We’re winding down our exhaustive 2016 Press Camp coverage, but we’ve saved some of the items that surprised and intrigued us the most for the end. Vancouver-based Sugoi Performance Apparel showed off a mix of Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 garments, and in cruel fashion, will make us wait until next spring for some of the items that interested us the most.
Pack on the Pounds Elegantly with a Gravel Jersey
We’ll be the first to admit, when it comes to cyclocross races, our general opinion on cycling garments is that they should protect you from the elements, not snag on your bike (especially the saddle on remounts), and be affordable enough to replace without tears when the inevitable happens.
Yet with the longer hours of gravel rides and races, comfort and features start to matter more, and Sugoi is bringing a new line of RS Century Zap jerseys and bibs to market that are targeting the gravel crowd with comfort and features.
A gravel jersey? You might roll your eyes, but after seeing the thought that went into the six pockets on the jersey, we wished we had this jersey for earlier this season for long gravel events like the Lost and Found that had us over filling our pockets with essentials.
There are three main pockets out back, but each pocket expands at the bottom to offer a deeper, more secure compartment for essentials and bottles. There’s a small rear zippered pocket, along with two hidden zippered pockets on the sides of the jersey.
Still need more capacity for frequently accessed items, like your phone, gels, or ride map? The $180 RS Century Zap short has pockets on the side of each leg that are said to be secure for phones. The short features Sugoi’s Formula FX Chamois that boasts 4mm of Poron shock-absorbing foam, which should help ensure nothing rattles out of your pockets or mouth as you bomb down that rough descent.
Both jersey and bibs are dressed with Zap reflective elements. They look like normal fabric in the daylight, but when light hits them at night, they’re bright white and can be seen from 140 meters away, according to Sugoi.
Does shock-absorbing foam, a secure pocket for a water bottle, and night reflectivity sound good for cyclocross training? We think so too, and we might even put all those pockets to use in case fans get extra generous with the hand-ups, but you’ll have to wait until 2017 to test them out at your gravel or cyclocross race.
A Thousand Lumens Jacket?
Speaking of reflectivity, Sugoi goes full Zap with its RS Zap jacket. The name Zap may electrify cyclists’ memories, but this iteration hails from British Columbia and doesn’t have microprocessors or batteries and costs less.
The $160 RS Zap jacket really sparkles at night, and could be the ultimate defense come Wednesday Night Worlds in avoiding any unwelcome encounters with autos or flashlight-wielding walkers. The RS Zap jacket looks like a normal red jacket, but when a car’s headlamp (or your riding buddy’s light) hits it, it sends those Lumens flying back at them, making you really hard to miss.
The RS Zap jacket will be coming this fall, and you’ll see it coming from far away, but there’s a current non-RS Zap Jacket available now, for $10 less.
Keeping it Casual
Sugoi and sister mountain bike-oriented brand Sombrio showed off a number of other new garments that will be surfacing over the next year, including the colorful Vegabond jersey and Shore shirt.
If you’re not out to set records or emulate Chris Froome, the two companies have plenty of garments to keep you cool, ready for school (or work) and looking at home at the pub or café.
Not everything we’re showcasing from the companies is a future product. A few items, like the Sugoi Ignite hoodie, are available now and have already become staff favorites.
Check our favorites out in the slideshow below.
New Sugoi and Sombrio 2016/2017 New Cycling Garments: