On the eve of the Strade Bianche, BikeRadar was lucky enough to get a chance to ride the Tuscan ‘sterrati’ or famous white gravel roads in the rolling countryside surrounding Siena. The iconic cypress tree lined roads and terracotta tiled farmhouses were the only things that broke up the otherwise green, vine filled and utterly stunning landscape.
Italian technical apparel brand Sportful invited us out to take a closer look at their new gravel specific range. The range is conservatively styled, offers a relaxed fit and is designed to be comfortable enough to wear for long days exploring or, if you’re lucky enough, getting lost in the Italian countryside.
Sportful Giara jersey
The Giara jersey comes in a relaxed fit and our first impressions were that it was a size too big. However, under further inspection the cut and fit couldn’t be more perfect. The seams on the shoulders were perfectly positioned and the cut of the sleeves were spot on. Unlike some of Sportful’s more race orientated jerseys, the cut around the waist was lower than usual and so when you’re standing, the jersey doesn’t ride up your belly.
The relaxed fit emphasises comfort, whilst retaining a tailored look and for those with a larger torso the cut could be perfect for everyday training rides too.
Constructed from polyester and with moisture wicking properties, the jersey remains as technical as some of Sportful’s usual race developed lines, however the heathered finish is soft to touch and is not far off wearing a cotton tee shirt. The conservative design is less garish than many designs currently on the market and could comfortably worn down the pub for a post-ride beer.
The 225g jersey features a full length zip, three rear cargo pockets plus a small zipped pocket for valuables.
Price: £75/€89.90/$99.99, women’s specific version also available.
Sportful Giara bibshorts
The Sportful Giara bibshorts continue the same conservative design, with the flash of colour around one leg. An internal leg gripper, multipanel construction and minimal seams ensure a comfortable fit. The 160g mesh bibs add further comfort over the shoulders and the technical wicking material reduces any sweat on the straps and back panel.
Sportful’s BodyFit Pro chamois has been updated in colour only (it’s been blue for the last few years for those who are familiar with Sportful bibshorts), and whilst there has been no development in the chamois shape or padding itself, this is no drawback as the existing pad is durable and consistently comfortable in equal measure.
The small flash of green on the left leg does restrict stretch compared to the material of the short and whilst this isn’t a problem in terms of comfort, it is noticeable from an aesthetic perspective.
Price: £75/€99.90/$119.99, women’s specific version also available.
Sporful Giara jacket
The 185g Giara jacket is packable enough to go into your jersey pocket and still offers light wind and rain protection. A casual stretch and relaxed fit similar to the rest of the range, the jacket is perfect to have to hand, although an alternative jacket for heavier weather would also be required. For long bike packing trips, this would be more suited for light shower protection or for when the temperatures begin to fall slightly.
Sportful Giara overshorts
To compliment the range further, Sportful also offers a pair of Giara overshorts. As the shorts do not feature a seatpad, they can be worn in conjunction with bibshorts or on their own as a more casual item. The four-way stretch shorts have two jean style front pockets, two secure zipper pockets, full zipped fly and belt loops.
Sportful Giara gloves/socks
As well as the main items, the Giara range also offer a 15cm sock, short fingered padded gloves and a cap, which are priced at £17, £30 and £17 respectively (US and AU prices to be confirmed).
Overall, we’re excited to get out riding in this kit. The combination of Sportful’s reputation for some of the best technical products on the market, combined with a more relaxed fit is a concept that should appeal to not just gravel riders and adventure cyclists, but those looking for a more relaxed product to enjoy a weekend spin to the pub or a more relaxed family ride.
The range is available in the grey, black and green colour way shown or in a black and blue denim colour option.
Keep your eyes peeled for a full review in the coming weeks.