Yes, it's officially spring time and we've been bragging about our abundance of sunny weather. Don't be fooled though, as the truest fact of the San Francisco area is that the weather is anything but stable. While the sun has been making regular appearances, we can always count on the mornings, and often the afternoons, to be covered in a blanket of fog. Naturally, it's those times, the transitional periods of the day as the sun rises or drops and the fog moves in or out, that the majority of us actually find time to squeeze in a ride.
Layering. The age old method of preparing for the climate. However good we get at it, it still seems to be a pain though doesn't it? Arm warmers and vests can often do the trick, but eventually need to be stripped off and then need a spare pocket to be stowed. Then there are the super light wind jackets. Wonderful in theory, though in practice they end up feeling no more effective than wearing a plastic trash bag, turning into a sweaty sauna once you hit the first hard effort. Wouldn't it be great if there were a single piece of kit that just magically stayed comfortable though out an entire ride?
Leave it to the technical genius that is Luigi Bergamo of Q36.5 to come up with just the perfect piece. The Hybrid Que is a light weight long sleeve jersey like no other. Typically, long sleeve jerseys come in two varieties. The first simply being a long sleeve version of a traditional lycra jersey. It's nice that it helps keep the arms covered but there's not much there in terms of wind or moisture barrier, still calling in for the need of a vest. The next option being a heavier weight jersey where the whole piece is constructed from a fleece lined fabric. These nicely add warmth, but tend to do little to manage excess sweat and body heat, and also tend to latch on to any moisture in the air. Not good.
Alternatively, the Hybrid Que instead shows heavily considered design to every section of the body, with a variety of high preforming textiles used in just the right places. The main front panels uses their proprietary UFHybrid material. It's woven, making it very breathable, but is done so at such a high density that it simultaneously acts as a shell, blocking out wind and repelling external moisture. The front is also bonded with a very thin insulating layer, adding more warmth and protection, doing the job of a vest. In other areas, like under the arm and on the back, a lighter material is used to maximize ventilation and quick drying. The whole piece is designed with an extremely ergonomic fit. This ensures that the textiles are always making appropriate contact to the body, maximizing it's moisture wicking properties, and escaping the dreaded wind flap that every wind jacket falls victim to.
Out on the road, it proves to be a piece of kit that really just makes life easier. Heading out on an early morning ride, it has just the right level of insulation to keep you comfortable, especially once you get through the first few minutes of warming up. Climbing up and through the fog line is where the Que really shines. The front panel does a phenomenal job of blocking out the cool air while the rest works hard to let your body heat escape. Most other long sleeve jerseys or wind jackets just turn the inside into a steamy sweat factory at this point. You might feel hot and toasty as you climb, but when it's time to descend, you're left with a base layer and jersey fully saturated with moisture, making a chilly descent even colder.
Breaking through the clouds and into the sun, all you need to do is zip down the front. Despite the sleeves being long, they mixture of textiles allows them to breath much better than typical arm warmers. When you'd normally elect to roll them down or peel them off, the Que stays comfortable, which keeps you from needing to find a pocket to stash them. Even better, you never have to fumbling around trying to put them back on when the climb ends and the descent begins. When the the cool fog reappears, just zip back up and you're good to go.
The Hybrid Que is not exactly new. In fact, it's been a staple in the Q36.5 line up almost as long as the brand has been around. It has long been of our favorite pieces, and getting out on these brisk spring morning and evenings have reminded us just how invaluable these versatile jerseys are.