Sugoi RS Zero Apparel Review
Winter biking is here and Sugoi has come out with their new winter line, Sugoi RS ZERO.
Winter biking is here and Sugoi has come out with their new winter line, Sugoi RS ZERO. Sugoi is the Japanese term for INCREDIBLE and they have been making high-performance athletic apparel for 20 years. This December I had the privilege of demoing the RS ZERO bib tight, booties and gloves in 25-40 degree days with 15-20 mph winds. The RS Zero line is designed for harsh winter conditions, so while my friends sit on the couch waiting for warmer weather I have been shouting, "Bring on the wind, slush, and cold!"
The Sugoi RS Zero bib tight is the most effective and comfortable bib tight I've ever used. It is the prized penthouse article for gear whores. It's quality, functionality, and comfort is of the highest level I have experienced. This product features a breathable FireWall 200 polyester shell which has polyurethane laminate for wind and water resistance. It kept me warm and dry.
The Formula FX Chamois is the Cadillac of all chamois in comfort and functionality. Complexly, it is V-notched for ventilation and flexibility. It has a welded center channel with perforation for ventilation and pressure relief. The 4-way stretch side panels that mold to body contours is made from Meryl Skinlife synthetic knit. The Vcontrol high density vibration dampening relief pads is another high quality feature. It feels and performs like no other. In fact, once you try the Formula FX Chamois, you may never settle for anything less.
The knees are reinforced for added durability and warmth. These tights are my go-to tights for crappy weather. They are very durable and the construction is of such high quality. I have only positives to say.
The Sugoi RS Zero booties have PU coated stretch fleece panels, which provide wind- and waterproof protection. These booties are easy on/off with rear entry zip and Velcro closure tab for ease of use. The super grip fabric on the base is really sticky. It slides easily over the shoe and allows plenty of room for the cleat. No binding is felt with the cleat and the heal opening allows walking without damaging the garment. It did seem a little baggy in the heal, but this did not prove a problem on the bike (I had a men's size nine shoe and a bootie size medium). I have been impressed by their ability to provide maximum protection and warmth while maintaining minimal weight.
The RS Zero glove is pre-curved for ergonomic fit and comfort grip. The super grip fabric on the palm is also very sticky. This quality remains, even in colder weather it does not become slippery, but maintains an amazing ability to stick to the handlebars. The gloves are made with S3+ Protection, which is a combination of layers that is wind/water resistant and warm wicking. Unfortunately, I tend to have sweaty hands even at rest and these gloves were not breathable enough for me. On a 40-degree day (Fahrenheit), my hands grew damper and cold as the laps and wind continued. They are very comfortable and have a longer wrist with a cuff that stays in place and provides full freedom of movement. For colder conditions, the Firewall Z and Firewall XT gloves look to provide warmer protection.
I also tested the Sugoi RS jersey that is not in Sugoi's winter line but instead is an all around functional shirt. I overheat easily biking in warm temperatures and have only been able to wear my sports-bra because of this. This jersey is very breathable, extremely well-ventilated, and lightweight. It gives me hope to finally be able to wear a shirt this summer. I would not recommend this jersey for winter riding. It is so well ventilated that I would recommend it only for warmer days.
The Sugoi RS Zero line is specific for cold weather riding. Beyond keeping me warm, the quality of Sugoi clothing is exceptional. I found the bibs and booties to exceed my requirements for warmth and comfort. Every serious rider should experience the pleasure of the Formula FX Chamois. Unfortunately, my sweaty hands did negate the insulating factors of the gloves. The RS jersey while not in the winter line is an exceptional jersey for warmer weather. Without a doubt Sugoi hit their mark with the RS Zero line of cold weather riding gear.
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