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Fall is a fickle riding partner. You might see a 40-degree temperature swing, biting winds, rain and snow... in one ride. That used to mean stuffing extra layers in a jersey pocket or backpack and stopping to change when conditions changed. Not anymore. Thanks to our collaboration with Specialized, it just got a lot easier to get your kit dialed for fall and winter riding. Throw it on, leave it on, and just enjoy the ride.
With a truly gaudy number of wins across all disciplines of cycling from Monterrey to Mont Ventoux, the folks at Specialized are no strangers to riding in demanding conditions. But with the rising popularity of gravel riding and the continued interest in cyclocross all over the world, Specialized wanted to explore the fertile middle ground between baggy mountain bike attire and the skinsuit aesthetic favored by time trialists and track racers. So for Fall and Winter 2020, Specialized created a whole new system, utilizing Polartec materials to create pieces that function in harmony, or can each be a great stand-alone. It’s one of the benefits of their multi-discipline racing experience — Specialized literally helped define design for mountain biking, road biking, and gravel riding over the last three decades.
So when they bend the rules to create a category-defying new product, rest assured it’s an informed decision. This new collection blurs the lines between formerly separate categories. And that’s good; it means more riders’ choice. You get to mix and match and create the perfect kit for that day’s ride.
So how’d they do it? First they chose Polartec® Alpha® insulation’s lightest iteration yet. Alpha was developed at the request of US Special Forces and provides active insulation, so you don’t need to stop to add or shed layers when you’re working hardest. Its revolutionary lattice knit structure allowed Specialized to choose a highly air-permeable, DWR-treated face fabric for maximum breathability and weather protection under high exertion. Specialized reshaped the design lines, removing quilting to minimize water penetration at stitching points. The end result is a packable, weather-resistant jacket that offers adaptable warmth with maximum breathability.
The Alpha Prime hugs your body for better aerodynamics, while the Alpha Trail sets you up for mountain biking, gravel, or bike-packing rides where you’re more likely to need a hood. Whether you prefer a form-fitting kit or something more relaxed, Specialized has you covered.
Specialized used our higher stretch knit Polartec® NeoShell® fabric for better fit and aerodynamics on the road jackets, while utilizing the woven face version on their mountain bike jackets for greater durability. It’s breathable and waterproof, so you’ll be ready for whatever the trail throws at you. And if you’ve been out there much, you know that the trail does indeed throw things at you.
These form-fitting jackets keep you in a warm, dry zone and keep the suffering where it belongs— in your quads and lungs. This year, Specialized also offers NeoShell in their proprietary Hyprviz green for a jacket that keeps you even more visible than warm, day or night. NeoShell is also utilized in Specialized Prime Series Thermal Gloves and Prime Series Waterproof gloves, where it’s paired with a grippy synthetic leather palm and touchscreen compatibility.
For fall days or even as a base layer, the Race Series Thermal Jersey and Trail Series Thermal Jersey are ready for any road or trail. Both are made with Polartec® Power Grid™ fleece, which features a geometric construction that creates touchpoints to wick moisture away from your body and open air channels for added breathability. This technical fleece keeps you warmer and dryer while minimizing bulk and weight in the fabric.
If you’ve ever crested a hill into a headwind or felt that cold blast down the front of your jersey when you got to the front of a paceline, you know how winter tries to pry its way in. Specialized fights back with the help of Power Grid in their Prime Series Thermal Balaclava and NeckGaiter. It’s the finishing touch for riding on the coldest days, and it’s light and packable, so it’s easy to bring on any ride.
We’re proud of our Partnership with Specialized and grateful for the diverse audience they bring. From club rides in American suburbs to Grand Tour riders in Europe to quiet stretches of singletrack, Specialized has always done what we want a partner to do — they keep pushing us and keep helping us redefine what’s possible.