When I was a kid, I didn’t understand why my parents wouldn’t buy me my own football helmet. I wanted a cool helmet with all sorts of extra face-maskery. I didn’t understand that I was growing at a rate the stock market would envy. But now the turned tables allow me to appreciate the sorts of math you do when your kids need new shoes every 12 to 16 weeks. More Vans? Maybe the Target shoes will do this time.
Still, I want to provide my kids with the sorts of gear that will allow them to enjoy cycling and grow with it. Part of that for me is finding actual cycling apparel for Mini-Shred to wear when he rides. I’ve sampled items from a few companies and about half of it has been garbage, stuff so flimsy and poorly cut that I’d rather take him out in basketball shorts and any old polyester shirt.
One notable exception has been the jersey and bib shorts from the English company Islabikes. Mini-Shred is approaching eight, but is on the small-size for his age and has been wearing the jersey and bib shorts cut for 6-7 year olds. It’s terrific quality stuff, comparable to many club kits I’ve encountered and the chamois in the bibs is appropriately small for him. As a matter of fact, he likes the stuff so much it’s tough to get it off him. Srsly. I’ve gotten him up in the morning only to realize that he’s worn the bibs to bed.
We will get to bacteria and saddle sores in a different lesson. For now, his undercarriage is as stout as that of an M4 Abrams.
Both the jersey and the bibs are available in three sizes: 6-7, 8-9 and 10-11 year olds. Take the sizing recommendations with a grain of salt and refer, instead to the actual measurements included on the pages for each of the items. That is far more helpful.
The jersey goes for $49.99 while the bibs go for $59.99. I’ve found less expensive cycling clothing, but I figure the premium is worth paying just for the benefit of the sizing info. Also, I’ve yet to encounter anything other than shorts for kids, and this boy is so cut (even at this age), it would be cruel to keep bibs a secret from him. I might as well teach him now.
Final thought: Comfort will sell itself.
Action image: Jorge Flores, JustPedal