Our patented womens halterneck cycling shorts are a hit!

We were the fist company to develop halterneck bib shorts to enable female riders to easily pull their shorts down to take a pee without removing the straps of their shorts. As we were the first to come up with the idea we were able to succesfully apply for patents in Europe. Currently our shorts are sold under license to Wiggle and Chain Reaction via their DHB brand (see
https://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-aeron-womens-halterneck-bib-shorts-2018/ ) where they are one of their top rated and best selling bib shorts). They are of course also available to our custom cycling kit clients (and as we are the design patent owners we are the only supplier of custom cycling clothing that can legally supply them in Europe as well as owning design patents in other countries).

Designing our halterneck bib shorts was not as simple as it may appear, but given that pretty much all male riders wear bib shorts, it is clear that there are some important advantages over waist shorts, which are:
– they don’t press on the belly area
– they don’t leave a gap between shorts and the back of the jersey when the rider is in the riding position (i.e. bent forwards)
– they pull the chamois up against the riders backside so that it is held firmly in place, improving the functionality of the chamois and reducing chaffing.

The difficulty of developing the halterneck option was mainly that in order to function correctly, it has to pull the back of the shorts up, so the straps need to be anchored at the rear of the shorts. Meanwhile, the straps could not cover the lower back, otherwise it would be difficult to pull the shorts down far enough when nature calls. Other designs of halterneck have gone for more of a corset type solution, but with the lowerback covered it then means that that halter strap behind the neck has to be removed to allow the shorts to be pulled down far enough.

One of the clever parts of our solution is that the shorts keep a perfect tension on the straps when the rider is in the riding position (bent forwards over the handlebars); however when standing upright, the halter strap is without tenstion so it is not really performing any function, but when the rider squats down for a call of nature, as the neck comes down towards the waist there is sufficient give in the straps for the back of the shorts to be pulled down. So the key to our invention was to understand first that the straps had to be anchored at the back of the shorts to make the shorts function correctly as bib shorts and second to understand how the straps could function completely differently in the riding, standing and squatting position. One additional bonus we discovered from our design is that the anchoring of the straps causes them to be pulled to the side of the breasts, so they are not a source of discomfort here either.

Some female riders have expressed concern that the halter strap would exert pressure on the neck, but we have bypassed this problem by making the strap super stretchy and also widening the strap across the back of the neck.

If your club is interested in using our halterneck design for your female riders (and we hope for the supply of the rest of your club kit also!), then please get in touch. We also will be happy to talk to other manufacturers about licensing agreements.

Here you can see the Wiggle video that explains how the shorts function:

Custom tri clothing for children

Here at Carvalho Custom we have seen over the last 5 years or so an enormous expansion in the number of triathlon clubs that we supply that now offer membership to children. It is great to see so many kids of all abilities giving triathlon a go, as it has always been one of the great strengths of triathlon that it is a sport that welcomes athletes of all ability levels.

One of the downsides of triathlon is that it can be an expensive sport however, so in line with our philosophy of supplying pro quality kit at reasonable prices (and so focusing on clients who are more interested in quality and value for money rather than branding) we launched a kids club tri suit around 5 years ago. This kids tri suit misses some of the technical features from our adult custom tri suit (such a hydrophobic fast-dry Lycra for example), but is still a good quality mid-range garment, with well-finished seams, robust zips and durable fabrics. The cost of the kids tri suit is €59.90 (as opposed to €81.50 for the adult tri suit).

Although we are based in Portugal where we manufacture all our garments, we are registered for UK VAT, which means that we can zero rate all of the children’s clothing that we sell. As well as the tri suits, we also offer kids sizes in all of the rest of our custom cycling clothing range and we also do hoodies, tracksuits and other general kit in kids sizes.

New waterproof/breathable fabrics for our custom cycling kit

We have just introduced some upgrades to our waterproof/breathable fabrics that are incorporated in our jackets and gilets. The new breathable membranes that we are now using are at the cutting edge of fabric technology, using a membrane that was breathable, waterproof, lightweight and stretchy.

Cyclists are increasingly demanding jackets and gilets that give a tailored fit and the older breathable membranes typically did not have much stretch in them and were a little cumbersome. Our new fabrics have resolved this problem and allow us to produce jackets and gilets that are more fitted and more comfortable to wear.

If you are interested in seeing samples of our new jackets, gilets or anything else from our custom cycling kit range, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Halterneck womens bib shorts patent granted

Here at Carvalho Custom we realized about 5 years ago, that female cyclists were being neglected, typically getting palmed off with either men’s clothing or the tremendously patronizing “shrink it and pink it” option. So we started experimenting with new fits and fabrics and we made some steady progress. We sponosored Shu Pillinger‘s kit for the Race Across America and in return she helped us field test some of our concepts (we thought that 5000 kms of non-stop cycling would probably be a good test for our chamois for example…).

female custom cycling clothing

We knew that the biggest single problem that women cyclists faced that men did not was bib shorts – the problem was getting caught short in your bib shorts (in other words taking a pee). With a bit of stretching of fabrics men can take a pee relatively easily without removing the straps, but for a woman it was always a case of having to take the straps of her shoulders in order to be able to pull the back down, which meant having to remove her jersey also. Most women resigned themselves to wearing waist shorts, but they just had no idea on the comfort they were missing out on: bib shorts do not dig into your tummy, they are held up high on the back so that there is no gap between jersey and shorts when in the riding position and very important (but often overlooked), they hold the chamois firmly in place against your backside which dramatically reduces chaffing.

There have been a few efforts at resolving this problem, many of which are not great. For example adding a zip to the back of the shorts works OK, but most women find having a zip being pushed into their flesh less than comfortable! Then there is the so called “drop tail” option, which anchors the back straps at the side of the rider and leaves a flap of material at the back to be tucked in. This sort of misses the points of bib shorts however as it does not pull the back of the shorts up, so the chamois does not get held in position.

We went through a lot of iterations before we realized that there was an alternative solution. By using a halter neck, and using clever anchor positions for the strap and a super soft and stretchy neck strap, we could hold the shorts in position just like normal bib shorts, without putting pressure on the neck and they could be pulled down without removing the neck strap.

halterneck cycling bib shorts

The reason that this idea was complex to develop was twofold – first understanding it was possible to anchor a halter neck on the front and back of the shorts (which meant that the back of the shorts would be pulled up, so keeping the chamois in place properly) and second understanding that there are 3 positions to wear bib shorts and the functionality of the straps changes completely according to the position. When you try on cycling shorts for the first time, then generally you will be in the upright position, but this is pretty much irrelevant for a cyclists, because the only time you are upright is walking to and from your bike and trying them on in the shop. So our halterneck shorts do not really work very well when you are standing upright, because they don’t really pull up the back properly. When you bend forwards into the riding position though, everything slips into place and the tension is transferred from the front anchor points of the straps do the back anchor points and suddenly the shorts make sense. Then when the rider squats down, so reducing the distance the straps have to cover from the shoulders to the hips, all tension is released and the back can just be pulled down.

After a lot of work with prototyping and testing we realized we have a very good idea, so we applied for a patent. And today, 17th of October 2016 it was granted in the UK, with worldwide patents to follow hopefully over the coming months. It has been a long journey for our little company and it has been troubling so see several other brands try to copy our idea, particularly as we have made it clear that are prepared to license the idea to them. We were very happy that Wiggle/DHB did a license deal with us and now our halterneck shorts are one of their biggest selling cycling shorts, which really feels like a validation of our original idea and all those years of development.

So if you are a female club cyclist and you would like to wear halterneck bib shorts in your club colours, then Carvalho Custom is your only choice as we have not licensed the concept to any other club cycling kit supplier. If you are a brand and you would like to license the concept, then please speak to us!

Wicklow 200 jerseys for sale

There are some Wicklow 200 jerseys available to buy at the event registration area on Saturday and Sunday, but there are not many left and it is first come first served. Price is €40.

Wicklow 200 jersey

You may know Carvalho Custom as one of the sponsors of the Race Around Ireland – we supply direct from Portugal into principally northern European markets, offering pro quality kit at southern European prices. If your club might be interested in getting a quote from contact us for club cycling or triathlon kit.

New fluorescent colours for custom cycling jerseys & jackets

We have added fluorescent yellow to the colours available for our entire range of custom cycling clothing. We also have silver reflective strips that can be added to existing designs to make you more visible in murky conditions – these are typically added to the backs of jackets and on shoe covers.

custom cycling clothing flourescent

If you need help with developing or improving your club cycling clothing design, then please get in touch with us and one of our graphic designers will work with you directly to come up with a fantastic looking design. We do not charge any extra for this development work.

Shu Pillinger – first British woman to complete RAAM

In a heroic effort, Shusannah Pillinger has become the first British woman to complete RAAM, 3000 miles cycling across America in 13 days. Averaging around 250 miles a day and sleeping for just an hour or two each day it is truly a superhuman achievement. We were very proud to be her custom cycling kit sponsors – if our chamois was good enough for Shu during her 13 days, then it is pretty much good enough for anyone!

Here she is just after crossing the finish line, somehow with the strength to lift her bike aloft:

shusannah pillinger raam finish

We also supplied the custom cycling jerseys to Generali Race Around Ireland team, who finished RAAM in a very creditable 6 and a half days.

generali race around ireland raam team

Halterneck cycling shorts patent

It is very exciting to see our halterneck cycling shorts, developed by Carvalho Custom (with utility patents pending and design patents granted), going on sale under license to Wiggle and their DHB brand. We spent a lot of time developing this product – as with many of these things, the final result may appear deceptively simple but the road to get there was a long one! We knew that so many female riders were not buying bibs because it is such a hassle to pull them down when nature calls and we knew that there had to be an answer that did not involve zips, clasps or any straps that needed to be removed. Our halterneck designs with the back straps joining under the arm means that in the riding position the shorts are held up at the back as they would be by normal bib shorts, but when a rider gets off the bike and crouches down, the pressure is relieved on the back straps and the shorts can just be pulled down, as if they were non-bib shorts. The back straps also guide the front straps round the side of the chest, so also resolving the problem of straps rubbing on breasts.

halterneck bib shorts

For female riders who have never used bib shorts, the advantages of them are:
– the chamois is held in position up against your backside so it does not shift out of place at all, or rub
– the small of your back will always be covered by the back of the shorts, so there will not be a gap between jersey and shorts
– there is no elastic waist to dig in to your tummy

Wiggle producer a video to show how they work:

And here you can see how the straps allow the back of the shorts to be pulled down when you squat down:

halter neck cycling shorts

You can buy our custom halterneck bib shorts here.

Any commercial inquiries regarding licensing and patents, please direct to charlie@carvalhocustom.com or write to us at:
Westfield Technologies Lda
Rua das Camelias, 38
3885-482 Esmoriz
Portugal

COPYRIGHT 2014 FUEL THEMES. All RIGHTS RESERVED.