I’m opening this post with a disclaimer: it’s all in good fun. I don’t really think your Altura jersey means you like welly-boots, or that Rapha gear is only worn by those with a wallet as thick as a brick… only that if that brand were to be epitomized in cycling form, that might be so. Thankfully, few of us are typical enough to be an epitome…
The clothes we choose to wear say a lot about ourselves – however much we might deny it. Even if we choose to keep our wardrobe understated, in an attempt to thwart fashion – we’re saying we don’t ‘do’ frivolity.
When we ride it’s no different. But what does your favourite brand say about you?
I am functionality.
This is the green fingered, welly-boot wearing, allotment tending brand of cycling. Reflective features and weather protection are paramount, aerodynamics is given over to comfort and deep pockets. The bike is likely to be a hybrid, and it will most definitely have mudguards.
Gore Bike Wear
I am an adventurer.
Gore Bike Wear make some exceptional kit, and they test it to the extreme (I’m told they have some sort of amazing water chamber for checking ‘waterproof’ claims). Gore don’t just make clothing for cyclists, they cater for runners, hikers and climbers – and a bit of that ‘explore the world’ mentality comes through.
Designs are clean cut, generally simple, but with flashes of vibrant colours that express a hint of desire to stand out, without letting the clothes do all the talking.
I am my own cyclist.
Morvel riders take their cycling seriously, but have got a sense of humour and a spark of creativity. The kit is stylish and colourful, and some lines have that vintage edge of cycling nostalgia. Splashes of colour and polkadots aside, they make quality gear that hugs the form and works hard making it a prime choice for racing cyclists who want to stand out from the pack.
I am a cyclist.
Espressos, carbon bikes and Italian style – the Castelli wearer is never a person who cycles, but always a ‘cyclist’ by nature. They choose their kit with pride, whether for a cafe spin, a 100 mile sportive, or a club run. Kit from Castelli fits snugly and you’ll always have to go one size up, but that extra size on the label is worth it for the feel of quality gear that screams ‘I know the Velominati rules by heart and will never allow a gap between warmer and sleeve’.
I know quality, but I won’t pay above the odds.
From the depths of the Castelli factory, comes Sportful – a tad cheaper and full of refreshing white items, with bursts of bright, primary colours and plenty of high viz trims. The same form fitting style means Sportful riders get the benefit of close Castelli fit, and all the technical features of the premium brand, but without the iconic scorpion logo.
I do everything in style, cycling included
Understated, with a price tag that shocks the majority of the cycling community, Rapha is the chosen kit of city slickers who are partial to riding loops of Richmond Park to unwind after a long day doing something probably very important. The single arm stripe makes frequent appearances at sportives across the country, and clothing from Rapha does provide superb comfort, as long as the hole in your wallet isn’t too painful to forget.
I am power on a bike.
Every pedal stroke carries this rider closer to the goal, and thus every movement must be supported with technical clothing that is made to perform. Excluding recent ‘National Flag’ designs, Assos kit has always been noteable in its standard design, rarely breaking from the mould except to swap colours to accompany the barcode-esque design around the symbolic ‘A’.
Assos’ model policy is simple – men stand in a robotic position, women wear leather leggings and skyscraper heals. Not my favourite, admittedly – but the kit works and its wearers appreciate quality.
I ride for fun and sociability.
Foska brought us Wallace and Gromit, Heinz Bakes Beans, and Marmite – in jersey form. The rider that opts for Foska is out on the bike to enjoy themselves, chat to fellow cyclists along the way, and grab a slice of cake when all the exertion is over.
With kit that screams ‘Pukka Pies’ from the breast, this isn’t a brand for the shy and retiring, but for the kind of cyclist who will natter their way up every hill of the toughest sportive.
I won’t be branded except by my crew.
Have I missed your favourite brand? Tell me in the comments…