The Musette is Cyclingnews’ weekly curation of the world’s best cycling gear. Here, we’ll take a look at pro-level equipment, bikes and components, alongside some of the most desirable clothing and newest accessories in the world of cycling.
Sportful SuperGiara bib shorts and jersey
Sportful, the clothing company born in the Italian Dolomites in the early 1970s, began manufacturing cycling clothing in the mid-1980s. The brand has become a household name in our sport since its inception and can be found on the backs of Peter Sagan and his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates. The brand's SuperGiara range caters to cycling's latest en-vogue subsection, gravel. This week it's Gravel Week on Cyclingnews (opens in new tab), so what better time to include Sportful's gravel racing staples than in this week's Musette?
The SuperGiara jersey is available in five colours. It is a short sleeve jersey with a race-ready cut, made from highly breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics for those intense, warm weather race days. It's not just for racing, however. With gravel riders regularly seeking epic dawn-to-dusk adventures, the SuperGiara jersey features reflective detailing throughout, a zippered security pocket keeps your essentials from being ejected, should the going get rough, as well as a large centre-pocket for bulky items such as a pump or that just-in-case rainjacket.
- RRP: $135 / £90
- Colours: 5
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
The SuperGiara bib shorts offer the same proposition of race-ready performance with gravel-ready versatility. SuperGiara is made from compressive, abrasion-resistant fabric, and given the all-new DMS seatpad, which is designed specifically for gravel with an open-mesh foam padding for faster drying. The pad is also shorter in length, making it better suited to putting down the power in an upright, seated position.
To add to the versatility, SuperGiara is given a mesh cargo pocket on the left leg, as well as two at the lower back, and like the jersey, reflective detailing is used to add to low-light visibility.
- RRP: $175 / £125
- Colours: 2
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL
- Best bib shorts (opens in new tab)
- Gravel bike clothing (opens in new tab)
- Women's gravel kit (opens in new tab)
Specialized S-Works Prevail II with ANGi helmet
The Prevail is quite possibly Specialized's most successful helmet to date having first appeared back in 2010 as a replacement for the 2D S-Works helmet. During this time it's undergone myriad tweaks but its basic design blueprint and lightweight ethos have remained intact - it's just way safer than ever before and has earned its spot in our best road bike helmets buyer's guide.
Updated in 2016/17, the S-Works Prevail II was built around a hidden aramid skeleton from a multi-density EPS polystyrene which has helped reduce the helmet's profile and weight while also improving acoustics owing to the more aerodynamically optimised shape. Design-wise, there's no mistaking it for anything other than a Prevail - the central Mega Mouthport remains a hallmark feature.
The Prevail has never professed to cater to one specific cycling discipline but rather multiple subcategories. As such, it has been extensively used by road cyclists, mountain bikers, cyclo-crossers and now gravel riders. Much of its popularity stems from its lightweight properties and superior ventilation system - the S-Works Prevail II weighs just 228g (medium, on our scale). Having used this helmet for the past two and a half months - exclusively on gravel rides - I've been impressed by the ventilation and cooling effect on offer.
The most notable addition, however, is the inclusion of the new Specialized-only MIPS SL rotational slip-plane system. This technology provides 10 to 15 millimetres of rotation in every direction and offers the same brain protection benefits as other versions of MIPS thanks to the inclusion of 14 strategically placed elasticised rubber retainers on the padding. The helmet also benefits from Specialized's ANGi Crash Sensor that can detect a crash and send a text message to specified contacts on your phone, granted you've downloaded the Specialized Ride app.
It's available in nine colourways (depending on your region) and three size options: small, medium and large.
- RRP: £200 / US$250 / AU$375
- Weight: 228g (medium)
- Rotational safety: MIPS SL
- Aero: Yes
- Sizes: S, M, L
Gore Fabian Cancellara C7 Collection
The Gore Fabian Cancellara Collection was created to celebrate the career of the former World and Olympic Time Trial Champion. As such the entire kit - spanning both of Gore's established C5 and C7 lines - was inspired and influenced by Fabian Cancellara. The C7 line is naturally the more race-specific of the two offerings and comprises a race-cut jersey, bib shorts, a jacket, gloves and socks.
The design hinges around the seven-sided heptagon. A shape that signifies his seven Spring Classic wins, his prologue victory at the Tour de France (7/7/2007) as well as subliminally references a cobblestone - one of the surfaces on which Cancellara achieved some of his most memorable performances.
Another refined design cue is the orbit-blue colourway which was personally selected by Cancellara. This colour features throughout the kit, and is offset discreetly by a slightly lighter-coloured heptagonal motif that runs along the shirt sleeves, bib shorts, socks and gloves. It's all very classy, all very Cancellara.
In terms of fit and performance, the kit is tight-fitting and constructed from super-light four-way stretch material. As such, it offers good levels of breathability and moisture management, so it can be enjoyed in both sunny and cool conditions. There's also Cancellara Stretch Jacket (which can be folded away for easy storage) on standby should you get caught in a summer shower or two.
We've been using the kit extensively over the past few months and have enjoyed the comfort it offers, both over short- and endurance-length rides regardless of the terrain and riding on offer. Indeed, the Gore Fabian Cancellara C7 Collection is not just a road-specific cycling kit option but something that can be enjoyed on a long gravel ride, too.
It's not cheap. Collectively, the entire kit will set you back a whopping £777.95.
- Gore C7 Cancellara Race Jersey: £179.99
- Gore C7 Cancellara Race Bibs: £229.99
- Gore C7 Cancellara Stretch Jacket: £319.99
- Gore C7 Cancellara Short Pro Gloves: £29.99
- Gore C7 Cancellara Socks: £17.99
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