The best and worst kits of the 2022 women’s peloton
In the year of the 'beachy fade', here are the teams that impressed and disappointed us the most.
In the year of the 'beachy fade', here are the teams that impressed and disappointed us the most.
For the past two years, I have looked forward to writing an annual kit review article. As the former clothing manager of a college cycling team and with experience designing kits myself, I’m a firm believer in the “look good, feel good” rule. However, before 2022 even started, women’s WorldTour kits had already fuelled a social media storm.
Between the Beachy Fade Kerfuffle and the response to a certain Australian team’s decision to put its women in pink and men in blue, the prospect of rating the kits this time around looked grim (disclaimer: I personally wish said Aussie team had used the pink version for both men and women – it’s far better).
Kits that wouldn’t have made the “kit ranking” podium in 2021 or 2020 were suddenly starting to look really good, only because they would be recognizable. Of course, it’s none of the teams’ fault that half the peloton decided to go pink or beachy fade. Each kit needs to clear the UCI before it goes into production, so you’d think someone in the governing body would have thought “Oh man, all these kits look the same. It’s going to be hard to recognize teams on TV”.
All that being said, some of the kits are really good this year. In a standalone situation, they would be fantastic, but when you lump them all together it’s going to be near impossible to watch the first couple races and understand what’s going on. So when ranking the kits I struggled to look beyond the general appearance of the WWT peloton to the kit itself. For this reason, the podium was almost a two-team affair.
Perhaps teams should all be designated a combo of two colours with their WWT license, to avoid too much of the same. (I don’t actually think this but there has to be some kind of solution, right?)
For the first time since its inception, Canyon-SRAM will not be clothed head to toe in Rapha in 2022. Instead, they are wearing Canyon’s high-performance apparel. Even though Canyon-SRAM is no longer associated with the luxury cycling apparel brand, they clearly tried to hold onto their status as “best dressed” for the last six years. They even hired Ultan Coyle, who designed the original Canyon-SRAM kit in 2016, to take a stab at a new look.
According to Coyle, “the print comprises nature’s meteorological displays and their associated human interpretations. The ambition of the print is to capture this phenomenal energy and imbue the athletes that wear it with this sense of power.”
The entire concept of the kit is “capturing the chaos of the elements”, and they definitely checked the box for “chaos”. There’s a lot going on.
The kit is definitely bold, and in general, it’s very pretty, but what throws me are the green diamonds on the arms. Coyle said, “diamonds were added to specific parts of the design to provide a counter to the visual chaos and serve as flashes to catch the eye,” and catch the eye they do, but why? They have nothing to do with the elements and weather, so they look out of place and awkward on what would otherwise be a striking and different kit.
If you want to buy into conspiracy theories, maybe they added the diamonds last minute to differentiate the look from a beachy fade? Since tiny weather patterns can’t be seen on the TV in a high-speed peloton or from a helicopter, the jersey will kind of look like a pink/rainbowy blur.
Overall, the team gets credit for continuing to push the envelope of style in the professional peloton. They took risks with this design, and it’s not their fault half the peloton opted for pink in 2022.
Oh, and the team bike is incredible. Top marks to Canyon for that paint job.
What secured Canyon-SRAM the final spot of the podium in this year’s kit ranking was actually the toned down blueish/purple Canyon-SRAM Generation team kit.
This groundbreaking development team looks amazing. I honestly wish the WWT team was wearing this version of the 2022 kit instead. However, again with the weird green diamonds? They look even more out of place on a dark background.
2. Trek Segafredo
And in the complete opposite direction of Canyon-SRAM, we have Trek-Segafredo. I’m not going to lie – at first, I was sad to see Trek-Segafredo leave their wonky lines behind in 2022 but this super simple white and blue kit really grew on me.
The whole thing is very clean, and the navy bibs paired with the baby blue stripe on the leg and chest go well together. Would I buy this kit? Probably not. But as the look of a professional cycling team, it is just that, professional.
If the rest of the peloton hadn’t tried a little too hard to be fresh this kit probably wouldn’t have made the top two. Sorry friends.
Extra points for keeping the world champ looking super classy.
1. FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
By far, even without the chaos of the other teams’ kits, the best kit of 2022 belongs to FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope. It still incorporates a fade, which could have knocked it down, but it was done tastefully and minimally so we’ll let that slide.
Traditionally a white-jersey team, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope went with a huge shift in 2022. In 2017 and 2018 the team had a lighter blue kind of vibe, still with a lot of white, so this is the first time since FDJ came on board that the team has gone in a different direction. And thank goodness! Their 2021 kit would have taken both themselves and Trek-Segfredo out of the running.
Overall the jersey is super clean and organized, the various sponsors don’t monopolize all the space, and the white sleeves still leave a little behind from previous years. It kind of looks like the riders are always wearing a cute vest. The darker bibs are a nice touch as well.
As per usual, they’ve also knocked their national champions’ jerseys out of the park.
UAE Team ADQ
With the acquisition of Alé BTC Ljubljana by UAE Team ADQ, gone are the days of neon pink and yellow in the women’s peloton. And thank goodness. When I looked back on my 2021 kit rankings and found I put them in the “also good” I wondered if I’d been asleep when writing.
The first of three to debut a beachy fade look, at first glance the UAE Team ADQ jersey was not bad at all. In fact, the blue to yellow fade is gorgeous. The white sleeve and corner don’t take away from the colour fade but rather enhance it.
According to the team, the design is inspired by “the warm colours of our marvellous and breathtaking Emirati sunsets.”
Human Powered Health
Wait, is this team sponsored by Instagram?
With a whole lot of “new” in 2022 – new WWT status, new riders, new name – the American team formerly known as Rally Cycling went for a bold new look this year. Traditionally very orange, the team threw in some purple in 2022, and it was a decision. It’s not bad, necessarily, but it’s also not great. To me, the whole look sits firmly in the “meh” camp.
Of the three, SD Worx did the beachy fade the best. Honestly, they look great. The pop of yellow on the arm is sublime and the black bibs make sure the whole thing isn’t overwhelming. They may have made the podium if it weren’t for the other two teams, which is just super unfortunate for them.
It’s a huge improvement from 2021. And as always their national champs look fantastic. A bonus: those helmets will hopefully set them apart from the rest of the beachy fade and pink kits.
Liv Racing Xstra
It’s likely after Liv Racing won our kit ranking in 2021 they decided “why fix what ain’t broke?” Just kidding – it’s very common for teams to keep the same kit for years.
Liv Racing just added a new title sponsor Xstra and called it a day, and you know what? It’s still a beautiful kit.
Hopefully, they go the same route for Alison Jackson’s flawless Canadian national champion’s kit from last season.
New to the Women’s WorldTour peloton in 2022, the Norwegian Uno-X team stuck with the same look its men’s team has worn for the last three seasons. Normally, I would encourage a team to switch it up every two years, especially when debuting a brand new women’s component of the team, but as they are fresh on the scene the yellow and red ascetic is technically brand new for the women’s peloton.
It’s not a groundbreaking look, it’s definitely not high fashion, but it’s clean and it will definitely stand out from the crowd.
Another fresh look in the women’s peloton in 2022 is the pink of EF Education First. They joined the women’s peloton by signing on with the Continental Tibco-SVB team for the next two years, and hopefully longer. When the news dropped we knew right away their jerseys would incorporate some form of pink, much like the men’s EF Education First team has over the last four seasons. Plus, with Rapha on board, the kit was bound to be up to standard, and it is.
The EF Education-Tibco-SVB kit is great. It goes for the classic wild jersey/plain bibs pairing that is tried and true. It doesn’t stand out as some revolutionary design, but maybe that’s because it was the last kit to debut and at that point the general consensus was “no, please, not more pink”.
Oh, and the bikes are beautiful.
Jumbo-Visma did change its kit slightly for the team’s second year in the women’s peloton and its first as a WorldTeam. They got rid of the behive-ish black sleeves and added more yellow to the overall look. At this point, the Jumbo-Visma yellow is an iconic thing in the cycling world, and the team’s really stuck to that for 2022.
Team DSM stuck to the exact same design as 2021, with its blue racing stripes and black backdrop. Much like Jumbo-Visma, it’s nothing to write home about, but it’s not offensive to look at either.
It’s a jersey that will be seen victorious many times in 2022, if Lorena Wiebes continues to dominate the sprint scene like she did in 2021.
Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
It seems like the new WorldTeam Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad changed its kit design multiple times before finally settling on this red and black number. The jersey on the UCI’s website is more red and navy blue, with some red bubble type situation going on on the shoulders and chest. As the design below is pinned to the top of the team’s Twitter page, we can assume this is the one, although there is barely anything known about this team.
Once again, it’s nothing special. It’s fine.
The baby blue lines added to the Movistar kit are all that remain of the baby blue jersey of 2021. With new clothing partner La Passione, Movistar changed its look for 2022, although not entirely. The navy blue bibs are still there.
Again, it’s fine. The lines seem completely unnecessary, but I guess they didn’t want just a ton of navy blue riding around without any kind of embellishment.
It feels a little like stepping back in time when you look at the BikeExchange-Jayco ensemble for 2022. This kit would have fit in great in the ’90s.
My problem with the kit isn’t that they’ve designated “blue for boys, pink for girls”. As Iain Treloar put it in his review of the men’s kits, “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.
However, I will say this: thank goodness they didn’t opt for all-pink bibs. I would not have been able to hold back if that were the case.
Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch
Although the below kit is not the one (takes deep breath) Andy Schleck-CP NVST-Immo Losch will be wearing in 2022, the team deserves a little props for the beachy fade it wore in 2021 which was then basically stolen by three WorldTour teams and resulted in the Continental squad having to change its entire design for 2022, even though they had it first.
For 2022, the team changed the body of the jersey to black, but kept the colourful sleeves.
Le Col-Wahoo, formerly Drops, has always come to the table with a fabulous design. The team’s 2021 jersey was a blue/purple/pink tie-dye kind of thing and was *chef’s kiss*.
Although the 2022 design is yet another colour-fade situation, it’s still good-looking, and the designers deserve some praise.
Since one of this team’s title sponsors is a clothing company it’s imperative Massi-Tactic delivers a good kit every year. They have done so again in 2022, flawlessly. The Spanish team tweaked its blue and pink combo to this watercolor-esque design and I’m here for it.
Cofidis, new to the women’s peloton, dressed its men and women in the same white, red, and black kit for the 2022 season, and it looks great. Although, after announcing their intention to vie for WorldTeam status in their debut season, the French team will start out as a Continental team this year.
They will be easy to spot in the races, and it’s a massive improvement on whatever Cofidis were doing before they started the women’s team.
Roxsolt Liv SRAM
The Australian Roxsolt team has always had stellar kits, and 2022 is no exception. Along with their co-title sponsors Liv and SRAM, Roxsolt is building an eye-catching program Down Under, and not just with this blue and red stained-glass kind of jersey.
They were the team to watch at the Australian National Championships where one of their own, Nicole Frain, took the title and continued to impress at the Santos Festival of Cycling (a trimmed-down Tour Down Under).
I, for one, am really hoping to see these kits in the European peloton a little bit in 2022.
Last but not least is Parkhotel Valkenburg. They’ve made this list the last two years, and although they have not debuted their 2022 kit yet, based on previous editions it’s bound to be a good one.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Iain Treloar’s analysis of the kits of the 2022 men’s peloton.