New clothing brand Hommage au Vélo called in at road.cc HQ yesterday to show us around its initial range, and here are a few of the highlights.
Another new cycle clothing brand? If you get the impression the world is already chock-full of ’em, you’re absolutely right. So what’s different here?
First, the clothing looks cool and well thought-out to us at first sight (more on that in a mo), so that’s a useful start!
Second, Hommage au Vélo is donating part of its income to charity.
“From the outset, we will be donating 10% of the profit from every item sold to World Bicycle Relief,” says founder of the brand David Law.
“We give 10% of the nominal profit from each item, rather than 10% of all company profits, for very good reason. Most likely the company will make a loss in the first two years, and if we said we would give 100% of all company profits to charity, whilst it might look impressive, that would add up to nothing.
“Charitable aims drove the creation of Hommage au Vélo. We’ve reversed the usual corporate equation (make profit > give to charity). For us, it's part of our DNA: (give to charity > make profit).”
Okay, so back to the clothing. We’ve not had the chance to get any of it out on the road yet so this is very much a first look.
The front and sleeves of the Bourlon jersey (£95, available in four different colours) use a stretchy striated fabric from Schoeller with a far more open weave – like you often find used for summer base layers – at the back.
It's a slim cut and he details look neat. You get a camlock YKK zip, for example, a silicon gripper at the waist, elasticated arm grippers and a zipped rear pocket for cash and keys (as well as three normal pockets back there).
The name, by the way, comes from Albert Bourlon who holds the record for the longest successful solo break in Tour de France history. Have a guess how far it was (• answer down below).
The Booty bib shorts (£100, available in blue and black) are a six-panel construction and feature elastic braces with mesh inserts, and an anatomically shaped GreenLime Nudo pad without any folds or creases.
Booty refers to Ray Booty, the first Briton to ride a 100-mile time trial in under four hours. Why, what were you thinking?
Hommage au Vélo’s Poli Shetland merino jersey (£90, available in two different colours) looks good too, and it comes in a more relaxed cut than the Bourlon jersey (above), for example. The fabric – 41% merino, 51% polyester and 8% elastane – feels ridiculously soft. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs.
The Hommage au Vélo range covers both men’s and women’s clothing, although the men’s side is more extensive at the moment.
Hommage au Vélo’s website is up and running. You can buy directly from the site.
*Albert Bourlon rode alone for 253km (157 miles) on a stage from Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon in 1947.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.