Let me tell you a secret. Our jerseys make no sense.
I made a bunch in 2017 just so I didn't have to ride in any other brand. People seemed to like them, so I stocked up on them. They're lightweight because I ride in Singapore where it's ridiculously humid and hot all the time. They use a fat resin zipper that not everyone likes because it's the only thing that doesn't corrode in this hot, humid island. Pockets happen to be large just so I could stuff bottles and supplies. The sizing is oddly small because I want them to stick to my body without any loose fabrics (if you do want to buy them, pay close attention to the sizing chart or use the Sizing Helpdesk).
These jerseys make no sense. I shouldn't be making or selling them. They often distract me from RedWhite's main product - our long distance bibshorts.
It's a constant struggle to avoid getting sucked into this product line. I spent 5 hours last week, designing new colours and thinking about ways to make the jerseys better so more people would buy them. I briefly entertained the idea of a merino jersey as well. I read emails from customers who wanted a club fit jersey. I looked at skin suit tight jerseys.
Jerseys are a multi-headed monster. There isn't a singular idea of what a good jersey actually is. There isn't a good guide to what colours or designs are appealing. I invest a lot of time and energy on RedWhite's jersey line. A lot of love goes into it but I think it is valuable for me to not drink the Kool-Aid and look at the jersey product line with brutal honesty. It is a serious drain on me and the business and it does distract us from the business of making long distance bibshorts. Rather than thinking about expanding the range, I should focus more on deep-stocking the few colours I have, focus on selling more of them and focus on our bibshorts.
So I sent my jersey manufacturer a tighter production order today and stopped thinking too much about the jerseys.
They will continue to exist as part of RedWhite's product line. I don't have the heart to kill them off just yet given how much love has gone into them.
Do you have any opinion about this post? Like the jerseys? Don't like them? Drop a comment below.
@ Devery Andrews
Thanks! Have you left a review for them yet? I believe you’d have received an automated reminder 30 days after making a purchase.
@ Nick Phelps
Thanks so much for this feedback. I’ll continue making them and even introduce new colours in 2020 based on the feedback to this post. It’s been pretty intense and I wasn’t expecting so many comments.
New batch of The BIB Navy will come in February 2020. They’ll be a constant fixture on our product line. Regarding white jerseys, I did make some in 2017, but they didn’t sell well at all. Feedback at that time was simple – white jerseys are really hard to keep clean.
Love to know your thoughts about this. You seem to be one of the rare people who want a white jersey.
It really puts a smile on my face to know you ride in nothing else. It’s really a pity the gloves didn’t work well for you. I am in the process of redesigning them and our pad supplier has actually gotten into the glove game. It could take a while to design and re-launch them though. Gloves are incredibly tricky. I personally love overbuilt thick gloves, but others hate them and prefer really minimal ones.
The intense response to this blog post will definitely keep the jerseys alive. Also, if I stopped making them, what else would I wear in future?
Same here to be honest. Before I made jerseys, I rode almost exclusively in club jerseys. A lot of people do and it’s a very important part of cycling culture. You just don’t roll up to a team ride NOT in a team jersey.
You’re spot on about the sizing. It’s cut really close. The good news is that 3XL and 4XL sizes are officially in production. We’ve also simplified the design and dropped the gaudy “IN FOR THE LONG RIDE” on the rear pocket.
@ Jake Preston
Some brands do command a premium and I personally have nothing against that. I think brands like Assos and Q36.5 push design boundaries and innovation doesn’t come cheap, particularly when you consider the relatively small scale of cycling vs other major sports like running. In RedWhite’s case I am constantly looking at new things in the market and make prototypes to test new fabrics and pads. Haven’t quite found something that’s a leap forward to justify rolling out a new upgrade just yet. There are some really interesting concepts and ideas from my suppliers which may make their way into RedWhite’s bibshort lineup in the future.
You’re absolutely right about our need to be laser focused. The jersey product line was particularly challenging and continues to be as customers from different parts of the world have different ideas of what a great all round jersey should be. The current concept is very tropical and best suited for hot and humid long rides. The high-vis colour you’re asking has come up a few times on this long thread! Something for me to think about for 2020.
Love the jerseys (I own two). The fit is perfect for me and I like the materials used. No complaints.
I just want to note that your jerseys are my favorite ones out there! I have two and will buy more when I need to replace others. The fit is great, the price is right, the colors are awesome, the lack of graphics is welcome, and the big pockets and durable zipper are ideal. I hope you keep making them! The best fit and especially value out there! I am in the USA in PA in case it is of interest.
Jerseys are a great fit and value for money. The socks also feel really good with the right amount of elastic. I hope that you keep making a run of the Navy Blue Knicks will be the next purchase. Solid colours are great. If you compete and you aren’t part of a club or team then you can’t go wrong with a solid colour. I would like to see a few more colours to be available, like a standard white, or a lighter fluro blue with the matching socks to match. Hopefully as you keep growing you will introduce.
firstly I never buy any other kind of bib shorts, secondly I really like the colour range of the jerseys. They are a supersmall fit though as others have said. I’m also a fan of the socks. The only product that didn’t work for me was the gloves. The jerseys are for warm weather and work well with a mesh singlet. So keep making them.
Don’t stop making the jerseys! It’s nice to have matching jersey and bib. I have the white and pink (Sahara?) and love them. I used the sizing helpdesk for my first order and they fit perfectly.
I live in the UK so they are a summer jersey, but I love them! Great quality, great fit.
Honestly, I’ve never given the jerseys a try for two reasons:
1) I always have so many club/event jerseys that I don’t need more!
2) “In for the long ride” is such a huge branding section, it turns me off
Good luck with the decisions
I’ve been riding and racing for about 40 years and I estimate that I’ve had over 100 jerseys since I started riding seriously. Is the R & W jersey the best I’ve ever had? No, it’s not, but it’s certainly in the top 10 and a bargain at the price. The colors and style don’t scream, the zipper actually works, and the pockets are well placed and correctly sized. Obviously, it’s a high summer jersey, not suitable for shoulder months. On the negative side, the sizing is a tad small compared to other, more standard brands, but that’s easily corrected when ordering. Also, the slogan “in for the long ride” on the back pocket should be deleted. But all minor issues. A good jersey that works and at a fair price, designed by people who actually ride.
The bibs are by far the best out there. Doubly so given the ludicrous prices other “premium” brands charge based on…??? Nothing I can understand frankly. So sure, that is where your focus should be. The bibs. But, on the other hand, they are already so good…the jerseys, as hard as they are, deserve some attention. Personally I love them. They aren’t too busy, match easily and in South Korea, like Singapore our summers are crazy humid. The body fitting with mesh panels is a Godsend in comfort. OK it might not be perfect now (0°C ~5°C) but under a softshell bike jacket it breathes and I’m not freezing from sweat. Please keep them going. Sahara is great, Navy, Military Green…not a pink or white fan, because I get dirty and those colours get grubby fast. But you cats at RedWhite have done a stellar job of the jerseys. Be proud.
I’m a bit surprised by this post, since it seemed to me like you were doing exactly the right thing. As a small-ish company, you can’t be all things to all people, and I think it would be foolish to try. You should do exactly the same thing with your jerseys as you do with your bibs: be laser-focused on a single concept, communicate clearly to your customers what your jersey is (and isn’t), and then let customers decide what they want. Some will want your jersey concept. Others will want something different. Some customers who do not want your bibs WILL want your jerseys. I think you’ve done a good job with this post of explaining your jersey:
- Thin, wicking material suitable for warm conditions
- Large pockets (but not zippered)
- Chunky, easy to use, corrosion-proof resin zipper
- Tight / “race fit” construction
— Simple, solid color design
Sounds like a pretty good, focused product to me. I wouldn’t change anything, with one exception (😜): high-viz color options are important to a lot of people. Make sure you have one color that is just obnoxiously bright. The most nuclear yellow, orange or pink you can find. (Personally, I vote for pink, since there are tons of yellow and orange options. Plus, I love pink.)
Don’t stop offering the jerseys. I think it is important to have a relatively complete product line, but I also don’t think you should spend too much time thinking about them. You have a good design. Customers will decide what is right for them.
All the best,
Excellent points about UV protection and being breathable. The only way to do this well is to ditch the mesh fabric entirely and go with a lightweight lycra fabric for the back. It won’t be as cooling though. Our jerseys have a SPF 15 rating, which at first glance isn’t high. But underneath the jersey, your back is protected by the fabric from our bibshorts strap which has a massive SPF 50 rating. I also ride with a baselayer which has another SPF 20 rating. This wonderful layered system keeps me well protected on all rides. I can definitely do it 1 fabric and it is something to think about for 2020.
I do actually have a hi-vis yellow design on file. Might release it next year ;)
Really really happy to know the bibshorts worked for you! Would you consider telling me more about your Rainmaker Rollercoaster ride? I’d love to publish it on our Bibshorts Success Stories blog.
About the white jersey, I did actually make one, but it sold so poorly I discontinued it. Feedback from people was simple : White jerseys are difficult to keep clean.
Thanks! I agree with you about stylish simplicity not being redundant. It’s actually far easier to make those and keep because someone will always want a solid colour jersey. I’m ill equipped to do graphic design on the same level as the Aussie brands and Rapha (just not enough imagination or design flair).
You’re correct about the jerseys not really fitting the long distance niche. They don’t because long distance riding in Singapore and South East Asia is very different from many parts of the world. For me, a lightweight tailored jersey with massive pockets is all I need to ride 300km. What I can do is to ask what customers in other parts of the world want and design for that.
This blog post is really useful in getting the conversation going on that front.
Thanks for the information, Yuva
I recently ordered a black bib as well as your new blue bib. I have not yet ridden them – looking forward to it
Living in South Australia it does become very hot, generally December through March so a Jersey that is breathable and UV protecting is a must
I looked at the jerseys in the bulk package and considered but did not for several reasons:
a) Securing correct size
b) Bright stand out colours – not gawky – are what I would like to ensure being seen, the lilac appealed a bright high viz colour would be good too
c) Rear pockets with a zip for securuty
d) Touching and feeling the material… will it be wicking, will it be cooling, will it be warm enough in Autumn and Spring?
I use A’qto bibs and they have a nice rear pocket feature which may be worth considering too – fyi. They, too, are good for distance riding and are well made so will be interesting to compare against RWA
All the best!
@Ian Michael Yovdoshuk
I’ve honestly lost count of the number of times your orders pop up every year. Thank you so much! It funds my beer and coffee bills for the year ;).
Jokes aside, 3XL and 4XL jerseys are coming in a month’s time. Keep an eye out for the email.