by Mark Cohen

“It’s not been hard designing kit; it’s hard getting people to buy into what you want to create,” said David Millar, former pro cyclist and turned creator of Castelli’s Chpt. III cycling kit, which this week launched its 2017 apparel collection in a bowling alley in central London.

In front a room full of cycling media, partners from Castelli, Factor Bikes and Brompton Bikes and former pros Baden Cooke and others, Millar talked about the satisfaction of designing simple, block-coloured kit. Since retiring in 2014, his focus seems to have been on collaboration, parlaying a 10-year-long working relationship with Castelli into the manufacture of one of cycling’s premium apparel lines.

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“To be honest, all of our stuff is almost over engineered,” he explained as he looked at the darting on one of the Chpt. III jerseys, the button details, the internal pockets for knee warmers and arm warmers. “There’s a lot of thought that’s gone into to this. I wanted it to be a kit people put on and feel special in.”

The new collection hinges on three key pieces: the K61 jacket (named after the address of Millar’s house in Hong Kong); the One More Lap jersey, a Paris-Roubaix inspired jersey that draws from Millar’s participation in the race in his final professional season; and finally, a winter jacket that performs, according to Millar, from 5 to 20 C. “In my opinion, it’s the new Gabba,” he said.

Also on display at the launch was Factor Bike’s latest super bike, the Factor One, on which Millar has also been giving his input. “Ironically, I think it’s best bike I’ve ever ridden, even during my time as a pro.” The other staple pieces of the Chpt III collection – bibs, gilets, jerseys – will remain largely unchanged for 2017.

Mark Cohen has held strong opinions about style and sport since the start of his writing career. This has only worsened over time. He is a contributing writer to various sites and is currently living in the U.K. Connect with him on Instagram or Twitter.


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