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I live in the suburbs where there are many routes for road cyclists to go for rides. I assume these cyclists are riding for fun and/or exercise and/or to train for some kind racing events. Sometimes they are alone, other times they are in pairs or small groups.

Many cyclists have big logos on their shorts and shirts. What are on the logos? Where do they get them? I don't see these in the online bike equipment stores. I can only guess that these are associated with professional racing. In any case, it seems that casual cycling folks don't have normal access to big-logo gear. Where would I get some?

(I don't mean to sound judgemental, but I see it a lot but don't know where the gear comes from. I am curious about biking communities and what they wear. I am interested in hearing from those who wear such gear.)

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You might consider editing the question to sound a little less judgmental. –  amcnabb Jul 23 '13 at 21:03
    
I've wondered this too. I mean some folks get shirts for rides they go on, etc, and that's good, but why so much commercial logo gear (other than that's all you can find in many bike shops)? –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 23 '13 at 21:04
    
I'm a little confused about what constitutes logo gear. Does my low-end performance bike bibs and jersey (with a big 'P') on the back count as logo gear? It is a big logo. What about the Pearl Izumi? Or do you mean 'team issue' type stuff? –  Ritch Melton Jul 23 '13 at 21:08
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@amcnabb: You're right, sorry. I tried rewording. –  PositiveK Jul 23 '13 at 21:41
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If it's something like images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110224005232/criticalmass/… ... look up "Critical Mass". –  Mσᶎ Jul 23 '13 at 22:15
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3 Answers 3

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There are different types of logos which get worn for different reasons. Bike clothing may include logos associated with:

  • Clothing manufacturers: An otherwise plain jersey will often include the logo of the manufacturer. This is common for athletic clothing in general.

  • Employers: Companies often make jerseys with their logos that (presumably satisfied) employees can wear to show spirit.

  • Sponsors of professional teams: Fans of professional cycling teams may choose to buy articles of clothing that are replicas of the official team uniforms. These items include the logos of the companies that sponsor the pro team.

  • Local clubs or teams: A local cycling club may have their own un-sponsored logos. Organizations can order custom kit in much the same way people order custom t-shirts or team bowling shirts.

  • Sponsors of local clubs or teams: A local cycling club may have team apparel that includes logos of the local bike shop and other local companies that sponsor the team. These items may be offered at reduced prices or even for free to club members.

  • Races or organized rides: Some races and supported rides give or sell participants commemorative jerseys, which may serve as a memento or badge of honor.

  • Advocacy groups or messages: Cyclists may wear clothing to show support for a message or for an advocacy or non-profit group. For example, jerseys may include designs featuring the "share the road" message.

  • Abstract design: Jerseys and shorts may feature designs that are designed to just look good. For example, one manufacturer sells jerseys featuring an imaginary team and based on professional kit from 50 years ago.

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You missed everything that's not strictly commercial advertising. Which is quite sad. Logos are also used by community groups, artists, protesters and people who like logos. –  Mσᶎ Jul 23 '13 at 22:17
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x2. Things like share the road, bicycle awareness, various charity groups, etc. –  JohnP Jul 23 '13 at 22:45
    
@Ӎσᶎ, the original phrasing of the question was very advertising and corporate focused. Now that it's been edited to be a bit more general, I'll try to edit my answer accordingly when I have a chance. –  amcnabb Jul 23 '13 at 22:54
    
@JohnP, I'll try to incorporate those into my answer. Thanks for the comment. –  amcnabb Jul 23 '13 at 22:55
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Thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions; I reorganized my answer based on the broadened question, and I've tried to incorporate most of the suggestions. –  amcnabb Jul 24 '13 at 21:16
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Generally, a matching top and bottom and sometimes a cap is referred to as a kit. Why a kit? I don't really know. The top often has three pockets on the lower back for snacks/sunglasses/etc., a longer cut at the bottom to hide certain cracks when leaned over, and a higher cut on the front to prevent bunching. The shorts or even bibs have what is called a chamois in the crotch which makes for a more comfy long distance ride.

Just like many other pro sports teams they allow for easy recognition. The logos are often sponsors, the bigger the logo, the bigger the sponsor. For example the US team sponsored by the USPS or Discovery Channel or Garmin. The sponsor probably pays for a lot of the team expenses also.

Non-pro groups can order their own kits from a lot of manufacturers. Groups could be a corporate affiliation, a bike shop for stock, a social group, etc. Usually a minimum order is required, and the price drops as quantity goes up. One could get sponsors to pony up some money for the order, partial or full, or make the group members pay for all costs. Vendors usually provide a graphical template for laying out your design.

Pro fit may refer to slimmer sizing, where club fit may refer to more traditional sizing. There may be other more common terms for these but that is what I call them.

IMO, this brand makes some pretty cheesy but flashy jerseys and also accepts custom orders: http://www.primalwear.com/

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+1 for the great explanation of how and why organizations design custom clothing. –  amcnabb Jul 24 '13 at 21:24
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It's called a "kit" because that's the British term for it. Not sure why Americans don't have a word for it, but Kit is pretty much synonymous with Uniform. –  sevargdcg Jul 24 '13 at 22:21
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I would say that we're talking about something like this:

enter image description here

Looking online you have to search a bit to find a "classic" example, but on the road I see a lot of cyclists with such jerseys, sporting various brands, and at least one nearby shop doesn't seem to carry anything else.

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