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.
We will have a stand at the Virgin Active London Triathlon on 27th and 28th of July, so please come along and say hello if you are an existing client and we will give you some freebies. If you are not a client, but just want to come and say hello, then we will give you some freebies too….
We will have our full range of custom triathlon kit (and custom running and cycling kit also of course), so if you are interested in getting your club clothing made with us, it will be a good opportunity for you to see our complete range and have a chat with us about how our ordering process works or whatever information you may need.
You can probably imagine that we get a lot of requests to make charity cycling jerseys, but recently we had a request to make some for one of Charlie’s oldest friends, Nick Crossley, whose little boy has got a terrible illness called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which currently has no cure. Nick and his gorgeous wife Emily set up a charity called Duchenne Children’s Trust and they just did a bike ride from London to Paris in 24 hours which raised an amazing £200k for the charity.
We were very proud to make the jerseys for them and here is Nick and another friend of mine Pete – I cycled across the USA with them 17 years ago, when they were both fitter and better looking. Nick has barely picked up a bike since then, so it is pretty amazing he made it to Paris…
Anyway we wish them all the best with their charity and our thoughts are with their darling boy, Eli.
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…..
We have an option for clients to make their own semi-custom cycling jerseys (and shorts) and semi-custom tri suits online and we have just added some more design templates for the triathlon suits so that there are now a total of 3 options.
Our semi-custom system allows you to choose any colours you wish and add any text or logos that you may require. The only restriction is that the pattern shapes that form the template cannot be changed. The design cost if you use our semi-custom system is just €90 (as opposed to €150 design cost for a full custom cycling or triathlon design, where there are no restrictions on the patterns). If you make a design using our online semi-custom designer, but want to order other items from our range (such as jackets, tri tops or whatever) then we will transfer your semi-custom design to these items and there is no extra charge for this.
We have produced a new catalogue of our custom cycling and triathlon clothing range with some great photography by Joana Maltez shot in northern Portugal where we are based. You can download it here.
If you have any questions about our range or the solutions that we can offer your cycling or triathlon club to make the ordering process easier, please contact us. You can also buy individual items of our kit in our distinctive pink and blue colours at our cycling & triathlon kit online shop.