by Marcus Speed
In 2016, Shimano announced the S-Phyre concept for performance footwear; now S-Phyre has been expanded to include the powerhouse brand’s new line of performance race clothing. The line was officially launched at the first WorldTour event on the racing calendar, the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia.
Mitchell Ho, brand representative for Shimano Australia, explained that the clothing line is targeted specifically at competitive racing cyclists.
“This is a line of true performance clothing,” he said. “We spent countless hours in the lab, in the wind tunnel and gathering feedback from pro riders to make sure we were on the right track.”
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German rider Robert Wagner from Team LottoNL–Jumbo has been part of the development process, along with the rest of the squad, and says that after plenty of trial and error Shimano has developed what he considers to be the ideal combination of fabric, fit and performance.
“The thing about the kit that you wear while you race is that you really only notice the bad things,” he said. “If a zipper gets in the way, if the pockets are too low or too high or if the chamois keeps catching on the tip of the saddle, you really notice it and it bugs you. With the new Shimano kit you just don’t register anything that annoys you. It feels great, and wicks away moisture brilliantly.”
Shimano claims that their clothing—jerseys, bib shorts, skinsuits, gloves and socks—maximize the efficiency at the contact points between clothing and skin.
The jersey features seamless shoulders with a 3D construction to reduce shoulder wrinkles and display some rather low-key, understated Shimano logos.
The S-Phyre bib shorts feature a shock-absorbing winged chamois, integrated woven leg grippers and high-thread count weave patterns on the inner thighs to reduce friction between the fabric and the saddle.
A skinsuit is also available: it features a single-unit construction with lightweight, second-skin fabric and comes with seamless shoulders to straighten airflow and reduce drag.
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The S-Phyre gloves and socks complete the range – the lightweight summer gloves feature a pull-on design, and the socks boast slip-resistant sole and heel pads and a cushioning pad on top of the foot to relieve shoe pressure. And speaking of shoes, the new S-Phyre RC9 lightweight road shoes have been released to coincide with the S-Phyre clothing launch.