When I posted my piece on the cycling industry’s lack of growth and it was reprinted by Bicycle Times, I got a bunch of comments, both public and private, supportive and opposing. Most of the comments were in support of what I said, and more than a few were from women who agree with me that cycling clothing is typically pretty awful.
So how can manufacturers fix it? Well, it’s not really that hard. Create some pieces that are flattering, pretty, functional, with crossover appeal – not garish or shiny or covered in annoying pockets. I present to you a real life example:
That’s Rapha’s Merino Jersey. Isn’t it nice? OK, so it’s grey, and I’m a total sucker for anything grey. I love grey. But most importantly, it’s not garish, not covered in logos, and not shiny. It looks like a regular shirt that you can wear riding a bike, or to the store for an errand. Or…both! You can walk into the grocery store in this shirt and not look like you’re fresh from the Tour-wanna-be dress-up ball. I don’t actually have my hands on this piece so this isn’t at all a review, just some admiration from afar. So while we’re admiring, look at the back:
Wow! Just one pocket. Enough for a credit card, a house key, and maybe a small snack. You won’t look like a reversed kangaroo once you step out of your pedals. And you can take the pink part off if you don’t like pink (inconceivable) – it just buttons on and can easily be removed.
This does not look like a bike jersey. But it is one. THIS is what I was talking about. I want to walk into bike shops and see clothes like this. Then I’d buy.