In Højbjerg, just outside Aarhus, lives a boy called Thomas who is passionate about cycling, and especially cycling clothing. In just a few years, he has built up the successful clothing brand ES16, and creates both his own collection that can be bought online, as well as creating clothes in exactly the design and quality you want. At AOC this year we are lucky enough to have ES16 as a clothing sponsor, Søren from the blog would like to tell a little about why he thinks ES16 has been great to ride in and why we can recommend the brand to our readers.
Text: Søren Kuipers |Photo: Uggi Kaldan, R.P.Foto, Henning Pedersen
WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT CYCLING CLOTHES?
Skeptics might say: not very much, that is immediately correct. The following user assessment is subjective, and I have no previous employment in the clothing industry or anything else, but after riding approximately 8,000-11,000 km per year for the last almost 10 years, I have had my share of cycling clothing on my body. I have driven all kinds of brands of both low and high quality - both the "entry-level" models and the top models from all kinds of brands.
One can object that no one writes badly about a sponsor, and that is also true, but AoC had never agreed to ride around in any bad clothes, not even if it was a sponsorship, so rather buy it yourself (and we've actually done that for many seasons) – but this year the opportunity presented itself to be allowed to ride in quality clunks, clean and free, yes thank you, we said, and how has it worked?
CLOTHING FOR SERIOUS EXERCISES – WITH GOOD SERVICE ALL THE WAY AROUND!
As an exerciser / smaller team, you are not exactly an expert in clothing design and clothing purchasing, therefore it is also really important that you trust those you order from, our experience with Thomas has been impeccable. It started with a meeting where we agreed on the quality of shirt, trousers and vest that we wanted, read more about it further down in the article. After that, we made a proposal for a design, which Thomas fine-tuned, the process went quickly and the clothes were ready for production in a week's time. When ordering, the delivery time was given as 6 weeks, and that was completely correct, just as after 3 weeks we got an update from Thomas that everything was going according to plan. This is exactly the kind of service you want when you, as an amateur, find yourself having to order your own set of clothes!
Thomas Dybdahl, says himself: "We are specialists in team clothing and can help you design and produce exactly the set of cycling clothing you dream of." The target group is versatile, and Thomas talks about a broad user base. “We make cycling clothing for large and small companies with both their own logo and individual design . And we supply team clothing to a lot of cycling clubs as well.” No one is too big and no one is too small to place an order. One of the common features of ES16's customers is that they are generally serious about cycling – both cycling itself and serious about looking good when you are on the frame.
FIRST RACE OF THE YEAR, IN CYCLING JACKET FROM ES16
At the end of February we went to the opening weekend in Belgium, where we rode Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Saturday and then Omloop Het Niewsblad on Sunday – both cyclo versions (exercise). When you're going to Belgium at the end of February, it's hard to know what top to wear, but Thomas recommended us to ride in the Es16 Elite Mission flow cycling jacket. It would quickly turn out to be an extremely good choice. Two days with approximately 120 km of cycling per day requires good equipment. We were spared rain, but there was quite a bit of wind, sub-zero temperatures from the morning and generally nice – but cold – spring weather.
Below, it is the editor of AoC sitting on Bosberg and cheering on a junior who had gone completely and utterly cold over Omloop het Nieuwsblad's last serious cobblestone climb, it was in the all in all, a very cool trip (again) to Belgium!
The cycling jacket performed as it should. The fit is really good, there is a lot of stretch in the fabric, which adapts very well to your movements. It keeps you warm - and dry (I've ridden in the rain many times in the jacket since then) - even if it immediately seems on the thin side. It is not a classic winter jacket, but more of a transitional jacket from winter to spring and from autumn to winter. If you adapt the inner layers, you can use it from almost 0 degrees to 8-10 + degrees is my assessment.
In -4 degrees that I tested it in in the picture below in January 2022 it was just on the cold side, but what can you do for the photographer hehe. It's a really good jacket that I really appreciate and I've used it a lot during the season. The only thing I've experienced that is a bit annoying is at the sleeve ends. I have used the jacket a lot with gloves almost every time, and at the very end, the fabric is down against the hand, the jacket is slightly worn. Conversely, I'm also not the one who takes the best care of clothes in the wash, so if I followed the washing instructions better, it might be in better condition at the moment.
SPEEDSUIT “RIDE AS HELL” – THE PROS DRIVE IT, WHAT ABOUT YOU?
In the spring I was registered for the DGI Grand Prix single starter, which Leif Lundstrøm holds in West Jutland. One afternoon at the end of April, I trooped up to Thomas:“Single start on the menu, Thomas, what should I drive in?” Thomas maturely puts his glasses slightly up on his forehead and looks over. "You must drive in our new speedsuit with a couple of very small pockets at the back."
As said so done. I jump into the large version of the suit and it hugs the body. It is produced in a very thin material, and many triathletes use it because of its elasticity and lightness, but gradually speedsuits have also become quite common on the road in the Worldtour, and indeed also here at home in the A-class.
The same evening I started in the suit, and I have to say that it is the lightest cycling clothing I have tried, the freedom of movement in a speedsuit is completely unsurpassed, but I can clearly feel that it really just hugs the body. If you are vain and have a small thong, you must consider carefully, the suit leaves nothing to the imagination, apart from the small thin black layer of fabric, then you stand as God made you when you pull the suit on - for better or for worse.
However, there is no doubt that the wind resistance is considerably lower when you pull a speed suit over your head, it is both scientifically proven, but it is also felt on the bike, quite clearly, especially when you reach 40 km/h.
The biggest positive surprise for me was the pillow. As soon as I jumped into the saddle I noticed the thinness and minimal material of the pad. This, of course, to dry up quickly if you use it for triathlon. But how does one sit compared to a regular bicycle cushion? It fits even better. I cycled for a good 1.5 hours in total and I have no discomfort at all, although it felt like riding only on the fabric.
AOC UNIFORM 2022
Both Speed Suit and winter jacket are something that Thomas / ES16 always have in collection, and therefore can be ordered on ES16's website now, should you wish . But we have also ordered a set of clothes in our own design, a classic and stylish set of clothes consisting of jersey, bibs and gilet. The editor at AoC has, as always, been responsible for the design, Thomas has polished it and I am the one who has cycled the most kilometers in it. Below is an assessment of the three parts separately.
ELITE SPIN (JERSEY)
This jersey is a solid and good jersey. It is made of a coarse mesh fabric on the body, which makes it extremely comfortable on hot days, and the sleeves come in a material that is very similar to the fabric on the bibs. A smoother and more elastic fabric, which makes the shirt fit around the arms - regardless of the size of the arms.
The sleeves have laser cut seams which work really well on this jersey. And it comes in a model where there is a clear difference in the length at the front and at the back in relation to the position in the saddle. It's really nice that the fabric doesn't bulge up at the front of the stomach or, correspondingly, crawl up the back too much. A good jersey that many exercisers will appreciate.
After riding in it for a season, I can conclude that the durability of this jersey is top notch, I will easily be able to cycle it for at least one more season, it looks virtually unworn!
PRO TEAM (BIBS)
Without comparison, the best bibs I've ridden in. They just fit my bum, and they've done that straight out of the bag. The new team bibs are the fourth pair of this model that I have owned. All fit like a glove for my Scandinavian back, which is a few models wider than, for example, an Italian ditto.
The pillow is great; it is soft, not too thick, very malleable and extremely durable - even after many times in the washing machine. The end at the thighs is a different durable elastic band, which I really have good experiences with. They are snug but not too tight. Other bibs like me, I have done lots of trips for 1-2 hours at a time without problems, I have experienced irritations when the trips have ended in +4 hours - especially in hot terrain: Irritation such as chafing edges, swollen cushion etc. but I have never experienced that with these bibs.
The materials are stretchy and fit insanely well, and if I had to choose just one pair of cycling pants for a mountain tour, these are the ones I would take, I'm a fan!
AOC's clothes are seen here in 3rd position. Note in particular the ergonomic fit at the shoulders of the jersey and the end of the bib.
ELITE MICROFIBER WINDVEST (GILET)
A classic wind vest that does what it is supposed to do. It can take a downpour; it can take quite a bit of wind; it is optimal on a semi-cold descent or for starting/ending if you cycle close to sunrise and sunset.
It is made of a super fine fabric, so it is easy to keep in your back pocket. There is mesh (net) on the back, which means that you breathe super easily, even if the body is really working. It has a relatively high neck, about which there may be divided opinions - some think it may be a little too full with the material, but on cold descents, for example, I can assure you that it is extremely nice for both neck and neck that you do not get too cold on the throat.
If you choose this gillette in the same size as the jersey, my experience is that it is just 0.5-1 cm longer at the back than the jersey, which gives a stylish look when no layers stick out from under the vest . But it's more a matter of looks rather than functionality. The editor reports that if you have a bit of a thump, you should choose a gilet in a size larger than the jersey...
WHY CHOOSE ES16?
First of all you should choose ES16 because they make good quality clothes, we have tested it here at AoC and can honestly say the clothes are great. In addition, Thomas provides the service you need as an ordinary cycling exerciser, who in many cases may not be quite the eagle to design a nice cycling jersey, or know something about how to get such an order started, with Thomas and ES16 you are in safe hands, ES16 has a 4.8 score on Trustpilot, so close to perfect, so it's not just our experience that it plays, customers agree.
Thomas says: "We make up to 5 pieces per style, so you don't have to be a big club or company to get your own custom design", he says frankly that there is a lot of good cycling clothing out there, but there aren't many other manufacturers that can be satisfied with 5 "items" when ordering. It is important to emphasize that when Thomas talks about 5 pieces, it is not 5 people - no, it is simply 5 items in total. Let's say you and your best friend want to go on a trip to the Alps and think you want the same suit. Then you order, for example, two jerseys, two bibs and one (two) gillette. Boom, that's enough to make your own collection. There must be many who could be tempted by that. "And of course we produce both for men, women and children," adds Thomas.
The collections are produced in factories in the Czech Republic and Italy and when you choose ES16 as a partner, you get high-class cycling clothing that doesn't just look sharp, it's also fantastically delicious to wear. Thomas now has many years of experience in the production of cycling clothing, and he wants to create a good overall experience.
“It is an exciting process to create your own cycling clothing. With ES16 as a business partner, you can safely get through all phases. Based on your ideas and wishes, we will come up with a design proposal for you. Once you have approved the design, the garment is put into production. Then you can go with peace of mind and look forward to your new one being delivered. It takes between 4-8 weeks depending on the season.”
Minimum quantity when ordering team clothing in your own design:
- Min. 5 pieces. eg. 1 jersey, 2 bib shorts and 2 jackets.
- Min. 10 pcs. per article by accessories
- Min. 100 pieces. socks in own design.