One of the “problems” with Parentini has been getting hold of it. There are a smattering of hardcore, premium UK dealers but, otherwise, it’s been head over to one of the Euro outfits and hoping that it would arrive. To be fair, most of the Euro outfits are really good and very reliable. But sending stuff back can be a pain. So one can understand why people might skip the brand and stick to what they know or could get easily.
That’s changing. Parentini’s new website, which you can find here now gives you the option to order online and ship to the UK. And that’s great. There are still a few tweaks taking place and, in the spirit of fairness, we’ve had a conversation about shipping charges. So, hopefully, we’ll see some movement there. It would be good if the prices were in £GPB with the checkout then converting back to Euros too. I’ll update you when I know anything more but, for now, you can order more easily, which is good.
As you know, I was a big fan of the Parentini Shark.2 bibshorts. Great pad, great fit and they are just so durable. So, I used them on road, I used them for CX and I used them for MTB. They just lasted and lasted.It’s no surprise to find that the Tiger.2 bibshorts carry on in that vein.
They’re quite a classic looking pair of shorts, understated and purposeful. And, above all, quality. Length is good and these don’t encroach on the top of your knees (which I personally hate).
Let’s start with the basics. These are premium priced, coming in at about £125 at current exchange rates, with the Shark.2 coming in at about £100 or so. There are some key differences, and, as you’d expect, a lot of that is in the pad. It’s worth clicking through this link to get to the bottom of that. The pad in the Tiger.2 is the C6 Flou Elastic Carbon, for high comfort. It’s well placed and suitable for, well, I haven’t breached the boundaries of distance yet. It’s well sewn in, suitably form fitting and should see you through a lot of use.
It’s ridiculously hard to photograph bibs so I don’t really try leaving the stock pics above to get the best effect, plus Ali is more photogenic than me.
There are a smattering of reflective tabs round the back which is always good to see.
The leg grippers are a bonded affair. They are quite tight and compressive but these are race/competition shorts so that’s to be expected. I’m not absolutely sold on the decals. That’s not a Parentini criticism, I feel that all decals will eventually crack, stretch or fail. So, I’d always advocate doing without them. But they are aesthetically pleasing.
The interior shot gives you a good understanding of the leg gripper but also lets you see the inner structure of the lycra. It looks a bit more woven and tougher than other brands. That’s not a the expense of comfort and just aids that durability I was talking about. They’re super supportive and hard wearing.
The straps are terrific. They’re suitably meshy at the back and the straps are laser cut and heat bonded together.
They’re also fairly traditional in the approach of coming over the nipple area (though not directly on) rather than the round the side approach of some other brands. That traditional approach just works, so don’t knock it. Waistband level is about medium so comfort breaks are a piece of, umm, cake.
It’s an excellent all round package. They’re comfortable and durable. Good for a wide variety of conditions and should see you not having to focus on anything other than the ride. So a great pair of shorts to add to the premium pile. On sizing they are normal, I take a large at 5ft 10 and currently 82kg with a 35″ waist. Admirable for an Italian brand to get that right. Are they as good as the other big brands? Yes, that’s certain. I think they’re also very versatile given the uses I put them to which I would not necessarily do with some of the others. Getting that durability and comfort right is a tough ask but I think Parentini have cracked it.
I’ve also been rocking the K-Dry Gilet in the early mornings and rain. And you can click on the link to buy and check out the specs of that here. The version I tried is equally naturally sized at L. It retails for around £85 at current exchange rates. That’s not cheap but it should last you a long time and it is a really useful piece.
The reflex moniker comes from the reflective elements which are pretty impressive given that there’s not an awful lot of surface area.
Obviously that’s reflected (sic) round the back as each of the reflective strips is circular. Parentini say that this is windproof, waterproof and breathable and I’d say that’s pretty much on the money. There is some slight condensation inside if you really ramp up the pace but that’s generally the case with most shells. It’s minimal and at most paces you won’t overwhelm it with your own sweat. And you certainly won’t overwhelm it with rain from outside where, aside from those big holes for your arms, water doesn’t get in. Being ‘enclosed’ all round, with no pockets to speak of, aids this.
The arm holes are elasticated and should cater for a range of sizes. Ditto the waistband. Getting the right size and fit should be easy enough for anyone provided you choose the right size. And, in use, there’s zero flappability.
It’s a really good gilet. I’d not necessarily recommend it for high summer. It’s more a spring/autumn piece and particularly well suited to wearing over the top of, for example, the Scatto jersey. It’s easily stow-able too taking only a margin more space than the truly lightweight stuff. It also has an excellent zip and a nice lined collar to prevent any chafing. Neck size is absolutely on point.
And there you have it. Two more pieces from an excellent brand. You should be able to buy more easily but, as I say, I’ll update you on that soon. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with either of these and it’s great that they are a break from kit you see on the club run all the time. If you have any queries stick there here or get into contact because Parentini’s motto is that ‘We care,’ and on this evidence, that’s absolutely clear.