Neon-Velo talks fashion, brand ambassadors and consistent style
What can you tell me about the brand and where it has come from?
Neon Velo is a boutique cycling brand aimed at fashion-focused cyclists with an eye for style and a desire to break away from the norm. We have always had a strong race heritage and still have an ongoing race programme (albeit on a smaller budget than the larger UK teams). Since 2014 we’ve raced on the road and we’ve raced cyclocross, both, nationally and internationally.
Since launch, how much has the brand grown?
We’ve seen a fantastic uptake in the brand from customers and retailers, which has helped us develop new products for the coming seasons. We’re still a young brand, and we still have lots that we want to achieve over the coming few ranges/seasons. Obviously, continued growth as a business is fundamental to our plans as is business development through new and emerging cycling markets.
What does it offer the UK market that is different from other brands?
As a British boutique cycling brand, we are competing with a number of overseas brands. Brands like MAAP, Attaquer, Pedla, Black Sheep and Pas Normal Studios have brought new colours and patterns to the UK market that was otherwise dominated by Rapha.
We believe Neon Velo offers a consistent and well-defined style. We produce well designed understated kit using high-quality Italian fabrics. Our first range offers enough colour options and accents to please most of our customers and offers a great alternative to the overseas brand.
The bold but understated NVPA (Neon Velo Performance Apparel) branding mixed with the subtle typographic elements defines the brand well. However, there is still enough neutrality to let you pair the kit nicely with your bike, helmet, sunglasses and shoes.
How did ‘Whitespace’ come about?
Our time on the road is something we see as therapeutic. Cycling is our escape, our time, our place and our freedom. As cyclists, we are always one ride away from a happy place. A place our team riders and brand staff have affectionally named their ‘Whitespace’. A space where you rediscover yourself, rebuild your energy levels, escape life stresses and reconnect with life. Our ‘Whitespace’ ethos is the reason that a lot of our jerseys have the brand logo placed in a whitespace across the back of the shoulders. The Neon-Velo logo represents you, your shoulder carry life’s stresses and the whitespace is where you go to escape from all that. It was something that just made sense at the time and has since become a core value to everyone involved with the Neon-Velo brand.
What product highlights do you have at the moment?
As high mileage cyclists ourselves, we stand behind all of our products and only produce products we’d want to use on our own rides. Of all the products we produce, our bibshorts offer are a solid and reliable garment. One giving comfort, fantastic fit and durability. Both the shorts and the chamois are made in Italy and have been used extensively by a team of riders and brand ambassadors.
One of the issues we found with some of the bigger brands bib shorts was the chamois. They were over-engineered, often too thick and not very breathable.
What initially looked like a well-padded and super comfy pad on the shop floor quickly turned into a sweat-soaked, heavyweight, non-breathable pad that no longer follows the contour of the body as it was designed to do.
This was something we found particularly frustrating when riding in the hot French alps in June, July and August.
We have specifically designed out chamois with this in mind. Therefore, what initially seems to be a ‘thin’ chamois very quickly becomes a rider’s new go-to product. Its lightweight, breathable, flexible yet still offers a good amount of support to the less experienced cyclist.
Our base layers also offer another solid product. They are made in Italy (as all of our products are) and use polypropylene and not polyester. A lot of brands use polyester, simply so they can easily sublimate their graphics and logos onto their base layers a do so at a low cost. However, the sublimation process used to do this leaves the fabric heat damaged, flattened and crushed. In turn, this greatly reduces comfort, decreases the fabrics wicking ability and offers little in terms of performance.
Obviously, you can’t sublimate print onto a polypropylene fabric. After all, why would you want to? Polypropylene is softer, more flexible, more comfortable and its wicking properties are increased considerably. In short, it is a far better fabric that dramatically upscales comfort, breathability and wicking. Something that is vital to a high performing base layer that can be used across a range of temperatures and conditions. It is for this reason that we hand stitch all of the logos and branding onto our base layers.
What will be new this year and next?
We’re presently working on some really cool projects and we are currently developing our SS20 range. We’re also working on the Neon Velo Performance Apparel community and working with brand ambassadors and athletes to increase our outreach and brand following. Obviously, I can’t give too much away in terms of products as we’re still in the R&D phase with a number of these at present. However, it’s safe to say that we’re planning to continue our steady rate of growth over the coming few seasons and product development forms a large part of these plans as does the continued growth of the NVPA community.