Perfectly matching shorts, jersey and even mitts belong in the world where one must: "Match the bars to the color of the frame at the top of the head tube and the saddle to the color of the frame at the top of the seat tube and the tires to the color where they come closest to the frame" (see: The Rules)
There are some days where I feel like chucking the rules out the window and wearing whichever kit won't show up greasy finger marks - and some days where I feel like following 'The Rules'. This Grupetto set from Sportful is for 'The Rules' days.
This set, available in a range of colour combinations, comes from the Body-Fit Pro line - super light, super tight pro fit kit that feels like it deserves to be raced.
The jersey has a sleek full zip, and an elasticated hem with silicone grippers to ensure it stays put in a tucked position. The material is super light, and sits softly against the skin in a comfortable cocoon.
Sportful have equipped the shoulders with AirMesh panels - the stretchy material means the sleeves fit against the skin without flapping whilst the mesh provides plenty of breathability for long, hot summer rides.
Designed to match perfectly, the Grupetto Shorts share the same bold design.
[related_articles]The legs sit tight against the skin, giving a feeling of support, and Sportful have worked to battle 'sausage leg' with 'AirMesh' leg endings specifically designed to avoid any monstrosities. This said, there is a seam which runs from the middle thigh to the hip, which can sit a little uncomfortably and doesn't seem to lend much to design or performance.
The pad is a fairly thick, endurance affair, and would be more than competent on a long ride - though I might opt for a lighter option for a shorter ride.
My only gripe with these shorts is that they're not bibs. A tight fit, aero jersey such as the Grupetto Pro is generally best worn with bibs.
The shorts have a really high waistband, that comes higher at the back and hips, so there is no risk of uncomfortable cutting, slipping, or an exposed triangle of flesh when leaning forward on the bike. To be as effective as it is, the waistband needs to feature a strong elastic hem. The same helpful hem marks a clear line through the light fabric of the jersey. If you're a devoted waist shorts wearer, this might be the norm, but as a convert to bibs I missed the lack of upper body here.
Sportful don't have a Grupetto bib, but they do BodyFit Pro Women's Bibs, though these wouldn't match the jersey in bold design.
A lovely set that feels great on the bike and makes the wearer feel stylish and confident. My only gripe is the lack of bib short option to match the high end design.
Available in: Dark Purple and Pink, Plum and Orange or Black and Aqua
Sizes: X-Small to XX Large
Sizes Reviewed: Jersey - Small, Shorts - Medium