As part of a cycling club or team, you’ll want to show your colours, but buying custom clothing shouldn’t be at the expense of the quality you expect from the rest of your riding kit.
Alé is among the brands offering custom kits for cyclists. The Italian firm has been designing and making kit for top-level men’s and women’s pro teams for years and can bring that expertise to your custom designs.
Custom designs for a wide range of clothing are available, including Alé’s pro-level PR-S and PR-R collections, and mid-range Prime line. It’s not just summer jerseys either, with options for cold and wet weather, plus a full range of accessories and baselayers.
With kit available to suit a wide range of budgets and riding styles, along with flexible ordering conditions and the option to work with the brand’s UK distributor, Pailgap, to customise your design, creating your perfect custom kit has never been simpler.
Why custom kit?
Clothing in club or team colours can add a real pro look to a ride. If you’re riding or racing as a team it’s important too, so you can quickly spot your fellow riders, and it also helps supporters spot you in a group of riders and know when to cheer you on.
But even if you’re only out on a casual group ride or club run, custom kit can help up the profile of your club and build its identity, helping to attract new riders. Being a member of a club or regular riding group is part of the fun of cycling, and having your own custom kit only elevates that.
Alé’s custom clothing is also popular with sportive organisers, such as St Peter’s Hospice, which holds its Tour de Bristol sportive this June, as well as bike shops that want to offer their own branded clothing.
All about Alé
The Alé clothing brand was founded in Verona, Italy in 2013, but its roots go back to 1986, when its parent company APG began manufacturing kit under contract to the leading cycle clothing brands at the time.
APG-made kit has been used over the years by many pro teams and its jerseys worn by numerous race leaders.
Alé was launched to offer that experience directly to a wider group of cyclists. It’s well known for offering bright and bold designs that are something a bit different, but also uses the company’s existing expertise in design and manufacturing to offer kit for a wide range of budgets and riders.
The pro connection continues, however, with Alé sponsoring the Alé BTC Ljubljana women’s WorldTour team and kitting out Movistar and Groupama-FDJ in the men’s WorldTour.
The brand has just added Team Bahrain Victorious to the roster of pro teams to which it supplies kit and also sponsors the annual Granfondo Alé La Merckx in Verona.
Alé has its own labs to research new materials and designs, testing them out on the road and in the wind tunnel. The company has also recently launched the Green range, made from 92 per cent recycled fabrics.
It’s not only about roadies either, with custom kit available for triathlon, mountain biking, running and kids.
What custom kit does Alé offer?
Alé’s custom kit ranges start off with the pro-level PR-S collection, designed for hot days and fast riding, with a close fit, lightweight fabrics, aero features and neat touches such as hemless sleeve grippers.
Many of those features carry down to the second-tier PR-R range (also used by the pros) and mid-range Prime collection, which offers a slightly more relaxed cut.
Alé also has a Vintage range, which features a classic cut and jerseys made from a Merino-blend fabric.
Cycling shorts are at the heart of a comfortable riding experience and Alé offers a wide range of customisable men’s and women’s bib shorts and waist shorts, all with pads that are hand-sewn into the shorts.
For all of the shorts in the custom programme, you can specify the seat pad you want from Alé’s chamois line-up.
They are designed in-house, with a range of specs to suit both your riding style and the amount of time you spend in the saddle. That gives you plenty of potential combinations of shorts and pads to suit your needs.
Alé’s top-level pad is the 8HF, which has a high-density memory foam core positioned under the sit bones. It’s perforated for breathability and has a central relief channel with a soft, antibacterial surface.
Next up, the 4HF pad is Alé’s most popular and there’s also the 2HF pad to choose from.
All of the pads come in men’s and women’s versions and there are also specific pads for custom triathlon kit in adult and children’s sizes, too, which feature low water absorption.
As well as the classic road cyclist’s jersey and shorts combination, Alé can customise its skinsuits for time trial riders, combining aero fit and breathable fabrics for a fast, comfortable ride.
Don’t forget about winter
Alé’s custom offering doesn’t stop when the summer weather begins to wane, so you can continue to fly your club colours right through the winter.
Alé’s autumn/winter kit options range from a windproof short-sleeve jersey with a brushed inner face to gilets and full-on waterproof winter jackets, all made from technical fabrics from the likes of Polartec.
There are also windproof, water-repellent bib tights rated down to -2°C, and Alé can also customise its fleeced winter bib shorts, lighter weight tights and bib knickers.
How it works
Although you can download a template and order directly from Alé, UK distributor Paligap has a UK-based, in-house designer who can use your club’s templates or work directly with you to hone your design.
They can meet you to provide samples so you can judge size, fit and quality, and you’ll get a 3D render of your kit design before you commit to ordering.
Paligap says there’s lots of flexibility when it comes to ordering. Many customers will choose complete outfits from the PR-R range, but others will mix and match, choosing tops and bottoms from different ranges or offer their club riders a choice of PR-R or Prime jerseys, for example.
Paligap has a minimum order of ten pieces, which don’t all have to be the same size. Once you’ve signed the order form, it will manage the scheduling and delivery process with Alé for you.
Alé will schedule the manufacture of your custom kit, which usually takes between 45 and 60 days.
Alongside the main cycling clothing offering of shorts, jerseys and other day-to-day kit, Alé can customise any extras you might need, including socks, caps and warmers, although there’s a 100-piece minimum order for these.