London-based bike manufacturer Brompton have released their first-ever clothing range, partnering with Scottish performance clothing brand Endura to provide commuters with versatile clothing for on and off the bike.
Brompton, whose iconic folding bikes have a been a mainstay of city commuters since 1975, say the range is intended to encourage more people to take up cycling by removing the need to wear specialised clothing.
Instead, the Brompton range is designed to perform well on the bike, while looking good off the bike too.
"When we looked around at what people were wearing to cycle in cities, we couldn't see enough well fitted, casual in look, yet functionally useful clothes for people that ride bikes," explain Brompton.
"Cyclists are normal people, and so wouldn't they want normal-looking clothes to cycle in?"
The idea of designing smart clothes for urban cycling is not, of course, a new one - several brands have ventured into similar territory before, we're thinking Vulpine in particular.
Perhaps wisely, Brompton haven't attempted to tackle the leap from folding bikes to foldable fashion alone; partners Endura have many years of experience in creating cycling apparel proven in the highest ranks of the pro peloton, so their input here is reassuring.
The range features six pieces, including a waterproof jacket, a packable windproof layer and reversible gilet.
Commenting on the new collection Kenny Kelly, Brompton's Design & Development Manager said: "We'd long asked ourselves the question of what makes the ultimate city apparel for the Brompton rider. Technical performance, weather protection and day/night visibility were no-brainers, but the reality is that for most city dwellers your ride only takes up a small percentage of your day.
"By focusing on the real needs of city riders we've created a range that helps riders feel comfortable and look great both on and off the bike, and in doing so help change the way people experience cities.
"In Endura we found a fantastic partner with a stellar reputation, bags of experience in developing and producing great riding gear, and an ethos that mirrors our approach at Brompton. They have truly excelled in bringing our vision to life!"
Here's a quick run-through of the new collection as described by Brompton, including prices:
London Waterproof Jacket - RRP £150
Made from a waterproof (15,000mm resistance) fabric and constructed with fully taped seams, the London Waterproof Jacket keeps you dry in city downpours. Using highly breathable material and featuring underarm vents to prevent you from overheating, the jacket also includes reflective panels and ample storage space to take on everything that the city can throw at it.
Barcelona Windproof Packable Jacket - RRP £80
The Barcelona jacket is the ideal all-rounder. Made from a breathable, windproof and water-resistant fabric, it will protect you from all but the very worst that the elements can throw at you. Combined with a lightweight fabric it can be packed away into the chest pocket and stored under the saddle for emergencies.
Ergonomically positioned reflective panels provide on-bike visibility, whilst the clean lines and a simplistic design ensures this jacket won't look out of place once you step off the bike.
New York Insulated Reversible Gilet - RRP £90
Worn layered up for ultimate warmth, or as an outer layer as a between-season piece, the New York Gilet is a cool weather essential. Reverse it out for maximum visibility on the ride and pack away to a compact size when you don't need it. Both sides provide warmth, breathability and packability thanks to the lightweight insulation inside. It packs into the chest pocket and can be stored under the saddle for meteorological emergencies
London Windproof Glove - RRP £40
Understated with subtle branding, the London Glove offers technical protection from the elements whilst keeping a refined look; suitable for any urban setting. The windproof membrane will keep out the cold chill of winter, but is light and breathable enough to perform in warmer spring conditions too.
With a silicone palm print for extra grip, touchscreen-friendly fingers, reflective detailing, terry sweat wipe, and a neoprene cuff. There are reinforced fingers to aid longevity while folding and magnets that allow you to attach your gloves to the bike frame; a simple solution while you're fishing around for your travelcard.
Barcelona Coolmax Socks - RRP £12
Great looking socks with a highly practical twist. Our Barcelona socks are made using a moisture-wicking coolmax yarn to keep your feet fresh while you're working hard on the bike and off it. Our bold striped designs include reflective fibres to provide you with an extra level of visibility and security when you ride at night but maintain a smart look off the bike.
New York Multitube - RRP £20
Keep cool breezes out, and warmth in. The Brompton New York Multitube can be used as a neck warmer, face mask, headband and beanie hat; perfect for use in the depths of winter. The natural merino fibres are soft on the skin, thermo-regulating, and odour-suppressing, making it the perfect companion for daily use.
So there you have it. Our first impressions are positive, the jackets in particular look the business - although the jury's out on the under-saddle storage loops. We'll see if we can get our hands on some to give it a test.
What do you think, are Brompton onto a winner?
For more information on the Brompton City Apparel Collection, visit www.brompton.com.