As much as we all enjoy donning the trisuit on race day, it’s far from practical to train in one all the time, especially for those longer rides so it’s important to make sure you have a good back catalogue of cycling kit to call upon.
A traditional Italian cycling brand, Santini has been making high quality cycling kit for top teams like Orica Greenedge and Katusha for many years and this experience and expertise shines across all collections. Part of their 365 collections, I got hold of some Max6Five bib shorts, the Zest jersey and BCool Jersey and put them to work.
The only downfall of the Max6Five that I could find was perhaps a lack of snugness over the shoulders from the bib straps, but this is the only minor downside (and probably a sizing issue) with these shorts. They are very comfortable, the cut around the thigh is spot on and they’re held nicely in place by grips on the cuff.
The chamois, their MAX2 version, on appearance seems thinner than others but don’t let this mislead you in terms of comfort. Straight from the packet and into a solid 4 hours in the saddle (and one café stop) they remained incredibly comfortable from start to finish and have been out on numerous occasions, rain and shine, and have never let me down.
The cut of the Zest jersey is form fitting, it’s not as skin tight as the BCool jersey, but in no way is it baggy. It has a full zip, there are three good sized pockets on the back, certainly big enough for all you’d ever need to take on a training ride. The entire thing is made of Santini’s ‘microsense’ fabric, which is slightly thicker than the BCool top, but certainly not too thick or hot. The Zest would be an ideal choice of jersey out on a club ride.
The B Cool jersey however is more race aligned in design, style and fabric. It’s technically a more complex jersey; the cut if far more aero, the front features a one-way stretch fabric with polypropylene on the inside, keeping it soft, lightweight and antibacterial. The back is a combination of elasticated fabrics and some mess panels for thermo-regulating. The whole design is tailored to allow freedom of movement over shoulders and arms but compression and stability around the torso. There’s an elastic band with anti-slip rubber at the bottom to keep the jersey in place and cuffs on the sleeves.
I regards to styling, the Zest is more traditional with a simple black and white colour scheme with flashes of green and red and the Santini logo across the chest. The BCool was slightly more interesting with separate black, white and fluro yellow panels broken up with some touches of fluro piping on the chest.
As a whole, there was very little fault to be found with any of the Santini kit; whether you were out on a recovery ride with friends or putting down the hammer on a solo training mission, each piece served its purpose well and delivered a ride quality that you could easily pay more money for with other brands.