December 30, 2011

The Cycle Clothing Paradigm

A participant in the Great British
"Tweed Run"
In further pursuit of faff free cycling, the choice of suitable clothing can be a challenge.  Cycle specific clothing can be hideously expensive and obviously requires changing into from your everyday clothes before a ride, unless you're a competitive cyclist this is an unnecessary faff.  Stranger still is the current demand for cycle specific clothing that doesn't actually look like cycle clothing, the idea being that you can park your bike and wander into a bar or a restaurant without exposing fellow drinkers or diners to a that unappetizing mix of skin tight Lycra shorts and high viz jackets.  This specialist sort of non-cycle cycle clothing is an incredible form of niche marketing where the consumer is charged an extraordinary premium for ordinary clothing that is suitable for cycling.

Take the Rapha Tailored Jacket for instance, which retails at a jaw dropping £400.  According to the designers, the jacket is made from a technical fabric that is 100% wool and repels water and dirt. Other technical details include an action back, a storm collar and front hems that can be buttoned away from the legs when riding.and an intriguing "ergonomic button system"!

Ignoring the price tag for a moment, I can maybe see the attraction of this jacket if you were say planning on attending a semi formal occasion and your only form of transport was a road bike with nowhere to carry your normal best jacket. Or am I missing the point here, is the appeal of this sort of garment all to do with how cool you look whilst on the bike, not off it... with "button up front hems", surely not?

 Look out for my own recommendations on faff free cycle clothing that won't break the bank, coming up soon!

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