Bioracer Summer 2018 collection

 

Bioracer new Summer 2018 collection:
73 new items for men & women

New Spitfire and Vesper collections

The Belgian company Bioracer, which develops innovative & tailored sportswear, has shown the world its Summer 2018 designer collections for men (Spitfire) and women (Vesper). 73 new items across different themes mean there’s more than enough colours and styles to choose from.
 
The new collection revolves around 5 themes, and, apparently, ‘reflects the spirit of an optimistic future’ which Bioracer firmly believe in. Its inspiration comes from rideouts in Barcelona, Ibiza and the Canary Islands to name a few. Names like Jungle, Radient, Zebra and Rebel makes one dream about sunny rideouts. Urban fashion, Berlin, London, 80’s skate surf punk and the DIY graphic language of fanzines capture our imagination.
 

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“Every design is a character, just like you”

Sam Ratajczak, Head Innovateer

 
 
 

About BIORACER

 

Established in 1986 and located in Belgium, spiritual home of cycling, BIORACER has always been at the forefront of the design, development and fabrication of cycling speedwear. Our mission is clear and simple: we make you faster. It’s not only about delivering the fastest kit possible. It’s also about giving you all the tools necessary to be the fastest you can be. This philosophy goes far beyond simple clothing. For example, we developed the first modern racing shoe and the first digitized bike fitting systems. These are only some of the innovations we’ve made to improve your comfort on the bike, and therefore ultimately, your speed.
 
Thousands of competitive athletes choose BIORACER because they need the fastest kit available. And they know they will receive just that. Not only do we have the scientific data to prove our claims, but also the proven track record of our medal count. With more than 666 Olympic and World Championship medals, we are the fastest.
 
“We follow one basic principle: our athletes are the measure of all things. Innovations can only lead to a breakthrough when they benefit the athlete. We look at cycling from every angle and try to fit those pieces that make your puzzle complete. And we do this with one aim in mind: to make you faster.”

 

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Cafe Du Cyclist comes to London

Exciting news in the world of cycling clothes, premium cycling brand Cafe Du cyclist will be opening a store here in Spitalfields, London. The only other place you’ll find a Cafe du Cyclist shop is in Nice’s Old Porte on the Cote d’Azur. While Spitalfields is a far cry from the beautiful blue seas and high mountain climbs of the Cote d’Azure, Cafe Du Cyclist obviously sees something in the cycling boom of East London.

The wide-ranging collections, for both men and women, combine cutting edge technical fabrics, performance features and modern Gallic flair. Positioned at the forefront of the ‘new wave’ of contemporary cycling brands, Café du Cycliste has enjoyed rapid growth worldwide. The strength of the brand in the UK made London the natural choice for the next stage of their expansion. Before now the brand had only been available via Condor Cycles, Mr Porter, Matchesfashion, Condor Cycles and cafeducycliste.com. so to say it’s exclusive is a slight understatement.

The spirit of the brand comes from the founders shared love of riding, and its aesthetic combines inspiration from both inside and outside the sport. The outdoors lifestyle influences of Co-founder and Creative Director Remi Clermont’s background in world competition level kayaking are also evident in the DNA of the brand.

“My father was really into road cycling, so I grew up in a family watching the Tour de France around 20 years ago when it wasn’t cool – even in France” he explains “I saw an opportunity to create a brand that was serious about technical excellence but also relaxed enough in approach to capture the pleasure of riding for riding’s sake”

Since launching in 2009 Café du Cycliste has established itself as one of a very few specialist cycling brands able to effortlessly combine both high style and serious performance.

As Clermont says “Our clothing is designed as much to be worn 2,500 metres up, in some beautiful remote places where Le Tour has never been, as on the more familiar strips of kempt tarmac.”

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My Cycle To Work Scheme – Rapha Jeans

When cycling to work, I like to choose practicality and functionality over style and no substance. When the guys at Rapha sent over their jeans, I was excited. A pair of stylish jeans cut for the commute, what could be better than arriving in style?

The problem with riding in every day jeans is that they don’t breath overly well, they’re not suitable if it rains and they’re generally uncomfortable on the bike. Not ideal for the commute but nice for the office… the jeans which Rapha sent over are designed to be good for both, so here’s what I found out.

  • Comfortable?

H1-16-DJO01XX-Premium-Demin-Original-Navy--angleKinda, yeah. Almost cyclists will share this issue I have, my thighs are generally too big for the jeans which match my waist, meaning I have to make a compromise somewhere, generally going a size or two up.

I had high hopes that these Rapha jeans would take that in to consideration and cut the thigh slightly wider. I’m not saying I have hill crushing thighs or sprinters legs but I did feel that these jeans were just a little too tight on the leg when I got them off and on. This also made them feel a little hotter once I got pushing the pedals too.

However, on the saddle, they felt much better than it does in normal jeans. No rubbing or chaffing and a little bit more breathable.

  • Weather proof?

H1-16-DJO01XX-Premium-Demin-Original-Navy-back1These jeans are a little bit smart, they let your legs breath out and do a fairly good job at resisting the wind blowing through them and freezing your thighs.

Added to that they’re slightly water resistant, able to keep the spray and light drizzle from soaking in to the denim. Instead the beads of water are visible on to of the denim which you can brush off.

As you can imagine, this is a huge plus especially on the damp days where you can be left at your destination soggy and uncomfortable in the wrong choice of jeans.

  • Rapha… they cost a fortune.

H1-16-DJO01XX-Premium-Demin-Original-Navy-half-upWell, it’s all relative really, isn’t it? Ever heard the saying ‘buy cheap buy twice’? Well that really is true. You could buy cheaper jeans over and over and end up spending more money than what you would than if you spent your money on a decent pair.

Yes, Rapha does have a bit of a mark up at being prestige and expensive. I’d say that was true in the pre-2013 years. I didn’t think they were worth the money then as their stuff just was not durable. After their work with Team Sky I think there has been a real push to improve this. You can see that from their road riding kit and it’s carried across to their city range too.

In saying this, buy within your means, don’t rack up a credit card debt then blame it on me because you can’t afford to pay it off.

  • Would I buy a pair?

H1-16-DJO01XX-Premium-Demin-Original-Navy-reflectiveMy everyday jeans are Levi’s. I buy them because they’re durable, wear well and I know I’ll get my money’s worth out of them.

Same here with these Rapha jeans, buy for purpose and durability, not cheap and twice.

 

 

 

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Runderwear – Pants

A little while ago, the chaps at Runderwear got in touch, they wanted to showcase their seamless underpants.

As a cyclist I explained that I’m not that interested in pants during exercise. As many of you fellow Pedal Pushers might do, when I’m on my bike, in my Lycra enjoying the wind through my helmet, I don’t wear undergarments. They get in the way and stop your comfy chamois working as it should. Actually wearing underwear while cycling can add to the chaffing! At Runderwear they felt confident that these next level undercrackers would be beneficial to new cyclists who may not be as keen to fully embrace the Lycra. I was sceptical.

I should say, I usually have lots of photos to accompany my blog posts. Don’t you worry dear reader, I’m not going to be taking pictures of me in my pants!

When the pants arrived, available in briefs or boxers, they didn’t exactly jump out at me. Which was nice really, I don’t suppose you want your pants to be showy! They’re understated in black with a blue trim, quite classy. The key thing about these pants is that they’re seamless, so they’re not meant to rub or chafe as you wear them.

  • The fit

In trying them on, they reminded me of a pair of ill fitting bib shorts. Baggy in the middle and not quite ‘right’. I had to double check I didn’t have them on back to front! It felt really odd pulling bib shorts on over the top of boxers and instantly the shorts scrunched the boxers up. Even though there is a gripper layer so the boxers shouldn’t ride up, the power of the Lycra was too much in this instance. Sorting that out you could still see the line of the Runderwear underneath my bibs. This made me feel a little bit conscious. I don’t know why, it’s not like wearing no pants at all is less on show but it just made me think “Oh, great – now everyone can see my pants.”

  • Performance booster?

Once they were on and I was riding though, I didn’t notice anything beneficial from having them on. In fact, I didn’t notice them at all. Which was nice, I kept thinking they wouldn’t allow my chamois to work effectively or that they would add to any form of chaffing but they were completely unrecognisable.

They’re sweat wicking and breathable too – again as a cyclist, so are my bib shorts. I wouldn’t want to, or feel the need to, add an extra barrier.

  • Worth the money?

Not for me I’m afraid, if I don’t notice them doing anything other than being noticeable to others then I don’t see why I would spend the £13 on a brief or £18 on the boxers. I mean it’s not like I wear underwear when cycling in the first place.

They’re 100% seamless chafe free underwear and they were exactly that. I guess they may stop you from buying lots of chamois cream. I think the clues in the name, these are for the running market. Unless I’m going to do a Froome up Ventoux then, personally, it’s a no from me.

The Links

You can buy a pair of Runderwear pants and check out their range here

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Spotive Panic Buys!

With the “worlds greatest sportive” (not my words, the words of Prudential RideLondon) coming up, I thought it was a good time to have a look at what you might be thinking of for that all important ride. It doesn’t have to be the RideLondon 100 miler, it could be any cycling sportive you’ve got planned to train, push your fitness goals or even, push yourself for something you’ve never done before.

Clothing

With it being good old British summer time, it’s probably best to start with something… Weatherproof. I don’t think you’ll go far wrong than with a good gilet. These things are great if you’ve an early start time on a chilly winter morning with a day that will heat up or even a muggy day with rain showers. The chaps over at Huez* sent me their flagship gilet. The Starman Windproof Gilet. Fancy sounding, isn’t it?

Huez* 2
The fancy of this gilet though goes beyond the name. It packs down neatly it to its own carry bag, in my opinion it could probably pack down even smaller than its bag.

It’s windproof and even more than showerproof and will give you a brilliant extra layer in the changeable weather. But wait, what’s this, the gilet has an extra trick up its sleeve – if it were to have sleeves that is. It’s pretty nifty, you can whip this gilet off in seconds by simply hooking your fingers in to the tabs either side of the zip and tugging outwards. The zip simply peels away and you’ll be the first in the peloton to have you gilet off. Providing you can take both hands off of the handle bars that is. The slightly annoying thing about this is though, you have to have the zip done all the way up for it to work effectively. So, you could just unzip…

Huez*.png
It’s great, it really is but coming in at £115 it’s certainly got a big price tag. But you can be safe in the knowledge you’ll get plenty of wear out of it. While the fabric feels flimsy, it’s pretty darn durable and something you’ll get plenty of use out of.

Fuel

Now, you have your clothing sorted, let us talk nutrition. One of the biggest things people forget to do is feed effectively and feed well when riding a big sportive. Do not underestimate it. Personally, I would rather come home with pockets full of food than halfway round cramping up wishing I had another energy bar or gel!

The power of Science in Sport (SiS) and their rapid growth has been extra-ordinary, now supplying Team Sky they always have discounts and their stuff is super tasty and well known across the sporting world.

SiS 1

Maybe it’s just my body and how it breaks down the substances but the SiS stuff is fantastic, plus when you sign up to SiS they’re giving away gels. Their stuff is far superior to any out there, with SiS also supplying Team Sky this year and I think we could all agree their performance and recovery powers at the Tour de France this year was nothing short of outstanding.

SiS 2

SiS actually sent me over some figures; the nine-man Team Sky team consumed over 3,000 SiS products during the 23-day challenge. In a breakdown that is:

  • 570 GO Energy bars
  • 580 GO Isotonic gels
  • 180 GO Electrolyte gels
  • 240 Go Energy+Caffeine gels
  • 940 GO Electrolyte servings
  • 180 REGO Rapid Recovery servings
  • 210 Overnight protein servings
  • 300 GO Hydro servings

You may think that that’s all they eat on the bike, somehow during the stages they also have time for rice cakes and whatever else their chef cooks up for them!

If it’s good enough for Team Sky over 2,197 miles, it’s good enough for me over 100!

SiS 3

Ready to race? 

Hey there, hot shot. Are you race ready? Well, here is my little secret… Secret Training. I’m not on about sneaking an extra ten miles on the bike before you meet your club mates for a ride. I’m talking STRIP, or, Secret Training Race Informed Products.

STRIP 1

This little pack might set you back £50 (special introductory offer) but my god is it worth it. It contains:

  • Hand sanitiser
  • Start oil
  • Anti chaffing cream (chamois cream)
  • Hygiene wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Post race wash
  • Sun screen
  • Micro fibre cloths
  • A tin of pins

Let’s pick up on a few of those things, start oil, what’s that? Well it’s a muscle rub to put on pre ride. Word to the wise, apply after the chamois cream, it is similar to deep heat. You do not want to get that where your chamois cream goes! It also puts a protective layer between your skin and the elements, so you can keep going come rain or shine.

The sunscreen is SPF30, the size is perfect though, slip in your back pocket / saddle bag and help keep those tan lines sharp and cultivated (rule 6 of cycling).

The post race wash, many of you won’t need this as it’s for when there are no showers around. More for the racers and races this one but it is good stuff! Same with the micro fibre clothes, for personal use after a race.

STRIP 2

While the pack is too big to carry on the bike during a sportive, the essentials are perfect size and great for the ride. They all fit in the travel case perfectly and neatly. Great to give to a family member to meet you at the finish. It really is great; I am really impressed by this pack of secrets and can’t recommend it enough. It smells good and the chamois cream is a good performer for long days in the saddle.

Go get ’em

The biggest thing to remember on your sportive is to have fun. Don’t go under prepared and it’s not a race. The only person you are racing is yourself, challenge yourself but don’t ruin yourself.

It’ll be tough, you’ll probably ask yourself why you’re doing it, you’ll probably question why you’re even doing it and then before you know it, it’ll be over. You will be elated, proud and be able to say you did it.

Now, go get ’em.

 

You can buy the Starman Windproof Gilet here

You can buy the SiS Team Sky Bundle here

You can buy the STRIP Race Day Personal Car Kit here

You can follow me on Twitter

And read my other blog posts

My Cycle to Work Scheme – The Setup 

If you live and work in London you’ve a few options of how to get in to work, you can sit in your car for hours not moving and getting irate at everyone, by driving to work. If you don’t fancy that you’ve got some other options. There’s getting your face stuck in someone’s sweaty armpit on the tube. Or getting on the bus… Then, oh if you’re lucky you can get the clipper, which is a boat down the Thames, with half the bankers from the city, who are recovering from last nights BNO (regardless if it’s a Tuesday). Or, if you’re really lucky, you can cycle, like me.

Of course, you don’t just have to live in London and you don’t just have to be cycling to work to get on your bike but if you’ve a daily commute it’s possibly something you’ve considered or even do now.

Cycling to work and back poses more issues than just getting there safely. If your commute (like mine) is around six miles, maybe you’ve questioned getting donned fully in Lycra, cycling shoes on, it would need to be 10+ miles before I start slipping in to the silky smooth Lycra. I want to arrive to work safely and in relative style but most of all comfort.

Imagine, a cycling world where you can cycle to work in the clothes you fully intend to work in all day, be comfortable for both and not look like you’re an extra in W1A, but most of all, not stink the office out. That’s the worst. Stinky, sweaty, ill-fitting, uncool clothes in the office. You don’t want to be that guy, you don’t want to be that guy, at all. “Yup twenty miles in these clothes today and still looking fresh.” No, no you’re not, my friend, the showers are that way.

A few fashion brands have hopped on the cycling bandwagon, Levi‘s and Ted Baker have recently updated their commuter range, while brand like Huez* and Vulpine have made the step towards fashionable clothing which is comfortable on the bike, too.

It’s not only the cycling clothing though which can help, there’s the bikes too. With more commuter friendly bikes out there if your commute is like mine, just a short hop, then maybe there’s a case for electric bikes, could help to reduce sweat, no? A foldable bike to help with storage issues? Or maybe just a more street friendly bike which doesn’t make you look like a street racer and deals with pot holes and city streets better.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be challenging brands to send me their best commuter busting clothes.

The main things I want are:

  • Functional
  • Fashionable / stylish
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Affordable

So look out over the next few weeks where I’ll be testing many different kinds of products and letting you all know exactly what I think about them.