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  1. #1
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    Team uniform vendors

    Team captains, what vendors are you guys using for uniforms and why? We are a startup team with a small budget. We need a fairly low minimum. Like 10-15. Suggestions?
    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    The rule is very simple; the more you order the less you pay per unit. High school teams are notoriously underfunded, especially new teams which have not developed extensive sponsorship networks to help to absorb some of the overall costs. Everything comes out of mom and dad's wallet, if they have one. There are a couple of strategies that you can express each year.

    First of,f find the best price you can for the 15 jerseys you want to buy. Quality jerseys are made by Voler, Hincapie, Hot Shoppe; I think those guys are the best bang for buck. My personal preference is to work with Voler. Their quality is very high, they produce everything here in the States, and every jersey I have ever produced with them has come out exactly as I had hoped.

    At this point the minimum number of journey jerseys is 15. That puts you in a good position. Savings can be had with any producer, however, if you can push that number up. There are a couple ways to do this. First you consider the athletes on your team and the immediate coaches; that gives you your base number. Then you need to reach out into your community to parents or siblings or teachers or anybody in your community who might have sympathy with your team to see if they will support you by committing to buy a jersey. This includes local bike shops, school staff cyclists, friends. A bike shop may make a basic order of 1 small, 2 mediums, 2 large, and 1 extra-large and sell it in their shop as a way of supporting you. That's 6 more jerseys and once you get to 25 your price comes down again.

    Another thing to consider is that you may not have to sell all of your jerseys every year. You may be able to keep additional jerseys in stock for use as swag, awards, or support from different people, or replacement for damage. But that depends upon how much money your team's got.

    The jersey is only a part of the team uniform. The Jersey producer can also produce team shorts at a much lower price than you can get in shops or in mail order. Further they can match your colors exactly. The challenge you have here is with a young team many of your athletes and your athlete-families are not educated about these values. Starting out, money seems to just flow outward like crazy with between bikes, helmets, shoes, gloves, helmets, races… I'll stop now.

    Yet these athletes are gonna have to wear some sort of bottoms and they're not going to be free no matter what kind, so consider bottoms at the same time. Think wind vests and arm warmers I know, I know, just more money but you are going to have to take care of the torso to keep it warm and the arms to keep them warm. Someone's going to have to spend money on the jacket to do that. Arm warmers and a wind vest are very convertible and portable and compressible and are a very good value. They are also considered "like Items" and may be another way to bring your numbers up.

    Then there is the long view. A well designed jersey can carry you through 2 or 3 years of use. The maturation of sponsorships can affect the design but if the basic design stays the same and the sponsors evolve on the Jersey you can still wear the same jersey year after year. This addresses a couple of things. First, of all your athletes need more than one jersey. If you're clothing drawer is anything like mine you have dozens of them that you have accumulated over time. What you are doing for these kids now is helping to build fundamental cycling clothing for the sport they're doing; this is another feature of what you are teaching them about cycling. Unless you are made of money, this takes time. The way that you plan your design and growth of the team kit over time is critical to helping these kids to have a good arsenal of clothing.

    If you have a good jersey with a basic design that you can tweak over time it will last for several years. What happens in that time, though, is that both parents and kids start to understand the value of this technical clothing and will spend money more on it. That means in the 2nd year maybe they will buy a fresh Jersey but they will also buy bib shorts, arm warmers, wind vest, wind jacket, knickers. Over 2 or 3 or 4 years that team kit really starts to have some depth and versatility, by the time the kid is in their 3rd season they have a couple pair of shorts and maybe some knickers along with some arm warmers and several jerseys, a vest an a jacket.

    My main point is to be thoughtful about how big your market can be, the essential nature of your design, and the designs cumulative effect over a longer time period. I know this is difficult but work on your numbers first and go look for sponsorships. Good luck.

    Keep in mind that shipping and tax must be included when you are pricing out your jerseys. I have call into Voler; last year they had a special price for NorCal teams.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Team uniform vendors-full-jersey-kit-2011.jpg  

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    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 10-16-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Alchemist Custom

    Hi Jeng,
    Alchemist would love to help you out. We just outfitted Boulder High with their 2012 kits. Some pics from the last race below. We worked with them on the art to create this design. We have a wide range of garments, including our HOMEGROWN line, which is made in the USA and sustainable. We offer discounts for non-profits and youth.
    You can contact us directly at Alchemist@TeamAlchemist.com.
    Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Team uniform vendors-bhs-1.jpg  

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    Last edited by TeamAlchemist; 10-17-2012 at 06:57 AM.
    http://teamalchemist.com/
    http://blog.teamalchemist.com/
    Custom Cycling Jerseys, Merino Wool Jerseys, Organic T-shirts

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the responses guys. Berkeley Mike, do you know anything about Primal?
    For Sale: EPIC

    Send it!

    www.rayscyclebicycles.com

  5. #5
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    No.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamAlchemist View Post
    Hi Jeng,
    Alchemist would love to help you out. We just outfitted Boulder High with their 2012 kits. Some pics from the last race below. We worked with them on the art to create this design. We have a wide range of garments, including our HOMEGROWN line, which is made in the USA and sustainable. We offer discounts for non-profits and youth.
    You can contact us directly at Alchemist@TeamAlchemist.com.
    Thanks!
    Looks nice but do you have shots of the kit closer?
    I don't rattle.

  7. #7
    Hairshirt Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeng View Post
    Thanks for the responses guys. Berkeley Mike, do you know anything about Primal?
    Start up team. We worked with Primal for our jerseys and they did a great job. I like that we are supporting a company based in Colorado. Outside of what they do for the league Primal does a lot of good. At the volume you are looking at their prices are very good. I charged riders the what the jerseys cost me and sold a few to supporters at cost +$20. 1/2 of that extra is going to the team and the other half will go back to the CO league for rider scholarship.

    A good person to start with is John Hutchinson - john.h@primalwear.com
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Team uniform vendors-hr1.jpg  

    Team uniform vendors-hr2.jpg  


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeng View Post
    Thanks for the responses guys. Berkeley Mike, do you know anything about Primal?
    We went with Primal last year and were reasonably happy with the price and the quality.

    Apparently Capo is sponsoring NICA or Nor-Cal this year. I haven't see the price sheet, but I heard the pricing was not exactly awe inspiring. High Quality though.

  9. #9
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    Ed Fonda at Voler has recently handled my Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay order of both short and long-sleeved jerseys. We spoke today and he says that the small NorCal teams have special demands and limits. He can be very flexible with small team orders; the 15 minimum is not absolute. He offers the highest quality fabric, Genesys, for the more modest AMP fabric price. It is a nice bonus as it wicks very well. He also offers the Bike Shop pricing.

    I still want to encourage you to develop sales in your community. It can be a source of joy for other cyclist to support your team, build awareness about your work, and lead to sponsorships. Don't forget to ask your local shop to buy a run, too, for their clothing racks.

    Good luck.
    I don't rattle.

  10. #10
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    zipper probs

    We had primal jerseys for 2011 and 2012. Th 2011 jerseys were awesome. The 2012 jerseys had some zipper problems, as the zippers were a plastic and not metal. Other than that, they were cool.
    RIP AL DAVIS

  11. #11
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    My club (Oneonta State MTB) went with Champion Systems:

    Champion System | Quality Custom Clothing | Cycling Clothing | Custom Clothing Design |

    They are very friendly, helpful, and reasonably-priced. Quality across the board is good. Our club does an order each semester and typically sell 20-25 each time. In a community that consists of about 50 riders, I think that says something. Many of our orders come from people who already have at least one of our jerseys.

    Short-sleeve XC jersey with unlimited colors/logos is $48. Minimum order of 10 of one thing, but after that you can get just one of anything (i.e. get 10 short sleeve jerseys, 1 long sleeve, 1 pair shorts). Within that minimum of 10 you can still mix and match zipper length. There are 3 options: 7", 3/4 length, and full. Zippers are hidden, work smoothly, and last.

  12. #12
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    The 2012 jerseys had some zipper problems, as the zippers were a plastic and not metal. Other than that, they were cool.

  13. #13
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    Here are the jerseys we just ordered from Champion Systems. I'm pretty stoked on how the template came out and am looking forward to getting them. The plan is to do another run of the jerseys in Red (see third image) but with the new sponsors that are on the first and second images.

    The first image is the club-cut short sleeve cycling jersey and the second is the DH jersey.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Team uniform vendors-20121109151328.suny_oneonta_mtb_club_cs_0614_09_mrj005_normal_v7_5.jpg  

    Team uniform vendors-20121123150013.suny_oneonta_mtb_club__us004668_mdh012_mdh013_normal_add1.jpg  

    Team uniform vendors-suny.jpg  


  14. #14
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    This where it really gets exciting! Congratulations. Below is a photo of the color test Voler sends us on the actual fabric. The idea starts to get real. Before you know it, it becomes part of the scene.

    Post photos when you get them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Team uniform vendors-e20120822_5018.jpg  

    Team uniform vendors-121018diazridgepreptl.jpg  

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  15. #15
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    How is the quality, fit, and finish of the Champion kits? I see they have several styles and prices. It looks like you are using the least expensive options.

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