Hot on the heels of their new sponsorship deal with Team Wiggins, premium cycling brand Le Col have launched their new Spring/Summer collection of male and female cycling kit. The range introduces a new design scheme, along with what the brand describe as "class-leading comfort and a dedication to technical performance".
Founded by British pro-cyclist Yanto Barker in 2011, Le Col focus on technically advanced cycling clothing designed for pro-level performance. The new collection is no exception, and the piece they're keen to highlight is the new Pro Jersey.
Construction includes use of Meryl NILO fabrics, which is a new one to us - but Le Col say the jersey is now 28% lighter. It has a sun protection factor of 50+, making it a smart choice if you're heading over to Europe for one of the big summer sportives like the Marmotte or Etape du Tour.
Le Col say the fabric also has naturally high wicking and cooling properties in hot weather, which again will come in handy if you're lucky enough to find yourself cycling somewhere sunny.
At the top of the range, the Hors Categorie (HC) collection returns with new designs and colours. One interesting feature of the HC jerseys is that the sleeves feature a silicon gummy gripper that runs from the shoulder along the entire length of the sleeve, rather than simply around the sleeve hem. Le Col say this ensures a close fit without forming a tight band at the end of the sleeve.
2017's Pro Air jersey (£120) is back too, and this year Le Col have made further refinement and technological updates, adding strength to what they say is one of the lightest cycling jerseys on the market. A reinforced panel above the pockets on the rear of the jersey has been added to increase the rigidity and durability of the jersey. Inside, all the seams have been flat locked to avoid irritation, with covered edges for the collar.
Le Col's Pro Air Jersey is also now available in the Women's range, which now mirrors the Men's range product-for-product.
The SS18 collection features a new colour palette, with dark navy, burgundy, purples and sky blues across the ranges. If that's too subtle, there's also a new hexagon pattern with fades to help you stand out (and possibly attract bees - the pattern bears passing resemblance to a honeycomb).
Finally, Le Col have also introduced some new bib shorts. The Pro Blackout Bib-Shorts (£165) replace Le Col's traditional band gripper with a longer 70mm band, with a black embroidered Le Col logo on the rear and a printed logo on the 70mm gripper that only shows up in direct sunlight. At the business end, the shorts are padded with a Dolomiti Gel chamois to aid comfort on longer rides.
The whole SS18 range is being manufactured at Le Col's own factory in Treviso, Italy - home to some of the world's greatest cycling roads, and rich in cycling history. Yanto and the Le Col team claim to manage the manufacturing process from start to finish, which allows them to keep tabs on development and production and ensure their high standards are met.
"Le Col's SS18 collection is the starting point of the most exciting period in our history," Yanto explains. "It's bringing together everything we've built from the past 8 years in terms of technology, research and design.
"Building on feedback from customers, sales data and ongoing testing from industry experts and the Pro Peloton Le Col's design team built a collection that is instantly recognisable, continuing the quality and craftsmanship that Le Col has delivered since day one. Every product has been meticulously tested, improved and refined since conception to keep pushing the brand to deliver ever higher standards of performance."
The new range is available to buy now. For full details check out the Le Col website: lecol.cc.