Pren- have you been able to asses the quality of the JLVelo stuff ?
Yes, but only through riding with a few people who wear it (and asking them a bunch of questions). It appears to be high quality clothes, and customer service was a resounding highlight from them. That said, I would probably rank them in the upper tiers along with Capo or Castelli in terms of price & quality, even though they are a much smaller company.
It is very interesting to note that pretty much every vendor out there, with very few exceptions, have mixed reviews. Some people love certain vendors, others hate those same vendors. Fitting can be weird, quality issues, etc:. Even with reading online reviews it is never clear what level of clothes were ordered nor if things have improved over the years. The only exceptions to this are the very expensive lines from Castelli, Capo, and so forth... and even those have the occasional nitpick about sizing.
For ChampionSystems, I have seen a trend: any past experiences were pretty bad, but all of the newer stuff (especially their upper lines, which we would be going with if we go that route) are receiving generally positive reviews.
i think you/we need to agree whether this is ment to be a high-end, drilled-ax-seatpost-like stuff or just a cool kit to ride in. 300$ probably doesn't seem much for people riding 10k bikes, (especially those who earn in US currency) but let's face it - there are more price-conscious members here than it may appear.
And I think that's a very important thing to consider. This is a very international forum (which is probably one of its greatest attributes), there is not only a huge range of capital levels - we have people who build up a special edition wide-tire-ready Cervelo and throw on Lightweights on it like it's nothing to people from countries recovering from years of war and an unstable economy just building up frames with whatever they can - but we do all share a love for this sport/endeavor and want to show it somehow.
I've also taken a look at my own closet of kits: only speaking for myself, I have "nice" or "high end" kits from 3 different teams that I rotate through depending on the ride and a few misc kits. For others who may not be affiliated with a club, they may have set of high end Rapha, Castelli, Assos or other high-end non-sponsored kits that they ride in most often. The WW kit would end up being the occasional jersey, and while it isn't out of the question, it is most likely not going to be the every-day set for the majority of people. It still has to be great and hold up well to a season's worth of riding of course, but it needs to land in a balance between high-enough quality and affordability.
As I write this (and wait the last few minutes to see if anyone else e-mails me their designs), only one person has declared themselves "out" if we go with Champion Systems. So this is my plan for tomorrow morning:
The survey will go up, everyone can vote, we can collect some data on this.
I'll be giving ChampSys a call to talk to a rep and see how things lay out.
In regards to sizing: ideally, what I want to do is to be able to provide everyone here with exact measurements (in cm or mm) of each size jersey & shorts and this is only possible if I can get a sizing kit in my hands and use my tape measures. JLVelo is obviously local, maybe Champion Systems has a representative local as well. Sizing tables are somewhat useful but don't provide really accurate information about the length of armpit-to-armpit, circumference of arms, length of sleeve, and length of front panel vs. back and so forth.
I want to make sure everyone has as much information as possible to ensure they order the size that will fit them best.
|| Other projects in the works.