When I open my bike closet I find that I have amassed a collection of jerseys from the decade since I fell back in love with cycling. I have kits from Primal, Voler, Hincapie, Capo, Black Bottom, Nalini, Pearl Izumi, Squadra, and Pactimo. They range from team kits for El Grupo and Team Cirrus, charity kits like The Look, Save a Life, American Diabetes Association and Ride for A Child with Tu Nidito, artistic and fun jerseys from GoLoco, event kits from bike races and festivals I have been a part of and those that I have been fortunate to win from New Belgium Brewery.
With all of these options I find I typically use the same kits over and over while many just sit there as reminders of happy days. When picking what I’ll wear comfort is always at the top of the list. Functionality also ranks high. Some of my favorite jerseys have such small pockets that in the summer they’re not good on any ride where I need a third bottle in my back pocket. Likewise, some bib and short chamois are good for a quick spin, but after 2 hours they are like a Florida Swamp in July. Being that clothing is considered a direct reflection of who we are the company or organization they represent as well as their sponsors also need to be considered. I wear some names with pride knowing what the organization represents and have other kits featuring logo soup of businesses that I have little respect for and won’t wear.
One thing that has been on my mind for years is the process that goes into the making of a kit. As a business owner who wears spandex 5-6 days a week it is clear that investing in a moving billboard that doubles as clothing is a worthwhile investment. Also, I’m always looking for gifts for my clients and as many ride bikes, a jersey or kit seem like the ideal gift. With that in mind I’ve been looking into the process of designing a kit. As I mentioned I own kits from over a half dozen companies and know whose kits are the most comfortable. There is also that pesky factor in life called cost.
I’m not sure where this path is going to lead, but hopefully before it is over it will help others know the process of making their own kit. I expect this should take a few months with 6-8 blog entries. The main points I know I will look into are the design process. Picking a local designer or working with the manufacturer directly. Sponsors and Logo soup to cover some of the costs (or keep it clean). The design process. What materials and only Kits, or skinsuits, arm/leg warmers, gloves. How many to order, who can order, how to order. Finally, photos of smiling riders wearing The Damion Alexander Team colors.