For many, being comfortable starts with being comfortable in what you’re wearing. But for too many in the cycling community, there are not enough cycling specific clothing options that fit them well. Cycling apparel company Kitsbow is setting out to make more people, and more types of people, comfortable on a bicycle. That means making clothing for people who do not fit comfortably in the standard S, M, L, XL categories.
Kitsbow works on a manufacturing model a bit different than many brands. Rather than creating a set number of each size, Kitsbow creates “made to order” apparel. That means your shirt is made, well, as soon as you order it, not before. The company waits for your order and then begins cutting and sewing it in their Old Fort, North Carolina, factory.
With this unique supply chain Kitsbow identified a unique opportunity. Rather than creating piles of standard sizes waiting for them to sell, Kitswbow could create sizes that better fit the varying sizes of their customers and wait to hear exactly what they needed. This meant they wouldn’t be left with piles of any unsold gear, and most importantly, they could alter the “standards” with little extra work or time in their manufacturing chain.
Kitsbow started with their Icon shirt in six sizes and three different fits. There is the signature, a straight cut, women’s, a more contoured cut, and relaxed athletic, which is wide in the shoulders and the torso. They loved that their clothing could better fit a wider variety of riders, so they set out to increase the number of pieces in their lineup with increased sizing options.
Kitsbow is now offering their Crew, V-Neck, and Cyclone Tee in sizes from XXS to XXXXL so that riders of all types can find gear that fits them well, makes them comfortable and keeps them stoked to be on their bike.
They are committed to keeping this trend going and are continuously evaluating the rest of their lineup to see how their gear could better fit, and serve their customers. This could include expanded cuts, and even a variety of lengths of garments for different shaped bodies.
If we want a more inclusive and equitable riding community, we need to create spaces, and gear that works for all types of riders. Kitsbow is putting in the work to do just that. We are particularly excited to see their efforts work through the rest of their lineup. Perhaps even to bibs and chamois?