You too can look like a big stud in this dandy winter kit from Bergamo.
Customers and dealers alike have reported lots o’ satisfaction with the full line of Bergamo technical wear, from the summer kit on through their warmer gear for winter. But as more manufacturers enter the marketplace for cyclists’ bucks, the bar has been raised with better fabrics, cooler designs, and simply more options for consumers.
For ’06, the Italian brand takes it’s 25 years of experience and success clothing European riders to a level more befitting an… Italian brand. That is, the new “Marcello Signature Series” is as stylish as anything we’ve seen, and would expect from the land of ‘alta moda’, but true to Bergamo form, costs less than comparable brands using similar fabrics and quality.
Kit From Head To Toe
The guys at Upland Sports (Bergamo’s US importers) are smart enough to know that winter up north is a lot colder than in their Bay area, so when I opened the box of kit in late October, I was pleased to see a selection of gear to cover me from head to toe for the cold days ahead. On test for the past Fall and first half of my coastal winter has been their:
• MSS Long Sleeve jersey,
• MSS Winter Bib Tight,
• Windtex Gloves,
• MSS Arm Warmers,
• Capoforma Cordura Shoe Covers
• and topped off with the Milano Skull Cap
MSS LONG SLEEVE JERSEY MSRP: $119.95
With the newly styled MSS Long sleeve jersey also comes a new cut – it’s slightly larger throughout than the previous models, which means a bit more room for the typical North American rider. We can’t all be skinny Euro-cut guys, and the first thing I noticed was more room in the arms and body on the medium size I normally wear, and the sleeves too were slightly longer than on the Bergamo Tuscan long sleeve cut.
Bergamo has used two kinds of fabric: a Tessport® HYDROfit Fabric (195 gram in blue) and Husky SwissPile® Fabric (150 gram in black)– both warm and fuzzy – in the construction, and smartly differed the colors of each to add some style. The slightly heavier HydroFit covers the main body and blocks wind, while the lighter Husky is used along the backs and underarms to allow for better heat escape and cooling.
Bergamo has upped the ante with a stylish new look for the winter kit. The MSS Long jersey features a combo of Tessport® HYDROfit Fabric (195 gram in blue) and Husky SwissPile® Fabric (150 gram in black).
You might feel like some kind of superhero, styling around with the big stitching and all…
New for 2006, the fat zipper is easy to open & close with gloved, and non-gloved hands. The 4 cm collar is tall enough to warm, low enough to not over-warm. The waist holds in place with the Bergamo Silicone Gripper – sticky where you want it.
Stowage is covered by two deep pockets with angled openings for easier gloved access, and a handy zippered pouch in center.
The center pocket is ‘Eric Von Zippered’ secure, to hold your keys or mp3 player. And here’s the cool feature – a sewn-in slot inside the pocket for internal routing of your headphones… sweet.
The cuffs are soft, stretchy, and keep the sleeves down where they belong.
The jersey has performed well so far – keeps me plenty warm with a base tee under and jacket over top, although I’d probably size it down next time. Overall the MSS long jersey fits slightly bigger than the Bergamo’s Tuscan jersey.
• Colors: Navy Blue/Black, Red/Black, Yellow/Black
• Sizes: S – XXXL
MSS WINTER TIGHTS MSRP: $199.95
The last couple of years have seen some nice advances in the tech side and and comfort of tights. Remember the days of pulling on a pair of heavies over your summer shorts…? Those two bulky layers made for some serious bunching and some weird sweat zones.
Now you can ‘fugedaboudit’, as these tights combine warm and durable fabrics, ergo-cut and style, and one of the best chamois’ around for a complete solution to frozen nards.
Again they’ve matched up Super Roubaix® (245 gram), and Windtex Topazio® Elastic (220 gram) to create a tight that blocks the wind, keeps you warm, and also allows for some cooling so you don’t overheat. Available in Colors: Black/Black, Navy/Blue/Black, Red/Black and sizes S – XXXL
Assuming the position I enjoyed no scrunching, bunching or bulging.
Nice wide straps hold the bibs in place, and add a touch more warmth.
Zipper on the ankles for guys with big feet. I found they worked better with two hands.
• Bergamo completes your package with padding and protection from their famous MLD4 Elastic I.T. chamois . I’m happy to see their top-o-line bean-bag cushion in the winter tights – this is good stuff. We spec’d it in our custom PEZ shorts, and after a full season of riding in all conditions – I’m giving it my personal endorsement. Comfortable, durable (my shorts have been washed about 100 times, and worn at least as much), the chamois looks almost as good as new. The foam has yet to compress or break down, so they feel like new too.
WINTER GLOVES MSRP: $49.95
• These gloves are just plain warm – surprisingly warm for such a thin weight material – Windtex Topazio® Elastic Fabric (220 gram). I’ve worn them in temps as low as 2 degrees C and I’ve been fine. The fit for my hands was great, which can be hit and miss in gloves. The palm gripper is nice but should really be extended to the tips of the fingers for more secure control of levers. The long cuff velcros shut and fits over, or under your jacket sleeves. I’ve been wearing ‘em for 2 months now and give full marks to the fit and warmth, but have found the material pills up on the fingers wear with abrasion from the levers. This will likely be solved by adding that gripper to the area.
• Colors: Black
• Sizes: S – XXL
SKULL CAP MSRP: $39.95
• This was my first year really workin’ the skull cap, mostly because they used to be just too heavy and hot. But Bergamo got it right with their dual fabric dome warmer. The front panels are made of 275 gram WindTex Malta, which shields my bean from the cold blast created by my high velocity riding style. The top, sides, and back of my cranial region are covered by 245 gram Super Roubaix to allow better venting, while holding the right amount of heat. Durability has been great – still looks new after 25 rides + washes. It’s thin too, so my helmet sits where it’s supposed to and doesn’t make me look like I’m “…from France” (a la Mr. Conehead). I’ve been wearing it for rides around 7 degrees C (45F) and below, and like it. It also doubles for a variety of Hallowe’en costumes (like those brainy guys from the second Planet of the Apes films) – nice.
• Features: Reflective Piping
• Colors: Black
• One Size Fits All Noggins
CAPOFORMA SHOE COVERS MSRP: $16.99
• No proper ‘Classics’ look is complete without the shoe covers, and unless you’re on a top team with budget to cover the toe kit, your best option is classic black. Capoforma go one step beyond with a few other colors to spice up your life, with their mid-weight cordura shoe cover that blends in Polyamide, Lycra®, and Elastic for the right combo of durability, stretch, and warmth. I found ‘em great for cool Fall days, down to about 10C (50F). And priced just above a good pair of socks, you should buy two pairs.
• Footbed Seam Cut Guide
• 14cm Cuff
• Colors: Black, Red, Royal Blue, White
• Sizes: S/M, L/XL
MSS ARM WARMERS MSRP: $44.95
• I can’t say enough about cool looking armwarmers – at the very least you can look like a Classics King. The MSS Arm Warmers leave basic designs in the gutter with their dual fabric, multi-panel ergo design. Bergamo again combines two fabrics: elastic Topazio Windtex on the front, and SuperRoubaix on the rear for increased breath-ability. The tops are held in place with Bergamo’s Silicone Gel Grippers, so even the most spindly armed climbers should have no probs keeping these up.
• Colors: Black
Sizes: S/M, L/XL
Overall some nice kit with only a couple of areas for improvement. The combo of fabrics has been great for staying warm and feeling dry through all my rides, and the new styles of the MSS line look pretty snazzy. The prices may be more than you’ve been paying, but are less then than expected for high-end designs and fabrics, so maybe it’s time you treated yourself…?
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