I've been developing a 3/4 Summer Bib Tight with Pad as part of RedWhite's 2022/2023 product roadmap. I wrote about Prototype #1 in February 2022. If you haven't read that yet, I recommend you do so before continuing to read this blog post. I will be writing this post with the assumption that you know about Prototype #1 and the 2022/2023 product roadmap. Reading links below :
Prototype 1 was a success.
First prototypes rarely turn out well. However, this one did. I put in about 300km into the Prototype 1 before producing Prototype 2. I had several small issues with Prototype 1 :
- The length is 5cm (2 inches) too long. I want these to be 3/4 bib tights but Prototype 1 was closer in length to a 7/8. This is fine for a 176 cm rider (5 foot 9) like myself, but will be too long for a rider who's closer to 170cm in height.
- Lacks a logo. I know this seems unimportant, but there's something special about adding a logo to a product I developed.
1) 5cm Shorter Legs for better fit
I chopped 2 inches (5cm) from the calf length of these tights. I'm wearing a size L and am 176cm tall. The length is spot on for me.
Riders who are 10cm taller or 10cm shorter than me (186cm / 166cm) won't have an issue with these tights. Leg lengths vary roughly by +/- 5cm compared to me. and these tights can be shorter and longer by 5cm on you and still fit very well.
I took this variance into account when working on the calf length for these tights.
2) New Rubber Logo
I made a new rubber logo for these 3/4 bib tights. I stitched them on Prototype 2 as shown in the image below.
Stitched on logos appear to be divisive. When I shared a video of this logo on social media, most people had concerns about it.
I pressed on with a test. I made a bunch of logos, stitched them on both my bibshorts and these 3/4 in various locations. Here's a photo of what the stitch looks like :
What surprised me was the fact that I did not notice it while riding. Durability was also great. After multiple abusive wash cycles, the logo holds up really well. Because it is made of rubber, it flexes well with my body's contours and is not noticeable while pedalling.
Why the rubber logo?
All current RedWhite bibshorts have a simple "RW" printed on the gripper. For this 3/4 summer bib tight, I went with a different gripper that can't be printed on.
The only other alternative is to transfer print a logo onto the main lycra. Here's a video explaining this process.
I don't like doing a transfer print because such logos can peel off overtime as the bibshort ages. There are transfer print material that are much more durable, but these are expensive and require the use of specific machines.
In addition to the cost and complexity, transfer printing adds an extra complicated step to the manufacturing process. This is not a good thing. Manufacturing should be simplified as much as possible to increase the reliability of the manufacturing process. One possible issue with transfer printing is a poorly applied logo. If the machine used isn't set up to the correct temperature / heat is not applied for the correct amount of time, the logo will simply peel off. Because of these potential manufacturing errors at scale production, I chose not to use it.
A rubber logo was chosen because :
- The logo is produced in bulk by a supplier using an automated injection moulding process. Quality control is easy.
- The logo is easily stitched onto the tights by the same seamstress who makes the rest of the bib. No additional process is needed and no special equipment is required. Quality control is easy here as well.
This 3/4 Summer Bib Tight is almost ready for production. I am making a final batch of prototypes to test manufacturing reliability. As I intend to produce thousands of these for customers, production reliability is critical.
You can expect availability in October 2022.
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If you have any comments about this project, please leave them below. If this is a product that you will purchase, let me know as well below. That will give me a gauge of demand and I will produce the appropriate volume in October 2022.
I’m interested in the 3/4 summer bib tights.
On a club ride about ten years ago, I met an older gentleman who had been cycling for several decades. The skin on his knees didn’t look human, more like an American football if that means anything to you. Since then I’ve been using summer weight bib tights for sun protection. This niche needs some better products.
I’m not sure how long a knicker should be. I’m thinking it should be long enough that the rest of the leg could be covered by a tall sock if desired.
I only learned of RedWhite today, you were recommended for long distance rides. My summer rides are regularly 5-6 hours. I hope your new 3/4 summer bib tights will work for me.
@JOHN HAWKINS : Do many AU and NZ riders use sun sleeves / leg sleeves when riding outside?
You should be commended for thinking about the sun exposure issue. Skin cancer is a major killer in Australia, and I don’t understand why it is not taken more seriously by the cycling community.
@NORBERT KRAFT : Very close to production at the moment. One more batch of prototypes and I should be releasing it.
@STEVE ALFANO : Fabric tags don’t have the same texture and feel of a rubber logo. Same process (make a tag, stitch it on) for something that feels less premium. Something nice about a 3D texturised logo.
@STEVE : The material won’t be a thermal one actually, so it won’t offer any protection against the cold other than some fabric covering at the knee. Would this work for spring?
@VENKAT GURRAM : Really happy to know you like it :)
@LEE WAI SING : I agree. Transfer printing can work well if done well, but if the manufacturing process isn’t done well (errors can happen during transfer printing with improper machine setup), the logo will peel off. I prefer sticking with a process that’s less error prone (stitching on a logo).
@JOSEPH : Stay tuned for October 2022
@RICH : Where this ends will depend on your height. I am planning to make samples using a stretchier material so customers can switch between sizes to get an ideal fit. At 170cm in height, depending on your weight you might be able to go down to a size S (if you’re below 70kg)
Summer 3/4s should in my opinion finish just below the knee. I like the cold protection early in the morning but are same weight as summer bibs as it warms up. Very few do a summer weight 3/4, Assos used to and mine are over 10 years old now so don’t get much use. Most winter weight 3/4s are far too long for me and look neither here nor there….170cm and wear medium Stealths. Cheers
Thanks for the update!
Looking forward to own a pair of these & BIB Stealth (shorter inseams)
Concur with the dropping of transfer printing; for those of us who do a lot of riding which equates to a lot of washing, long term durability of material is essential.
Great decision! Love that rubber logo.
Great to hear. Was going to write you about this option as a potential since the Spring weather here is perfect for knickers but too cold for shirts and too warm for full bibs.
A small fabric tag sewn into the seam (on the outside) might be a elegant solution.
Hi Yuva; Hope you are doing well ! I sent you a chat about this as well – I am eager to get a pair of these 3/4 bibs; size L (as soon as possible), as the summer sun is getting stronger daily here in Canada..