Phew, I have spent the last few months of 2015 looking at customised cycling kit suppliers out there in the Australian marketplace. Why? Well, it seems to that the majority of kit you see out on the roads has been customised in one way shape and form, and I was curious about who was providing kit and what was available.
The listing I came up with (November 2015) is as follows:
- Black Chrome
- Capo Cycling
- Champion Systems
- Eleven Velo
- Fiasco Ciclismo
- Find Your Freedom
- Louis Garneau (Monza Imports)
- Spin Cycle
- Sub 4
- URDI Craft
- Vibe Cycling
Looking around at my mates kits last Sunday, of the 10 who were riding, every last one of us was riding in customised kit, except for Mr Magoo who was riding in running sorts and a sports top. But apart from him, there was a good mix of corporate and community challenges, every single last one of them. Looking in my wardrobe, I have a current collection of 8 jerseys and 4 bib shorts. All the Jerseys are custom kits . I have 2 full corporate kits and 6 other various jerseys from all sorts of organisations including Velo Porte (Amys Grand Fondo x 2), 3 Peaks , Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, SPACE, GHD (Capo Jersey). And I’ve discarded over the last few years quite a few old custom jerseys such as BUPA, Around the Bay and a few others I’ve forgotten about).
It seems that every new mass participation or charity ride of some sort has a custom jersey attached in one way shape or form.
So by my reckoning, with the number of riders and the number of charity and community events, let alone the corporate support you see these days, the Custom Kit business is large, and logically there would be quite a few players in this space.
Well, I’ve been blown away by how many players there are. Whilst I’ve come up with a fairly long listing as you’ll see a little later on, I get the feeling I missed quite a few , particularly the smaller boutique Australian companies that are flying under my radar. Hopefully this posting provides a good summary of what is out there, but if you know of anyone I should know about, please make contact with me.
OK, so my aim when I started this was to write a brief article on who was out there, what they provide and to try to identify any other tidbits of information that will help people in their quest to develop their kit. However the process has taken me longer, it has grown, primarily because of the number of people in this space, the different services on offer and more importantly, the calibre of people working their butts off in a hotly contested market.
To start the process off, I used the tried and true method of seeking feedback from those who have been through the process before, so I simply asked those on my email distribution list as well as the local Adelaide Cyclists discussion forum for feedback. I got some great responses and leads.
Running in parallel was the inter web research, and approaching each company with a request for assistance.
This posting focuses on those players with a presence in the Australian market, including some internationals thrown in where they are supported by an Australian arm.
Rightio, where to start? Lets start with the listing of suppliers and their pricing structure. Bear in mind that the more you order, the better price you can get. In some cases, the drop can be quite significant, so do your research.
The below list is not exhaustive, and the pricing is as best as I can representative of an order of 10, but to a degree it is like comparing lemons with cumquats, so please don’t take this as being a like for like comparison.
There are others I found but was either unable to get a response back or unable to find the information I was after. These include Jakroo, 2XU, Santini and Body Torque.
Before we jump into the summaries, let me just say that there were quite a few suppliers that were generous with their feedback , and in providing me some sample kit to trial out in the Adelaide hills, so collectively I’ll say thank you, but will provide special mention where needed in each of the below summaries. All kit was tried on several occasions, mostly riding up into the Adelaide hills.
The purpose of this article was not to compare one against the other to find the best kit. I’ve tried to add some comments about the cut, the fabric, the styling and any other features I found of interest. But, and this is a big butt, everyone is different and everyone is trying to get something different out of their kit.
Oh, and I apologise in advance for the quality of the model in the photos. There’s only so much I can do with this old body! Special thanks to bPib for taking the photos. Black cap courtesy of BlackChrome. If I can get my act together I’m hoping to turn these into a Wednesday Legs cap for sale. Socks provided by Ollo.
Please note that I have used best endeavours to ensure the information in this posting is correct, but I take no responsibility for anything that may be incorrect or misrepresented.
So sit back and enjoy scrolling through the numerous pages of custom kit suppliers available to Australian cyclists, and if you think there are some I missed, please forward me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org