Nalini Cycling Apparel Review | 2018
Recently we acquired a rather nice assortment of 2018 Nalini cycling apparel from our friends at Albabici, an importer and marketer of Italian cycling goods and services.
Here in the US many people haven’t heard of the Nalini brand, but over in Europe it’s one of the top named manufactures of high quality cycling apparel.
History Of Nalini Cycling Apparel
Nalini brand is located in the town of Castel d’Ario (MN), Italy, a few miles south of the historic city of Verona. In a town of roughly 4,800 residents, Nalini has over 300 employees. Nalini was founded in 1970 by two brothers, Vincenzo and Claudio Mantovani, whose expertise, passion and dedication in creating the most technical cycling apparel for top profession cyclists are the driving forces behind Nalini’s success. Today, Nalini is considered the largest cycling apparel manufacturer in Italy.
Professional riders who rode using Nalini cycling kits is almost a whose who in the cycling world including the likes of Indurain, Bugno, Chiappucci, Pantani, Riis, Ullrich, Freire, Valverde, Basso, Quintara, Contador, Nibali and many others.
Nalini’s factory is 215,000 sq ft and there is no“off-season”. It’s pretty go time developing cycling kits and apparel for pro teams and amateurs a like.
In 1989, Nalini suffered a tragic blow when Vincenzo died in a plane crash. Suddenly, the reigns of Nalini fell solely into Claudio’s hands. Inspired by Vincenzo’s legacy, Claudio carrying on their dream sits at the helm of the company.
Nalini has been tailors and technical partners with such legendary teams as Banesto (Miguel Indurain), Carrera(Marco Pantani), Movistar (Nairo Quintana, Rui Costa and Alejandro Valverde), Colombia, Astana (Alexander Vinokourov and Vincenzo Nibali) plus many, many more. Nalini maintains extensive and highly-detailed records of fitment dimensions for hundreds of pro riders, ensuring that each competitor is perfectly fitted. All told, Nalini-clad riders have won 11 Tours de France along with other major races. No other cycling apparel company can make this claim.
Nalini Cycling Apparel Review | 2018
Nalini breaks down their apparel line based on color labels including Black label, Blue label, Red label, Green label, Yellow label and Pink label. Beyond apparel, Nalini also sells cycling shoes and the Bianchi cycling clothing.
The Nalini Black Label Collection is their highly technical apparel geared towards pros and those who want the ultimate in performance. You can sort of think of the line as you would race wheels. The materials used are designed for speed and aero cutting performance.
We received a jersey and bib shorts in this line. The jersey fits like a glove and gave me the feeling of wearing a racing skin suit. My first ride in the jersey and I could feel the wind cutting properties. While many of the people I was riding with had their jerseys flapping, my was completely snug against my skin, which certainly would shave time over a 40k time trial or crit.
The AHS Stelvio Jersey has some rather cool features including extra long short sleeves and a zipper port. It comes with 3 back pockets and 1 internal pocket. The sleeve material acts as a compression for your arms, which I assume helps with performance.
The Stelvio is a full zip jersey, which I usually prefer, allowing you to unzip to cool. The jersey is designed to fit tight and makes you look like a super hero.
The Nalini AHS Tourmalet bib shorts have a unique shaped pad with flat stitched seams. At first I wasn’t sure about them, but after riding in bibs for a few hours I really started to settle in. The leg grippers and material felt great and the legs with the compression kept muscle soreness to a minimum.
Outside of the pad. At the front there are little circles, its a little hard to see. Not sure what those were for.
Leg gripping material at the ends.
The bibshorts have the Nalini lettering and some reflective material at the corners.
The Nalini Blue Label Collection adds a little more flare and style into the apparel line. The apparel line also has a bit more color while maintaining fantastic performance.
Things git a bit spicy with the Nalini Blue label collection. We received 2 jerseys including the AHS Rapidita and the AHS Centenario. The grey and maroon AHS Rapidita is a bit more refined. The AHS Centenario gets a bit daring sporting what appears to be great white sharks.
The Rapidita is a bit tamer than the Centenario jerseys and also a bit softer less form fitting. It was immediately comfortable right from the get go. This would be my choice on hot days since the material seems to allow a lot of airflow and keeps you cool.
The Nalini Centenario jersey had similar fit to the Black Label Stelvio. It looks pretty sharp on and people will definitely comment on it. Like all the jerseys we received, the Centenario comes with a full zip, 3 rear pockets and 1 internal pocket.
Other Nalini labels we didn’t receive apparel for included the Red, Green, Yellow and Pink collections.
The Nalini Red Label Collection is geared towards the recreational cyclists and is a step down in performance from either the blue or black label collections.
The Nalini Green Label is geared towards those who prefer leaving paved roads and riding the trails. The collections consists of special garments engineered for mountain biking – baggy shorts with mesh padded liners.
The Nalini Yellow Label is all about the multi-sport discipline of Triathlon.
The Nalini Pink Label is all about females and performance wear for cycling.
Nalini Cycling Apparel Review | Bottom Line
Obviously we were a little out of the loop when it came to Nalini apparel and what they have to offer. It was pretty exciting getting to know the company and test out some of the upcoming 2018 collection.
I currently don’t have prices for the cycling kits, but based on their 2017 line, prices should be in the range of $125 – $200, which is typical for this type of quality.
I felt the apparel ran pretty true to size and considering Nalini is an Italian company where sizes generally run small, this was a pleasant surprise. If you normally wear a large, you may even want to go down a size for the Black & Blue Label Collection, since they are more geared towards racing.
I did find the Black Label Collection to run a bit hot, but that could have been because of the humidity. That said, if you want to find clothing that can help save some time off the bike, the Black Label Collection is definitely worth it. I rode in some pretty windy conditions and felt the Tourmalet bibs combined with the AHS Stelvio jersey gave me an edge over the typical kits I wear.
Another bonus to the Nalini jersey’s I wasn’t quite sure about, pertained to my goto Waterfield Designs Cycling Pouch. The Pouch was able to fit in all the jersey’s middle pockets, YES!