Best womens cycling kits for summer

The next big chapter for our cycling brand

As we plan the next big chapter for Pure Velo, it has been enjoyable to look back and review what has happened since we launched a new, female only, summer cycling brand back in 2018. The journey has been fun but also very bumpy - there is no shame in admitting that we have made plenty of big mistakes along the way. As we see cycling growing all over the world and more ladies are getting involved in cycling there is one statistic that is making us happy that we kept going through the quiet years of the pandemic lockdowns.

Pure Velo has now sold into 17 countries (13 Internationally plus our four local countries within GB). Most of our lovely customers are in the EU with the USA catching up in numbers very quickly.

We can celebrate Pure Velo kit being worn around the country lanes, beautiful lakes, and challenging mountain passes in Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Holland and Ireland. Further afield we see pictures of ladies looking fabulous in our kits cycling around the US, Canada, Brazil, UAE and even Australia! It really does make us proud that a start up company from England that wanted to create kits that had not been seen in the female cycling market before were starting to find a space in the vast world of cycling.

 

Cycling Lake Garda Italy summer cycling kits for women

 

Our early cycling clothing ranges took a while to take off and the feedback suggested that some did not get what we were trying to achieve. We launched our website two weeks before the pandemic entered the first round of global lock downs – we were a new brand that was designed for the female cyclist that enjoyed going on great cycling holiday adventures and we made a point of being ‘not tested in wind tunnels’. It was no surprise that a few did not understand us with so much emphasis on marginal gains being made by cycling teams at that time. It was a tough launch, but our research showed that there was a need for more feminine summer cycling kits. This was not about bright colours being sublimated on a standard, skintight, jersey that the men wore, it was about feminine cuts and feminine detail that made ladies cycling kits look and feel different.

We had multiple lockdowns, a load of stock with no orders, and one or two journalists being slightly unfair (why ask a mile munching man to review women’s cycling clothing…but we don’t read that journal any more).

Advertising costs went through the roof as the pandemic hit as online sales for everything other than cycling holidays exploded. We had to rely on (female) journalist reviews and the hope that our early customers would like and share photos and comments about our new range. As our profile of cyclist does not tend to be the one that takes plenty of selfies, that was like cycling into a headwind on long road with a slight incline and no great view also.

However, a bright light arrived with a simple review from an Italian blogger that talked about how good the shorts were at solving the cyclists sausage leg issue for ladies. I cannot tell you how many hits that blog had but it was in the thousands. The ripple effect of that put us in front of ladies and the ball started to roll. Phew!

We started Pure Velo with a very small, summer only, range. Our Racerback jersey and matching non-bib shorts being a clear best seller kit. Our Halterneck jersey, which was unique in the cycling kit world at that time, also sold very well. Interestingly, all sales for this kit are around coastal cities – at least that marketing was working.

In all honesty, the Bow Sleeve Jersey, which was a real risk to make as it pushed the boundaries of what a cycling jersey should look like by having actual handmade bows sewn onto the sleeves, was slower to find its place. We were still mostly finding the aero market and not the ladies that we were designing for.

As for the shorts that we designed and the fact that they purposely have less compression in them is the real hit. The cycling shorts, both bib shorts and non-bib high waist cycling shorts, hold in position and have enough compression to suit long rides. It is the fabric and chamois pad choice that has been very well received and something that we feel is another big difference between the way that we design cycling kits for ladies than the compression, aero market. The racers have their space and luckily there is enough room on the open road for us all.

So, as we move onto the next chapter and re-build from the challenging years since we launched, we take forward our best sellers and will add to them from here. Our goal will always to be feminine and fearlessly feminine with that. We have some very creative ideas that have come to us from the feedback we get we will be sharing these ideas with our ladies on our mailing list to get your feedback before we jump in and start cutting new premium Italian fabrics.

Until then, we celebrate being back out cycling under a blue sky with you all and thank you for all for your custom and we hope to see you all on a beautiful ride somewhere in the world soon. Seventeen countries and counting.

La dolce vita!

Claire.