British folding bike manufacturer Brompton has stepped into the cycling apparel world with its Oratory Jacket.
Three years in the making, the jacket is named after the Brompton Oratory that founder Andrew Ritchie overlooked when he founded the company.
Featuring the highly water resistant ‘amphibious cotton, EPIC by Nextec Cotton fabric, the Oratory Jacket is lined with bamboo fabric – printed with a drawing of the Brompton Oratory by Sheffield artist Kid Acne.
The jacket includes a number of cycle specific performance features, combining them with the look and feel of a classic two-button jacket. Such features include a pull out high-vis rear panel, fold down cuffs with reflective panels, pit zips for ventilation and even a Oyster card pocket in sleeve.
Brompton marketing manager Emerson Roberts said at the launch: “Our aim is to be the personal transport brand of choice. Before the Oratory Jacket there was a choice of a blazer that offered no protection from the elements and wasn’t really suited to a bike, or to wear high-vis gear.
“So the jacket addresses a genuine design need. Andrew developed the Brompton bike to be a solution to a need and we hope the Oratory jacket adds to that.”
Brompton’s head of design Will Carleysmith said: “It’s a whole new market for us. The jacket has been designed to meet the disparate needs of people who want to use a bike in daily life without having to change into or out of garish cycle attire or waterproofs. It’s about giving cyclists greater choice, but also about normalising cycling.”
The cord jacket is only available in a male version so far, but the firm promised: “It is top of the list to get a women’s jacket out there next.” BikeBiz was told the female version has been designed and is ready to go into production, depending on how well the men’s version is received. Such caution may well prove to be unfounded however, with pre-orders already high, before the jacket has officially launched.
The Oratory will retail for £250 and will be available to selected Brompton dealers from September 1st 2011. Stockists include Downland Cycles, Evans, Mosquito Bikes, On Your Bike, SJS Cycles and Velorution.