Success in cycles

If you’re a cyclist, you’ll know how important it is to have the right gear. Looking good and feeling comfortable can help you get the best out of every ride, whether on your morning commute or as a member of one of the UK’s thousands of cycling clubs. With 11% of people in London travelling by bike at least once per week (according to this recent government report), cycling is increasingly big business. Its enthusiasts are among the UK’s top earners, too, with more than 30% of cyclists in London having a household income of over £75,000, according to Transport For London.

If you run a bike shop or cycle fitness club, adding merch to the equation could provide a helpful boost to your brand. And if you’re already in the cycle merch game, then it pays to think creatively about how you could up your game. Here at ICON we’ve worked with cycle brand Hub Vélo, and with fitness club Blok, both of whom have built successful sports brands involving merch. Here’s why cycle merch matters, and how to make the most out of it.

It’s free advertising

In 2017, cyclists in London travelled almost four million kilometres every day. Think of all the people they passed on those journeys. From Stratford to Southall, Balham to Bounds Green, Wimbledon to Walthamstow, that’s millions of kilometres of potential free advertising. Getting your logo on cycling gear – especially if it’s bright and well designed – means your brand is going to get noticed, all over the city.

Cement your brand

Cycling is now a seriously stylish sport. Thanks to superstar Sir Bradley Wiggins, performance cycling gear is now getting a taste of 1960s Mod style, with block colours and gold accents, as demonstrated in his collaboration with cycle brand Le Col.  Meanwhile, high end cycling brand Rapha has become a hit both on and off the racetrack with its sleek, retro-inspired jerseys, jackets and shorts.

People want to buy into cycling fashion – often despite the fact they might not actually spend so much time riding their bike. With high disposable incomes, on average, cyclists are willing to spend lots of money to get quality products. Get your brand name on the right gear and you’ll be racing to the front of the peloton.

It’s a chance to underline quality

If your merch is high quality, then that’s what customers will associate with your brand. For that reason, it pays to try and use quality garments – so make sure that the clothes you select to splash your logo across are the best you can get for your budget. If you want to encourage customers to invest more money in your brand, you’ll need to be providing them with great gear.

Research what your customers are wearing to cycle – ask them what they like about it, and what can be improved. See how much traction rival brands are getting on social media. Speak to suppliers and find out how you can innovate in this market. The colour, cut, fit, performance and style are all important, as are safety features for road cycling, like reflective elements.

Be creative

Bold design is a great way to make your mark. Cult London bike shop-cum-cafe Look Mum, No Hands!, for instance, have produced an eye-popping merch range, plastered in popsicle-bright stripes and banana prints. It’s a welcome contrast to the shades of maroon, blue and black that tend to be the norm elsewhere. Likewise, the Marmite jerseys by cycle brand Foska will certainly get wearers noticed, even if they’re not to everyone’s tastes. Or how about taking inspiration from these Discovery Channel jerseys, featuring an all-over print of the globe? 

With so many print finishes and colours available, the sky’s the limit when it comes to cyclewear. Have fun, and you’ll not only help your customers get seen (and stay safe) on the road – you’ll make your business more visible too. (Extra reading: our tips on designing a great t-shirt here; our guide to brand identity here.)

Looking to create merch for your cycling brand? At ICON Printing we can create deliver fast turnaround custom prints on a variety of sportswear. Our clients include Boiler Room, WeWork, the Tate and Niketown. Get a quote in 2 minutes online.