Last summer I was lucky enough to be handed a selection of Craft Spring and Summer wear and I was impressed with how well this lightweight kit stood up to some hard riding. The items I was using were a Grand Tour short sleeved jersey, Puncheur bib shorts and a Cool Mesh Superlight Tee. It may seem odd to be writing about warm weather clothing as the winter starts to bite, but we can always dream about long summer days and for some, winter training camps in warmer climes are just around the corner.
Starting off with the Cool Mesh Superlight Tee, this is the item I have used the most and not just during the summer. Manufactured from 95% Polyester and 5% Elastane, the Superlight lives up to it’s name. It feels so light – 61g if you were wondering – and once on you hardly feel it. It’s made with a mesh pattern, with the holes of the mesh having some threads covering it. The combination of fabric choice and mesh pattern really work well, pulling moisture away from your body. I never had that clammy feeling during a mid-ride stop or at ride’s end.
I also found the Cool Mesh Superlight Tee useful as winter arrived. Worn under a thicker winter jacket, I found it worked just as well keeping me dry. Usually I will peel off my outer layer and find the layers underneath damp. The Superlight kept the sweat under control, which made for a much more pleasant cafe stop for everyone.
Craft’s Puncheur collection is “designed for serious cyclists who live their sport and ride with a purpose several days per week.” I think that covers most of us here? The Puncheur bib-short uses a body control fabric that “offers great muscle support and efficient moisture transport”, well I found them to be very comfortable and the mesh like material on the front panels definitely helped keep me cool. On cooler days I could actually feel a bit of a chill across the front of my thighs, signs that the cooling properties of the material actually works.
The mesh-like material is similar to the Cool Mesh Superlight Tee, but don’t worry it’s not that see through! The sides and rear are made from standard, solid lycra, so no fear of offending your ride buddies. The braces are also made with a mesh and the central rear yoke has a large cut out. All this this is working to keep you cool and sweat free.
The Infinity C2 Pad uses panels of different thickness, thicker in the weight bearing areas, thinner where it’s less. This all adds up to a comfortable short that doen’t have that full nappy feel that you can get with some thicker pads. I did some long off road rides leading up to a full 100 mile ride using these shorts and always found them comfortable.
The Puncheur bib shorts are finished off at the leg with wide lycra bands that feel very comfortable and don’t leave marks. I’m really impressed with the Puncheur shorts, after a season of on and off road riding they still look as good as new, the reflective logos are still firmly in place, usually the first thing to go and all the stitching is neat and un-frayed.
Last in this review of Craft Spring Summer wear is the Grand Tour short sleeved jersey. Again this is constructed from a lightweight, mesh like fabric. The Grand Tour weighs in at a feathery 142g and is made up of a mix of solid and mesh panels. The mesh comes in different sizes, with the larger pattern placed under the arms, while the front and back have a smaller type. The top of your back and shoulders, as well as a side panel are solid lycra, giving you some protection from the sun.
Just like the other items in this Craft Spring Summer collection I’ve been really impressed with just how well the Grand Tour jersey works. You hardly feel it’s on and works really well at shifting any sweat. The cut is great, it’s definitely a racing fit, which I prefer. There’s no loose flapping material, but you’ll want to be down to racing weight as there’s nowhere to hide any excess baggage.
As with all Craft’s clothing that I’ve tried the quality and details are spot on, from the rubber tipped zip fob and zip garage to the guard panel behind the zip, protecting the more hirsute cyclist from unexpected exfoliation! The only odd thing is the fourth zipped security pocket has the zip placed just above the centre of the pocket. Fine for change and keys, but fitting a mobile phone could be a bit of a squeeze.
So if you are pre-planning your summer wardrobe, or getting ready for a training camp somewhere warm, take a look at the Craft Spring Summer Wear range. These items are from the Summer 2015 collection and have changed colours this year
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