It's apparent on looking and wearing the Santini Aero Anna Meeres signature kit that so much time and thought has gone into the design. It's so comfortable and airy, it's just like wearing a second skin.
[related_articles] The kit luckily arrived a few weeks prior to a road training camp I was going on in Mallorca and it's safe to say that I have tested it to the extreme.
A few girls pointed out that maybe I should have tried them on the saddle before setting off on a 140km ride, but just from looking at the quality and detail in them I suspected that they would treat me well.
They were so comfortable that I even washed them ready for the next 150km jaunt as I knew the other three sets I took with me would not have been such a pleasure to wear.
I'm a small size 10 and the medium kit fits me perfectly. I find it quite difficult to find bibs that are long enough in the body, but these are just perfect.
Santini have gone a bit wild with the design, and I can imagine that it's not to everyone's taste, especially if you want to be under the radar. The top of the bib shorts is made from a leopard print breathable mesh material. Yes...leopard print! This is obviously not visible to anyone whilst you are in the saddle, but it's that little touch that makes you feel a little bit special.
The female specific cut ensures each each piece fits perfectly and the Santini branding is quite discreet compared to the rest of the bold styling.
The shorts feel buttery soft and silky to touch and against the skin. It's a very lightweight Lycra which is also a compression 'thunderbike powerfabric' material which helps to reduce muscle fatigue and strain.
The raw cut leg cuffs mean no irritating seams dig in or chafe against the skin over the miles. And the cleverly designed wide anti-slide leg grippers do such an amazing job of keeping the shorts firmly in place without being too restrictive.
No seams or traditional silicone leg grippers give the shorts such a great flattering fit, as previously mentioned like a second skin, meaning no uncomfortable tight spots or the dreaded'sausage legs! The same gripper system is used on the bottom of the jersey which works just as well, it did not move out of position at all.
It wasn't until I wore a different kit for a few of the rides that I realised just how cool and airy the Santini Aero women's kit was, unaware for the first ride how effective the laser cut 'BCOOL' panels were.
Temperatures were reaching up to 29degrees and even on totally exposed climbs, for over an hour of time, I was perfectly happy. I could even wear a base layer underneath this kit and still not be too hot.
The 'BCOOL' panels are the contrasting black and white double layer style sections. The white is a stretchy, breathable, wicking material covered by laser cut black Lycra to conceal your privacy. These run down the back of the jersey and up the sides of the bib shorts.
The chamois pad is surrounded by microfibre anti-chafing wings, an extra layer of soft material around the pad that absorbs the sweat and makes the shorts move easily next to the skin. On first glance it does look quite large, bulky and stiff, but any fears of being over-padded disappeared as soon as I sat on the saddle.
Three deep pockets on the jersey give enough storage for a long ride in the sun. The zipped pocket is also an added bonus to store keys and money with peace of mind. The material used is also UV protective which was a must in Majorca!
I found the thunder-bike compression material of the bib shorts so effective that I even used them at an Enduro race under my race kit. My legs were so painful prior to racing as they still hadn't recovered from the shock amount of miles I have put them through that I didn't even think I would be able to race! Maybe it's a physiological matter, but they felt so much better once I had the aero bibs on.
The Santini Aero kit is my new best friend for long days in the saddle, making six hour plus rides in 30 degree heat a dream!