If you are going out to train in cold, wet weather reminiscent of Flanders, Sportful has designed the ultimate performance bib tight for you. Pro cyclists, including those of Sportful-sponsored Team Tinkoff have no choice. Their job is get out and ride virtually every day, regardless of conditions. It is true that most of these riders love cycling and have to be on their bikes, but to ride comfortably at a high performance level requires the best protection and support for their bodies. The Fiandre No-Rain Bib Tight is a perfect example of how technical materials, anatomic design, and feedback from elite cyclists can deliver a garment that is worthy of every cyclist who is willing to head out the door into the cold and wet, to enjoy a multi-hour ride.
Sportful's No-Rain technology consists of a silicone-based nanotechnology treatment that bonds with the exterior finish of a chosen fabric that effectively repels rain and wind, but still allows the material to breathe without impacting stretch or function.The treatment adheres to every curve and shape of each fiber so that it protects even when stretched, and is effectively a permanent part of the fabric, not just a finish. The protection only breaks down when the fibers themselves breakdown. While not waterproof, it really takes submersion for the fabric to be inundated beyond the protection. As you ride, water is blocked and shed with ease, and though some air penetration occurs, it actually mostly improves breathability and excessive heat release. For the Fiandre Bib Tight, Sportful choose two fabric versions of the No-Rain technology. Insulating No-Rain Warm, with ThermoDrytex fleece as the fabric base is employed throughout, with a second layer of applied on the thighs, knees, and back- all areas where rain, spray and/or wind are most impactful. This brushed fleece is soft and moves smoothly on the skin, with the lightly lofted fleece easing perspiration from the skin and releasing it. Warm air is trapped in the lofted gaps, and excess is released as well. With the compressive nature of the stretch fabric, muscles are supported for maximum exertion, while muscles, ligaments, and joints are protected and insulated.
The second application of No-Rain comes in a rear panel that covers the backside from road spray, but is made with No-Rain Light, a Lycra fabric with more stretch to give you full freedom of movement without feeling too much compression. This is very effective, and a great example of how pro rider input informs product design. The bib upper is made of a Lycra stretch material combined with mesh straps for optimal compression, support, fit, and breathability. This is not an insulation layer, as Sportful allows you to configure the best layering system possible for your riding conditions and activity level.
As a pure cycling lower garment, a high quality chamois was required. The TC Pro pad was designed for long, hard days in the saddle, with infinitely variable padding, an aggressive posture anatomic cut, and maximum moisture management. It is supremely comfortable for cold, wet condtions and a favorite of the Tinkoff team for Fall and Spring racing. YKK CamLock zips on the outside of the ankle make getting in and out simpler, and feature broad, reflective piping for safety. Anatomically placed, minimal seaming keeps the Fiandre No-Rain Bib Tight moving comfortably with the body, and limit potential water infiltration.
Generally choices for a dependable, effective rain tight means you get panels or layers of material that are effective, sometimes even completely waterproof, but don't move well with the body. They can be noisy, and negatively impact ergonomic requirements. No-Rain applied to a stretch fabric may not be fully water or windproof, but pretty darn close, and it doesn't negatively impact fabric performance. If a cyclist heads out in the rain, there is an expectation of getting wet. The idea is stay as dry and warm as possible, while still being able to perform at the highest level. That is what Sportful delivers with the Fiandre No-Rain Bib Tight. Please keep in mind that the cut and fit is Sportful's Body-Fit Pro, which the Italian company designs for pro cyclists. The fit is race level, and though the materials stretch, that is relative to cut. Read the sizing chart carefully and think conservatively. To best maintain the performance and viability of the No-Rain fabrics, please adhere to all care instructions. If you are an active, serious cyclist with a racer's physiques and training requirements who rides in the cold and rain, there may not be a better piece available that we know of; and certainly not for under $200.
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