Given how many companies there are making excellent technical biking gear, it seems like madness for an upstart to wade into the crowded marketplace with no more complicated a set of goals than to build sleek, simple, and functional clothing. Priced at the mid-point between mass market and high-end brands like Rapha, the first two products from New York-based manufacturer Search and State – a subtly two-tone black jersey and a steel-hued rain-jacket – are designed for hard riding, not for looking great with silk scarves or interesting facial hair. Their S1-A Jersey is constructed from a breathable, lightweight, quick-drying synthetic fabric that gives off an air of streamlined indestructibility. While a bit heavy for extreme heat, it's ideal for long days of variable temperatures and changing conditions.
Even more technically impressive is the S1-J Riding Jacket (pictured, above). Light and packable enough to stuff into your pocket, the S1-J is rain and water repellent, as you would expect. But it's also surprisingly warm, thanks to fabric constructed from Scholler C Change, a Gore-Tex-like membrane that the company claims will expand in the heat and close in the cold. On a chilly spring day, we comfortably wore ours over a jersey and remained warm while other riders were bundled up in winter gear.
Search and State's first two offerings are virtually perfect in their understatement and attention to detail. They'll be rolling out more products in the coming months, and based on the first two pieces, we look forward to seeing what they come out with next. [$125 (Jersey) and $245 (Jacket); searchandstate.com]