The race starts just north of Dublin in Navan, then heads up into Northern Ireland, across to the west coast, down to the bottom then back to Navan. Some of the competitors do this on their own, grabbing just a few hours sleep over 5 days (yes they ride 400+k a day for 5 days, which you probably shouldn't try at home).
The race is organised by a truly inspirational man, Alan Heary, a sports psychologist who has worked with all sorts of top athletes from a variety of sports. It is no coincidence that he has chosen to run one of the world's greatest endurance tests, because he specialises in understanding how you get sports people to dig deeper than they knew they could dig. You will see a lot of that in the Race Around Ireland....
The race starts 9th of September and you can follow it all online and Carvalho Custom will be there at the start, so please come along to see the race and meet us. We sponsor the RAI because we want to put something back into Irish cycling as we have really grown strongly in recent years in the Irish custom cycling and triathlon clothing markets and the RAI needs your support too.
Having recently started selling our blue and pink triathlon and cycling kit online, we have had a lot of requests to make some more designs available, particularly for female triathletes. The trouble with most triathlon kit available in the shops is that it is frankly a bit boring, mainly black with a few flashes of colour if you are lucky. Because our kit is fully printed, there are pretty much no design limitations, so we thought we would start selling a few more designs.
To get some really funky designs made we thought we would have a look for some contributions from outside of our company, so if you think you could design particularly female triathlon clothing, but also clothing for both sexes for cycling as well as triathlon, please get in touch (email Charlie via our contacts page).
If you would like to give it a go, there is really no point in coming up with conservative designs, because other people are doing that - we would like to come up with something really different. If you would like to have a go doing some sketches, there are some templates available on our cycling and triathlon design page. You do not need to have any experience in graphic design to get this work, you just need to be original....
If you have ever worked with us here at Carvalho Custom, you will probably know that one of us is from New York (that will be Nicole) - the thing about New Yorkers is that they tell you exactly what they think, which always keeps things interesting in the office....
Anyway, we just did some custom tri kit for the Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership Tri Team, we were looking forward to their feedback, as we knew it was going to be frank. Luckily they liked the kit and this is what they wrote:
We can't thank you enough. The suits came out amazing. We even got them in time for a sprint tri that half of our team did this past weekend. The whole group is psyched to wear them July 9th for the New York City Triathlon! Thanks so much again, the suits are so AWESOME! We will definitely be using you guys again!
Now that is the kind of honesty I like - if you are looking for an honest opinion on a design idea, then just ask Nicole and she will tell you EXACTLY what she thinks. Now what's a guy gotta do to get some cwarffee round here?
We send out an amazing number of samples to clubs who are interested in buying from us or need a sizing set (we don't charge anything for this!) and typically we will have over 40 potential or actual clients who are holding on to our samples. We have found that a lot of them want to buy some of the kit off us, either to try it out properly or just because they like it, so we have started an online cycling and triathlon clothing store in which we sell the Carvalho Custom range in glorious pink and blue.
We are going to keep the prices for buying these items as the same as our wholesale prices (that is what you would pay when buying your own custom design in bulk), which means that you can buy individual items from us at the same price as we would sell them to shops for example, so you should be able to pick up some very attractive prices for pro quality kit. Please click here to visit the store.
Evolution Tri Club, based in Windsor, is one of the UK's leading triathlon clubs and has been a Carvalho Custom client for club cycling & tri kit for a few years now. They have a great balance between training hard and enjoying their sport and it has been a pleasure to supply them over the years.
They make an annual pilgrimage to Lanzarote every year and here is the head coach at the club, Kev (known as Kevolution) cycling up the legendary Fire Mountains - one hell of a place to ride a bike....
We have been out to Holland 3 times over the last few months, as Carvalho Custom has been the sponsor of the Dutch Winter Triathlon Series 2011/2012, which consists of 5 events starting in October and ending in May. Winter Triathlons are run-bike-skate, which makes sense in a country where skating is the national winter sport!
In March we were in Groningen where we exhibited out custom triathlon & cycling kit and also presented jerseys to the race winners and here is a video of the day. Our thanks to the organizers of the event who made us feel so welcome and congratulations to the winners.
In de afgelopen maanden zijn wij drie keer in Nederland geweest, daar Carvalho Custom de sponsor was van de 2011/2012 Nederlandse Winter Triathlon Serie, waarin van oktober tot mei 5 evenementen plaats vonden. Een Winter Triathlon wil zeggen hardlopen - wielrennen - schaatsen, logisch in een land waar schaatsen de nationale winter sport is!
In maart waren we in Groningen waar we onze individueel gespecificeerde triathlon en wieler kleding toonden en waar we ook de shirts uitreikten aan de race winnaars. Hierbij vindt u een video van die dag.
Onze hartelijke dank aan de evenements organisatoren, die ons zeer welkom maakten en onze felicitaties aan de winnaars.
We are in the business of constantly updating our range and here is the latest. Our new custom hipster female tri shorts are lower cut than standard triathlon shorts (more like a hipster cut) and they have a wide elastic support band round the top that will not cut into your tummy, making them extremely comfortable. As well as the practical aspects to the shorts, they also look fantastic and more feminine than higher cut tri shorts - after all there is no reason why you shouldn't look your best when you are training/racing in your club colours.
Anyway, the low cut ladies triathlon shorts also incorporate teflon treated Power Lycra so that they are super-quick to dry and offer compression to help soothe your aching limbs.
It used to be a simple business finding a supplier for your custom cycling or triathlon kit. You just had to find the manufacturer who made custom kit not too far away from you, give them a call and then send them a cheque. But now the choices are just endless, so where are all these suppliers coming from? Well there are essentially 4 business models selling kit to Northern Europe:
1. Domestic manufacturers – increasingly few and far between, because it is just so expensive to produce clothing in northern Europe these days.
2. Local distributors selling kit made in Southern Europe – this has become more popular in recent years, but it does have the problem that you effectively have to buy from an agent, so you don’t get to deal directly with the factory and of course the distributor takes their 30% cut, which gets stuck on top of the price of the kit.
3. Buy direct from the Far East – generally this business model uses local agents to sell, but not always. The major problem with this is that air freighting the kit is just so expensive and also if there are any problems with the final product it can be very difficult to put right, dealing with such far away countries.
4. Buy direct from Southern Europe – here you get the benefit of low prices, but of course you do not have a local distributor who you can go and speak to, which is important to some customers.
At Carvalho Custom we work on the 4th option of course and we have worked extremely hard to give prospective clients the confidence to buy from us, even though we do not have a representative based in their country. We have been exporting from Portugal for 7 years and over that period we have grown steadily to become the leading supplier of club triathlon kit to the UK and Irish combined markets and one of the top club cycling kit suppliers to these markets, so that gives us a good deal of credibility. We also make regular trips abroad to sponsor races and appear at trade shows and similar so that we get a chance to meet our customers and we send our free samples to anyone who is interested in seeing our kit (we only ask that they get returned within two weeks). Finally, as far as we know, we are the only supplier in our industry that offers a 2% discount for every day that we deliver late after our stated deadline and this can give our clients some confidence that we are a serious supplier who sticks to their promises.
We get asked regularly by sports companies in Northern Europe if they can become a distributor for us, but we know that if we did that, then we would have to increase our retail prices by 30% or so to allow the distributor to make some money - then we would be the same price as other premium custom kit suppliers, which is why we only sell direct from Portugal. (In fact we have also been contacted by several of our main competitors who currently make kit in Northern Europe, but know that it is no longer economically viable and want us to make their kit for them – we only produce kit with our branding however, so the answer is always no!).
At Carvalho Custom we have a simple business model - we believe that by being an honest and reliable supplier, who above all believes in the quality of the kit we produce rather than marketing or hype that we will continue to grow and serve our customers, wherever they may be in the world.
Charlie has just spent a week cycling in the Swiss Alps with his older and slightly slower brother. It was great whipping his backside up a few cols and of course we wore Carvalho Custom kit.
Having spent so much work on developing our new custom cycling shorts, it was fantastic to have a chance to wear them in the big mountains - we are really proud that we have made some bib shorts that we feel will compare favourably with anything available in the market. You can see on the photo below that they incorporate lycra leg grippers rather than silicone, so that they grip your leg gently rather than pinching.
Anyway, if you have got any photos wearing our kit on a big mountain somewhere, please send them in. And if you haven't tried our new bib shorts out yet, you really need to give them a go (and please note we have just produced our first prototype of new female bib shorts)!
We have just got back from Groningen in the north of Holland, where we were sponsoring the latest race in the Dutch Winter Triathlon series. The Dutch like to do triathlon differently when it gets cold, so they do RUN-BIKE-SKATE (sprint distance is 5k run, 25k bike and 10k skate and the middle distance is 10k run, 50k bike and 20k skate).
Carvalho Custom sponsored the winners’ jerseys for the event, so Nicole from our office got the job of giving out medals, flowers and the jerseys to the podium girls and boys and of course brought a bit of glamour to the event!
Carvalho Custom is sponsoring the complete series, which is 5 events, the last of which takes place in Twente on the 24th of March. We really like to sponsor events like this as it is our way of giving something back to the sports that keep us in business and it is also a great opportunity to meet some of our clients, some of whom we only ever get to communicate by phone and email. Our heartfelt thanks to the organizers of the event in Groningen who made us feel very welcome and of course to the Dutch triathlon association, which has done so much to help make our sponsorship of the series worthwhile.
Wij zijn net terug uit Groningen waar wij de laatste race van de Nederlandse Winter Triathlon serie hebben gesponsord. Zodra het te koud wordt passen de Nederlanders de triathlon aan aan de omstandigheden: HARDLOPEN-FIETSEN-SCHAATSEN (korte afstand is 5km hardlopen, 25 km fietsen en 10 km schaatsen, middel afstand is 10 km hardlopen, 50 km fietsen en 20 km schaatsen).
Daar Carvalho Custom de sponsor was van de winnaars shirts, kreeg Nicole van ons kantoor de eer de medailles, de bloemen en de shirts aan de winnaars op het podium te overhandigen wat zij natuurlijk met veel stijl en glamour deed.
Carvalho Custom sponsort de hele serie d.w.z. 5 evenementen. De laatste vindt plaats op 24 maart a.s. in Twente.
Wij sponsoren dergelijke evenementen graag want het is onze manier om iets terug te doen voor de sportwereld, die ons bedrijf staande houdt. Het is ook een goede gelegenheid om enkele van onze klanten persoonlijk te ontmoeten met wie wij anders alleen telefonisch of e-mail contact hebben.
Onze hartelijke dank aan de organizatoren van het evenement in Groningen, die ons zo welkom hebben gemaakt en natuurlijk aan de Nederlandse Triathlon Associatie die zoveel gedaan heeft om ons het sponsoren van de serie de moeite waard te maken.