Our EVO pro bib shorts have had a lot of development work put into them - there are a lot of things to consider, but some of the things that we consider are: to make sure that they fit perfectly when you are in the riding position (rather than when you are standing upright to try them on!); that they move fluidly with the pedal stroke; that the seams are located where they won't rub; the chamois offers rid comfort, antibacterial action and longevity; the straps sit comfortably on the shoulders; the right amount of compression is offered to the thighs; that they will not ride up your leg with the pedal action.
For this last issue, we have in the past offered to have a lycra leg gripper, which is a band of compression lycra at the bottom of the shorts, or silicone band leg grippers. Now we have moved on to offering silicone coated lycra as the gripper - this has the advantage of being more gentle on the thigh muscle than silicone bands, whilst maintaining the position of the shorts better than just compression lycra. Some riders prefer not to have any silicone for reasons of comfort, so our clients can specify. We are also now cutting the end of the shorts with laser, in order to remove an additional seam from the end of the shorts, as just one more small element in our bid to make our shorts the most comfortable on the market!
We have also now finished patenting a new halter neck women's bib short, that will allow female riders to take a comfort break without having to remove their jersey (as with traditional bib shorts). It looks like our invention will revolutionize the women's bib short market and we have decided to make this patented design available to other cycling clothing manufacturers, as the demand for them is just too large for our small factory to deal with and we will continue just to focus on custom cycling clothing and club triathlon clothing.
I was speaking to a client recently who asked the more than reasonable question of why he should buy his custom cycling jerseys from us and not from one of the many other custom cycling clothing suppliers that have been sprouting up all over the place over the last year or two. The truth is that there are suppliers out there who have similar quality products to us and there are even some competitors that have lower prices than us, but for nearly 10 years now, we have led the way in supplying pro quality kit at reasonable prices and that is how we try to stand out from the crowd.
There are plenty of suppliers out there with clever branding and good quality kit, but generally you have to pay a lot of money for it. But for example, our new Biofit custom cycling jerseys with lycra side panels, silicone waist gripper and Bio-Ceramic fabric is a cutting edge cycling jersey, but our price is a fair one: €33.85+VAT (discounted for larger orders). For that money you don't get any slick branding or celebrity endorsements, just a decent quality product.
So our strategy is just to stick to spending our money on producing high quality kit and not on marketing (to date we have never paid for an advertisement or an endorsement) and our clients are the ones that are interested in having great kit at fair prices!
We have a smart order form that allows you to list out individual orders from club members and then automatically consolidate them into a single club order to send to us, your club cycling & tri kit supplier. To do this, you just need to:
- download our order form
- enable the macros
- add the names of the items that team members are going to order to the main order form (so for example you can add custom cycling jerseys, custom tri suits or whatever)
- click the "multiple orders" button and you will be prompted to say how many individuals will be ordering (you can always change this)
- you can now add the names of each person ordering (if you want to)
- a mini order form will be created for each individual, which you can fill in
- to generate the consolidated order, just go back to the main order page and click "calculate total price"
You can always go back add more individual orders if required, by clicking on the multiple orders tab, add the extra orders and calculate again.
So there you have it, a very easy way to manage your cycling or triathlon club clothing order, which leaves you with a record of what everyone has ordered and an easy way to consolidate all the orders into one order form that you can then send to us to produce!
Once again, Carvalho Custom is sponsoring Europe's toughest cycling challenge, the Race Around Ireland - 2150 kms of non-stop racing, around some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Hard core nutters race the 2150 kms on their own and complete it in around 6 days, sleeping for an hour or two each day. More reasonable people complete it as part of a team. The race starts in Trim on Sunday (31st of August) and Carvalho Custom is a lead sponsor, also supplying the custom cycling jerseys. We will be there in Trim, so please come along and say hello if you are going to be there!
I've been unpacking - I know I landed back in the UK nearly 2 weeks ago, but it's quite difficult with one arm in a sling - and I found this. It is (half of) one of my beautiful shirts, which was cut from me after I broke my collarbone. It was too difficult to bend my arm out of it.
Anyone who has been to my house knows that it is the smallest in the world, a tiny Victorian cottage, where any spare space is taken up with bike kit. You can't get through the front door without tripping over something. And now I have a dilemma - where am I going to store all this stuff I've amassed for RAAM? There are currently amber lights on my kitchen worktop and I need new wardrobes for clothes.
Shusannah Pillinger talks about the kit she wore in her 2014 Race Across America attempt:
Carvalhocustom were kind enough to provide me with the bespoke kit for RAAM - 10 pairs of shorts, 6 short sleeved tops, 5 long sleeved for various weathers, a gilet, leg warmers and the crew favourites - the star-spangled booties. I'd like to write something about this. In Race Around Ireland, we muddled along with bits and pieces of kit I had accrued over years of commuting. It all got drenched and became the crew's biggest (smelliest) nightmare. We were all so happy when Nicole from Carvalho approached us in Ireland and said they'd like to support me.
Fast forward to RAAM and the change was remarkable. Gone was the kit favouritism (I liked one pair of my old shorts, that ended up always being "in the laundry") and having to layer to get comfortable. Now, I felt like a professional in my custom kit. I'd been training all winter in the shorts (and windproofs) and knew they were going to be awesome, but I couldn't predict what would happen after 12 days of cycling. In the end, I only had 9 days to test them in the race, but I can report a great experience. No saddle sores, just minor, but treatable abrasion - partly caused by an unexpected gear change! In addition the crew were able to choose when to change my shirts and jackets, from the excellent range we had. They didn't need to ask me what I thought would be best - just one less thing to think about.
I don't know if Carvalho kit has ever been used in this manner - but I cycled many miles with handfuls of ice stuffed into my back pockets, near my kidneys. Along with the predominantly white colour, this saved me from heat exhaustion in the desert and through the unexpectedly hot Kansas and Missouri. The shirts dried in no time - I need to test them in Ireland now!
I hope you agree the kit looked great too (although maybe not my severed shirt). Thanks to Eldon Costa for the design. I can't wait to get back out on the roads in it - and maybe you guys will see it again soon!
We have had a very busy Summer, so I think we deserve a couple of weeks off! So just to let you know that we are closed the first two weeks of August and custom cycling & triathlon clothing orders we receive from now on will only be delivered from the third week of August onward. Our heartfelt thanks to all our customers all over the world for choosing Carvalho Custom in 2014!
On another note, we get a lot of request from companies looking to source clothing from Portugal; sometimes it is from our direct competitors who want us to make their clothing for them, which sounds ridiculous, but we have had 3 companies do this in the last 18 months! We are able to help some other non-competing brands looking to source from Portugal though, so if you do need help with sourcing, then you can contact us at via www.portugalworks.com.
Shu was so close to becoming the first British female rider to finish the 3000 mile Race Across America, but unfortunately 9 days in to the race, she fell asleep on her bike, fell off and broke her collarbone. She is still our hero though! I get a sneaky feeling that she will not rest until she completes her mission to defeat RAAM though, so watch this space.
In this photo below, you can see Shu wearing her Carvalho Custom cycling jersey and shorts, but also her support team - it is unbelievable that these 8 people are prepared to give up so much time and effort to help one athlete support her dream, so our congratulations to all of them as well.
Shu Pillinger is at around the halfway point in her attempt to be the first British woman to finish the 3,000 mile Race Across America. We were delighted when she chose to use our carbon-mesh female chamois to keep herself as comfortable as possible (although how comfortable can you be riding a bike 3,000 miles in 12 days!). There is an inspiring post by her crew about the suffering that this event involves - http://fourlegsgoodlog.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/super-human-endurance/ - super-human is exactly the right word. Here she is about to arrive in Kansas, having climbed up to 3,300m and back down again. You can follow her attempt on twitter on #shuRAAM and on facebook.
Here is Shusannah Pillinger cooling down after cycling 300 miles in the first day of her attempt to be the first ever British female to finish the world's toughest cycle race.
We are very proud to be her kit sponsor and it is truly amazing what she is attempting to do. Go Shu!!