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.
Please let me know how it fits and rides once you receive it :). And thank you for the very useful comments on why you didn’t want to buy the jerseys. The reflective tab and zipped pockets is a very useful feature. One comment I have which some customers have mentioned before is to do these well. If I were to add a reflective tab, it’s got to be big and visible. Not that tiny tab that doesn’t do much. As for the zipped pocket, it’s got to be big and generous and easy to open and close on the fly. I’ve used jerseys with zipped pockets and most are just too small to be useful (storing a phone) and also quite difficult to open when you’re riding along.
@Rich Roberts :
You’re on point about having a tonne of jerseys that you never want to give away. I keep jerseys from clubs and teams I’ve ridden with and occasionally wear them out of nostalgia. There’s something memorable about them. I have jerseys from when I first started cycling which constantly remind me of my roots. Onto the topic of producing jerseys that fit, you’re correct about the discrepancy between EU and US sizing. It is a problem to be honest, but a big part of it comes down to educating the customer during the buying process. Checking a sizing chart and carefully measuring yourself also gives a good idea of what size would work. It’s something i’ll be working on myself for our Jersey line and in some way, the Sizing Helpdesk helps customers avoid the pain of making a wrong size purchase.
I’ve taken your comments on sizing and included a more prominent line on our jersey page about sizing that should highlight the close fit to future customers.
In response to you opinion about looking at everything else out there and making something that blends together many useful features and designs, it is possible but futile in some way. Jerseys evolve rapidly and styles and trends that were popular 5 years ago aren’t as popular today. For example, nobody was doing a tapered collar 5 years ago and now every jersey needs to have them. I could release 20 colours to try and hit every possible taste, but managing so many colours spread across 5 sizes would mean storing and managing an additional 100 products. Keeping them well stocked would mean purchasing and storing at least 1000 jerseys at any given time. That’s a really tall order for such a small company. It is something that isn’t impossible though and definitely worth thinking about more deeply.
Love your jersey for when it turns hot here in the summer. I commute daily and would buy five more if they came in an even brighter color like hi-vis yellow. Got to make sure people see me on the road.
I recently acquired the Bib shorts and Jersey for a 7 day Gravel Ride in South Africa (Rainmaker Rollercoaster) and wanted kit that could go the distance (5 to 6 hours of gravel riding per day). The RW kit was by far the most comfortable in my bag (Rapha, Gore, and Castelli). I landed up washing the Bibs and Jersey after every stage so that I could wear them the next day.
The jerseys are simple and understated and for me are perfect. I live in Dubai so the summer heat and autumn humidity is a real test of their comfort. They just work (for me).
I just received a second order and I now rotate between the two.
My only request would be for a simple White jersey.
Please don’t stop making them…
I decided to try the jersey based on the package deal offer, and because i felt i could use a plain olive green jersey- i think your jersey colour palette is simple and well chosen. As you say there are plenty of jersey brands pushing boundaries- Babici, MAAP, Rapha, Attaquer to name a few. But your stylish simplicity is not redundant, and the resin zip is appreciated when other metal zips start to seize after a fee months of sweat and washing. Keep a small line of quality, simply styled jerseys. I will probably end up with at least one more, when i next get another bib.
I purchased your bibs and loved them. My favourite piece of gear as I did my first 200km brevets in 2019. Those brevets happened to be on the hottest summer days of the year – the jerseys wore didn’t match the conditions (great for 65-70% of my riding). Luckily I was given great tips from seasoned randonneurs on how to keep my temp down (eg dumping water on my head as I rode). Since those rides, I’ve been shopping around for a hot weather jersey for next year. I finally settled on RW. The price was right and the feature I needed for a hot weather jersey are there.
I understand part of the dilemma. The bibs are focused on the endurance/ultra-endurance niche. The jersey is not as focused I’m that segment (or at least I struggled to feel that way from the product description). I would recommend an future products be focused on the audience that already loves your bibs (the ultra endurance riders). Have you considered making a breathable reflective vest?
I’ll always wear your fondo long-distance bibs. They’re simply the MOST comfortable for the rando styled riding I prefer. As for jerseys, I hope you add larger sizing options, as the largest you currently offer I cannot zip closed. I really want to wear your hot weather jerseys! :)
Timely thoughts, jerseys can be tough. What do I wear all the time as a dreadnaught, anything that fits, not aero but good enough that I do not look like an old fat man. I have a ton of jerseys some I refuse to get rid of of rides and tours done long ago, some “cranky old bastard” jerseys that I love but will not wear cause flipping everyone the bird while on a ride is just not the message I want to send…wife was a safety engineer and I have been infected with the idea of conspicuity as a good thing so yellow and orange predominate. Pearl Izumi and Giro I have a few that I wear out as they fit. Hard to find a XL or XXL that is not a surprise, some are a just right loose enough and others almost skin tight so, big problem for many I expect is the mix of American and European sizing and everything in between. Lots of European brands look wonderful but a European XL is like 44 or something. I like good breathable materials, reserve fancy graphics for special rides where special jerseys are made. I think there are many many good ideas. If it was me I would look at everything out there and take the best from all of em and meld em into one style in as many colors as is practical without overlooking women. My wife loves purple, has two custom purple bikes and loads of purple clothes and yet not one really nice purple jersey, but she wears the crap out of a baby blue vintage looking Trek wool jersey she bought on sale years ago and now getting moth holes in it I think. Fit is always number one, color second, too many folks offer very little in color selection, 2-4 choices and almost always the same colors. I think you should not give up. Lots of us want to support small companies that try to make a better more personal product. Rich
@ Chris : Absolutely works for Singapore and most parts of South East Asia. I also get happy feedback from customers in Florida. But it honestly is difficult to make something that works for every climate. The UK for example is nowhere as humid and some parts of Australia is so hot with high UV exposure that mesh fabric probably isn’t suitable. But it does get out of hand very quickly if I were to introduce multiple jerseys to cater to multiple different and varying tastes and needs. Bibshorts oddly are universal except when it gets too cold to use them.
I have recently purchased my first pair of your bib shorts thanks very much. I haven’t received them yet so I can’t comment on them but from everything I’ve heard & read about them I’m excited to try them out soon.
While placing my order for the bib shorts I was tempted to get a jersey as well and get 30% off while buying a bundle but decided against it. I do like the look, colors and simplicity of the jerseys. Unfortunately 2 things that are a must have for me (on top of what your jerseys already offer) are 1. Some kind of reflectivity on the pocket area (Like what is on the back of the bib shorts) for visibility and safety around motorists in low light conditions, & 2. A zippered pocket on the back (as well as the other 3 pockets) to keep something valuable in that you cant afford to lose like keys, money or a phone.
That’s my 2 cents for what it’s worth.
Thanks very much for your work on the bib shorts. I’m sure I’ll love them. If so I’ll purchase more in the future and who knows, possibly some jerseys as well if they have a couple of design changes.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I love the Jersey. Its exactly what I’m looking for: minimalist, fitting, nice single colour without any distracting patterns, good pockets, and a proper zip that I don’t need to fiddle with. But then again, I’m also Singaporean. The material is just perfect in our hot humid country. Or maybe I’m just a fan… I now own your bibshorts, gloves, baselayer, and jersey. There’s indeed much thought and care that goes into your product design. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the comment Mark. The jerseys are a bit like the disinteresting salads that often accompany a great steak. Kind of there in case you want them, but not the main event. For the record, I ride exclusively in RedWhite jerseys, but mostly in the Red design whenever it’s not in the wash. I think many other brands make excellent jerseys and push the boundaries of graphic design and you should mix those with our bibshorts. Check out Stolen Goat for example which is run by Tim Bland over in the UK. Rapha makes some nice jersey designs as well and keeps churning them out at an astonishing rate.
Great post! I love your bib shorts … love them (just bought two more), but I have often found myself confused and disappointed by your jerseys. Admittedly, I’ve never tried them, but I have found them disinteresting enough not to even be tempted.
I think your considerations about the future of the line, and having a clearer commercial strategic focus on your key area, and avoiding the inherent distraction, is exactly the right decision.
Seriously love your bib shorts, keep up the great work and the honest reflections.