But by walking past Eliel’s tent at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix this summer in California, one could see jerseys and bibs with potential to be top candidates.
The Vista, Calif.-based startup company is the brainchild of Derek Wiback and Ryan Cady, both formerly of Sock Guy. Cady toured clothing factories in Asia and Eastern Europe, but decided their company could control quality with a made-in-the-USA product housed under one roof. They now employ 22 people and make custom and stock clothing using Swiss and Italian fabrics.
With so many cycling clothing manufacturers in the market, Eliel is targeting is the high-end custom kit client. They provide kits such as their Mavericks Aero Speedsuit for the Surf City Cyclery team out of Huntington Beach, Calif.
How much? Eliel defines the mantra “you get what you pay for.” It’s a quality product with direct, in-house oversight and worth the cost if you’re willing to pay a little extra. A custom order of 10 makes the price of a men’s and women’s Rincon jersey $119 and the Laguna Seca bib shorts $169. The Mavericks Aero Speedsuit with a custom order of 10 costs $249 or $269 depending on the version.
An Eliel stock order of the men’s and women’s Laguna Seca bib shorts run $189, with a stock Rincon jersey at $129 for example.
Clipped In selected two staples of Arizona road racing to put these kits to the test: Jim “Woody” Woodburne (FASTER) and Jodie Oates (Jobing.com). Find out what they had to say about Eliel’s kits:
Woody: ‘Tremendous wicking effect, hit quality and comfort out of the park’
The Rincon jersey is a slim, aero-style race-cut top built with textured stretchy fabrics, zippers from YYK and flat stitching. The result is a jersey with an airy cool feel yet sleek and well composed. It’s composed of two textured fabrics yielding a tremendous wicking effect to aid in cooling. The material and cut used to construct the neck, shoulders and sleeves is very thin, soft and easily the most comfortable I’ve used.
The sleeves extend just past the bicep to form a seamless aero look. The material of the main body has less sheen compared to the shoulder material yet is more textured, presumably to aid wicking.
The cut of the jersey is racy, fitted yet sort of comfortable like pajamas. A touch of fluttering develops on top of the shoulders which was a minor distraction given the overall comfort of the jersey, but I’m told this has been addressed in new versions. The pockets were tapered and made of the same super stretchy material as the shoulders for super easy entry and storage.
Laguna Seca Bibs
The Laguna Seca bib panel layout and cut were very anatomical to create a second-skin feel. The pad integrates a carbon weave to help kill bacteria and wick moisture away from your skin, preventing sores, and proved itself on my long rides. The thickness and contouring is comparable to other top-shelf bibs but slightly wider up front, placing the edge of the pad further away from sensitive areas.
The leg grippers feature lightweight super-stretchy compression style construction that hold firm yet not too tight to cause discomfort at the end of long rides.
The upper portion of the bib was again the most comfortable I’ve used. The straps are wide and stretchy. The back panel is made from the mesh material similar to the jersey which breathes and wicks well to keep you cool. Eliel really hit the quality and comfort out of the park, and I highly recommend giving them a try.
Jodie: ‘Serious style points; adjustable bib strap didn’t work for me but other options available’
On new kit day, the goal is to head out for ride in a stylish kit that keeps you cool, helps performance and is comfortable.
On opening the package from Eliel, the Coronado jersey and Laguna Seca race bibs got serious style points. The design is unique and colorful. All printing has crisp lines and bright contrast on the various materials.
The jersey fabrics have ventilation stitching throughout, which was very useful on my rides that reached the low 100s. Although the jersey is advertised as loose fitting, I found it to fit well above this description. It curves to your body nicely; especially the sleeves and shoulder areas. The full zipper is minimal yet durable and includes a protective fabric that prevents friction on bibs. The jersey gripper strip is large enough to hold your jersey in place; it even held nicely while I retrieved pocket items.
Laguna Seca Bibs
The bib shorts are exceptional quality. The fabric stays snug and smooth while you ride, with the leg bands providing lightweight yet strong hold. The seams ride completely unnoticed. I had zero issues with the seams or the chamois during my rides.
The chamois edges taper and are sewn to create a smooth transition to the fabric – no hot spots. The chamois breathes well and performs perfectly. The adjustable bibs have a single strap that connects in the front with 13 attachment points. I didn’t find this aspect to work for me, but it might for others. The front portion covers my chest and stomach in a way that made me overheat and feel constricted during hard efforts. Typically unzipping my jersey cools me down, but the strap prevented this. Eliel has options available for the traditional straps and shorts.
Overall, I can attest to this high quality kit and I look forward to riding in it.
To find out more about Eliel’s products go to their website, elielcycling.com.
Sponsored by Eliel