Indie cycling kit; who is actually making it all?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by TheDarkInstall


I have been noticing a hell of a lot of smaller, independent cycling kit 'brands' popping up lately. The list is almost endless, with names like Void, Babici, MAAP, etc., etc., all selling stuff.

They all seem to be 'designed' in one location, where the guys who came up with the idea are based, then manufactured elsewhere. Italy, seems to be a common location for a lot of this stuff to be made.

So I was wondering who is actually making this stuff? To set up a brand like this, I imagine it would be pretty simple; sketch up some design in Photoshop, make a website and Instagram account, with a certain vibe you are going for, then contact a supplier to make your kit.

Anyone got any info on where all this stuff is actually coming from? I realise there will be a variety of possible sources, but I was thinking that a big operator such as Bicycle Line might be involved, or similar.

Almost tempted to set up my own 'brand' and see how far I can take it. I already have an angle on the design and 'ethos' behind the stuff.

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by FutureRS

I know a lot of the kits for brands like Ten Speed Hero are sewn in house. Materials on the other hand are sourced from from major companies mostly based in Italy or any of the other common fabric manufacturers. Lycra/nylon etc is mostly printed and manufactured in China these days and even Lithuania.

So in short it would make sense to create a design/ethos. Hire a competent seamstress and buy a good sewing machine. Order fabric from China and proffer!!!

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by TheDarkInstall

Yeah I am sure some of them are done in-house, but I reckon the majority aren't. Some of them use Champion Systems with no shame, and the logo still on the kit, but some of them are unbranded by the supplier.

I suppose as long as they have a decent Cytech pad, that is the main thing.

Still interested in finding out how they are all doing it.

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by micky

There are many suppliers, not just one.
Italy is a common place, but very often on the brands you mentioned you see them reporting "italian fabric" which means "we're using italian fabric but actually made somewhere else" like East Europe, China or so on.

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by megl

micky, do you happen to know specific names of those suppliers?

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by gravity

In the early days of TSH, I believe they were using Nalini's. Not sure on the new ones tho..

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by KWalker

Cadence has always been made by Capo. I've been told a lot of companies are using Nalini, Sportful, and some of those brands that their market is less familiar with. The usual giveaway is the chamois and grippers. Most of the aero jerseys are quite obviously coming from one place.
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by raisinberry777

I know Stolen Goat uses Bioracer, so there's another possibility.

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by CulBaire

Tinea_Pedis was the poster boy for Babici for a while he may be able to answer questions about their brand. I do believe some of their stuff is made in Australia.

Lapin was using Champ Sys, but from what I understand have moved to a Chinese supplier.

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by micky

megl wrote:micky, do you happen to know specific names of those suppliers?

There are many to names; some guys named Nalini but Im not sure Nalini would do custom logo stuff if you dont go big enough as quantity.
I can talk only for Italy, and I know many small companies that are willing to do your own logo on clothing, but Im not sure who's suppling who.

An example; Capo is the brand of Marcello Bergamo for the american market, this is what I've always been told.

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by fletch62

There was an article last year on Cyclingtips exploring one of the big manufacturers. ... -heard-of/

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Sportful & Castelli don't make kit for anyone else, unless you see their brand on it, it's not theirs. Nalini were making most of the Rapha race kit last time I checked. Ale are making Vermarc stuff including the Omega kit. There's quite a few little factories more than happy to put whoevers label on the stuff they make as long as it pays bills so most of the 'made in Italy' stuff will come from one of those. CyTech is one of those companies that built up a name but has done nothing recently to earn it's high regard, they make pads for just about anyone, from bargain basement to top shelf and often theres not much difference between them.
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by Zitter

KWalker wrote:Cadence has always been made by Capo.

Bought a Cadence jersey and thought the tag and construction seemed familiar. I'm usually a fan of Capo though so pleasantly surprised.

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by Wonderman

I heard Nalini made rapha kit but didn't believe it, Nalini kit costs so much less!!! I have a few bits from MAAP very nice kit with a very good fit, and as long as you breach the free shipping minimum order it's good value in the uk.

This is my latest purchase from them.


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by MisterMuncher

raisinberry777 wrote:I know Stolen Goat uses Bioracer, so there's another possibility.

It's not much dearer, in some cases cheaper than BioRacer kit. For example, SG's Ibex Kit is Bioracer Stratos in all but name and aesthetics. £160 gets you the SG, or £163 at today's exchange rate for the Bioracer kit.

Whichever company has picked the printing, though, it's lovely stuff.

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