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Why is cycling clothing so expensive
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Was looking to get a new kit today with some bibs, Cant believe wattie, assos, etc... is like $450 for a kit.

Call me crazy but thats just too much.

Any other good options out there?

Hard work is faster then aero
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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Try DHB on Wiggle, try Ekoi, Desoto, FDX just to name a few. Ekoi and Desoto have their own site and DHB has lots of gear on Wiggle at reasonable prices and FDX is on eBay. I have Desoto and DHB and for the price you can't beat DHB, I have their short sleeve trisuit and I love it!!

"see the world as it is not as you want it to be"
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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Try Zoot, they have some great designs and they function really well. Zoot also has coupon codes all the time to save some additional cash.

If you're not grossed out by it, used is also a great route. You can get some used gear for 50-80% off the original price tag.

Team Zoot 2019
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [aerobean] [ In reply to ]
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Why not get them directly from...



China??
But seriously though the taint padding & pockets are the only important part when training.
Anyone have anything better than Asia directly??
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [thatzone] [ In reply to ]
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I've had a few Chinese kits, the tops are great but run a bit small. The bibs though are pretty much useless, they somehow don't account for genitals and just squish everything.

Team Zoot 2019
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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I have a couple cycling kits from some of the high quality brands. I can say that Assos does deserve to charge a premium for the kits that they sell. The chamois is the softest and most comfortable one I have ever used and the threads in their fabric have the tightest weave that I have ever seen in my life. Sure they probably cost nearly twice the amount as a cheep brand such as Pearl Izumi, but their stuff lasts way longer and fits a lot better.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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It's like saying it's crazy that Gucci charges $550 for a tee shirt. That doesn't mean tee shirts are expensive, just that there is a high end market and someone serving it.
There is plenty of good kit at lower price ranges. My go to is Castelli when I find it on sale. Pro-quality stuff at midrange prices. I think I paid <$100 for some enduro shorts and about $79 for a "climber's jersey" on sale (tip: buy last season's closeouts from places like Wiggle or Competitive Cyclist).
eBay is also a great option (as is ST Classifieds) if you have the time to deal hunt (disclaimer, I work at eBay). I got a bib/jersey combo on eBay from a pro who was selling his unused kit from last year; $70 for shorts and a jersey!


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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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Others have mentioned dhb, desoto, and Castilli. I’ve had good luck with those. I’ll also mention Voler. I only got wind of them as my coach used them for her stuff. And I also get a couple of cheap pairs on cycling shorts to wear for indoor training rides under an hour.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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Cant help ya but im gonna brag:

In march went to AZ for vacation and found a pearl izumi outlet that was closing. They had 75% off everything. We are talking $22.50 for bibs, $3 for socks, etc. Wife and I spent a small fortune there.

I had no need for some of the stuff but plan to put some in storage for a few years till current stuff wears out.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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Fools and their money are soon parted.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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If you shop some sales, you could get a top end Castelli kit for like $250 and it is really nice.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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dangit, they closed?

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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [TheStroBro] [ In reply to ]
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I reckon Decathlon is the best value for money

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My Multiple Sclerosis races Ironman (at least for now...)
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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Because premium materials and design don't come cheap. Add some profit margin, and you're up to those prices.

You really are getting very good items at the top end, and every time I sit in a MAAP bibshort my body thanks me. That said, there are some value picks out there. Castelli deserves recognition as a standout but I'm sure there are others.

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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There's zero necessity to spend that sort of money on cycling gear.
I'm pretty convinced that the difference between the ultra expensive stuff and some of the much cheaper options is minimal. You're largely paying for the name, not magical performance enhancing textile properties as they would often have you believe. Sure, drag reducing, boundary layer controlling surface texturing can have noticeable beneficial effects and adds to the cost of production but plenty of the high end stuff doesn't offer any such benefit.
I tried some mid range Assos bibs a few years ago out of curiosity and they were nice, but nothing revolutionary that justified the price. I've also used Castelli, Pearl Izumi, Sportful, Champion Systems, Giordana, and DHB (and maybe one or two others I'm forgetting). They've all been acceptable, but I've settled on Pearl Izumi for most of my riding in the last couple of years. I find them excellent and I can often find them on sale. I used a couple of pairs of DHB (Aeron Pro I think) about 5 years ago. They were fine but not as comfortable or long lasting as Pearl Izumi in my opinion. They may have improved since. It may also depend somewhat on what suits you personally. I presume different shaping and pad thickness/density suits different people.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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surfNJmatt wrote:
Any other good options out there?

This is one of those things that you have to wait for it to find the deals. If I was dead set on a certain jersey, short, etc., I would probably end up paying full price.

OTOH by buying items on sale, I have too many shorts and jerseys. Paid less than $30 for shorts or jerseys. Since I then bought too many, I've given the lower quality ones to HS MTBers. In the future, I'll buy the high quality items on sale because clothing lasts for years.

Now if you're buying a "team kit", then you're paying as much as it means to you.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [IT] [ In reply to ]
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IT wrote:
surfNJmatt wrote:
Any other good options out there?


This is one of those things that you have to wait for it to find the deals. If I was dead set on a certain jersey, short, etc., I would probably end up paying full price.

OTOH by buying items on sale, I have too many shorts and jerseys. Paid less than $30 for shorts or jerseys. Since I then bought too many, I've given the lower quality ones to HS MTBers. In the future, I'll buy the high quality items on sale because clothing lasts for years.

Now if you're buying a "team kit", then you're paying as much as it means to you.
Yeah, shorts are never an urgent purchase, if I see suitable stuff I like at a good price and there's existing gear about to be retired, I'll purchase. So I generally get normally mid-priced shorts for at relatively low price. For example I think the last pair of shorts I bought were typically sold for about €150 and I got them for about €80.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [TheStroBro] [ In reply to ]
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TheStroBro wrote:
dangit, they closed?

Yep, I went there on a Friday, they closed that Sunday. My only regret is not buying some new mtn bike shoes. I don't need them but my current ones are 10 years old. I did the math, we spent $240 bucks, but retail price was something close to $900.

I think most of those outlet stores were going out of business.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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They charge so much because they can. Cyclists, especially triathletes, are willing and able to spend heaping piles of money on stuff.

Coming from running, costs in cycling and triathlon are an order of magnitude higher.

Not to say it's not worth it. A $450 kit might be 10x better than a $45 kit, but the $450 kit exists because there's a market for it.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [HardlyTrying] [ In reply to ]
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Having gone from cheap chinese stuff to Castelli, I can def say that there is value in quality gear, but only up to a point, imo. I find it very hard to believe that a $450 kit would be noticeably better. Just like I don't think big name bikes are worth what people pay. But if people are willing to pay it, then someone will be willing to sell it to them.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [thatzone] [ In reply to ]
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thatzone wrote:
Why not get them directly from...



China??
But seriously though the taint padding & pockets are the only important part when training.
Anyone have anything better than Asia directly??

Yeah, seriously. I have a load of kits from aliexpress. The jerseys are absolutely fine. The bibs, not great, but ok for me up to 2 hours.
As others have mentioned, PI makes great stuff at a lower price. So for me, it is a $15 jersey from Ali and I have a few ~$40 PI bibs.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [Charleslo_99] [ In reply to ]
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Charleslo_99 wrote:
I have a couple cycling kits from some of the high quality brands. I can say that Assos does deserve to charge a premium for the kits that they sell. The chamois is the softest and most comfortable one I have ever used and the threads in their fabric have the tightest weave that I have ever seen in my life. Sure they probably cost nearly twice the amount as a cheep brand such as Pearl Izumi, but their stuff lasts way longer and fits a lot better.

Charleslo - I'm glad that you've had great luck with Assos; they do make very nice cycling apparel. For what it's worth, the majority of the fabric utilized by Assos (and the cycling industry) is actually knit, not woven. Although woven does exist, it's usage is typically in very specialized situations.

With that said, we at PEARL iZUMi do make a variety of apparel at different price points. Some may see this as a strength against companies such as Assos whom produce in a relatively narrow price band. Others, may see it as a weakness.

Regardless, I will say that the cycling apparel industry is not one of high-margin. We certainly are not charging premium prices "because we can". The materials utilized are quite expensive and the relatively low-volumes that are typically in the cycling and triathlon industry combine for relatively expensive pieces. We fully recognize the crux of this situation and it is a constant point of discussion. We are very much dedicated to bringing the best product for various consumers at the best value that we can.

The above poster is a physiologist employed by PEARL iZUMi. However, statements are not made on behalf of nor reflective of PEARL iZUMI in any manner... unless they're good, then they count.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [aerobean] [ In reply to ]
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The asia direct kits have weak zips (shirts, jackets, eintet bibs)

If you can but zip less its safer
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [Titanflexr] [ In reply to ]
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Agree wholeheartedly here. There are so many options at so many different price points for clothing. People like to pick the outliers like Assos (well worth it though, in my opinion) and complain about pricing. Shop around....look for sales; shop for last year's models; consider Ebay; consider used products in Classifieds here if you need to stretch your money.
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Re: Why is cycling clothing so expensive [surfNJmatt] [ In reply to ]
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I have never paid remotely that much for any cycling kit, and never will.
(regardless of whether I can afford to or not, I just choose not to.)

I think the most expensive thing I've ever bought was DeSoto 400 Mile bibshorts, but even those were bought on sale, for like 25% off, so call it $150.
And those damn things are comfy and LAST FOREVER.

So - that was $ very well spent.

I've also had Pearl Izumi & Castelli stuff that's held up seemingly for a decade, so those are quality buys too - especially on sale.
(Have a Castelli Perfetto jersey w/ light Windstopper front panel that is the shizzit on cooler and/or windy days, without needing a vest.)

And ever since Al Gore invented the Interwebs, there's never a reason to buy anything NOT on sale.

On the other end of the spectrum, I have several pairs of SLS3 Tri shorts I've bought when the have their seemingly monthly Amazon sales.
Got them for like $40 - but even at "full price" (whatever that actually is) they are a screaming good deal.
I don't think I'd do a century or and IM in them, but for a regular 1-2 hour ride, they're just fine.
So far also seem to be holding up quite well too.

As for bike jerseys, other than the Castelli mentioned above, I don't think I've ever paid more than maybe $50-60 for a jersey. **
And you can get them on sale all over creation for like $25-40 a pop.
Wicking fabric, zipper, 3 pockets. Done.

** Edited to add: so, no sooner do I post this, then I decide I need an aero bike jersey for my race on Sun.
Got a Castelli AR 4.1 for $75, delivered - 50% off retail.
Why pay more??


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Last edited by: Murphy'sLaw: May 13, 19 11:36
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