Mark Twain said that naked cyclists have little or no influence in society, and he was right! Or possibly, he said people. Either way, the father of American literature knew the value of being well dressed, and this week, in the best tradition of sartorial elegance, the arrival of Q36.5 Spring/Summer at Above Category provides the perfect opportunity to equip yourself with some of the finest road cycling clothing available today.
Alongside new silhouettes that include the intriguingly-named Grid Skin line, we've also restocked fresh colors of popular carry-over styles like the Clima Jersey, which this season is joined by an all-new bib short of the same series, the Clima Dottore Bib. Other new pieces include the Pinstripe road mitt, a cuffless little number that promises to keep you cool and in control as you steer through the season, and the Pinstripe PRO, a jersey that inherits Q36.5's astoundingly quick-drying Pinstripe woven fabric. It sports a crisp aesthetic, offers ample storage space for snacks and wraps it up with a level of finishing that would please even the great Dieter Rams (known to wear clothes).
But amongst the new arrivals, it's the pieces that hail from Q36.5's new abrasion-resistant Grid Skin collection that first draw the eye.
On the surface, adding what is essentially crash-protective technology to road cycling clothing might seem odd, even unnecessary. However, even seasoned riders can fall foul of wet corners, oil spills or the perils of an unfamiliar descent on occasion, so why not ride with a little more protection where it matters?
That's the thinking behind the Q36.5 x GRDXKN® collaboration, a capsule collection of wear-resistant apparel designed to hold off the worst ravages of the road should the ride rub you the wrong way.
Comprising a jersey and bib short for men and a bib short for women, the Grid Skin line brings together the engineering prowess of German textile brand GRDXKN® with the tailoring chops of Q36.5, who saw in road cycling the perfect expression of the new printed protection technology.
Grid Skin is different and won't appeal to everybody, but in this increasingly homogenized world, it's refreshing to see a product line that pushes the envelope. Could another bike apparel brand have made Grid Skin? Not a chance.
All hail the new season.