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If there’s one thing that has exploded in the cycling industry over the past couple of years, it’s kits. We’ve covered this topic before — in 2013, and in 2015 for men’s and women’s kits — but so much has changed in even the past 12 months that we thought it was a topic worth revisiting.
There is an incredible amount of choice out there and it can be overwhelming when trying to choose a new kit. We’ve done the digging for you and prepared a list of some of our favourites. We also approached some of the brands and invited them to be part of our CyclingTips Emporium where you can buy the kits for yourself.
It often takes someone extreme to start a movement, and Attaquer deserve as much credit as anyone for the explosion in young kit brands. Greg Hamer and Stevan Musulin (co-founders of Attaquer) have been able to take some wild concepts and make them work on a kit, giving people the opportunity to express themselves amongst a sea of black and navy.
The best summary we can offer is “crazy design ideas, perfectly executed”.
Consider this if: You like to show some personality on the bike, or if you’re sick of wearing the same kit as the rest of the bunch.
For Justin Abrahams, it’s all about the kit. Not the colours or patterns that go onto it, but the fabric, the cut, and the feel of the product against the skin. The guys at Pedla are unwavering in their commitment to creating the best-performing products they can. This is not a case of starting with the aesthetic and slapping it on any old kit.
Consider this if: You’re particular about the cut and feel of your kit. If you’re the type of rider that cleans your bike after every ride and keeps your shoes in pristine condition, there’s a good chance Pedla will appeal to you.
Check out the Pedla range at the CyclingTips Emporium.
MAAP is probably the most successful of the brands that emerged from the ‘Instagram scene’. In 2016 they’re the title sponsor of UCI Continental team State of Matter MAAP, using the performance environment as a testing ground for their products. MAAP is the brand behind our Echappee kit from 2015 and the recent Ella X MAAP women’s kit, and we love the quality and fit of their gear.
Consider this if: You’re looking for a well-designed product with some youthful style.
Check out the MAAP range at the CyclingTips Emporium.
Machines for Freedom
MFF is California-cool. Premium performance apparel for women, by women. The market for high-end women’s apparel is small, but MFF is jumping in head first and producing some amazing gear. Stylish but never flashy, MFF provides the important first step in ‘look good, feel good, ride good’.
Consider this if: You’ve tried other high-end brands but want to stand out for your own style. When you’re paying for premium apparel you shouldn’t feel like you’re rolling up to the bunch dressed like everyone else.
Possibly the coolest brand in cycling, California’s Team Dream start trends. Their block stripe pattern Rizzle made black-and-white fun, and they’re largely credited with making gradient cool, something that has since been adopted by other brands.
They still get all their kits made by Endo Customs, ‘coz if it ain’t broke …
Consider this if: You’re prepared to do it justice. One does not simply wear a Team Dream jersey and forget about accessories. We’re talking socks dialled, and post-ride beers ice cold.
Finally, some European style translating into the kit world. Renowned for starting major fashion trends the world over and laying claim to some of the biggest fashion houses of our time, our Euro friends have been notoriously terrible at producing kit that didn’t look like vomit on a bed sheet.
That has all changed with La Passione; an Italian brand displaying minimalist style at a great price point. Importantly, affordable doesn’t mean cheap. The company does things the right way; for instance their new range was shot by legendary photographer Kristof Ramon.
Consider this if: You respect the heritage of the sport, and you don’t want to be covered in logos. Colnago, Campy, espresso, and La Passione — it all just works.
Check out the La Passione range at the CyclingTips Emporium.
Search and State
Search and State is doing something not many others are doing; producing kit in New York City. While almost every other brand will claim a 150-year-old Italian craftsman produces their jerseys on a remote mountaintop, the reality is that most apparel is coming out of a handful of factories. SAS is different, managing every step of the production process in and around NYC.
Consider this if: You take minimalist kit seriously. You let your riding do the talking, and you choose your kit because you like it, not for bonus street cred (but those who know, know).
Check out the Search and State range at the CyclingTips Emporium.
A Swedish brand, designed to be ridden in harsh Swedish climates, Void delivers an intriguing mix of understated designs, bold branding and bright colours. You know they’re serious about making kit to suit tough climates by the amount of layering options and warmers they offer. Look cool, ride hard, and be ready for anything.
Consider this if: You’re in good shape and you don’t want to settle for generic brands on your training rides. Void products are an athletic cut, which means their jerseys would look great for racing in.
Have we missed something? Drop us a comment and let us know!