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British performance apparel brand ashmei entered cycling with a small selection of cycling-specific products at the beginning of 2014, after first launching in the running market in 2011. The UK brand introduced new technologies and developed bespoke fabrics, driven by a feeling that the regular cycle apparel offering was limited by the range of existing fabrics available in the market, not to mention the limited research and development that brands were doing.
Fast forward four years and the company has been working hard to further improve and innovate their initial product offering, expanding their range considerably in this new collection. The range has now grown from three styles to well over 20, offering garments to cater for any weather and any season. The expanded offering comprises waterproofs, mid-layers, jerseys and bibs through to accessories.
When Stuart Brooke founded ashmei in 2011, it was with a very clear vision of creating the ultimate high-end performance sportswear brand. His pedigree designing and producing sportswear for the previous 25 years has enabled ashmei to launch with an incredible wealth of experience.
This experience has taught him that sportswear companies tend to work in the same way: pinpointing a key selling price as the most commercially viable. By doing this at the start of the process, it locks in and limits performance, features, quality and function. Everyone involved in the design and product development process is then focussed on hitting an agreed price point above all else.
“When you remove target price points and focus on developing the very best it allows you to become much more creative and product-focussed.”Stuart Brooke
The underlying ashmei motivation remains constant, which is to deliver the very best athletic apparel in the world, especially when it comes to performance and comfort.
With a reverse engineering approach to production, ashmei approach the R+D process in a completely different way to every other brand. They start with a blank canvas and consider the very best fibres for the athlete, based on their activity and the climates that will be endured. ashmei specify the performance characteristics they need, their fabric mills create exclusive bespoke materials they believe to be the new benchmark, then the garment is constructed.
The result to ashmei’s reverse approach is a product that performs the best it can, period.
Ashmei have been championing the use of superfine Merino wool by utilising it in many of its pieces since the start. As a material it is peerless in performance terms; thermo-regulating, ultra-fine, non-smelling, biodegradable and sustainable. The brand also blends other fibres with its Merino such as its Merino + Carbon technology that wicks moisture 10x faster than regular Merino and dries twice as fast, a particularly desirable quality in high performance cycling apparel.
Created for changeable conditions, the lightweight and windproof Cycle Gilet provides impressive protection against anything the elements can throw your way. Designed to be worn for the duration of the ride or donned as conditions dictate, the gilet is particularly easy to stow, weighing in at just 118 grams and packing down to seven cm3. Perforated rear fabric affords great breathability to help regulate the temperature of your body.
Complementing the KoM Jersey, the Emergency Jacket packs down to eight cm3 and weighs in at just 121 grams. A must-have jacket for every long ride, the Emergency Jacket is highly windproof and offers superb protection for any long descent, brief downpour or brisk gusts.
The Waterproof Jacket is a piece that you can actually now ride the full day in. Fully taped, breathable and non-restricting, the jacket’s incredible stretch characteristics provide a full range of motion for ease on the drops or simply giving you easy access to your rear pockets.