Best Kit Ever?

Celeste Heaven

What is the best pro team kit ever? I’m talking team kit only, not a leader’s jersey, national team jersey or the national champion jersey. Not the worst either, for those are legion and worthy of a much longer article than this. @wiscot and I exchanged emails about Urs Freuler and the fantastic Atala kit which led to quick discussion of best kits. He threw out Skil Shimano and La Vie Clair as kits to consider. It’s hard to disassociate the kit from the rider. Maybe the Orange Molteni kit would be rubbish if Lord Merckx didn’t own it for years. It’s also hard to come up with a great modern kit: too many sponsors, too much sublimation. Were wool kits nicer? Maybe they were in their simplicity, maybe more iconic. Sky’s kit was a excellent change for it’s uncluttered design and in years to come we may look back on it with as much admiration as we do a Molteni kit. But since that reedy weed Froome killed my VSP hopes recently, that jersey is dead to me, forever.

Here are a few nice ones. I’m sure I’ve left many nicer ones out. Let the arguing begin.

  • Atala-I know my love of the Atala prisoner jersey is bolstered by Urs Freuler’s ‘stach and a young Gianni Bugno in the stripes. The design was a nod to the early Atala frames made in an Italian prison by real Italian prisoners. It’s a damn good looking, especially when it made the transition to lycra.
  • Molteni-I can’t separate the jersey from Merckx. It’s a weird color and a nice design but without Eddie’s head sticking out of the top I’m not sure it would go far.
  • TI Raleigh-So much ass was kicked by riders in this jersey it was like a black leather jacket. If three guys in this jersey ride up next to you, it’s sweatin’ time. The design didn’t change season to season. Red, yellow and black: a very distinctive kit but the best kit?
  • Skil Shimano – If Sean Kelly didn’t wear this kit it wouldn’t be in the running. But Sean Kelly killing it in the red, white and blue Skil kit, he makes it look awesome.
  • Brooklyn Chewing Gum – This kit may have stood on it’s own. It’s original and beautiful. If Roger de Vlaeminck hadn’t rocked that jersey in various Paris-Roubaix wins it may have stood on its own but it would not have stood so tall.
  •  La Vie Claire – Hinault never looked quite menacing enough in this Mondrian inspired jersey. He looked mean all the time but this jersey made him look too sophisticated, someone who actually cared about design instead of just ripping legs off.
  • Bianchi – Like Atala, the bike manufacturer as sponsor keeps the kit simple. Bianchi’s beautiful color and simple design really do it for me. When Bianchi again sponsored a team and big Jan was the captain, everyone won.

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211 Replies to “Best Kit Ever?”

  1. Best kits ever, in my opinion

    1. Raleigh (the Postmen, they always delivered, for instance winning about 10 stages each TdF)

    2. Carrera Jeans (especially the shorts, although not rule #14 compliant)

    3. Cervelo Test Team (black, black, black)

    The fun is, I got a cppy of all 3 of’em. I know, I broke rule #17.

  2. @Nero

    Best kits ever, in my opinion

    1. Raleigh (the Postmen, they always delivered, for instance winning about 10 stages each TdF)

    Indeed the Ti Raleigh kit was a classic.  Looking several posts above – I should be shot for saying I liked the Blanco kit.  What the fuck was I thinking?  Here’s hoping the new Belkin kit is a bit better.

  3. @VeloVita

    @Nero

    Best kits ever, in my opinion

    1. Raleigh (the Postmen, they always delivered, for instance winning about 10 stages each TdF)

    Indeed the Ti Raleigh kit was a classic. Looking several posts above – I should be shot for saying I liked the Blanco kit. What the fuck was I thinking? Here’s hoping the new Belkin kit is a bit better.

    You know i won’t be better than he Blanco kit. You just know they’ll just erase Blanco and slap Belkin on. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong.

    The Raleigh kit was da bomb. So was the old red Flandria kit work by Maertens, Kelly and DeMayer.

  4. @Ron you can find some really awesome goatskin leather gloves (w/ an old school crocheted back) in padded palm or unpadded.  these jokers are made in pennsylvania, & are $16.  i’m never buying another other type.  use the googlebox to find the company: aerotech designs.  i’m not affiliated w/ them, but when i find a great product i stick w/ it.

  5. @VeloVita, wiscot,

    the thing I like most about the Blanco kit is the ‘Blanco’ logo. The colours are quite common. Hard to find a Blanco in the peloton. To bad the logo disappears.

  6. Can we officially add the Peugeot checkerboard kit to this list?  Seriously overlooked. Worn by Merckx, Thevenet, Millar, Kuiper et al. If it’s not got some kind of patent or copyright on it, how cool would it be if Blanco/Belkin brought it back updated?

  7. @wiscot

    Can we officially add the Peugeot checkerboard kit to this list? Seriously overlooked. Worn by Merckx, Thevenet, Millar, Kuiper et al. If it’s not got some kind of patent or copyright on it, how cool would it be if Blanco/Belkin brought it back updated?

    Rocking the Peugeot kit tomorrow at the Scottish Cogal. A Classic.

  8. @JohnB

    @wiscot

    Can we officially add the Peugeot checkerboard kit to this list? Seriously overlooked. Worn by Merckx, Thevenet, Millar, Kuiper et al. If it’s not got some kind of patent or copyright on it, how cool would it be if Blanco/Belkin brought it back updated?

    Rocking the Peugeot kit tomorrow at the Scottish Cogal. A Classic.

    Foties shall be taken.

  9. @strathlubnaig

    @JohnB

    @wiscot

    Can we officially add the Peugeot checkerboard kit to this list? Seriously overlooked. Worn by Merckx, Thevenet, Millar, Kuiper et al. If it’s not got some kind of patent or copyright on it, how cool would it be if Blanco/Belkin brought it back updated?

    Rocking the Peugeot kit tomorrow at the Scottish Cogal. A Classic.

    Foties shall be taken.

    I would expect nothing less. White helmet, white frame eyewear, only flash of colour is the orange on the V socks (my sole pair but that’s another tale)

    @nero Order from Prendas Ciclismo. They have a fine range of classic kits in modern materials. I just couldn’t hope to carry off the Molteni resplendent with rainbow bands arms and collar.

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