Custom cycling clothing is a burgeoning scene, with well-established players like Vermarc and Giordana now complemented with relatively new companies like Pactimo, Capo or Panache. Pactimo recently made a few kits for BikeRadar as a way to demonstrate its custom capabilities.
While some custom companies have to contract with factories, Pactimo owns its own in China, where it has produced goods for other labels, including Trek, Craft and Icebreaker, according to Karl Heidgen, Pactimo's vice president of custom sales. "Producing 50,000 units of others' clothing allowed us to learn," said Heidgen, adding that owning a factory allows for consistency in product. "From cutting to printing to sewing to quality control — all these people are Pactimo employees."
Pactimo began in 2003. Based near Denver, Colorado, the company ships custom clothing worldwide, and has online stores for its in-line clothing for the US and UK.
Eschler Raptor fabric is used on the front and back Summit panels
As with many custom clothiers, Pactimo can create a variety of prints, from low-key to outlandish. Pactimo retail brand manager Josh Cook said that while some riders like the toned-down, logo-free look of a Rapha, many others still like the loud-and-proud look. "Not everyone is coming out of racing, and looking for something subdued they can walk into a coffeeshop wearing. Personally, I want to be loud on the bike — then change into regular clothes before I go for coffee," Cook said.
Despite the clothing being made in China, Pactimo guarantees delivery after final artwork approval in five weeks. "Last year we had two orders that missed by two or three days, which killed me, because before that we were 100% under five weeks," Heidgen said. Sometimes turnaround is a quick as 2.5 weeks. "And we post information on our site about specific delivery dates," Heidgen added.
The mid-range Ascent jersey and the top-end Summit bib short
As with other custom makers, Pactimo offers a few levels of product, ranging from the $49/£33 Century jersey up through the $109/£69 Summit Speed jersey. With custom product, the more you order, the better the price. And virtually all custom companies have minimum orders. For Pactimo, it's five items.
On the jerseys, Pactimo can print on all the panels. Even on the Ascent-level jersey, Pactimo can customize each one with the rider's name on the back. On the bib shorts, the sides, back and leg bands can be sublimated.
Pactimo made BikeRadar a custom Ascent ($79) jersey and a Summit ($150) bib short. The Ascent is a basic jersey with straight sleeves (not cut forward for an aggressive riding position). There is also a little loop on the inside of the collar for a race or audio-player earpiece cable, with a button hole in a rear pocket for running that cable up the inside of the jersey. Stretchy mesh on the sublimated side panels helps with fit. The Summit bib short uses more upscale fabrics, including Eschler's durable Raptor material and a two-piece Cy-Tech chamois. Cook pointed out that Rapha also uses a two-piece Cy-Tech chamois, which can feel a bit thick to some, but is shaped in production to match the body's curve.
The two-piece CyTech chamois is used in the Summit bib short