Reasonably Priced Kit

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#1
The Ralpha thread really got me thinking. There are a lot of "designer" brand cycling kit out there. $200 or more for cycling shorts, $100 or more for a jersey. Ralpha, Assos, Santini, Castelli, etc. all sell very high priced gear. I understand that cycling today attracts a large segment of people with lots of disposable income. Cycling does a great job of marketing the latest and greatest with some improvement to bikes and gear coming out every year, the pros always have it and that attracts us to it.

I just wish there was some good quality gear at a much more reasonable price point, especially in the clothing market, even dhb, a house brand, is getting close to $100 for their top shelf shorts. Just seems there could be a company that could produce some cool designs for jerseys, bring a high quality pad short to market and make some cash by higher volume sales.

Just ranting.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
914
294
83
Tokyo
#3
Much of what's sold in Y's looks hideous. And if I'm going to advertise Shimano (say), then Shimano is going to have to pay me.

I like my GS Astuto -assembled wheels and I'd happily advertise GS Astuto (I mean, for no fee). But I go so slowly that if I wore their gear I'd thereby be, um, disadvertising the company.*

I'm so ancient and ugly that no matter what I wear, I'm not going to look cool. Recently I've been wearing stuff bought online from LL Bean. All of it has "LL Bean" or some other brand written on it somewhere, but in small, ignorable letters. The clothing didn't cost too much and does the job. It's probably all made in China and I don't see why I in Japan have to pay a middleman in the US, but that's "globalization" for you. I do like the Half-Fast design, but I've already got enough from Bean, so sorry but not this year.

* Actually I hit 43 km/h at one point on my way home tonight (despite my large new sprockets) and was in a merry mood -- but was promptly overtaken by somebody advertising the "Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop" (or similar) on his orange shirt; he must have been going 50.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,511
638
133
Kanazawa
#8
I have a few pair of Pearl Izumi shorts that just keep going. The original pair is showing a bit of age, and I've been using them as much as possible, trying to see some failure or signs that they should be retired.

Yes, they cost more than dhb, but the dhb winter tights I have (super roubaix) are already showing signs of the fabric wearing thru in the crotch area. These have been great for what they've done, but OTOH they have far fewer hours/km use than the PI shorts.

Tho more ¥¥¥, sometimes you get what you pay for.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,863
1,450
129
...
#9
That's ridiculous logic, because you cannot set a price by personal experience.
price is not necessarily a reflection of quality, and paying more for a "good" kit does not mean you are going to have a better experience on your bike.

It's thinking like that that has allowed sellers (of all brand goods) to charge absurd prices for items that cost almost nothing to make.
So next time your dipping into your Louie Vuitton man bag to shell out 300$ for some assos shoe covers know that you could have been just as comfortable with something that is overpriced at 1/3 the cost.

Excuse my addition here:
There is no such thing as a "good" reasonably priced kit.

Think of how long you will spend in that kit and what you will feel during that time, pain, hate, joy, ecstasy, and judge from there.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,655
474
103
Japan
#11
That's ridiculous logic, because you cannot set a price by personal experience.
you're right, but value is absolutely set by personal experience and if the mental benefits of having a "brand" are enough then there most definitely is value in buying that product, Don't confuse price with value cause at the end of the day all we want is value. Just cause a logic is contrary to your own "ridiculous" is a bit of an over reaction. BTW MY man bag cost me nothing and gives me a lot of happiness. :) .
 
Likes: j-sworks

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
48
68
Tokyo
#12
If you find some kit and it makes you feel good, go for it.

I worked my way through the cheapest stuff I could find, and as I rode more and more those things crapped out, so I replaced them with the best stuff.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#13
In my experieence Dhb is pretty good stuff at very good prices - the only stuff og thiers I don't recommend is the water proof stuff. They seem to think that because you have a 32 waist you have short legs.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#15
There are loads of great cycling wear out there for under $100 --

Takizawa periodically has massive sales on Campagnolo wear.
Kawashima is now distributing and discounting RH+ a really pretty good TW 'emerging brand'.
Champ Sys has in-house 'CSTECH' wear which can stand up to the Italian Mills mano-e-mano.
Bicycle Line is super wear and directly distributed and sold by Y's here in Japan.
Hincapie is another sleeper lineup - also distributed in Japan and a great deal.

The facts are pretty simple:

1) The fabrics are all either 'single mill' proprietary coming from MiTi and then used in many brand, or:
2) Licensed Lycra or derivatives coming from mills in China or SE Asia. (Nothing wrong here - just lower cost)
3) Almost every cycling kit today uses either solid dyed cloth and/or dye-sub printed. Sublimation printed kits give you all the designs, etc - working in panels in true color dyed cloth is more expensive.
4) Bib shorts using Cytech pads will be good. A large percentage of wear mfg use Cytech, btw.
5) Factory blow out sales are common. Typical MOQ on these prdts is 1000pc or more - so, consider what happens when a company licenses and makes 5000 units of a Jersey that has a slightly funky design or non-performing team?
6) Fit templates vary alot - so find a mfg that fits you and stick there.

I have some Shimano 3D pieces I really like, a couple of Rapha merino Jerseys, a bunch of our own (MiTi and non-Miti), PI and Bicycle Line. I tend to use the cheaper gear for training cause it goes through alot of wash cycles and also get pretty smudged and dirty from general riding. Event gear is more technical (and expensive) minded and generally leans toward the MiTi fabrics with HEIQ treatments. (I don't care the brand - just as long as they have the fabric and treatment down).

Invest in a couple of really nice, signature Jerseys and you'll never regret it. Bibshorts take the brunt of the punishment - so just focus on the pad, here, and plan to replace every year or so.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#17
There are loads of great cycling wear out there for under $100 --

Champ Sys has in-house 'CSTECH' wear which can stand up to the Italian Mills mano-e-mano.
That's because its made from Italian fabrics and parts - just assembled in Asia. I was going to do a shamless plug of Champion Systems but I didn't think it would be that constructive based on my relationship with the company.

One of the great things about the CS brand is that you can try it all out before you buy it - however unless you are prepared to get a lot of kit in one go (I know people that have bought customised Summer and Winter kits at very good rates) you may need to either get the domestic, Continental or Lampre kits.

The top of the line carbon, laser cut jersey will set you back 14,175 JPY while the standard club jersey coming in at 6,825 with 5 different levels and prices between, bib shorts, knicks and tights follow the same price structure.

There are two peices of kit that REALLY stand out in my opinion and it takes a lot to blow me away when it comes to clothing, but the Champion System Fleeced skin suit that I tested and raced last season and the Pro Rain Jacket, which is the only rain jacket I've ever owned that I don't over heat and sweat so much in that I might as well have just got wet. (A review of that jacket will be coming soon!)
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#19
Either replace the complete bibshort, or sew in a new pad. You can get Cytech aftermarket at places like - http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/replacement-chamois-pads.html

As for the treated fabrics - bear in mind, this washes out over time. So if you have only a few sets of clothes, then you'll soon destroy the advantage of the treatments.

I can also recommend Nimblewear (China). They OE alot of brands and you can purchase direct. Jersey and Bibs are well under $100 (set), they use ElasticInterface Pads and MiTi fabrics. Customization is allowed - so you can basically print what you like and choose from many different templates and styles.

DISCLAIMER: I don't use Nimble as a vendor , so this is NOT a commercial plug. Merely referencing a vetted source.


How does replacing the pad work?
 
May 22, 2007
3,571
1,390
143
Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#20
Either replace the complete bibshort, or sew in a new pad. You can get Cytech aftermarket at places like - http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/replacement-chamois-pads.html
That is interesting. With my Assos shorts of various vintages the problem is the lycra wearing out and becoming a little too transparent. But I have some inferior shorts that might benefit from a new pad.

Meanwhile, when I have a bad saddle rash day, I wear a pair of Pearl Izumi padded short liners (and lashings of Assos chamois cream) underneath my regular shorts. Extra comfort!