The Contender x Giro Jello Mountain Kit Ties Utah and Mapei History
A CALLBACK TO A CYCLING CLASSIC
Arguably, the most iconic cycling kit in the world comes from the Mapei Cycling Team. Dominating the 1990's aboard an array of colorful Colnago team bikes, the Mapei team brought flair and passion all around the world. Even today, it is fairly common to see the striking, colorful cubes worn by cycling fans nostalgic for what amounted to sponsorship by a surface adhesives company.
It is with that flair and reverence to history that we bring to you our latest cycling kit with a unique Utahn twist. The Contender x Giro 'Jello Mountain' kit celebrates the state's beautiful mountain ranges with the official state snack: Jell-O. Combined, they make for one of our favorite Contender kits to date, and one you won't want to miss.
MOUNTAINS AND JELL-O: PAIRED BEST IN UTAH
Let's start with the colorful cubes adorning the edges of the kit. These aren't purely from the Mapei kit, and if you're from Utah, you probably recognize these for what they are: Jell-O cubes. Utah residents eat more Jell-O per capita than any other state in the U.S. Jell-O is so strongly associated with Utah that not only was there a Jell-O pin for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, but it is the official state snack of Utah. Clearly, Utah has embraced the unassuming dessert, and with our kit, the Jell-O cube embraces us back.
Of course, there are the mountains. The Wasatch Mountain range disrupts the Salt Lake Valley’s prudently laid city grid; hurriedly rising thousands of feet, they dominate the Park City and Salt Lake City skylines. These mountains breathe life to the locals and provide an unencumbered directionality that’s more helpful than mere street names. References to the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back let people know what side of the range they're on. The Point of the Mountain does just the same thing.
These two things define the culture of Utah like few others. Even two decades after their withdrawl from the highest levels of the cycling world, the Mapei Cycling Team kit is still famous. The striking, multi-colored team kit stood out in a wave of neon; a calling card for one of the most dominant cycling teams in history. There are all kinds of cycling kits inspired by the famous Mapei cubes, but we would argue that none of them are as fitting as the gelatin cube.
FEATURING THE GIRO CHRONO EXPERT JERSEY AND SHORTS
We wanted this Mapei-inspired kit to last as long as this design is timeless, so we partnered with Giro for their Chrono Expert kit. The Chrono cycling clothing line is made with Giro's Renew materials that use recycled fishing nets, ocean debris and other plastics in their fabrics. Through breakthrough materials like these, we are able to offer apparel that feels great, performs even better, and has an 80% lower climate impact compared to conventional cycling apparel.
How does the kit fit? Outside of the mountain peaks and Jell-O cubes that adorn the jersey, the fit strikes a nice balance between racey and enduro-bro baggy, with pockets high enough that they don’t sag when loaded up. Three rear pockets and a zipper pocket down the middle mean this fits your must-haves nicely. The material itself is rather breathable fabric without being as light as a summer-specIfic cycling jersey. Those looking for a true race fit will want to size down.
As for the bib shorts? The bib short uses a wide, lightweight mesh strap that feels great, with small grippers at each leg opening and wide leg bands that spread out compression evenly around the leg. The chamois is of the triple-density sort, which offers a fair bit of support even on slow days where the chamois sees the biggest beating. Outside of the vented front of the bib, the coolest part is that the back of the bib straps has a central pocket, perfect if you’re using a jersey or tech tee that doesn’t have pockets built in.
Like anything else we do, the Contender x Giro 'Jello & Peaks' kit is a limited run, with no plans for more. We doubt you'll see anything that so effortlessly ties together the peaks of Italian cycling with the mountain peaks of Utah. Give us a call during business hours, or send an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org to secure yours.