Q36.5 Cruise Equipment - First Ride Impressions

Italy's Q36.5 has been making some of the most technologically advanced and stylish clothing for the last couple of years (in fact we were so impressed we asked them to make our own Bespoke shop jersey and bibs).

This autumn they've added the new Cruise Equipment to their range, so we've been taking a first look:

Q36.5 is really committed to developing its own fabrics and shaping garments that provide perfect temperature regulation. The Cruise Equipment line is designed to provide the ideal setup for the changeable weather we have to deal with at this time of year in the northern hemisphere.

Just in time for the fall season, we are launching our "Cruise Equipment" line. Through rethinking our fall Equipment, we've created versatile pieces that can accompany riders on long cycling trips. Our initial inspiration came from the fashion world. The further development of the Cruise Equipment line was the result of detailed scientific research resulting in the creation of a fabric made from a mix of synthetic and natural fibres that meets the demands of high intensity training.

The clothing uses a proprietary fabric that is a combination of natural merino wool and polyamide with a water repellent treatment. I've found it ideal for dealing with current UK weather with a wide temperature window, occasional rain and quite a bit of wind, doing as the company intends and providing a stable temperature during rides whatever the weather throws at you.

The Jersey Long sleeve WoolF jacket in particular, worn over a short sleeve base layer, provides the perfect insulation for keeping the chill at bay, but breathability through the fabric is exceptional when you're putting in an effort or the temperature increases during a long ride. Even when you get a sweat on the jacket doesn't result in a horrible clammy feeling. Water beads on the surface too, so you're kept dry in rain showers. All that and it's a very lightweight top; the fit and comfort of a jersey but with the protection of a jacket.

With shorter days comes the need to increase your visibility to other road users, it's really nice to see Q36.5 adding some generous reflective details. There's a large vertical reflective stripe, the dropped tail is reflective and there are small reflective details on the full-length zipper and the cuffs.

The Salopette Wolf 2.0 bib shorts offer extraordinarily good comfort. They are as close to perfection as you can get. The fit is second to none, the bib straps are wide and stretchy with no pressure on the shoulders, the legs are gently compressed during pedalling and chamois is comfortable on the shortest and longest rides.

The hems do a top job of anchoring the shorts on your legs, with a wide elastic band lined with a grippy but not sticky material eliminating the irritation that can sometimes occur with silicone grippers. The shorts provide good thermal insulation, and are designed to a temperature range of 5 to 15°, and also get the same water resistance to keep you dry as well as warm.

The decision to cover the legs marks a turning point in the year. Whether you choose three-quarter shorts or tights, or opt for the more versatile knee or leg warmer with bib shorts combo, once you start covering the legs up you know summer is well and truly over.

I do like wearing leg warmers with bib shorts, I find it often feels more comfortable than tights, and it means you can get more use out of your expensive bib shorts, but finding a good pair of leg warmers is tricky... You don't want them too restrictive or tight around the top of the legs.

The WoolF Leg Warmers get everything just right, thanks to a rather novel dual-material construction around the opening that provides a near seamless fit. They stay in place. Nothing worse than leg warmers slipping down during a ride! They're also water resistant and, as with the jacket, rain beads along the surface. It's cool to look down and see the rain beading along the surface. And like the jacket, they have large reflective details to help boost your visibility.

Q36.5 have also launched matching arm warmers using the same materials and construction.

First impressions are good then, and as the weather continues to worsen I'll continue testing this new range of Cruise Equipment and bring you a full review soon. Meanwhile you can see the new lines in-store - or view and purchase our full Q36.5 range in our online shop, with free UK delivery on orders over £100.

Where did the "Cruise Equipment" name come from?

Cruise Collections were first introduced into the world of fashion at the beginning of the twentieth century by several designers and were aimed at wealthy people who would annually take a cruise or travel to countries with mild climates during the winter season.

Today, many cyclists also have the opportunity to travel to warm locations in the winter months to chalk up some quality winter miles.

One of our favourite winter get-aways is Mallorca, a Balearic Island off the coast of Spain. Mallorca gave us the inspiration for these Essential pieces of Equipment.