The source of the newest line of fashionable clothing for urban cycling may surprise you. It’s Champion System, a label you are most likely to recognize for jerseys and shorts the company customizes for cycling clubs, teams and special events. If you ride in a pace line, chances are you’ve taken note of the Champion name.
Now, a new sister company, Ligne 8 cycling apparel, has launched women’s and men’s lines that are as far removed from body-hugging spandex as a classic steel single-speed is from a carbon-fiber time-trial bike. That’s a good thing for growing numbers of people who want style and comfort on their ride to work and throughout their day, especially women, whose options in that department have been limited.
“We found that there was a lack of choice for female commuters, and we wanted to address that void,” says Ligne 8 CEO Cecilia Allen, a former fashion executive.
The new line appears to be the most complete, coordinated collection of urban clothing to debut since Giro introduced its New Road collection. Ligne 8 includes tailored pants, skirts, tops, shirts, jackets and more, all constructed of fabrics that move, finishes that help repel moisture and stains, and with details that add comfort and utility on and off the bike. Premium Japanese denim jeans are included, as well.
One of my favorite selections for women is the Anson Jumpsuit (above). Its on-trend silhouette and styling are indistinguishable from juumpsuits offered by fashion labels. So I asked Stephanie Wong of Linge 8: What makes this “bike?”
She says it’s all about the fabric and functional details for cycling:
- First, the fabric: Four-way stretch material (nylon with a touch of elastane) moves, resists abrasion from repetitive pedaling motion and is treated to resist stains. It also dries quickly and shuns creases to help the rider arrive at her destination looking fresh.
- In terms of function: Three-quarter, turn-back sleeves and an inverted pleat beneath the back yoke support reach to the bars, while the adjustable drawstring waist and legs that taper to an elasticized and zippered ankle aid mobility.
- Two zipper pockets at the chest and one at the rear make it easy to carry essentials, while two cargo pockets at the front add interest. This piece can be worn with sneakers for a relaxed outing or paired with heels and accessories for a dressier look. i.e. You could live in it.
Fashion styling combined with sensible fabric choices and features are found throughout the line, a few examples of which follow:
As interest in cycling for transportation continues to grow, a number of makers are creating clothing focused on the urban ride. Among them: Terry, Club Ride Apparel, Novara (REI), Isladora, Hub and Bespoke and more. But Ligne 8 is the first urban offering that approaches the scope of the Giro New Road collection, which launched in 2013. Giro quickly followed the men’s line introduction with a similarly robust collection for women in 2014.
Shop the Ligne 8 women’s and men’s s collections here: www.ligne8.com
Photos: Ligne 8