My Cycling Kit Top 10

Four labels dominate the Velodramatic closet but only one inspires me to ride farther, climb higher and get on the bike whatever the weather.

That brand is Rapha.

The new Kit page above lists my top ten pieces of cycling clothing / kit, and it's no surprise given the previous statement that Rapha dominates.

I realize that Rapha may not be everyone's cup of tea, or the brand's premium pricing may be out of reach for many. I consider myself lucky to afford these luxuries. Cycling gear is really my only vice... if you don't count Photography, Large Format Digital Printing, Power Tools... OK, you're not buying it and neither is my wife.

When I'm not riding, I design for a living, and from that perspective Rapha does so many peripheral things beautifully. Every detail of the product, packaging, documentation and marketing is designed. The little van stickers on the clear plastic pouches; the reusable heavy green bags that make rather nice foul weather containers for commuting; the garment labels and sewn-in cycling lore, garment tags... every piece has been thoughtfully designed and produced.

Craft makes the list with its highly regarded baselayer products. Assos gets the nod for a fabulous pair of tights; and no doubt might have seen more representation had I taken that second job working nights. Finally, I had to select a Campagnolo jacket even though I'm loathe to rest the Classic Softshell even for a single ride. I love the Campy componentry on my Cervelo and so it's nice to wear something that celebrates "the" classic Italian cycling foundry. I should add that Campagnolo and Assos products also sweat all the design details that add to their enjoyment.

I've given several more product lines honorable mention. Twin Six deserves special recognition for designing cycling jerseys to a fresh beat and Shower's Pass produces a high-visibility commuting rain jacket that's second to none in performance and comfort.

Later this month I'll be off in Hebridean wilds of Scotland, ostensibly for a landscape photography shoot but I'll be doing some riding with select pieces of kit. We'll see how they perform in the predictably cool, rainy conditions and with luck we'll return with some good cycling images for Velodramatic.

The doctored "kit raving mad" image is NOT me... I wish I had that build.

3 Responses to My Cycling Kit Top 10

  1. samoots says:

    couldn’t agree more with the rapha apparel. the classic softshell jacket is superb, makes me want to wear it even off the bike. i have to recommend giordana bibs to you though. i wore a couple pairs of the tenax bibs last year with no problems. this month i decided to take the plunge and try out the assos fi:13 s2 bibs and while the chamois and the overall fit was great, i hated the fact that the inseam was about an inch and a half too short. i ended up returning them and bought the new giordana forma RED bibs. simply amazing. it’s like they took every good part of the s2′s and worked them into their own design. and made a proper inseam length.

    great site by the way. it’s everything i wish i could make my site do.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. Competitive Cyclist echoes your comments on the Giordana clothing. I think I will have to take that second job after all.

  3. Wes says:

    Glad to hear more positive things about the Giordana stuff as I’ll be with a new team this year and their kit is all Giordana.

    As for Rapha, while I could technically afford their products my issue is the fact that all my friends know how costly they are. I can just imagine the reactions if I rolled up to a ride wearing any of that stuff. :)