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SANTINI offers GRAVEL clothing for winter: the Test

Santini's Gravel line embodies a mix of technology and style, capable of making these garments very interesting also for the biker, as long as he is not afraid of icy outings


Winter mustn't stop the desire for exploration, a prerogative of the gravel world. For this reason we had the opportunity to try a series of products that Santini has designed for this way of interpreting two wheels.

There are three items under consideration; the jacket Alpha trail, the stylish shirt Dylan and the tights Gravel.

Alpha trail, much more than a winter jacket

The Alpha trail jacket: a garment born thanks to the technology used by Polartec for the US special forces

A product with a comfortable fit with a military green that immediately projects us along a driveway immersed in the woods. A stylistically very valid garment, designed to protect the biker even during polar outings. The heart of him is the fabric Polartec Alpha direct. A material designed by the homonymous company for the US special forces engaged in Afghanistan; with great wind protection qualities and the ability to expel sweat and balance body heat.

A detail of the Alpha system

Dylan, substance over style

The Gravel style is also characterized by its nonconformist image, with a vintage appeal of great impact. So colors that are closest to those of nature and a look that deviates from the traditional canons of both the MTB and road worlds. The Dylan shirt is perhaps the emblem of this attitude, a checked theme that immediately refers to the woods of our mountains and a material, the lana, which speaking of winter is the most traditional and effective imaginable.

From a technological point of view, the solution adopted is to create a mix of yarns, in which the natural material is associated with a polyamide weave which gives it greater elasticity even after several washes. The jersey-style cuffs and the button closure recall a country concept, while the reflective profiles contribute to greater visibility, and finally a pocket with concealed closure on the back makes the product very versatile.

The Dylan jersey (here blue reverse) is perhaps the most stylish item in the Santini line

Gravel, the tights with an extra touch

Even the tights, a traditional product of road cycling, manage to stand out thanks to some details such as the internal camouflage print and the many pockets located both on the back and on the sides of the thighs. The material is a thermo sweatshirt called Blizzarrd made by Sitip, to which they have added a water-repellent treatment called zero water, which allows you to protect your legs even during a light rain.

For long outings, Santini has thought of a gel pad from the C3 line, with a structure that guarantees excellent comfort up to 8 hours of use.

The tights, with the Acqua zero treatment and the C3 pad, proved to be a garment that lived up to expectations

The test

There is only one way to give a fair evaluation of these materials; ride your bike in cold weather.

From this point of view this December has helped me a lot. In fact, the first snow has arrived and the climate has become very Christmassy; that is, with temperatures below zero, sky always in the balance of the type 'in 5 minutes it will snow' and that icy wind that takes your breath away; the perfect weather to go out cycling, taking care to prepare a nice chocolate with cream on the way back.

The outings below freezing point are ideal for making as objective a judgment as possible on this line of products

When I approach to test this type of product, one of the first questions I ask myself concerns the price to the public; so, is it worth investing 189 euros for the jacket and 160 for the Dylan shirt?

If you are a biker used to going out on a bike in any weather and you don't even stop when the penguins are cold, the answer is SI.

In this case the difference between these products and other cheaper ones is remarkable. This is especially true for the Alpha trail jacket, One of the best winter products I've tried. The body always maintains a stable temperature. Even under exertion, there is never the sensation of excessive heat or sweat, which often happens with thermal garments. The work of the wool interior is optimal for maintaining correct thermoregulation, while the wind protection and the water vapor expulsion mechanism created by Polartec Alpha is effective in every situation. Even at high speeds, the torso is always insulated and there is never the feeling that the wind is stripping the heat away.

Even the technical shirt, in addition to being very stylish; on colder days it proved to be an excellent second layer. Its ability to warm, combined with the moisture dissipation properties of wool, have made it possible to create the right compromise. When the temperatures have been less difficult, this shirt, combined with a kee way, becomes an excellent garment. uphill its transpiration qualities lose heat while simultaneously expelling humidity, then downhill a light windbreaker was enough to retain the heat without annoyingly cooling the bust. the compact but highly elastic fit make it a garment also suitable for MTB.

Finally the Gravel tights. generally on a bike the legs suffer little from the cold. The energy production to which they are subjected during outings generates a quantity of heat such that if we use overly padded garments we would risk sweating. In this case the light brushing and total breathability made it possible to pedal for a long time without feeling any discomfort. The different pockets have done their job admirably, with the side ones effective for having a bar always at hand and those on the back ideal for storing a light kee way, always necessary on winter descents. The c3 pad has given great comfort even during longer outings. the gel padding was able to better absorb the micro-vibrations of the ground without them being discharged on the pelvis.

Conclusions

With this line, Santini has created a series of products that allow enthusiasts to pedal in every season, always with high comfort. The protection from atmospheric agents, combined with the thermoregulatory qualities of the wool, guarantee a very high level of quality standard. All without sacrificing the typical aesthetic side of the category.

The absolute price of these garments certainly places them in a premium range and before approaching the purchase it is correct to evaluate the amount of winter outings you do and their duration. If you are a fan who never abandons their bike and who are not frightened when the mercury column drops below zero, then the value for money of these garments is absolutely advantageous.



Written by

[email protected] Mountain bike travel editor and expert. Chiropractor and personal trainer, for years following some of the strongest national interpreters of enduro mtb.

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