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Cycling enthusiasts know that the right gear can make or break their experience on the road. With so many brands on the market, it can be difficult to find the perfect fit for your style and performance needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 under-the-radar road cycling apparel brands you might not have heard of. These brands offer a unique blend of style, functionality, and quality that sets them apart from the more well-known names in the industry. Stand out with these standout apparel brands.
Showers Pass: All-Weather Protection for the Avid Cyclist
History: Founded in 1997 in Portland, Oregon, Showers Pass was created to address the need for reliable, high-quality cycling apparel that could withstand the often wet and unpredictable weather conditions of the Pacific Northwest. Drawing on their background in outdoor sports and the local cycling community, the founders set out to create a range of apparel that would keep cyclists comfortable and dry in any weather.
Apparel: Showers Pass offers a range of cycling apparel, including jerseys, bib shorts, waterproof jackets, pants, base layers, and accessories. Their products are designed with a focus on weather protection and functionality, utilizing waterproof, breathable, and durable materials to ensure optimal performance in all conditions.
Pros: Showers Pass’s dedication to all-weather protection ensures that their apparel is among the best in the industry when it comes to keeping cyclists dry and comfortable. Their attention to detail and commitment to innovation make their clothing a top choice for cyclists who regularly face challenging weather conditions.
Cons: Showers Pass’s focus on weather protection might make their products seem less versatile for those who live in milder climates, but for cyclists who frequently encounter rain, wind, and cold, they are an excellent choice.
Unique Features: Showers Pass’s waterproof-breathable technologies, such as their elite 2.5-layer and 3-layer fabrics, provide exceptional protection from the elements, while their innovative designs, like the modular Rain Hood, offer adaptable solutions for varying weather conditions.
Living in a region with unpredictable weather, I’ve found that having a reliable Showers Pass jacket in my arsenal has saved me from getting soaked on numerous occasions. Their gear has truly been a game-changer for my cycling experience.
- Buy it because: Their all-weather protection and innovative designs are perfect for cyclists who regularly face challenging weather conditions
- Don’t buy it because: Cyclists in consistently mild climates might not require the level of weather protection that Showers Pass specializes in
Twin Six: The Alternative Choice
History: Founded in 2005 by Minnesota-based designers Ryan Carlson and Brent Gale, Twin Six was born out of a desire to create unique, stylish, and high-quality cycling apparel. Frustrated by the lack of options in the market, they set out to create a brand that broke away from the typical designs found in the cycling world.
Apparel: Twin Six offers a wide range of cycling apparel, including jerseys, bib shorts, socks, and casual wear. Their designs often feature bold graphics and unexpected color combinations, allowing cyclists to express their individuality while staying comfortable on the road.
Pros: Twin Six’s commitment to quality and style is evident in their clothing. They use premium materials and pay attention to every detail, ensuring their products not only look great but also perform well.
Cons: Some might find the brand’s alternative style to be too much, but for those looking to break away from the norm, Twin Six is a breath of fresh air.
Unique Features: Twin Six’s limited-edition collections and collaborations with artists make their apparel truly one-of-a-kind, ensuring you won’t see the same jersey on every other cyclist on the road.
- Buy it because: Their unique, alternative designs set them apart from traditional cycling apparel, offering a fresh and creative option
- Don’t buy it because: Cyclists who prefer more classic or sporty styles might not be the target audience for Twin Six’s alternative aesthetic
Morvélo: Combining Fun and Functionality
History: Morvélo was founded in 2009 by Oli Pepper and Dave Marcar, two British designers with a passion for cycling and graphic design. Their mission was to create clothing that fused performance, style, and a sense of fun, appealing to cyclists of all levels.
Apparel: Morvélo’s line includes jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, socks, and accessories. Their designs often feature bold colors and striking patterns, ensuring that you’ll never blend into the background.
Pros: Morvélo’s apparel is designed with both style and performance in mind. Their use of high-quality materials and innovative technologies means their clothing not only looks great but also feels comfortable and performs well in a variety of conditions.
Cons: The bold designs might not appeal to everyone, but for those who appreciate a bit of flair, Morvélo is an excellent choice.
Unique Features: Morvélo often collaborates with artists and designers to create limited-edition collections, making their apparel truly unique.
Fun Fact: Morvélo’s name is a combination of the words “More” and “Velo” (French for bike), reflecting their love for cycling and the idea of always wanting more.
- Buy it because: Their vibrant, artistic designs and high-quality materials offer a stylish and performance-driven cycling apparel option
- Don’t buy it because: Cyclists who prefer more subdued or minimalist designs may not be drawn to Morvélo’s bold patterns and colors
Isadore Apparel: Sustainable Style Meets Performance
History: Established in 2012 by Slovakian pro cyclist brothers Martin and Peter Velits, Isadore Apparel was born out of their desire to create cycling clothing that was stylish, sustainable, and functional. Drawing on their years of experience in the pro peloton, they set out to design apparel that could perform at the highest level while minimizing its impact on the environment.
Apparel: Isadore offers a range of cycling apparel, including jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, vests, and accessories. Their products are crafted from high-quality, sustainable materials and feature a clean, modern aesthetic that appeals to both casual and serious cyclists.
Pros: With an emphasis on sustainability, Isadore’s products are not only stylish and high-performing but also environmentally friendly. Their use of innovative materials like recycled polyester and Merino wool ensures that their apparel is both comfortable and durable.
Cons: Isadore’s focus on sustainability and premium materials can mean a slightly higher price point, but many cyclists find the investment to be well worth it.
Unique Features: Isadore’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond their choice of materials. They also employ ethical manufacturing practices, ensuring that their products are made in fair working conditions.
I’ve always appreciated Isadore’s attention to detail, from the perfect fit to the hidden zippered pockets that have saved my phone from falling out on more than one occasion.
- Buy it because: Their commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices sets them apart
- Don’t buy it because: The higher price point due to premium materials might not suit all budgets
Pedaled: Minimalism Meets Technical Innovation
History: Pedaled was founded in 2007 as a collaboration between Italian designer Hideto Suzuki and Japanese entrepreneur Kaname Nagaoka. Their goal was to merge minimalist design with technical innovation to create a collection of high-performance cycling apparel.
Apparel: Pedaled offers jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, vests, and accessories that feature clean, minimalist designs and innovative materials. Their apparel is designed to be both functional and stylish, making it a great choice for those who appreciate a more understated look.
Pros: Pedaled’s use of cutting-edge materials and technologies ensures that their clothing is lightweight, comfortable, and highly functional, while their minimalist design aesthetic appeals to cyclists who prefer a more subtle style.
Cons: Some cyclists might find the brand’s minimalist approach to design too subdued, but for those who appreciate a clean, modern look, Pedaled is an excellent choice.
Unique Features: Pedaled’s focus on sustainability means that many of their products are made from recycled materials, and they are constantly working to minimize their environmental impact.
- Buy it because: Their minimalist designs are combined with cutting-edge materials and technologies for optimal performance
- Don’t buy it because: Cyclists who prefer more colorful or flashy designs may not be drawn to Pedaled’s subdued aesthetic
CHPT3: Urban-Inspired Performance
History: Founded by former pro cyclist David Millar in 2015, CHPT3 was created as a response to the lack of stylish, high-performance cycling apparel designed specifically for urban riding. Drawing on his extensive experience in the pro peloton, Millar set out to create a range of clothing that blended performance with a refined, understated style.
Apparel: CHPT3 offers a range of cycling apparel, including jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, and casual wear. Their designs are characterized by clean lines, muted colors, and subtle branding, making them a great choice for urban cyclists who want to look good both on and off the bike.
Pros: CHPT3’s focus on high-quality materials and innovative technologies ensures that their apparel is comfortable and performs well in a variety of conditions, while their understated style appeals to those who prefer a more refined look.
Cons: CHPT3’s urban-inspired designs might not be the best fit for everyone, but for those who appreciate a more sophisticated aesthetic, they are an excellent choice.
- Buy it because: Their urban-inspired designs offer a refined and sophisticated option for city cyclists
- Don’t buy it because: Cyclists who prefer more traditional or sporty styles might not be the target audience for CHPT3’s urban aesthetic
Q36.5: The Pursuit of Perfection
History: Q36.5 was founded in 2013 by Italian designer Luigi Bergamo, who previously worked for renowned cycling apparel brand Assos. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Bergamo set out to create a brand that focused on the relentless pursuit of perfection, crafting high-performance, lightweight, and comfortable cycling apparel.
Apparel: Q36.5 offers a range of cycling apparel, including jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, base layers, and accessories. Their products are designed with a focus on performance, using innovative materials and cutting-edge technologies to ensure that their clothing is both comfortable and effective in a variety of conditions.
Pros: Q36.5’s commitment to innovation and quality ensures that their apparel is among the best in the industry. Their use of advanced materials and technologies results in clothing that is lightweight, comfortable, and highly functional.
Cons: The brand’s focus on performance and innovation can come with a higher price point, but many cyclists find the investment to be well worth it for the quality and performance they receive.
Unique Features: Q36.5 is known for their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to continuous improvement. They are constantly researching and testing new materials and technologies to push the boundaries of what is possible in cycling apparel.
Fun Fact: Q36.5’s name comes from the ideal body temperature in Celsius (98.6°F), reflecting the brand’s focus on creating apparel that helps maintain optimal body temperature during physical activity.
- Buy it because: Their relentless pursuit of perfection results in high-performance, lightweight, and comfortable apparel
- Don’t buy it because: The brand’s focus on innovation and performance may lead to a higher price point that doesn’t suit all budgets
Attaquer: Bold and Edgy Designs
History: Founded in 2012 by Australian duo Greg Hamer and Stevan Musulin, Attaquer set out to create a brand that pushed the boundaries of traditional cycling apparel design. Inspired by the worlds of fashion, street culture, and art, Attaquer offers a range of bold, edgy, and unconventional designs that stand out from the crowd.
Apparel: Attaquer’s product line includes jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, socks, and accessories, all featuring their signature eye-catching designs. Their apparel is crafted from high-quality materials, ensuring both style and performance on the road.
Pros: Attaquer’s bold designs are a breath of fresh air in the cycling world, offering cyclists the opportunity to make a statement with their gear. Their use of high-quality materials and attention to detail ensures that their apparel performs as well as it looks.
Cons: Attaquer’s unconventional designs might not be for everyone, but for those who appreciate a bit of flair and want to stand out, they are an excellent choice.
Unique Features: Attaquer often releases limited-edition collections and collaborations, making their apparel highly sought-after and unique.
- Buy it because: Their bold and unconventional designs offer a fresh, standout alternative in the cycling world
- Don’t buy it because: Cyclists who prefer more traditional or subtle designs might find Attaquer’s bold style too much
Ornot: Minimal Branding, Maximum Style
History: Founded in 2013 by San Francisco-based designer Matt Quann, Ornot was created as a response to the overly branded and cluttered aesthetic of traditional cycling apparel. With a focus on minimal branding and high-quality materials, Ornot offers a stylish alternative to the more common options on the market.
Apparel: Ornot’s range of cycling apparel includes jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, socks, and accessories. Their designs are characterized by clean lines, subtle branding, and a modern aesthetic that is both functional and fashionable.
Pros: Ornot’s commitment to quality and style is evident in their apparel, with premium materials and attention to detail ensuring that their products perform well on the road while maintaining a clean and sophisticated look.
Cons: Some cyclists might find Ornot’s minimal branding too understated, but for those who appreciate a more subtle aesthetic, they are an excellent choice.
Unique Features: Ornot’s “Designed in California, Made in the USA” ethos ensures that their products are crafted with care and quality. They also focus on sustainability, using eco-friendly materials and practices whenever possible.
One of my favorite things about Ornot’s apparel is the sense of camaraderie it fosters among fellow riders who appreciate the brand’s clean and modern aesthetic. It’s always a great conversation starter on group rides.
- Buy it because: Their minimal branding and clean designs provide a sophisticated and modern aesthetic
- Don’t buy it because: Cyclists who enjoy bold logos or more prominent branding might not be attracted to Ornot’s minimalism
7mesh: Technical Mastery from the Great North
History: Founded in 2013 by a group of industry veterans in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada, 7mesh was born out of a desire to create technically advanced cycling apparel that could stand up to the demands of the rugged terrain and ever-changing weather conditions of their homeland.
Apparel: 7mesh offers a range of cycling apparel, including jerseys, bib shorts, jackets, vests, and base layers. Their products are crafted with a focus on comfort, durability, and functionality, utilizing cutting-edge materials and construction techniques to ensure optimal performance in a variety of conditions.
Pros: 7mesh’s dedication to technical excellence ensures that their apparel is among the best in the industry when it comes to performance and durability. Their attention to detail and commitment to innovation make their clothing a top choice for serious cyclists.
Cons: 7mesh’s focus on technical mastery might make their products seem less approachable to casual cyclists, but for those who appreciate high-quality, performance-driven apparel, they are an excellent choice.
Unique Features: Many of 7mesh’s products are designed with specific weather conditions and riding environments in mind, ensuring that their apparel is highly adaptable and versatile.
Fun Fact: The name “7mesh” is derived from the Squamish word “Smesm,” which means “mosquito.” The brand’s founders chose this name as a nod to the tenacity and resilience of the tiny insect, qualities they strive to embody in their products.
- Buy it because: Their technical mastery and attention to detail make their apparel highly functional and durable for challenging conditions
- Don’t buy it because: Casual cyclists who are less focused on technical features may find 7mesh’s products less approachable
With so many great under-the-radar cycling apparel brands to choose from, there’s no reason to settle for the same old options. Each of these brands offers a unique blend of style, functionality, and quality that sets them apart from the more well-known names in the industry. So, why not step out of your comfort zone and try something new? You might just discover your new favorite brand – and look great doing it!