Hoy Vulpine has officially launched its autumn/winter range today, the brand having introduced its initial lineup back in February. We caught up with Sir Chris himself to find out what’s on offer.
road.cc: How did you go about putting together the autumn/winter range?
Chris Hoy: It’s about trying to create great garments that you’d want to wear yourself.
Hoy Vulpine Cortado Fleece Hoody, £69.99
When you look out of the window and the weather is a bit miserable there are 101 excuses not to get on your bike, but if you have the right kit and your bike is ready for it then you can go and have some fun.
You don’t enjoy cycling in the bad weather when your feet get wet, your hands get cold and you’re soaked to the skin or, on the flip side, you're too hot because you have inappropriate clothing on. But if you can protect yourself against the weather you can have a great time.
Is autumn/winter clothing more of a challenge than summer clothing?
With the autumn/winter collection there’s more variety, more interesting fabrics, and there’s more technology, for obvious reasons: you have to keep the rider dry, warm and comfortable and that’s a lot more of a challenge than it is in the summer.
Hoy Vulpine Randa Softshell Jacket £115
Putting the collection together has been great because I’ve had plenty of experience of training in miserable weather in the UK, and therefore you can get what you’re looking for across in a winter garment.
What’s your favourite piece?
I’m really proud of all of them. I would obviously say that, but the standout garments, if I can pick two, are the Roubaix Bib Tights and the Roubaix Long Sleeve Jersey.
Hoy Vulpine Long Sleeve Roubaix Jersey, £79.99
When you wear them together they’re incredibly warm and insulating, and they’re not restricting. I’m used to wearing much thicker garments in winter – ones that you can really feel around the shoulders, the armpits, the elbows and the hips – but when you put the roubaix kit on, aside from the fact that you’re warmer than you would otherwise be, you just feel really comfortable.
Hoy Vulpine Roubaix Bib Tights, £109.99
The bib tights are the best that I’ve ever used, and I’m not just saying that! I’ve tried various brands over 20 years and these are the best. I don’t say that lightly, I’m really chuffed with them.
Combined as an outfit, the cobalt blue jersey with the red zip and the graphite bib tights, they look cool.
Is looking good a big part of it for you?
I think we’ve struck the balance of having style and function at the same time.
Hoy Vulpine Portixol Waterproof Jacket, £99.99
The aesthetics are as important as the performance of the fabric. If people feel comfortable in terms of the way they look they’ll be more inclined to go out and ride.
Hoy Vulpine Trail Trousers, £64.99
Not everyone wants to go out with massive pro team logos on their jersey, and they don’t want to be perceived as a wannabe pro cyclist.
So what type of cyclist is the range aimed at?
The easy reply is that it’s for everybody. That’s a little bit of a vanilla answer but it’s true in that you will see people across the spectrum wearing it from very serious performance cyclists to people who’ve just taken up cycling and want something that feels comfortable, does the job, and looks cool.
Hoy Vulpine Roubaix Arm Warmers, £27.99
It’s pitched at an intermediate price range – we’re trying to make it as affordable as possible so that it’s as accessible to as many people as possible – but it’s still high quality clothing made from high performance fabrics, so it’s appealing to guys like myself who have raced for many years, and also to people just picking up cycling.
Hopefully it has a welcoming, friendly style to it, and it hasn’t got an elitist feel.
Will you get much chance to ride in the clothing yourself over the winter?
Yes, a lot more than at this time last year, fingers crossed! Our son was born last October, 11 weeks premature, and we were up at the hospital every day, so I didn’t get the chance to ride my bike from mid-October through to the start of January. Hopefully we won’t have any surprises that mean I won’t be able to ride this year. I certainly plan to.
We’re just about to launch a new road bike with disc brakes (above) and I’m doing a lot of testing on that at the moment. With it being a disc brake bike it’s ideal for the bad weather.
It’s the best bike that we’ve created. It’s brilliant. Some people ask why we need disc brakes, callipers work fine, but you really notice the difference in the control you have, certainly for heavier riders like me. It’s that sense of confidence that disc brakes really help with.
Your motor racing career is going incredibly well. How much of your time does that take up?
In cycling, every decision you make every single moment of the day, whether you’re aware of it or not, is about cycling. You’re thinking about racing, recovering, where your next meal is going to come from, what the next session is, how the last session went…
Driving is very different in that respect. With driving it feels like a passion and a hobby that’s grown wings, but I can still do a lot of other things. I can only get into a car every now and again because of logistics and cost, although I do a fair bit of work in the simulator and do the odd test day as well.
Hoy Vulpine Segment T-Shirt, £26.99
There are pros and cons with that. It gives you balance in your life and you get the opportunity to do other things, but there’s nothing quite like that feeling when you succeed in cycling after every single waking moment you’ve been working towards it.
You’re already LM P3 champion in the the European Le Mans Series…
Yes, we [along with teammate Charlie Robertson] ended up winning the championship with a round to spare because our main challenger didn’t finish the race, so that was a nice bonus and a big surprise.
The series is a really good way to get used to competing in the traffic. It’s great fun, four hour races split evenly between the two drivers.
The big target is Le Mans next year, the 24hr race. This is a stepping stone towards that and we’ve had the perfect season so far.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.