We are excited to officially announce what has been the worst kept secret of the past year.
Last October we discovered Q36.5 which is a new cycling apparel company out of Bolzano Italy. We actually knew Luigi Bergamo quite well from his years at Assos where he was the man who researched, designed and tested all the products that great company made. We also knew he had left Assos the year before to head back to the roads where he grew up in the foothills of the Dolomites. But what we didn’t know was that he couldn’t get designing super high performance cycling products out of his blood. To make a long story short, we found the website for his new company and spent some time researching what looked like a break from the norm in the high performance cycling apparel industry. Then, knowing Luigi like we do we knew the products would be well thought out, tested to the max and groundbreaking.
So, I called Luigi up and after chatting for a few minutes had him send me one of everything that he had at the time. Since it was turning fall here and we had a mix of warm weather, rain and some cold mornings it was the perfect time to test the summer and winter pieces that he sent. We’ll get into actually talking about these things individually later, but it included one each of a bib short, summer jersey, short and long sleeve base layer, long sleeve jersey, bib tight, vest, arm and knee warmers and a few socks. The first thing I noticed was the material. It was completely different than anything I had ever felt before. Almost a papery feel and the weight! All the pieces are incredibly light, much lighter than anything I’d felt before. Luigi had kept repeating to me that they did not set out to design it this way, only that this was the result of the extreme textiles that he had found. He also stated that despite the low weight the Q36.5 range would be much more durable than anything I’d ridden in before. We would find out about that over the next year.
Now, unlike most retail businesses I was not in a hurry to announce this new product, bent on selling as much as soon as possible. Like everything we bring into the shop I wanted to really spend some time getting to know the product well in order to make sure it was a good match for us and our customers.
Then I tried everything on. Again, without going into too much detail, I noticed how much more compression was in the bib shorts and tights. Not constricting, just nice overall compression. The short sleeve jersey is a very snug fit, like a skin suit almost but again, felt incredibly comfortable and as important looked good. I hardly even noticed the base layer, the vest fit perfectly, tight but easy to move in and even the socks felt different. So, this passed the first test and then it was time to ride. Luigi had mentioned to me that the bibs actually break in after a few washes and even though they felt great on the first ride, they kept feeling better and better after some ride and wash cycles.
To see how durable the kit was I had only purchased one of every piece. My aim was to wear the same thing every day and wash right away and then hang dry to use the next day. First thing I noticed was how fast the clothing dried. Even if I hung it at 9pm the night before, the following morning it was ready to ride by 7am. I was riding 5-6 days per week consistently at this time and as it was not too cold was mainly wearing the short sleeve jersey with the short sleeve base layer, vest and arm warmers up top and the bibs, knee warmers and either summer or fall socks below. Normally, with any bib I use I start getting pilling where I rub on the edge of the saddle within a month of constant use, but nothing with the Q36.5 bibs. Same thing the next month. In fact, I went to visit Luigi in Bolzano 10 months later in Bolzano and they were still in great shape and this is after 200 rides in all weather. So not only are they the lightest but they are also the most durable I’ve used. Same with the jersey and other pieces.
So now that we’ve confirmed what we really already knew we’re happy to make Q36.5 an official offering at Above Category. We will be receiving our winter collection in a few weeks and then we’ll be fully stocked with everything again. We will also be highlighting each individual piece over the next few months but if you can’t wait for that, just give us a call or if you are in the area come on in and we’ll be happy to tell you what works best for your riding and environment. You can also see the full line here.
Thanks for reading!