04 Aug Price, comfort, protection. Pick 3
Like most companies, we work on continual improvement as a recipe for long term growth and survival. With each new product we must utilise whatever new fabrics and technology become available. We had a goal in Autumn last year as part of our production plan, to create both the best value cycling shorts on the market and our most expensive cycling shorts. Having been dismayed at seeing a two euro chamois being fitted in €130 retail shorts, we set out to offer some real, customer honesty.
For our new Regale bib short we answered the question: If you wanted to, how much could you spend on a making bib short? We toured the suppliers and factories and bought the most expensive bib mesh material, a variable density pad and an unvarying price tag. We paid a guy too much money to find a post production machine to incorporate the silicone gripper into the actual weave of the fabric, leaving a seamless durable finish…at a price. As each leg section is produced individually, to a given size template, so the machine is stopped every 40 seconds after producing 70cm of fabric. This is a costly affair. Finally, all the component parts are then shipped to a renowned factory for assembly. The result is impressive. They feel and look awesome, silk to the skin.
I rode 200km last Friday in them without issue. The headwind in hour 6 was an issue. I didn’t notice the shorts, so that is a good thing. A few of us also rode 5 hours yesterday on gravel bikes, all dressed in our Equipe shorts. Again without issue. The Equipe shorts remain my favourite as the red grippers match my face on the climbs.
So does money buy you the best? It does give you freedom of choice. Buying the best is easy, you just go down the component price list until you get to the bottom. What was more difficult was creating our new Classique short at the same time. Producing a sublime cycling short, where paying extra for a specific element, produced no returnable or indeed noticeable benefit.
For our Classique bibs conception, we imagined the customer for these was a kid with a weekend job, saving up for their first good pair of shorts. I kept this customer in my head when designing the garment with the goal to give him his moneys worth. So the 3 euro chamois is OK but the €6.75 pad has practically the same shape and support as the €9 offering. Keeping the value to performance ratio, at all design and production choices. The result is a sub £50 short which will be on a par with ANY other short for actual comfort and long term performance, on the market, even our Regale short.
The kid with the weekend job will have great protection and comfort and value for his hard earned cash.
Our new Regale bib short is launching today. It is expensive and feels and looks beautiful.
The Classique male and female specific shorts will launch in early September. They look and feel beautiful.