The Cyclist is excited to be offering cycling goods from Italian maker Sportful. Sportful comes from a somewhat unique background. In the 1940’s, Olindo & Irma Cremonese moved to the Dolomites in Italy and began to build a business with wool. They raised, sheared, carded, and spun their own wool, selling it to Italian clothiers, and eventually began to knit underwear in the 1960’s.
The true progenitor of Sportful appeared in 1972 with their son Giordano, an avid cross-country skier. He decided to try his hand at producing more adequate clothing for racers than had been previously available. He used a mix of acrylic fabrics, which were new at the time, added his own logo and toed the line at the Marcialonga cross-country ski race in a bright orange ski suit. Fellow racers were intrigued, and a new line of sport wear was born.
It wasn’t until 1985, however that Giordano expanded into designing for cycling, which had become a new hobby for him. Using the same fabrics and knowledge of movement that he gained from skiing, his line of gear quickly gained in popularity. It was used by the highly successful Mapei and Tinkoff Saxo as well as the Italian National Team.
While their designs may be simple and understated, it is the care put into the cut and construction that makes Sportful stand out. For instance, the bibs are sewn from super stretch fabrics that support muscles while helping to transfer moisture away from the skin to keep you dry. The legs are finished with a soft silicone gripper and the bib straps are laser cut to lay flat against your skin. All the seams are flatlock stitched. And the pads? They are 18mm in thickness and cut so that pressure is alleviated to ensure all-day comfort in the saddle.
In a similar fashion, their pro range jerseys are constructed from Dry Pro Microfiber which wicks sweat away. They feature full-length zippers for ease of donning and doffing and plenty of storage in the form of multiple rear pockets. Silicone grippers are included on some styles to keep the jerseys from riding up.
Jerseys and Bibs aren’t the only cycling pieces Sportful is known for. Their range of jackets spans from simple, lightweight rain jackets to the Fiandre Extreme which will keep you warm even on a blustery winter day. Sportful even offers a unique short-sleeved version of the Fiandre Extreme to keep your core warm during the shoulder seasons.
As much care is put into the cut and design of their women’s gear as the men’s. Appropriately placed straps on bib shorts, pockets on jerseys, and a wide, mesh-lines comfort waistband on shorts are just a few of the features that ensure that your clothing won’t detract from your riding.
This family-owned business, now run by Giordano’s children is continually upping the bar with new fabric combinations and cuts to keep riders comfortable no matter how far they ride.