4 reasons you should consider ordering custom cycling kit in 2017

The Canadian Cycling Magazine guide to ordering custom kit

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Determining which companies custom program suits your group’s needs the best is important to ensuring you know what to expect during the process. It’s important to select a company that provides everything your group wants at the price point and over the timeline you desire, and delivering the quality you expect.

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You and your group have decided to get custom kit. But what company should you go with? There are many factors to consider when picking a clothing line for your unique gears. Below are six top companies and a brief look at their custom-clothing services to help you get started. Before you contact a company, make sure you and your club or team have discussed what you want to get. Do you know the number of items? The quality? How soon do you need them? Then, get in touch with companies that interest you to work out the details of your order.

The companies below all offer in-house design to help you get your ideas onto the clothes., They also have online shops for buyers on orders that qualify, accessories and a variety of styles to choose from. Prices vary depending on style you choose and order size. You need to ask for an estimate when you call.

Biemme

Minimum: 20 pieces split between two items
Delivery time: four to eight weeks
Contact: 877-756-4422, info@biemmeamerica.com
Website: biemmecustom.com

Biemme recently celebrated it’s 40th anniversary. Throughout its history, the company has done apparel for WorldTour teams, gran fondos, mass participation events and amateur teams. Biemme’s production takes place in Italy. It hasa 20-piece minimum on custom orders, with a minimum of 10 units per item.

“We offer the best quality for price,” said Logica Sport regional director Leo Incollingo. “We aren’t the highest end. We have a product range that is a mid-end price point that is mid-to-high-end quality.”

The company has a focus on cycling clubs and smaller teams having recently signed the LowestRates.ca Cycling Team. “We have an online store dedicated to clubs and teams where all members can go to make their order, “ said Incollingo. “Service is always No. 1. Without that we will just be another company. The goal is to give a little bit extra that you won’t see elsewhere.”

Incollingo added that as the volume of an order reaches 50 units, clubs will start to get even better value. With a range of styles and accessories, Biemme will also provided interested groups with fit kits, to make sure everything is perfect once the order comes in.

Castelli

Minimum: 10 piece minimum
Delivery time: Six weeks
Contact: mvcanada_service@mvc46.eu, 514-405-5359
Website: castelli-cycling.com/custom

Our friends at @aventonbikes with @aunicornvomited and @biketuhl waiting for the cameras to start rolling.

A photo posted by Castelli Cycling (@castellicycling) on

A big advantage to ordering custom is that you pay less than buying off the shelf. With a brand such as Castelli, which is working with Team Sky in 2017, that means you will pay 30 to 40 per cent less for the same item in the custom program than you would elsewhere, said François Colameo of MV Canada. Of course, the added benefit is the clothing has your chosen graphics.

Castelli offers a custom program that starts with a 10-unit minimum. The unisex program means that any combination of men’s and women’s pieces that add up to 10 meets the minimum requirement. Castelli also offers many specialized pieces in their lineup for riding in variable, cold or wet conditions, such as the Gabba and the Perfetto, which can’t be fully customized, but can have logos added to them.

While setting up the online shop, Castelli can give certain members VIP prices. Once the design process has begun, fit kits will be sent for up-to 10 days. Castelli’s lineup includes accessories, kits ranging in cut from training to racing and apparel for all conditions.

Giordana

Minimum: 10 piece minimum, unisex
Delivery time: 4 weeks during off season,  6 to 8 weeks during high season (Jan. to Mar.)
Contact: service@unoimports.com,905-543-8149
Website: unoimports.com

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Giordana has an extensive collection of apparel in its custom program. With six lines of apparel that include training kits, the top-end race-ready FRC-Pro and the cold and wet weather G-Shield, the company has a kit for any occasion and accessories to match, which can all be customized. Giordana supplies Silber Pro Cycling and the St. Catharines Cycling Club. In 2017, UCI WorldTour teams Astana and Orica-Scott are also wearing Giordana apparel.

“Getting a good-quality garment represents who you are. First impressions are everything,” said Bronko Glavich of Uno Imports. “You get what you pay for. The identity of a club is critical. For sponsors, they want the logos to go on quality stuff.”

Giordana likes working with groups on two-year cycles during which the design can remain the same. “It’s more cost efficient to order good quality garments that will last for two years, which is usually the life cycle of any given design.”

Giordana has 10-unit minimums. You can combine men’s and women’s pieces to reach that minimum. For skinsuits, the minimum is five units. The company also offers free ground shipping within Canada and has an online ordering system for big groups to streamline the ordering process. Giordana offers a two-year warranty

Jakaroo

Minimum: No minimums
Delivery time: two weeks for fewer than 50 items, three weeks for more
Contact: 877-252-5766, info@jakroo.ca
Website: jakroo.ca

Jakroo is focused on custom with no retail line of apparel. On the company’s site, you can see how much items will cost depending on the size of your order. Jakaroo has no minimums, which means you have a lot of flexibility when ordering. The delivery time on custom kit is very quick with orders few than 50 items delivered within two weeks, while orders for more than 50 pieces take as long as three weeks, said Ron Hayman of Jakaroo.

If someone in your group accidentally orders the wrong size, the rider can get a proper fitting jersey for half the price. Additionally, a team’s store is always left on standby so, if midway through the season a group member wants to make another order, he or she is never more than two weeks away from a new kit. For racing teams, this feature can be attractive if an athlete needs a replacement kit after a crash.

Louis Garneau

Minimum: No minimums
Delivery time: 30 to 40 days. Orders larger than 100 units will take longer
Contact: 800-463-8356, teamcnd@louisgarneau.com
Website: custom.louisgarneau.com

Louis Garneau is proud that its been making custom clothing for Canada’s national team for roughly 34 year. It has signed a contract to continue to do so until the 2020 Olympics. The relationship the company has has helped with product development.

Garneau’s custom program has no minimums, but special programs allow smaller groups to make orders at more competitive pricing. For example, Flex18 allows groups to order a minimum of 18 units with only six items per style for men and four for women. For accessories, there is a minimum of 12 per item. The pricing grid starts at one, so if you only want to order one unit, it is possible. The company has worked with events such as the Gran Fondo Mont-Tremblant, the Ride to Conquer Cancer and the Garneau-Quebecor UCI continental race team.

Louis Garneau has an easy-to-navigate pricing list with a wide selection of pieces available in the program. Accessories and styles are available in different fits and for various cycling disciplines including cyclocross, mountain biking and performance gear for road racing.

The majority of Louis Garneau’s production takes place in Canada with only large-scale orders outsourced offshore. Once an order is made, items can be shipped to members directly if necessary.

Pearl Izumi

Side Launch custom

Minimum: 50 units split between two styles, once the minimum is reached, additional items must total six per item
Delivery time: 60 days
Contact: canadacustom@pearlizumi.com, charlie@jrhuntersports.com,800-361-6215
Website: pearlizumicustom.com

Pearl Izumi offers many of their in-line apparel in their custom program. Pieces across the Pro, Elite and Select apparel lines can be customized depending on a group’s needs.

Pearl Izumi isn’t setup to do small orders, so minimums start at 50 units split between two styles (jerseys and bibs, for example). After the minimum is reached, other items are available in quantities of six with better prices offered on more volume. Pearl Izumi is currently in the process of finalizing a program that will allow groups to make smaller orders.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with what is out there and with prices,” said Charlie Bryer. “A lot of people didn’t even know Pearl Izumi did custom. People in a group who are familiar with the brands out there can speak out on what they like.”

Sugoi

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Minimum: No minimum
Delivery time: 5 weeks or order is free
Contact: 800-432-1335, customgear@sugoi.com
Website: sugoi.com/Custom

Sugoi have been doing custom apparel in Canada for the past 30 years. They guarantee delivery of custom product within five weeks or the order is completely free.

Sugoi’s in-house design team is based in Vancouver. They do live art sessions via video conference to help make the design process easy to navigate. Sugoi can give training kits reflective details and work with florescent colours to make riders stand out on the road.

Sugoi have clothing in profit, semifit and relaxed fit styles. Various styles can be combined for more compeditive cycling. Payments and shipping can be managed through an onnline store.


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