If you could imagine a map consisting of little dots representing the myriad of existing cycling apparel brands out there, it would have the appearance of being no less than braille.
However, just as we’ve seen in most industries, competition stirs a fierce battle for market share, with quality and innovation being the only path to success.
For cyclists, this is a win-win situation, by virtue of the fact, that competing brands are aimed at one thing, winning over the customer by having the best product.
Here’s a fairly new addition (at least to us) to the ever-burgeoning cycling apparel segment called ashmei, which seems to understand that philosophy, and in turn offers some incredibly stylish togs.
ashmei launched into cycling apparel at the beginning of 2014 with three cutting edge styles, which the brand says, “were destined to redefine performance cycling clothing.”
These three pieces were engineered to set a new benchmark of excellence in both performance and comfort. The UK brand’s move to introduce new technologies and develop bespoke fabrics was driven by a feeling that the regular cycle apparel offering did not adequately cater for the needs of the discerning rider.
Fast forward to Autumn 2016 and the company has been working “hammer and tongs” behind the scenes to create an expanded collection. As a result, the range has now grown from three styles to over 20, which are capable of handling any type of riding situation and weather.
Indeed, the expanded range comprises waterproofs, mid layers, jerseys, bibs through to accessories. The underlying design ethos remains constant, which is to deliver the very best athletic apparel in the world, especially when it comes to performance and comfort.
According to ashmei, the key to creating the ultimate cycling apparel is making sure that the material used is the very best available. Therefore, the British label continues to use superfine Merino wool in many of its pieces as it is peerless in performance terms. It is thermo regulating, ultra-fine, non-smelling, biodegradable and sustainable. ashmei also blends other fiber with its Merino such as its MERINO + CARBON technology, which is capable of wicking moisture 10-times faster than regular Merino and dries twice as fast – a particularly desirable quality in high performance cycling apparel.
Building on the initial launch cycling collection of the Soft-shell Jacket, Short Sleeve Jersey and Bib Shorts, ashmei is set to solidify its cult status in cycling apparel segment with key new pieces that include a King Of The Mountains Jersey (KoM), a Cycle Gilet, Rain Jacket and Emergency Jacket.
The KoM Jersey is a race-inspired short sleeve carbon blend jersey that offers superior natural thermo-regulation and enhanced wicking and drying properties. Three rear stowage pockets plus a zipped security pocket provide ample storage needs for those long mountain climbs. Complementing the KoM Jersey, the Emergency Jacket packs down to eight cm3 and weighs in at just 121g. A must-have jacket for every long ride, the Emergency Jacket is highly windproof and offers superb protection for any long descent, brief downpour or brisk gust.
Created for changeable conditions, the lightweight and windproof, the Cycle Gilet provides impressive protection against anything the elements can throw your way. Designed to be worn for the duration of the ride or donned as conditions dictate, the Gilet is particularly easy to stow – weighing in at just 118 grams and packing down to 7cm. Perforated rear fabric affords great breathability to help regulate the temperature of your body. The Waterproof Jacket is a piece that you can actually now ride the full day in. Fully taped, breathable and non-restricting, the jacket’s incredible stretch characteristics provide a full range of motion for ease on the drops or simply giving you easy access to your rear pockets.
ashmei is available for purchase world-wide, directly from their website.
Better still, their apparel has steadily been appearing in upscale bike shops here in the USA, where we were fortunate to have first discovered it.
Exquisite stuff indeed!
more from ashmei…
When Stuart Brooke founded ashmei in 2011, it was with a very clear vision of creating the ultimate high end performance sportswear brand. His pedigree designing and producing sportswear for the previous 25 years has enabled ashmei to launch with an incredible wealth of experience. Spotting a gap in the market, his vision for the brand is to become the ‘Dyson’ of sportswear.
Brooke has designed for over 100 blue chip sportswear brands. This experience has taught him that sportswear companies tend to work in the same way: pinpointing a key selling price as the most commercially viable. By doing this at the start of the process, it locks in performance, features, quality and function. Everyone involved in the design and product development process is then focussed on hitting an agreed price point above all else. Brooke explains: “When you remove target price points and focus on developing the very best it allows you to become much more creative and product focussed.”
The ashmei way is to start the development of products by looking at what the athlete needs. The design and product development team then evaluate the industry’s best products and work out how to improve every element. In short, every ashmei product has to be the best in terms of performance and style or it won’t launch it.
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