Each week Cycling Weekly takes one step closer to finding the best club jersey in the world.
Ever clocked a local club run speeding past and reckoned their amazing kit could teach the WorldTour fashionistas a thing or two? Or maybe you felt it had no place being displayed in a public place and should be consigned to the recycled fabrics bin in the supermarket car park.
A little harsh perhaps, but in any case now you get to take a better look as we assemble club kits from all over the place and get the stories behind them. Even better, you get to choose your favourites in a weekly poll – this isn't called Club Jersey Clash for nothing! In each week's instalment we'll announce the winner of the previous week's clash.
Our clubs this week are London-based Kingston Wheelers and London Dynamo. Let battle commence!
We spoke to Kingston Wheelers marketing man Harry Bunnell and creative director Neil Grunshaw.
Q: How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do your members do?
A: We were formed in 1924 so it’s our 100th birthday this year. We have a large membership of around 500 people, so we do all sorts of riding and host a lot of events. Audax, cyclo-cross, road races, time trials, track - you name it, we probably do it.
Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design.
A: We relaunched our jersey in 2019. It was designed by our in-house creative director Neil Grunshaw and produced in partnership with Le Col.
The kit hadn’t been updated for many years and was looking a bit dated. We didn’t want something too on-trend that would date quickly - we want our members to get maximum value for money from the kit, so don’t change the design often.
We wanted it to be clean and contemporary, but with a nod to the classic kit designs of the 60s/70s – namely the chest stripe and the ‘KWCC’ in large type on the bib shorts. Wheelers kit is very visible on the road and we didn’t want to lose that – the white with the red cuffs really pops and you can spot a Wheeler in the distance with ease. White is obviously not ideal in winter, so we offer an ‘away’ kit too, with navy blue instead of white to hide those road stains.
Q: What are some of the most interesting rides – or biggest achievements – members have worn it for?
A: We have seen some members wear it for extraordinary achievements including LEJOG record attempts, the National Hill-Climb Championships and 12/24 hours TTs.
Most recently Lucas Cortini and Javier Arias Gonzalez recorded the fastest times by British-based riders at Paris-Brest-Paris whilst wearing the jersey.
Q: Is there anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club?
A: This year we celebrate our Centenary and Neil has created a special edition jersey, which harks back to the KWCC kit designs of the past. Club archivist Gafyn MacMillan dug out old photos of Wheelers past which helped inform the design, which is a composite of some of the old kit from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
We spoke to London Dynamo kit manager Ben Chapman and design consultant Jed Harrison.
Q: How long has the club been going and what sort of riding do you do?
A: Our club very recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary, and now has over 600 members. We describe ourselves as an inclusive cycling club with a performance edge and therefore offer a wide range of riding to our members, albeit predominantly road focussed. Annual events include our club hill-climb championship, club crit championships, and our club summer sportive trip which typically takes place in the Alps.
We started out as a club that raced and continue to field a race team for both men and women, competing at both National and Regional level. We have also launched a Rising Stars programme to support young and promising riders.
Q: Tell us the story behind the jersey design. Is the design / colour scheme inspired by anything in particular? Is it a new design? Who is the supplier? (Don't worry if you don't know the answer to all of these)
A: The task for our current design was to create a kit that was instantly recognisable as London Dynamo, to ensure we stand out in a crowded peloton. We wanted to strike a balance between modern and classic to retain enduring appeal. This involved refining the logo, colours and visual assets, whilst championing the original Dynamo blue. In addition to more prominent branding, a touch of subtlety was introduced by crafting unique patterns derived from the ‘forward power’ slash, historically used in the logo.
We have recently brought Le Col onboard as our kit partner, who have also helped us launch a 20th anniversary jersey which is a replica of the original design of black, white and green - a far cry from the blue, black and orange of today! We also offer a white jersey to members to help them bear the heat in the summer a bit better.
Q: What are some of the most interesting rides - or biggest achievements - members have worn it for?
A: After a long hiatus we were very proud to have a Dynamo jersey represented back at the British National Road Championships in 2023, worn by Rowan Baker. We also had a member attempt the 50-54 UCI Hour Record, coming just 130m short. A number of members also qualified for the UCI Gran Fondo World Champs in 2023.
We've also had Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio pull on an 'e-jersey' and join us for our lockdown Zwift rides, and have enjoyed putting on other events with her, as well as an evening with Alex Dowsett, including some laps of Richmond Park!
Q: Is there anything else you might like to add about the jersey or the club.
A: Diversity and inclusion is super important to the club, and something we are continuously looking to improve. We are almost at 100 female members now (growth of 30% in 2023), which is incredible given only we had a handful a few years back. We have more plans for next year of how we can do even better.
It's time to vote!
Last week saw the highest number of weekly votes yet, but the scores remained pretty close between our clubs. Dulwich Paragon pipped it with 54%, against Marlborough CC's 46%.
Thanks to both clubs for taking part, and to everyone who voted.
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