Last month we teamed up with Above Category to support a few riders taking part in Unbound Gravel. Not only is Above Category one of our premium retail partners, they are also lovers of gravel and support the scene by hosting their very own event that showcases the pristine gravel throughout Marin.
As part of the AC x ENVE Unbound collaboration, we partnered with Q36.5 clothing in Bolzano, Italy, for a team kit. Once the dust had settled after the race, AC started getting questions from fellow racers asking how they could get their hands on the jersey and bibs, so they decided to open up the collab kit as a pre-order to all comers.
Above Category loves all things custom, be it complete bikes, handbuilt wheels, or custom apparel. They have the great fortune of being Q36.5’s premier partner in North America, a relationship that provides ample opportunities for creativity. If you haven’t heard of Q36.5, they’re an extremely performance-oriented cycling clothing brand specializing in using textile technology to modulate body temperature while riding – something that is critical during a 200+ mile race in Kansas where high temps and humidity add to an already challenging day.
After the tire-popping flint, oppressive heat is surely the defining factor of Unbound, so we opted for a mostly white jersey, a blank canvas that would come to tell the story of the ride at the finish line. Based on the Q36.5’s incredibly breathable R2 silhouette, the AC x ENVE jersey features advanced, strategically-placed fabrics designed to maintain a stable temperature. It’s super light at only 110g, and just like the bibs, is made in Italy.
The bib shorts also received special attention during the design process. Using the Q36.5 Gregarius Ultra Bib Short as the starting point, critical changes were made to the chamois. With AC riders having logged thousands of miles in the various bib shorts Q36.5 have to offer, they found that the pad in the Unique Bib Short gave the best blend of comfort, support and relief from the heat. With this in mind, they asked Luigi Bergamo, the founder of Q36.5, if we could incorporate the Unique chamois into our bib shorts. We can’t thank Above Category and Q36.5 enough for putting this collaboration together that allowed for about as comfortable a day at Unbound as one could hope for, which helped land Brennan Wertz a top-10 overall finish. If you’d like to order a kit of your own, please check out our AC x ENVE apparel here. Pre-orders close July 12th.