It is one of the privileges of doing the job we do that we get to work with some of the most extraordinary athletes on the planet. One of them is Shusanah Pillinger, who as well as her day job as UK national ultra triathlon champ (that is a double Ironman), in 2014 she is going to do something truly remarkable – to race RAAM (Race Across America), solo. That is 4500 kms (3000 miles) of continuous racing, so she will have to ride something around 350 kms a day for 12 days. Unbelievable.
Anyway, we met Shu at the Race Around Ireland and we felt we really wanted to support her, supplying her with cycling kit to train and race in. As well as getting some publicity for our custom cycling clothing, having elite athletes work with us is a great way for us to develop our kit and to test it to the absolute limit. We will be posting here about Shu’s training and of course the race next year, and we wish Shu the best of luck.
My brother is a half decent road cyclists, but has been suffering from aching knees recently after long rides. He was sceptical, but I convinced him it would be worth coughing up a few quid (£100) to get his bike fitted by someone who knows what they are talking about. So he went down to Cadence Cycling Performance Centre in Dulwich and spent a couple of hours with them. He tells me it is the best £100 if has ever spent on cycling and it cleared up his knee problem pretty much straight away; to think that he had spent 25 years with his bike set up incorrectly! So if you are going to spend a big wedge of money on a bike, you at least owe it to yourself to makes sure it is set up properly – just make sure you go to some proper professionals who know what they are talking about!
One of the reasons I sent my brother to Cadence is because I know them through supplying them with their custom cycling kit, pictured here. We supply around 25 cycling shops in the UK and Ireland with their own design cycling clothing, so if you have a shop and would like to have some unique branding to sell in your shop or to give away to your very best customers, please get in touch!
Here is a short film about the start of the 2013 Race Around Ireland, Europe’s toughest cycling challenge – sponsored by Carvalho Custom.
Thanks so much to everyone for making us feel so welcome and for putting on a world-class event.
Rui Costa is World Road Race Champion – it is just fantastic to see a cyclist local to us here at Carvalho Custom winning the rainbow jersey. Portuguese cycling is dismally underfunded, but is nevertheless one of the top national sports and against all the odds, Rui did it. So on behalf of Carvalho Custom, congratulations and having had such an unbelievable 2013, let’s see what he can do in 2014!
As well as producing great cyclists(and triathletes – another local girl, Vanessa Fernandes, was world triathlon champion in 2007 as well as being one of the nicest girls you could hope to meet!), Portugal has become a world centre for excellence in the production of high-end sports clothing and cycling/triathlon clothing in particular. 20 years ago, Portugal was known for producing cheap and cheerful sports clothing to export to the north of Europe. Nowadays the Far East has taken over that role, but Portugal has reinvented itself as a source for premium clothing (and in particular sports clothing) and with all the gloom and doom surrounding the Portuguese economy, the premium clothing and footwear sectors in general are one of the few bright spots for Portuguese manufacturing.
So, sporting success from athletes and clothing manufacturing are at last giving Portugal something to cheer about and as an adopted Portuguese man, that makes me very proud!
We have just got back from Ireland, where we went to attend the beginning of the Race Around Ireland – 2200kms of non stop racing, where the top guys ride around 400kms a day for around 5 days, sleeping in total for around 5 hours. It is heroic stuff and the race attracts the best ultra endurance riders in the world, this year including RAAM winner, Christoph Strasser who after a 30 hours of racing and just a 20 minute power nap is leading the field.
This is the third year that we are sponsoring the Race Around Ireland, Europe’s toughest cycle race (2100 kms non-stop). We are going to be there this weekend (it starts on Sunday the 15th at 3pm), so if you are in the area, please come along to see the start of the epic race and of course to come and say hello to us in the Carvalho Custom tent. We will have samples of all of our custom cycling & triathlon kit available as well as some freebies to give away!
You can follow the race itself in real time via www.racearoundireland.com – the top guys cycle nearly 500kms a day with pretty much no sleep for 5 days, so our hats go off to all of them and I really hope that the Irish and international cycling communities continue to get behind the race.
We are very excited to bring the Carvalho Custom brand to Holland via our new member of staff, Koen Tieskens. When he is not selling custom cycling clothing, Koen is generally to be found on his bike (or as he calls it, “product testing”. We now have our website completely translated into Dutch and Koen will be focusing both on triathlon & cycling club clothing.
For Dutch clubs that do not know Carvalho Custom, we are proud to say that we are one of the leading suppliers of custom cycling & triathlon kit into the UK and Irish markets as well as selling in over 30 other countries in the world. We sell direct from Portugal, which is now one of Europe’s leading producers of high end sports clothing, so that we can cut out the middle-man to offer premium quality kit at fair prices. We have some of the lowest minimum order quantities in the market (you just need to order 10 of any principal item and then there are no minimums on any other items you order) and we generally deliver in 5 weeks from design approval, with a 2% discount for every day we miss a deadline by! We will be happy to send you samples at no cost if you would like to see our quality for yourself.
So if you are based in Holland (or anywhere else in the world but would like to speak Dutch), please contact Koen to find out more. He will be splitting his time between Portugal and Holland, so he should have an opportunity to visit your club in Holland should you wish to speak to him in person.
We have reduced our minimum order requirements – now you just need to order 10 of any one item, then there are no minimums for any other items you wish to order. So for example you can order 10 jerseys, 3 rain gilets and 2 pairs of bib shorts and pay our standard list prices. For those orders that do not include 10 of at least one item, there will be a 35% surcharge on all items.
To simplify and speed up the order process more we have also taken on a South African (now living in Portugal) designer who will deal directly with clients to produce their design. This means you get to speak one to one with the designer to get your design produced and alterations made much faster. His name is Eldon and he is an extremely nice guy and very good at what he does, so we look forward to producing some really creative designs for you.
This positions Carvalho Custom firmly as the most competitively priced with the most attractive terms of service in the premium custom cycling & triathlon clothing sector – we now supply more than 300 clubs and organizations in the UK and Ireland alone and many more clubs round the world. Let us know what we can do for you!
We have also been doing some work helping some of our clients sourcing leather goods from Portugal and it is great to see this sector of the Portuguese economy performing so well!
Carvalho Custom kit is supplied in Portugal by Cofides and one of the Portuguese pro teams wearing the custom cycling clothing is LA Alumínios/Antarte. Here is Pedro Paulinho on the podium for the Volta a Portugal, wearing our new lycra racing jersey.
Our new custom lycra cycling jerseys are becoming more popular, particularly with high end riders looking for an aero fit and we have put in a lot of work to develop a jersey that combines a boy hugging silhouette with breathability, by combining some different fabrics.
We have just got back from exhibiting at the Virgin Triathlon and I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to come and visit our stand. Being based in Portugal, we only rarely get to meet our clients and it was just so gratifying to see so many people racing in our club tri suits and to meet up with some of them.
Here is Marta from Carvalho Custom looking after the stand – she had to keep smiling like that from 8 in the morning to 7 in the evening, Saturday and Sunday, so she is going to be looking miserable all week to let her face recover….