Custom cycling gear and clothing

By Ben Delaney | Friday, December 21, 2012 8.30am

Custom bikes and clothing used to be almost exclusively for professional riders. These days, you can buy custom designs – if not custom fabrication – of seemingly everything, from shoes and helmets to frames and saddles. Even nutrition and training plans can be tailored just for you. Here are just a few of your not-off-the-shelf options.

Riding clothing

Custom clothing has been available to riding clubs for a while, but the number of companies offering the service has exploded recently. Jerseys and shorts are just the basics; custom sunglasses, helmets and gloves are also available. 

If you can think up a design, and a place to put it, chances are that more than a couple of companies will compete for your business.

Shoes 

Want a pair built up from your very own last? D2 Shoe can do that. Or if you need one shoe in one length and width, and the other shoe in another, Vittoria are on hand to help. 

Matt cooke's custom d2 superfly shoes: matt cooke's custom d2 superfly shoes

D2's SuperFly shoes are custom in terms of shape and finish

Socks 

Some people like to express their thoughts via bumper stickers, others use their footwear. Sock Guy and DeFeet can weave seemingly any message and graphic into their footwear.

General riding kit 

Whether you and your riding mates just want jerseys or you fancy the full pro collection of clothing, there's no shortage of companies that can produce everything from shoe covers to winter jackets. A few good ones are Vermarc, Castelli, Santini, Panache, Impsport, Endura and Capo.

Many companies sell custom clothing. capo custom does bikeradar's skinsuits, jerseys, bib shorts, vests and more: many companies sell custom clothing. capo custom does bikeradar's skinsuits, jerseys, bib shorts, vests and more

Capo makes BikeRadar's custom skinsuits, jerseys, bib shorts, vests and more

Sunglasses 

Okay, so it won't make a unique shape for you, but you can customize your Oakley eyewear by color of lens, frame and detail pieces.

Oakley offers custom colors on its glasses. these were made for the rapha cyclocross team: oakley offers custom colors on its glasses. these were made for the rapha cyclocross team

Oakley made these sunglasses for the Rapha cyclocross team

Helmets 

Louis Garneau offers a comprehensive line of custom clothing, but the Canadian company also does custom decals for road and time trial helmets. And if you really want to go over the top, you can purchase a completely custom lid like the helmets used by the Team GB track squad at the Olympics.

Bikes

When it comes to your bicycle itself, there are two main types of personalization. You can tailor how your bike looks through paint and decals, or you can recruit someone to build something just for you.

Frame geometry 

With a custom frame, you can dictate all the angles, tube lengths and often tube diameters. Don't know your perfect geometry? Most small builders are eager to work with you based on your riding style and preferences. The majority work in steel or titanium, but an increasing number are using carbon, too – Argonaut is doing some cool things in the material, and Seven is certainly no newcomer to the black material. 

On the mountain bike side, Ventana will tweak their existing geometry for you. And Moots, Mosaic, Enigma, Demon, Paulus Quiros and many more will build you a frame from the ground up.

Mosaic is one of many builders offering fully custom frames: mosaic is one of many builders offering fully custom frames

Want a one-of-a-kind bike? A custom builder will be glad to create one for you

Frame paint 

If you already have a bike you love but want an aesthetic overhaul, you can send it to outfits such as Keith Anderson Cycles, Spectrum Powderworks, The Bicycle Shop or Airglow. And the big players are getting in on the visual customization, too, with Trek, Felt, and Santa Cruz all offering programs, and Cyfac claiming it has two million paint options for you.

Small pieces 

Do you love your carbon road frame but wish you had fender mounts or Di2 internal wiring? It's not out of the question, as companies like Ruckus Components are proving.

Ruckus components can add on things like fender eyelets or this high housing stop with a barrel adjuster:

Love your fork but hate the brake shudder? Ruckus can help with that

Saddles 

If you can't find a comfy perch among the seemingly endless selection of saddles on the market today – a few of which come in multiple widths – then you can get one built for you by Dash. Charge also sells its spoon saddle with options for customizing the cover, stitching, bumpers and more.

Suspension 

Anybody can buy a stock fork, but custom suspension tuning shops such as Push in the US, and Loco Tuning in the UK, can dial yours in to improve the ride feel.

Decals 

Perhaps the most economical choice of the customisable options, stickers can add a bit of flair to your bike. In the UK, Slik Graphics offers custom top tube decals, rim stickers and more. Across the pond, Victory Circle Graphix and VeloInk offer a similar service.

Wheels 

Of all the custom offerings, wheels are perhaps the only niche going against the trend; what used to be common is becoming less so with the prevalence of well-made production hoops. 

Still, shops like Fair Wheel or Vecchio's will build wheels up from the hubs, as will Ligero, Industry Nine, Wheelsmith or Harry Rowland.

Handlebars 

For custom-made bars you can turn to Blacksheep, Groovy Cyclework, Firefly or Calfee.

And if that isn't enough, you can also tailor your drink mixes and gels with Infinit Nutrition, and get a professional fit on your bike from Retül, CycleFit or possibly even your local bike shop.

Of course, the best part about cycling is that every day is custom. Unconstrained by a particular field of play, you get to pick your route every time you hop on the bike.

You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar and on Facebook at facebook.com/BikeRadar.
You can also improve your fitness and train with us on training.bikeradar.com.

User Comments

Post a Comment:

BikeRadar Partner Offers

Fitness Matches

Fitness Matches

-

Dating to get your pulse racing - get 50% off your first month with code FM50

Bike Rags

Bike Rags

-

Reflective clothing with a difference - use promo code 'BRD' and get 15% off