10 years ago, cycling was for the most part a gritty unglamorous sport, all about suffering and camaraderie, whilst triathlon was a minority sport for nutters; equipment tended to be functional and choice was limited. Things could not be more different now, with all sorts of premium brands bringing some bling to the market and a seemingly never-ending choice of exotic equipment available, be it bikes, clothing, electronics, drinks, nutrition, training regimes and so on.
Sometimes it is easy to get lost among the glamour of the big brands that spend millions on advertising and sponsor the top teams and athletes; meanwhile, there are a few companies like Carvalho Custom that have eschewed the bright lights and kept plugging away focusing on producing pro quality kit but without the astronomical price tags. We have managed to keep our feet planted firmly on the grand and have never spent any money on marketing campaigns, instead relying on word-of-mouth and generally keeping our costs down to a minimum (for example by selling direct from Portugal to the world, rather than having regional distributors). It means that we can pass on these savings to our customers, so our prices are very attractive for the quality that we supply.
Having said all this, the bad news is that because of the increase in our costs of raw materials as we have upgraded many aspects of the kit we supply, we are making our first price increase for 3 years (an increase of around 5%). The good news is that if you are buying from the UK, then the 20% decrease in the value of the Euro against the Pound over the last 6 months or so means that our kit will be a lot cheaper for you! We are not going to apologize for putting our prices up because we still believe that we are the most competitively priced supplier of high end kit.
So if you are after a glamour brand on your custom cycling jerseys or club tri suits, then we are probably not for you; but if you want the best value-for-money available for top end kit and a team that is truly dedicated to customer service then perhaps we are the right custom cycling & triathlon kit supplier for you.
We have developed some new cycling bib-shorts to give an even more comfortable fit. The cut of the panels have been altered to ensure that the lycra is less stretched round the waist when you are in the cycling position, whilst maintaining compression on the legs to help soothe those aching quads. We have also added the option to have lycra-band leg grippers rather than silicone so that the grip itself is less constricting on the muscle.
The shorts incorporate a side panel that swishes round the front of the leg and a separate back panel to link the two side panels, rather than having a continuous ‘U’ panel running down the legs and over the backside. It is an unbelievable amount of work to design, test and then redesign a garment as complex as cycling shorts, but we think that we have now developed the most comfortable ergonomically designed cycling shorts available on the market!
We have maintained our carbon mesh chamois, because we think it is the most comfortable chamois available on the market, as it uses fabric mesh rather than foam, which will not absorb moisture (to avoid the ‘nappy’ feel in the wet) and uses carbon threads to help dissipate the heat, as well as being completely antibacterial and anatomically cut.
We sell our custom cycling and triathlon kit direct from Portugal to countries all round the world – UK, Ireland, USA, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Finland, Russia, Norway, Canada to name a few. We are often contacted by companies who want to represent our products in their country of origin, because just about all of our competitors use national distributors, but we always turn them down as it just doesn’t make sense!
If we had a distributor in every country we sold to, then they would earn 20 to 30% margin on everything we sold and then our prices would be nearly as high as our direct competitors (that is those selling high end custom cycling and triathlon kit). It would also mean that you as the client would not have a direct line of contact with the actual manufacturer so every request you made would have to go down a line of Chinese whispers, with all the mistakes and delays that this entails.
It just makes so much sense to buy your kit direct from a low cost country and cut out the middle man. Although we are in Portugal we are English/American, so there are no language barriers to worry about if you speak English and we do not have the enormous production costs that rich country producers have to shoulder, nor the wasted money and inefficiencies that national distributors bring. That is why we can offer pro quality clothing at reasonable prices, together with first class service, which is what we deliver!
We have just supplied Durham University CC with some spanking new kit to make them the smartest riders on the British Universities circuit.
There is no reason that students should not be able to race in pro quality kit, just because the Government is wringing every last penny it can out of them. Our mission has always been to supply pro quality kit at reasonable prices and by supplying direct from Portugal with no middleman distributors trousering 30% of what you pay we are able to do just that.
So a heartfelt thanks from us at Carvalho Custom to DUCC for making our kit look so great and we hope you have a fantastic season!
We have been making cycling kit for Help for Heroes charity rides for a few years now and when we had a call from them to say that one of the GB paralympic team cyclists wanted to race in Help for Heroes colours, we were delighted to make them a custom cycling skinsuit, and we were honoured to be able to help.
The rider is Terry Byrne and he lost his right leg below the knee fighting for his country, but he can still ride a bike fast – in fact very fast.
You can see him here wearing his skinsuit and you will notice that we use a special lycra (Power Lycra) that allows us to print dark colours such as dark blues and black without them losing too much of their colouring when the lycra is stretched. It is a sure sign of low quality in a skinsuit or bib shorts when you stretch the lycra and the colours all whiten significantly – and even worse than that it might turn see through, which is a really bad podium look…
We have been supplying Southdown Velo in Chichester for 5 years now with their custom cycling kit- they are a model club that has worked really hard to develop their more serious racing side with riders such as Toby Neave, winner of the Portsmouth-DHCyclesport circuit series, as well having really strong children’s, female and more ‘social’ sections. We have worked really hard to develop our female range of clothing over the last few months, adding a new female chamois and new female cuts to non bib shorts and jerseys/jackets and we also supply a full range of childrens sizes.
As with a lot of good clubs, they have a very strong relationship with a local bike shop, Geared Bikes and Wear ,who sponsor the club and offer members discounts and of course they get to put their logo on the legendary Southdown Velo cycling jerseys!
We are very proud to have our first Russian client for custom cycling clothing, Skisport, in St Petersburg. We now sell kit all round the world, including the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, France, Spain, Switzerland, Finland, Norway and Holland – we do not use distributors, but sell directly from Portugal, so cutting out the middle man and the 30% margin they stick on top!
Skisport were kind enough to send us their own unique take on cycling photography:
If you have any photos wearing our kit, please send them in and see if you can give Irina (above) a run for her money!
We have just delivered some spanking new white kit to Wyndy Milla – they are an exclusive cycling club, catering for riders in the London area who want something different to the more traditional clubs with their rules and etiquette. They also provide personal cycle training and a range of other personal fitness products.
We have worked with Henry Furniss (who owns Wyndy Milla with his wife Nasima) for several years, since he was an elite rider. He likes white kit (it looks great with a tan!), but making custom white cycling shorts is not easy, if you don’t want to show off more than your rippling muscles on the bike. Fortunately at Carvalho Custom we have special lycras that we use that guarantee no transparency, so sparing your blushes.
Wyndy Milla are going to make more of their kit in different colours, so get in touch with them at their website if you would like to get hold of some for yourself – www.wyndymilla.com .
We have been supplying a lot of cycling clothing to Ireland over the last year or so and we have just sent some custom cycling kit to Dolmen CC in Co Clare. They are an active club with a race scene and they also organise regular training rides at the weekend – they are very welcoming to new members and you can contact them through their site. They have a fantastic corner of the world to ride a bike in, although I bet they get more rain than we do here in Portugal!
Anyway, many thanks to Martin and all the riders at Dolmen CC and I hope you have a great season.
We have had a lot of requests for a semi-custom service and so here it is! So rather than full custom jerseys, where we can produce any design you require, for semi-custom cycling clothing, we have three base designs that you can choose from. You can then specify any colour combinations that you require for the base of the kit and then you can have your club name or whatever text you require in all the places it says “your name here” on the template. You can also add logos to the design and position them where you wish, but this costs extra. We will produce a digital version of your design for you to approve. You can also design your own cycling jersey online here using our templates. Choose your colours, text and logos and then download a jpeg of the design.
The cost is €90 per design (as opposed to €150 for fully custom designs), which allows you to have any colour combinations and any text in any font in the positions shown. Then for each logo there will be an additional charge of €25. Once you have paid this design fee you can order any items from our cycling range (jerseys, bib shorts, arm warmers, mitts, jackets etc), but a 50% surcharge applies if you order less than 5 of an item – unless your total order is worth more than €1500 in which case there are no surcharges.
You can download our 3 options for semi-custom designs here if you would like to have a go at the artwork yourself or you can just explain the colours and text (and logos) that you would like to see and we will produce your design from your description.