Dropping the Watt Bombs
Urban Dictionary definition of Watt Bomb
A super-massive amount of power delivered from a cyclist’s legs whilst riding a bicycle.
A cause of significant damage to public roads and pelotons.
Cyclist 1 – “Hey what just happened? The peloton’s scattered all over the place, and the road is all torn up!”
Cyclist 2 – “That guy off the front just dropped some serious watt bombs.”
Cyclist 1 – “Oh. My. God. We’re doomed.”
This week I had a chat with Troy from Watt Bomb Apparel in Melbourne, to find out who Watt Bomb is and what makes them tick.
- What is Watt Bomb?
Watt Bomb Apparel is a premium apparel brand producing custom apparel with no minimum orders. Whether you order 1 piece or 10,000 pieces, the choice is yours.
We specialise in cycling apparel and have access to world leading fabrics, chamois and garment construction techniques.
We’re based in Geelong, on the surf coast. Geelong has some of the most scenic rides you can images. We’re spoilt for choice with beachside, great ocean road or the Otways right on our door step.
- How did it all start for you?
We started in 2015 when we realised that there was a real need for premium apparel that didn’t break the bank. We had been getting custom apparel made by some well known brands and felt it missed the mark. There were too many hurdles… “you must have a minimum of 10 base pieces, you can’t do certain colours, the lead time is 8 weeks” and the list goes on… This is where we thought we can do this better!
- Who are the people behind Watt Bomb Apparel and what are their roles?
I’m the founder and owner of Watt Bomb Apparel.
We have a number of contract staff who work for us depending on the work load and time of year. We have designers, account managers and book keepers working to keep the business running.
- What’s your cycling history?
I started cycling at around 16 years of age, so quite late really. I competed in triathlons (don’t hold that against me) for approximately 10 years. In 2005 I injured my knee meaning that I could only cycle and running was off the cards for a while. So I threw myself into cycling and never looked back. Crit racing is something that just grabs me, nothing compares to bumping shoulders around a corner at 45-50km/h. It’s just a huge adrenaline rush.
- What makes your business unique?
For us being a small business it’s about the relationships we form with our customers. When you spend time with people creating their vision through their custom apparel, you build a strong bond with them and really get to know them… this is something that you can’t get through an “off the shelf” kit.
The other way we’re unique is through our ability to offer no minimum order and a turn around time of as little as 14 days!
- What is you Vision for Watt Bomb Apparel?
We want to see as many people bringing their own style to the bunches. Why wear someone else’s style or design when you can create your own?
- How do you stay in touch with what your clients want / need?
Being avid cyclists we have our ears to the ground. We’re in bunches all over the place throughout the year. This helps keep us intact. On the flip side we’re constantly looking at research and development and trying to find new raw materials that we believe our customers will love.
- How do you keep up to speed with changes in the industry?
Research and development is a big part of our business. We have connections to fabric’s manufactures all around the world who are constantly pushing the envelope on the fabric technology front.
- What has changed for Watt Bomb Apparel since the start?
A lot has changed for us since the start. We originally had a focus on producing our own designs, we still do this but it’s not the main focus of our business. Now custom is the main focus. We’ve worked hard with our manufactures to constantly deliver the best products, at great prices with fast turn around times.
- Do you provide any support to the cycling industry such as team sponsorship etc?
We sure do! Watt Bomb Apparel have a race team called “Watt Bomb Racing”. Our guys are hitting up the Victorian Road Series (VRS) calendar and local races all year round. We’re not a very big team in terms of budget but the guys have a crack and rip up some races which is really exciting to see. For us this is about helping riders to develop and assisting them to hopefully take the next step to the National Road Series (NRS) and beyond.
Outside of our team we also work closely with local cycling clubs providing support and sponsorship for the events.
- What major challenges for your business?
The biggest challenge for all cycling apparel manufactures is keeping up with the constant changes to the raw materials used to construct high tech garments. R & D is once of the most important aspects of our business.
- What are some of the more common jobs you work on?
Regular jobs for us are producing kits for cycling clubs. This is an area that has come a long way form the time where no-one wad to be seen in their club kits because they were “unfashionable”. The clubs have realised this and are now on trend and producing really great designs that still represent their brand.
- Have there been any standout projects come through your doors?
Last year we were approached to produce the leaders jersey for the Jayco Hearld Sun Tour for 2017. Seeing riders like Chris Froome in a jersey we have designs and manufactured was pretty cool. It’s something that 3 years ago we could never have imagined.
Thanks Troy for opening the door into Watt Bomb Apparel. Further information can be found here.
+61 430 302 336
Oh, and Watt Bomb designed and supplied the Rads Cycling cap that hit the markets earlier this year, one that I was fortunate to purchase just before my trip to France. I saw a few of them out over the weekend on the ADD17 as well.