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20/01/2011 // INFO 1 Comment

Cervo Rosso Cycling Clothing

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Cervo Rosso

Cervo Rosso is Italian for red deer: and, like the ruminant, the Crans Montana based cycle clothing brand recently launched by Carlyle Ware can be found all over the world. Sportwool jerseys are manufactured in the York, Lycra products in Italy and the merino base layers in New Zealand. Target markets include Switzerland, Belgium and Italy. Carlyle himself is Australian.

Carlyle explained to me that the global nature of Cervo Rosso’s manufacturing operations is based on the desire to achieve the optimum combination of quality and price. Cervo Rosso intends to be both performance wear and urban cycling kit and Carlyle believes that different fabrics and manufacturers from around the world are required to provide the best product for each sector.

Swiss style and design

What is consistent between the ranges, Carlyle says, is the “strong look and feel of the product.”  It draws heavily on the “traditional design and style that is popular in Switzerland” and aims for a “modern/retro” style.

Despite a professional background outside of cycling, Carlyle’s passion and enthusiasm for road cycling is evident. I suppose it must be fairly motivating sharing the road with Fabian Cancellara (they live close to each other) but he says cycling in Switzerland is currently at low ebb.

Despite the prominence of pro-riders such as Cancellara and Albasini (who won the 2010 Tour of Britain), a strong home-based cycling manufacturer with its own professional race team (BMC) and a host of highly respected cycling manufacturers (Assos, Zipvit…) he says that doping in the sport has resulted in Swiss parents discouraging their children from taking up cycling in a serious way. By drawing on a traditional Swiss aesthetic, Cervo Rosso hopes to remind people about a time when cycling was not tarnished and encourage greater numbers to cycle in Switzerland.

Belgium before Britain

Carlyle tells me that the UK is not one of Cervo Rosso’s initial target markets; “saturated” is how he describes the UK cycle clothing market. As a result, in addition to their home market, they intend to initially focus on Italy and Belgium. The UK, Australia and New Jersey in the States will follow.

Another area of intended development is female cycling gear. Carlyle tells me that he is in discussions with manufacturers about creating a female specific fit. He recognises that female cycling is growing fast, particularly in the US and Australia, and plans to launch a female range in 2012, perhaps under the name Cervo Rosa.

We will be out testing the National Pride Jersey over the coming weeks and will be sure to let you know our findings.

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