.
Pistard's bibs have all the features you'd expect for comfortable riding
Abus Urban 16.5 litre Office Bag
Sticking with the European theme, German company Abus's new 16.5 litre office bag can be attached to bike panniers or carried by hand like a briefcase. It's made from water-repellent 1260D Oxford Nylon and Koskin 6100. Its padded grip and shoulder belt should ensure comfortable carrying, while reflective logos and piping give good visibility. Supplied with a rain cover, it costs £89.99. More info can be found at www.abus.de.