TWC Awards Shortlisters: Road Clothing Brands - Total Women's Cycling

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TWC Awards Shortlisters: Road Clothing Brands

Make sure you cast your votes so that the best companies, brands and individuals collect the awards on the night

The Total Women’s Cycling Awards for 2016 are just around the corner – we’ll be giving out the gongs at Birmingham’s NEC Centre on Friday September 23.

The brands, teams and individuals collecting the awards will be decided by you- the reader. To play a part in the selection, you need to head over to the survey below to vote and cast your votes by Monday 12 September.

After much anticipation – they’re finally here! The Total Women’s Cycling Awards for 2016 will take place at the Cycle Show in Birmingham’s NEC Centre on Friday September 23.

The winners will be 100 per cent reader voted – and you need to submit your votes by Monday 12 September for the chance to see your nomination pick up a gong on the night.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITES HERE, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of four £50 vouchers and some goodies from Wiggle 

READ ABOUT ALL THE CATEGORIES HERE

We’ve pulled out seven shortlisters who have really impressed us, and our contributors, over the year – and you can read about each of them below. However, the voting does include an ‘other’ box, so you can vote for someone completely different, and we’ll count them all up.

Here’s a look at our favourites, and why…

dhb

A brand that have impressed us over and over again, dhb have obviously impressed our readers too, because they’ve won this category before. 

Offering high quality kit, at sensible prices, they don’t try to be ‘bargain basement’ but they do try to offer the very best price they can without compromising performance.

Our favourite dhb item has to be the bib shorts with halterneck design, which make pee-stops incredible simple. We also adore the fabulous patterns and designs they come up with, as well as the fact there’s almost always a wide array of matching accessories to complete the look.

Castelli

The Castelli scorpion divides opinion among some, with the brand having become a little synonymous with head-down MAMILs high on testosterone. However, the kit is designed by a woman with a huge amount of experience in sports design and fashion and their kit beautifully ticks off style and expert performance.

Best known for the Gabba, a lightweight water resistant jacket that is loved by pro and amateur riders all over the globe, Castelli simply couldn’t NOT be on our list.

Queen of the Mountains (UK)

Queen of the Mountains launched early this year, the product of tireless hard work by Alicia Bamford. Seeing a lack of quality, attractive and well fitting kit available for women on the market, she put herself on the line to help fill the gap.

The first capsule range consists of two jersey styles (Race and Classic) and two short options, with styling inspired by Bamford’s ride up Mont Ventoux. There are also gilets, caps, and socks to match the kit.

We have to admit, we’ve not actually received any samples to test the kit ourselves. BUT we’ve received feedback from a lot of happy riders who have bought it. Not only that, we’re also impressed by the huge amount of work Bamford has put into encouraging women’s cycling, organising weekly rides and events as well as sending regular solus emails with encouraging content. Currently, the rides are centered around London, but we know the brand is seeking ambassadors around the country.

Specialized

Specialized were a last minute addition to this list. Previously, we’ve always had them high on our list for bikes, helmets and shoes – but lately they’ve been making a huge effort when it comes to kit: jerseys, shorts and so on.

Their newest SL Pro kit really ticked our boxes – and though we think their reputation in terms of clothing provision needs some time to pick up speed, we think the product is spot on.

Giro

Kit – in terms of shorts and jerseys – from Giro isn’t incredibly easy to get hold of in the UK, though the shoes and helmets are popping up all over the place. It’s also, we’ll admit – not the cheapest of ranges. Despite all of these points standing against them, we still think the gear is absolutely incredible.

Giro’s Chrono Jersey is made of the most beautifully light and flexible material that  we can’t help but want to wear it almost every day. Their halter bibs also feature high on our list of favourites, with a mesh upper body that serves as an excellent base layer in the summer. As the weather swings towards autumn, their super packable jackets and merino arm warmers are perfect accomplices and equally high on the performance stakes.

Ale

Ale have been rapidly growing a strong female following over the last couple of months. Available via distributor Paligap, or via Wiggle, the brand have a near 50/50 split of male and female customers – suggesting they’re certainly pulling more female customers than most.

We were pretty impressed when we reviewed their skinsuit – partly because it’s actually pretty hard to come by a genuine women’s specific skinsuit. We also love the way their jerseys dip down at the hips, creating a streamlined look when matched with the shorts.

On top of creating excellent kit, Ale also sponsor women’s team Ale-Cippolini – who have been impressing us all season with some pretty aggressive, attacking riding. 

The only bug bear we have with Ale? We don’t like the marketing images used on their Italian site, and we’re working pretty hard to encourage them to rethink. After all, it’s a real shame to let fantastic kit be overshadowed by bad marketing – especially when the designers are female, and the brand sponsors a pro team.

Rapha

We were already big fans of Rapha before the start of the 2016 season, but we fell in love a little more when they announced their sponsorship of women’s team Canyon//SRAM and created THAT kit.

As well  as making amazing bibs, shorts, jerseys, jackets – and everything else – Rapha also do a lot to support women. They organise the annual Rapha 100 ride, which encourages women across the globe to ride 100km on one given day, with a selection of led rides on offer thanks to their brand ambassadors. This year they also got a nod of approval from us with their first sports bra, and we were impressed by it – though we were keen to point out is was very much reserved for low impact activities. 

Chapeau!

If you’re looking for a cool, quirky pattern and quality kit without a crazy price tag, the Chapeau! might well be your best port of call.

In terms of women’s shorts, they’ve got a very capsule wardrobe of two options: Pave bibs and Classic bibs, at £70. However, we’ve tested these on multiple occassions (Pave bibs with green pad, and Pave bibs with red pad for aggressive riding and Classic bibs) and have always arrived at the conclusion that they’re excellent value for money and mighty comfy.

The limited short range isn’t such an issue, either, when you consider the array of jersey options to go with them. Most of those on offer provide a semi-relaxed fit, which offers just the right amount of breathing room to be comfortable without being flappy.

Add in the huge selection of caps and socks and we’re sold…

Other

Of course, these are just the suggestions from Team TWC and our contributors. If you love the kit from a brand we’ve not mentioned – vote for them, and we’ll count them all up. Only the best will win!

After much anticipation – they’re finally here! The Total Women’s Cycling Awards for 2016 will take place at the Cycle Show in Birmingham’s NEC Centre on Friday September 23.

The winners will be 100 per cent reader voted – and you need to submit your votes by Monday 12 September for the chance to see your nomination pick up a gong on the night.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITES HERE, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of four £50 vouchers and some goodies from Wiggle 

READ ABOUT ALL THE CATEGORIES HERE

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