When you are in it to win it, all the moving parts of your cycling game need to come together for a perfect final 200 meters. Bike, body, mind, and kit must work in complete harmony. Peloton Service Course started testing these three kits over the Summer. We liked them so much that they will stay front and center in our Winter training-race wardrobe.
CASTELLI FREE AR 4.1 JERSEY FZ. Okay, so it’s not a catchy name, but don’t let that dissuade you—the new Castelli Free AR 4.1 is a beautiful piece of apparel. It’s a redo of the 4.0, a pure race jersey, but reimagined as a jersey that works for riders who might not have a climber’s physique. Even so, Castelli has invested the jersey with its trademark aero savings, claiming a 12-watt saving over a typical race-fit jersey. That’s thanks in part to the Velocity fabric on the chest and shoulders and Nervato at the hem of the sleeves. In addition to a dimpled surface, it wicks moisture and dries very quickly, making it a great kit to wear on a hot day if you want to forego the base layer. It’s got a few touches designed for the sportive rider too: a zippered pocket and a left rear pocket angled for ease of entry. PAIRING: The matching Free Aero Race bibs are designed with the same philosophy in mind: race performance tweaked for a long day in the saddle. $160 (jersey), $200 (bibs); castelli-cycling.com
GIORDANA MODA ‘POLARIS’ FR-C. Giordana’s FR-C kits make a compelling argument to be considered the best cycling kit ever made. Now with the Moda collection, FR-C is paving new design territory, playing with color and graphics in a whole new way for Giordana, yet with the proven FR-C foundation. Made from 16 distinct panels, each with the right fabric in the right place, from the four-way stretch front panel to the lightweight, two-way stretch panel in back that provides incredible cooling while keeping pockets stable. Every feature of the FR-C jersey is ultrapremium, resulting in an incredibly light, comfortable, breathable and beautiful jersey. Our favorite from the Moda collection is the “Polaris” but, with multiple styles to choose from, there is a Moda FR-C design for everyone. PAIRING: Among the best bibs in the world, there is an FR-C bib to match each style in the Moda collection. We love the bright accents on the 190E woven elastic leg band of the Moda “Polaris” FR-C bibs. $200 (jersey), $230 (bibs); giordanacycling.com
VOLER CALIBER DX COBALT RACE JERSEY. All Voler apparel is made in central California and, collectively, the brand has literally centuries of experience making cycling kit. The newest race-cut jersey from Voler is the Caliber DX Cobalt, and it just happens to come in a gorgeous red-white-and-blue tricolor design, perfect for those summer rides inspired by Le Tour. The Caliber is based on the legendary FS Pro jersey, but Voler has streamlined the front with a lighter zipper and shorter cut. The flat lock stitch of the FS Pro has been reduced as well, with hidden seams at the shoulders for a clean look. Mesh panels on the side provide plenty of ventilation for the hot days ahead and, as with most Voler apparel, it represents one of the best values on the road. PAIRING: The Caliber Cobalt bibs use a chamois developed with Cytech that Voler call the Orion. The high-density foam delivers a lot of comfort with minimal bulk. $100 (jersey), $119 (bibs); voler.com