The Domestique Critique: RedWhite The Bib UPDATED REVIEW

In June, I reviewed a pair of bibshorts from RedWhite that I purchased myself. I liked them but found a few things like fit and chamois to be less than I expected. I also wrote about how responsive the brand’s found, Yuva, was when I emailed and asked about sizing. I was between a Medium and a Large and decided to buy a Large. Rarely am I a Medium in bibshorts and I feared the dreaded sausage leg. Yuva kindly offered to send me a Medium after my review and suggested that may be at the center of my issues with the bibshort. How could I not give it a try? Hey, a good return policy is a reason to be positive about a brand, as I’ve found out in this case. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Domestique Critique: Performance Ultra Jersey & Bib Shorts

Photo Rhea Aldridge http://www.rheaaldridge.com/

 

If you have a preconceived notion of what “bike shop kit” is, then this review is for you. If you are looking for a reasonable kit from an accessible shop, then this review is for you. If you turn your nose down at anything from a major retailer, then this review is for you. Continue reading

The Domestique Critique: RedWhite The BIB

RedWhite is an anomaly in the cycling clothing industry – they only focus on bibshorts. Specifically, endurance bibshorts. The bibshorts are designed with long rides of 4 to 5 hours or more in mind. RedWhite was started in 2014 by two men based in Singapore so it took them awhile to develop a women’s short, but they made it a priority to test and re-test until they released the women’s bibshort, The BIB. Continue reading

Buy Now, Ship Later. Are Pre-Orders a Scam or Smart Business?

pre·or·der
priˈôrdər/
verb
  1. order (an item of merchandise) before it is available, with the understanding that it will be shipped later.
noun
  1. an order for an item that has not yet been made commercially available.

 

It seems like a good chunk of the kit I post is available only by pre-order. It can feel like a sales tactic to create the presumption of ‘limited edition’, giving you that BUY NOW rush to your mobile or computer. But for small start-ups or creative cyclists with a knack for graphic design, it can be the easiest way to share great kit design without breaking their personal bank. I ask several players of the pre-order game to explain how and why it works.

3

Prism.Bike is a one-man operation on a mission to make dynamic kit that expresses personality. Kit is available through pre-order only, creating an exclusive feel to those that purchase before the window closes. Often that window is only 24 hours before selling out. Oliver of Prism.Bike shared his view on using pre-ordering:

A pre-order usually means I am paying upfront for a kit that I am attracted to but really unsure about how it fits and unable to see it on other cyclists similar to myself because it’s not an available product. How do you address this concern for consumers?

I think this is tough for buying any clothing on the interwebs. Especially anything lycra.  I took the approach of just paying a great photographer (@beardmcbeardy), to take some photos of people wearing the prototype of the kits.  I got tired of seeing people standing in front of a wall wearing a kit [in ads] and wanted to know what kits look like on the bike when you are sweating bullets after having a bit of a crack.  So for the photos we got the models to smash it up a hill for 15 minutes then took some snaps.

Also, my designs are pretty unique, so people either immediately love them or they don’t. If people love them and know there isn’t anything similar, they are pretty cool to take a punt.  If anyone emails me or has questions about quality I put them in touch with other customers on social media.  I am really passionate that the stuff I make has to be comfortable on long rides and really good quality… otherwise, what is the point?

 

Continue reading

Fall in Love with PEPPERMINT Cycling Co.

peppermint-1524_2400x1600

PEPPERMINT Cycling Co. is the group of friends you wish you had. You want to ride bikes with them, chat with them, and share stories over lattes at the end of the ride. The sisters behind the brand wanted it that way. The company was founded by Michèle and Véronik Bastien, twin sisters overflowing with energy, passionate about cycling and aiming to create a new, innovative and engaging brand.

Continue reading

The Domestique Critique: Velocio Ultralight Jersey

ZUPER-15473-1200x550

I’ve long been a fan of women’s pro racing. It’s not easy being a fan – hours spent combing the internet for race results, video highlights, an interview at least. I’ve followed the many team iterations of manager/owner Kristy Scrymgeour and even the late days of her own racing career.  She launched Velocio Sports both to support and sponsor her own pro team and to begin the debut of a new kit brand. She has since left pro cycling to devote herself full-time to Velocio.

I was sold from the beginning. Not specifically stated, Velocio was a women’s brand. I say that in the way that a women’s only ride will allow men to join but to not take the lead. It was high-end kit with classic style at a high-end price. I happily handed over my money for many pieces and try to acquire a new piece every season (looking at you, Poppy kit).

At the beginning of June I purchased Velocio’s Ultralight Jersey in Petrol. It’s not black. It’s an ink-y deep sea kind of blue-green. It’s gorgeous and no photo can do it justice. I shied away from the lighter color because I believe dark slims me, and we all need that security in lycra sometimes. It’s accentuated with a pop of lime green inside the collar.

I’m a 36″ chest with a 30″ waist and 38″ hips and wore a size Small. I wore a SMALL! I gambled with size but found their chart online to be accurate.

IMG_9887

My first impression was softness. I couldn’t believe how silky the material felt. I was worried lightweight meant bare but when I put it on over my black sports bra and black bibs there was no issue of see-through. I did pair them with my older model Velocio Signature Bibshort but I will not review those because they are no longer available. Reminds me I need to upgrade to a new pair soon! You can see the pinholes in the material to allow breathability and temperature control.

IMG_9892

Once I was riding with the jersey I didn’t feel a thing. Honest. It was like I had nothing on at all. The seams on the sleeve were barely noticeable and there was no itchy tag, no odd seam – the jersey moved with me so smoothly. I did notice the top of the zipper, though, and only once I unzipped it a little. On the inside, the top of the material that creates either side of the zipper (right where the collar meets the zipper) was scratchy and it was irritating. I kept it zipped because I couldn’t tuck the ends in.

The three pockets did lack a zipper compartment but that is a weight saver and I found the pockets to be deep enough and roomy enough for all my stuff. I rode a 50 mile hot mountain ride with this jersey as my test ride, with plenty of snacks, a camera, and a lightweight vest for the descent and had no issues with the fit once the pockets were stuffed. The weight in the pockets does cause the jersey to sag a bit but the excellent grip on the bottom hem didn’t move at all.

IMG_9894

OVERALL

This jersey is well worth the price. The fit and feel is truly excellent and it’s a very high quality piece. Impressive to be so lightweight but concealing of anything worn underneath. Perfect for the hottest days or a long day in the saddle at peak hours. Perfectly paired with Velocio’s Lightweight vest for mountain days. I highly recommend this piece.

IMG_9896

How Machines for Freedom was born from frustration…

mff-30

I wish I had the woman-power of CyclingTips and Total Women’s Cycling to bring you stories like this one first-hand but alas, I’m a one-woman show over here. So thanks to sites like these for being excellent resources.

This story developed because CyclingTips is now selling Machines for Freedom in their Emporium. A Southern California brand built by women for women.

Read the full story here.