Katusha Sports has today launched the Katusha Superlight Grid bib shorts, which will be available alongside the already-available standard Superlight bib shorts. The sportswear brand borne in 2016 out of Igor Makarov's pro team sponsorship is now a sponsor of men's WorldTour team Israel Start-Up Nation and women's continental team Bigla-Katusha.
The Cyclingnews tech team has been hands-on with the new Superlight Grid bib shorts for a few weeks now and had a chance to put them to the test, alongside Katusha's carry-over Superlight jersey.
Design and aesthetics
The standout difference between new and old is the Grid technology which has been added to the legs. Aesthetically, this sees a criss-cross grid pattern added to the legs of the shorts, and a woven construction to both increase breathability and lower the weight, without sacrificing durability.
There's a new Armadillo pad, too, which according to Katusha is softer and features a 3D-constructed front-section, increasing the volume of the cup for improved comfort.
The shorts retain the one-piece raw edge laser-cut bib straps, designed to sit flat against your skin, and the laser-cut vents which make for improved breathability. Pleasingly, these vent holes have been positioned to form the Katusha logo on the bib straps, and on the lumbar region, the archetypal giant K that we came to know and love on the backs of Katusha-Alpecin riders.
While our time with the Katusha Superlight Grid bib shorts has been limited, after around 80km in the shorts and 40km worth of indoor cycling on a turbo trainer wearing the Superlight jersey, initial impressions are positive. The laser-cut bib straps do take a little bit of extra straightening compared to a stitched strap, but the result is as comfortable and flat as advertised.
The pad is comfortable, too, although the bulk of its thickness is positioned quite rearward - more so than normal - and the front of the pad is only around an inch wide. This is noticeably thinner than the competitors' offerings we have at hand (namely from Rapha and Kalas), which average between two and three inches wide.
While most of our time has been spent at a leisurely pace and relaxed position, how the bib shorts will fare for those with a more-aggressive position or time-triallist is uncertain, but as the favoured choice of Katusha's sponsored team Israel Start-Up Nation, we assume well.
The jersey features Katusha's 37.5 technology, which is designed to keep your body at the ideal core temperature of 37.5-degrees Celsius and helps to maintain the microclimate next to your skin at the ideal relative humidity of 37.5 per cent.
How this works, according to Katusha:
"When you’re hot, patented active particles embedded in the material remove sweat in the vapour stage before liquid sweat forms, cooling you down. When you’re cold, those same active particles trap your energy to help warm you up."
The Superlight Jersey hasn't had a run-out in real-world conditions as yet, because it's February and at the time of writing, it's snowing here outside Cyclingnews HQ. However, during an hour-long, medium intensity Zwift session, body temperature remained comfortable and stable, suggesting breathability is excellent.
For women, Katusha also has the Allure range, which employs the same technology in a women-specific fit. The Allure bib shorts use Katusha's Armadillo Women pad. There are crossed straps and a women's shape which Katusha claims is "dedicated to women's morphology for maximum comfort".
10% off with Cyclingnews
Originally lasting two days, Katusha has extended its offer, so Cyclingnews readers can still get 10% off using code: Cyclingnews
Men's Superlight Grid bib shorts: €200.00
Women's Allure bib shorts: €180.00
Men's Superlight jersey: €140.00
Women's Allure jersey: €140.00