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What do you value in a pair of cycling shorts? For us, the list is long, yet simple: craftsmanship, attention to detail, comfort, and fit. Pretty basic, right? Yet for some reason, this appears to be too tall of an order for most. However, Santini's Gil Rea Women's Shorts exceed our expectation by adding a simple, refined style to the equation. Hand-made in Italy, the Gil Rea shorts provide an exact, flattering fit, lightweight, breathable fabrics, and a level of comfort that's second-to-none.
For the construction of the Gil Rea shorts, Santini used its Lycra Newport fabric to ensure a precise and comfortable fit. This material supports the legs' muscle groups through a slightly compressive weave. While it's not compressive enough to reduce lactic acid buildup via increased circulation, the fabric does offer enough support to minimize the detriment of fatigue from road vibration and general strain. Additionally, Newport is extremely breathable, and it has a heightened level moisture management. Ultimately, the fabric assists blood flow on an incremental scale, while providing a consistent thermo-regulation.
And while high-end fabrics are fantastic, Santini's renown emanates from its characteristically Italian design and fit. Basically, Santini is aware that the Gil Rea shorts are made for riding, not lounging. So, each pair features a multi-paneled, minimally-seamed design that's been cut to greet the contours of your body while in motion. This means that, in the saddle, you won't experience any bunching or chafing. And to ensure that the fit remains secure, Santini incorporated its external, silicone leg grippers. These grippers apply even pressure across the leg, so you won't experience any pinching or loss in circulation. At the waist, Santini used a wide, wrapping band that's akin to a more slender iteration of a yoga band. This interface provides stability and support to the overall fit, while at the same time, flattering the body.
As for the chamois, the Gil Rea shorts feature Santini's exclusive Gel Intech Lady (GIL) insert. This chamois approaches comfort from two fields -- abrasion reduction and support. Starting with abrasion, the GIL insert uses all internal stitching throughout, so chafing or irritation as a result of contact. Further along these lines, Santini made the chamois from two foam layers with variable densities between two and four millimeters. The top layer has an antimicrobial microfiber surface that provides constant hygiene and a smooth interface between the foam and the skin. For support, the padding is thicker at key points of pressure across the genital and gluteal regions. Additionally, in combination with the microfiber, the chamois is able to effectively reduce heat and wick away moisture.
The Santini Gil Rea Women's Shorts are available in five sizes from X-Small to X-Large and in the colors Black and White.
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My wife loves 'em!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
My wife loves these so much, she even wears them around the house just because she looks so damn hot in spandex!