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World Champion Cycling Kit: Creating Emma Pooley’s New GCN ASSOS Jersey

World Champion Cycling Kit: Creating Emma Pooley’s New GCN ASSOS Jersey


(energetic rock music) – It’s been a great first week at GCN, really interesting, really fun. And the response from
you guys to the videos has been overwhelming. Thank you so much for welcoming me. I really appreciate it. One recurring theme, though,
has been the rainbow stripes, or lack thereof, on my
kit. And I agree. I agree. I should have rainbow stripes. Thanks for pointing it out to GCN. Luckily, ASSOS, our claiming sponsor, were a step ahead, and they’ve actually designed a kit for me
with rainbow stripes. And we are here in
beautiful Lugano, in Ticino, in Switzerland, to pick it up. So one key point is that
I was only World Champion in the time trial, not in the road race. And the highest I ever got in the road race was National Champion, although I was still
pretty chuffed for that. So ASSOS have very kindly offered to make me two sets of kit — one with the ex-National Champion stripes and one with the rainbow stripes for being the ex-World Champion. Because I would feel uncomfortable wearing the rainbow stripes for a road race. And I know that you guys
know that would be wrong. So a bit on that, I’m going to
have one set for road racing and a different set for
the time trial training. Which means that I’m going to have to do lots of time trialling. The prospect of all this
Lycra is a little bit daunting to someone who likes their clothes baggy. But first step, measuring up. Here we go. (techno music) So I am here in the
ASSOS boutique in Lugano with Fabiana, who is the
chief pattern maker at ASSOS. So she actually designs
all of the patterns for all of the ASSOS clothing pretty much. So she is an expert in body shapes, which is a bit scary. I’m
going to be measured by her. She’s going to take my measurements to sort out my custom kit. – This is not a problem. – This is the number on
me that is big. (laughter) – Yes. I agree. (laughter) – Thanks, Fabiana. This is
the semi-customized kit, I would say. So in this kit,
they have shortened the legs for me, because my legs are not very long. And the jersey is just the same jersey, and it fits really quite
well, maybe a little bit long. – Yes, just a bit, but it’s okay. – But actually it’s really comfy. The great thing about Lycra is
that it has four-way stretch. So if, say, you’re a bit
short or a little bit wider, then it stretches outwards to make up for the lack of length. That’s what I do to make it fit. So after having my
measurements taken by Fabiana, and testing out this adapted
kit, we are heading up to ASSOS HQ, which is a
little drive away in Stabio, to see my custom kit with
some stripes, I think. (techno music) So here we are in the ASSOS printing room, which is where the magic happens. Except that it’s not magic.
It is actually science, and ASSOS has spent a
lot of time researching fabric technology to bring us
a super stretchy coloured kit. In fact, it was ASSOS that
developed the concept of sublimating colour onto
elastic synthetic fabrics. So sublimation works
by creating a transfer, as you can see here with
the GCN kit printed on it. This transfer consists of 95%
colour and 5% transparene, which is a compound
which enables the colour to stick to the fibres in the fabric. The fabric is overlayed onto the transfer, sent through this impressive
looking printing machine, which subjects it to both heat and pressure at the same time. And that transfers the colour from the transfer onto the fabric. Woo-hoo. Here we go. So this is a very exciting moment. This is my special kit with
some little rainbow stripes. And Nicoletta here is
letting me pull the fabric off the transfer after the printing. Apparently, if I get it wrong, it’s all just going to be a
disaster. So here we go. Oh, it’s quite satisfying. Woo-hoo. There we go. A little rainbow right there. What’s really cool to notice is that the fabric is quite different. So there is actually four
different kinds of fabric in an ASSOS jersey. And according to the
concentration of the colour– so how dark the colour is
and which colour it is– you actually get different
shrinkage of the fabric. And that also has to be allowed
for in the design process. – It’s finished. – Grazie mille. Ciao. – Ciao. (laughter) – Right. I’m taking my
printed sections upstairs to get stitched together. (techno music) Now we’re going to talk about chamois. This is a crucial part
of your cycling kit, because most of your weight
will go through your bum, onto the saddle, and let’s just say that it’s a sensitive area
that you want to treat nicely. They are called chamois, interestingly, because they used to be made of leather from the chamois mountain goat, which is a bit weird, in my opinion. I never used a leather chamois, but that’s what they had available. Nowadays, we have synthetic
fabrics that stretch and definitely more comfortable. Now, I started cycling
relatively late, in my 20s. And I think it’s fair to
say that when I started out, I didn’t have much of
a clue about chamois, or a cycling kit, or in fact,
much about bikes at all. And I saved money, I thought, by buying very poor quality cycling shorts. And I think it’s fair to
say that I paid the price. Nowadays, there’s quite a wide
range of chamois available, and it’s obviously a very personal choice. It’s a personal area. ASSOS have developed this fantastic range of different chamois for different needs, different styles of riding
and different body types. This, for example, is
a long-distance chamois with a greater thickness of padding. This is a pro-team level chamois, and you can see that there’s a split between the sections of padding to take the pressure
off one’s central area. Right through to a previous generation, the women’s-specific chamois. And here we have my shorts, sans chamois, and we’re going to take them upstairs to have the chamois fitted in. This alarming looking model is in order to get the chamois fitted
properly into the shorts. As you can see, ASSOS
has marked up exactly where the chamois should fit. And because they have so many
different kinds of chamois, the position is different for every one. And this model helps to make sure that the chamois is in the right place, which is very important. Another cool thing that ASSOS do, they have a patented system
called the Golden Gate system, which means that they
don’t stitch the chamois all the way around the edge,
just in certain sections. Which is really important
because it allows the chamois to move with your body,
but still obviously stay in the right position with the shorts. (smooth jazz music) So here we are with Samjuela in the quality control room at ASSOS. And she’s just doing one
final check on everything to make sure that everything is in place. She checks that the logo is matched up, that the stripes match up. She checks that there
are no loose threads, that the sizing is correct. So she compares it to the
original size we wanted. And then she packages it
up. And there you are. Thank you very much, Samjuela. I think I’m going to try it on. (uplifting electronic music) Well, that was amazingly
quick work by the ASSOS guys. They’ve produced two beautiful
jerseys for me in one day– one with the ex-World Champion stripes, one with the ex-National Champion stripes. And I’m pretty excited
actually. It feels amazing. And now I just feel like an idiot because I didn’t bring a
bike, and it’s a gorgeous day, and I’ve got cycling
gear. I want to go riding. Anyway, huge thanks to Fabiana
and all the crew at ASSOS for getting this beautiful kit made. And I can’t wait to get
out on the road in it. In the meantime, ASSOS are also going to make me a super-fast aeroskin suit with the ex-World Champion stripes on it, hopefully which I can use
in a presenter challenge, if they let me do a time trial. If you would like to see how one of those skin suits is made, you can click down here. In the meantime, don’t forget
to give us a thumbs-up.

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