We’ve carried Assos for years. We’ve always admired the brand ethos to provide comfort and quality above else through innovation and detailed fit. Assos has gained a sizeable following in these parts for that very reason. Part of the reason for their success? A man by the name of Luigi Bergamo, founder of our newest apparel brand in the shop, Q36.5.
We’ve come to know Luigi as the lead R&D engineer at Assos. Much of Assos’s recent innovation is thanks to his attention to detail and pursuit for comfort and performance. In 2013, he left Assos and the mountains of Lugano for Bolzano, Italy. There, he would start Q36.5, a brand hellbent on innovating cycling apparel outside of cycling apparel industry norms.
Fast forward a few years, and even though Luigi Bergamo left Assos, we’ve managed to stay in touch. He even bought a Ritchey from us! Earlier this year, he came to us with a pair of Q36.5 bib shorts and a jersey to try out. It’s only right to try out what a friend suggests to you in good faith, and so we went out on a few rides wearing a Q36.5 jersey and bib to get a feel of what they offered outside of our current favorite brands. We were blown away, and we’re not just saying that because he might read this.
But what about that name, Q36.5? Q stands for the Latin word ‘quaerer’, meaning research. 36.5 represents the ideal body temperature in degrees celsius, which fits in line perfectly with the brand’s ethos. Q36.5 aims not just for saddle comfort and fit; their objective instead is to offer those things while ensuring their clothing works to maintain proper body heat of its user. Each piece of fabric has a specific property geared toward preserving warmth, wicking moisture, or shielding skin in some way. Performance first and good looks second, though Italians typically can’t help but make something look good.
What separates Q36.5 from other brands who claim these same things is their proprietary fabrics. The brand has worked with the best Italian textile manufacturers they could find, as they could benefit from not just sophisticated textile know-how, but also the ability to work side-by-side with suppliers for quicker turnaround and a clearer vision. The end result are products that are truly unique in form, performance, and durability.
It’s clear that the Italian brand is about innovation. Some of their materials and details are little more than absolute refinement. Other materials are truly unlike anything we’ve seen, felt, or used before. Their fabrics compress just right. While not a boxy fit like some other brands, we’ve never felt that stuffed sausage feeling one might feel like in a race cut kit. Everything they make is super-lightweight, but manages to be durable too; the Italian brand claims their bibs “last at least 10x longer than it’s high end-competitors”. That’s a bold claim, but after spending some time with core pieces of kit, we can confidently say that this stuff is built to last, and gets better with use.
We’ll have a full review up of the Salopette Dottore L1 bib and a few of their other pieces, but it’s fair to say that we haven’t been this excited for a new clothing brand in quite a while. Little else on the market is as lightweight, comfortable, and surprisingly durable as what we’ve been able to test on our own rides. Their gear is every bit as good as the very best cycling apparel on the market today. We’re sure that anyone that picks up bibs, jersey, or a jacket from us will feel the same way.
Check out our selection of products on our website, or come by our shop during business hours to see in person why we’re so excited. Have any questions? Send us an email any time to firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call during shop hours.