I first got to know Jo Carritt when she organized the club triathlon kit for Tri London, who we have been supplying for several years now. At the time she was working as an engineer, but dreaming of being an Ironman triathlete. She finally took the plunge and left her job to dedicate her life to being a full-time triathlete. As well as her own brutal training regime, she also trains other triathletes through her company EverdayTraining, who we also supply kit for. Here they are out at training camp in Lanzarote wearing some Carvalho Custom kit!
EverydayTraining offers a bespoke training service for age-group triathletes in the UK and runs two training camps – “Endurance Training camps in Lanzarote” and “King of the Mountains camp in The Pyrenees”. Although Jo is a hard taskmaster, she is extremely likable and good fun, so you know you would be very well looked after on the camps.
Cycling shorts have moved on a lot in the 25 years I have been riding a bike. The first pair of shorts that I bought were made from wool (that is old fashioned scratchy wool rather than silky Merino) and the chamois was a real chamois (a piece of leather which you had to rub with a special vaseline like cream to keep it supple). In those days you weren’t expected to make a fuss about how comfortable your kit was. It is all very different now….
We seem to spend more time on bib short development than anything else here at Carvalho Custom (and we have to do it twice, as we have female specific as well as male bib shorts!). The first thing we think about is getting the shape of the shorts right so that they move easily with your legs round the peddle stroke and also the straps sit comfortably on the shoulders without giving you a wedgie, but holding the shorts in place. The first thing to do when you pick up a pair of shorts for the first time is to hold them by the top of the straps and you should see that they hang in a curved shape, with the backside sticking out a bit. This approximates to the shape they will be when you are on a bike with your hands on the handlebars. A good pair of bib shorts should be designed to fit most comfortable when you are bent over rather than standing upright. A cheap pair of shorts will just hang straight down when you hold them by the top of the shorts, which are OK for unicycle riders, but not for everyone else. The other key thing of note here is that the straps should be made from very stretchy and breathable material as this will make them a lot more comfortable to wear over your shoulders.
With regard to the chamois (or pad), having tried out endless numbers of them, we think that the best kind of pad is made from mesh – foam absorbs water (sweat or rain!) that gives you the nappy feel and loses its structure over time, so losing its primary role as padding. Gel can go lumpy over time and can lose it shape. Our chamois uses mesh (think steel wool, but softer), so it does not absorb moisture and keeps its springiness for literally years. The actual anatomical shape of the chamois is less important than some manufacturers make out and there are a lot of gimmicks out there.
Finally, the leg grippers. First there came elastic, which can dig into your legs, then silicone strips which work very well, but again can dig in to your legs a bit. Now a lot of bib shorts just use double lycra bands (like out custom bib shorts), which do not keep the shorts as perfectly in place as silicone, but do not have any of the constriction problems. We can make our new bib shorts with silicone for those who prefer it. We will shortly be adding to our range silicone patterns added into the lycra leg grippers but not in a band form to give you the best of both worlds, as they do not constrict, but help the shorts stick in place.
As with all of our custom cycling clothing, we put a lot of effort into product development, because the market is just changing so fast, we just cannot afford to get left behind. It is a shame in one sense, because I really used to like my old wool shorts…..
We set up our online club clothing order system a year ago and it has been fantastic to see how popular it has been with clubs. Our system allows cycling & triathlon clubs to set up a club order page for their custom clothing order, so that individual members of that club can just log on to place their order, which means the club kit administrator at the club doesn’t have to chase club members around asking them for orders.
The system is designed to consolidate club orders so that we can manufacture the club triathlon clothing (or cycling) in one go, rather than us making up individual orders which would be very inefficient and expensive for us to produce. Our system is free for clubs to use and the whole point of it is to make organizing the club clothing order easier to manage. If you would like more information about how the system works, please get in touch.
We are looking forward to coming over to England in June and July for the 70.3 Ironman on the 16th of June and then again for the London Triathlon on the 27th/28th of July, where we will have a stand at both events. We don’t just leave Portugal for a weekend in England for the lovely weather, it is also a great chance to meet up with some triathlon club members who we only know online and of course meet lots of new athletes from the triathlon community.
This year we are investing very heavily in some fantastic new custom triathlon clothing technology, including glued seams, even lower friction lycra and more compression technology. The triathlon clothing industry is a bit of an arms race at the moment, so we are really committed to bringing the cutting edge to all that we are doing.
If you can come along to see us at our stand at one of the event, it would be fantastic to see you and you will always be eligible for some freebies if you are from one of the 200 triathlon clubs we already supply in the UK and Ireland!
We will be at the Irish Cycling Show this weekend (9th/10th March), so please come and see us if you are at the show. We always have some free stuff to give out and we enjoy the opportunity to speak to some of our existing customers who we may never have met in person, because we only get out of Portugal to go to shows or races 5 or 6 times a year. As well as our custom cycling kit on show, we will have custom tri and athletics clothing too, so please come along!
Here is the last film in the series about a day in the life of a triathlete.
Take your sport very seriously…..
Kars Eijsink is one of Holland’s leading young triathletes and we are very proud to sponsor his training and race triathlon kit as well as help him out with some of his expenses. At Carvalho Custom we appreciate that it is very difficult for young triathletes to have access to sponsorship opportunities, which can make it very difficult for them to compete internationally. Kars is an exceptional triathlete and extremely professional in his approach to racing and training, which is why we decided to support him. If you are a young triathlete and think you deserve our support, please get in touch with us at Carvalho Custom as we may be interested in helping out as we really believe in paying something back into the sport that we make a living from.
Here is Kars pictured winning the Ommen cross-country race (wearing our custom athletics vest!) as part of his build up to the triathlon season and his first race in Antalya, Turkey. Kars has a very special relationship with his coach, Job Eijsink, who happens to be his older brother! Job is also a leading triathlete, now competing at Ironman distance, but he says that his little brother is the real deal, with ambitions of becoming a leading professional in years to come. Job’s training philosophy is all about not over-racing and building Kars training slowly over the years so that he does not peak to soon and burn out. So keep your eyes open for the name Kars Eijsink in the years to come.