While you might not immediately think of Adidas when you think of cycling, they do in fact have a long heritage in the sport. The company first produced a cycling shoe back in the 1960s, and of course sponsored Eddy Merckx who wore Adidas shoes with the Molteni team in the 1970s.
Over the last few months, Adidas has been doing a lot to bolster their position in the sport and make their cycling legacy known. They have sponsored the 5th Floor, revamped the Great Britain Cycling Team’s kit ahead of Rio 2016, and updated their latest range, Adistar. One thing is evident: Adidas certainly has their eye on the growing cycling market.
The Adistar Spring/Summer 2015 range was yet another move by the sporting giant to really make inroads with the cycling community by reinventing their take on cycling clothing. A brand usually recognised by their Team GB red, white and blue colours, the monochrome kit is a much smarter, sleeker look for Adidas.
But it’s not just about looks; Adidas has taken its sporting know how and applied it to cycling, incorporating some of the latest materials technology with a strong focus on aerodynamics. “A rider’s aerodynamic requirements are all perfectly met in adistar products,” says the company.
In order to see up close how Adidas is improving their women’s cycling apparel, I took the Adistar short sleeved jersey and Adistar Bodysuit for a spin.
The short sleeved jersey is constructed from a Drag Zero Fabric with a covered main zipper and strategically placed seams to reduce drag. There are Trailing Edge Hems, inspired by a jet fighter, to reduce vortices, and Leading Edge sleeves further smooth the airflow. The attention to detail across the collection was evident, with simple additions such as grippers along the hem to ensure that the apparel doesn’t slip out of place when you move. My only complaint was that the white jersey was rather see through, so I had to wear a base layer with it.
The Bodysuit also incorporated some of the technology from the jerseys in it. Trailing Edge Hems are smooth and flat to improve aerodynamics, while again carefully placed seams reduce drag. The shorts are made from a Carvico Revolutional Energy Fabric with compression qualities, and an Elastic Interfaced padded insert is claimed to be comfortable for 6 hours of riding. I’m currently training for the Trans Am (4400 miles across America) so I need something that can be worn a bit longer in the saddle. That said, these shorts are perfect for crits and club runs, which presumably is more the style of riding they have been designed for.
Speaking to Nelson Madlangbayan, head of Adidas cycling products, on Team GB’s new kit, he stated that Adidas will continue to try and lead the way in creating innovative designs to help improve the team’s performance:
“We’re always testing kit and looking at new ways to help improve the rider’s performance. The kit we’ve got right now is the best we’ve produced over the 10 years of working with British Cycling and we will never stop trying to innovate further in line with the team’s successes. The range has everything an elite performer needs, and the replica allows fans of the team to experience the same technologies and design features during their rides and races.”
Overall it is great to see Adidas upping their game and bringing a lot of their technical sporting know-how to the sport; particularly when it comes to women’s cycling, creating a female specific kit that is super comfortable and technical. I look forward to seeing what they bring out next, and hopefully maybe even see a women’s version of the 5th Floor.
The Adistar range, available in a smart and understated monochrome finish, includes the following items:
Adidas adistar Long sleeved Jersey – £90
Adidas adistar short sleeved Jersey – £80
Adidas Pluvius jacket (male only) – £135
Adidas adistar body suit (female only) – £100
Adidas adistar bibshort (male only) – £120
Adidas adistar gloves – £27
Photography by www.alexandreflore.com