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When someone has clothes, gloves, shorts, etc. that have been Team branded, does this mean they are of the highest quality, they are about the best on the market? Some internet sites sell team clothes at a substantial discount. Can I feel assured all the team stuff they sell is some of the best on the market?
 

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Not neccesarily...

lawrence said:
When someone has clothes, gloves, shorts, etc. that have been Team branded, does this mean they are of the highest quality, they are about the best on the market? Some internet sites sell team clothes at a substantial discount. Can I feel assured all the team stuff they sell is some of the best on the market?
A lot of "team branded" stuff is just that, team branded, and not of the highest quality gear. Normally, it's OK, and should last for a season or so, but the stuff I have personally owned, or seen others have has not been top notch.

why you might ask? Well, because teams get their stuff from sponsors, and they tear through clothing like nobody's business, because it is their work attire, and they are hard on the gear really. Why give them the best stuff when the slightly less good stuff is cheaper to make, and they're just going to roll through it anyway.

That being said, regular shmucks like you or I will be fine with team branded gear from discount sellers.
 

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No experience with team branded clothing, but as sponsers change from year to year they need new clothing anyway, so why have the most durable stuff?
 

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sol 518 said:
No experience with team branded clothing, but as sponsers change from year to year they need new clothing anyway, so why have the most durable stuff?
Exactly- you could just as well assume it is all disposable. Trade teams don't really pay for this stuff, so no worries ;)
 

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classiquesklassieker
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lawrence said:
When someone has clothes, gloves, shorts, etc. that have been Team branded, does this mean they are of the highest quality, they are about the best on the market? Some internet sites sell team clothes at a substantial discount. Can I feel assured all the team stuff they sell is some of the best on the market?
The "team-branded" merchandise you find on the market is rarely the same thing as the stuff that the team itself rides. There are tons of 1/4-zip Euskaltel jerseys but the team rides full-zip Euskaltel jerseys. And that's considering only the zippers!
 

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An observations: Team jerseys and zippers

lawrence said:
When someone has clothes, gloves, shorts, etc. that have been Team branded, does this mean they are of the highest quality, they are about the best on the market? Some internet sites sell team clothes at a substantial discount. Can I feel assured all the team stuff they sell is some of the best on the market?
This may or may not be related to the question but:

A feature found on many zippers is a hidden zipper. The hidden zipper prevents graphics and logos across the front of a jersey from being interrupted by a swath of zipper running down the front of the zipper. But hidden zippers are also more delicate, and can more difficult to open and close with one hand (or with gloves on). Obviously, sponsors would probably prefer their riders using hidden zippers, so that sponsor's logos can remain completely intact. But from what I've seen, most pro jerseys do not use a hidden zippers - probably because they are impractical.

I first came upon this issue when we redesigned our racing team's jerseys to add a new bike shop sponsor's logo. The riders wanted non-hidden zippers, but the bike shop owner preferred that our jerseys have a hidden zipper, and claimed that all the pro teams use hidden zippers. Well, it turns out he was just blowing smoke up our ____es, since the vast majority of pro riders do not use hidden zippers.

Getting back to the original question: If the team branded jerseys you are looking at use hidden zippers, there is a very good chance that it is not the same clothing worn by the team's riders.
 

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Rollin' Stones
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Pro vs. joe.

The uniforms/jerseys that are issued or designed for the teams are very rarely available to the public. Take a look at NFL jerseys. The off the rack jersey is no where near the NFL Sunday jersey. The custom "sewn on" jerseys are a lot more expensive, yet close to the real deal. The teams normally have jerseys for hot weather, custom fits for body type, or position, ie: running backs have tight fit to avoid pull down tackles. That can be applied to cycling as well. Take a look at Trek's Disco section. They have a few different jerseys for different conditions. The more specific, the more expensive. I doubt many will pay the huge $$ for the Spin Swift TT suit, in Disco colors no less, so why make many? My point being, more people will buy a cheaper, casual replica jersey/shorts, than the team issue stuff.
 

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Plus it's EMBARRASSING to wear that stuff...

I just can't do it. I've tried, but I do 90-plus percent of my riding in mountain bike shorts and T-shirts. Team stuff is too much like putting on pads and a helmet to play touch football with your buddies in the park.
Another plus: When you look like you just bought the bike at a yard sale, nobody expects you to be fast. If you pass them, it demoralizes them, and if you don't, you look like a dork anyway, so nobody notices.
 

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Soul Mining
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Mark McM said:
I first came upon this issue when we redesigned our racing team's jerseys to add a new bike shop sponsor's logo. The riders wanted non-hidden zippers, but the bike shop owner preferred that our jerseys have a hidden zipper, and claimed that all the pro teams use hidden zippers. Well, it turns out he was just blowing smoke up our ____es, since the vast majority of pro riders do not use hidden zippers.
I own a Team Mercury jersey with a full length zipper that isn't hidden. It is the real deal -- a pro jersey that was owned by a real pro and was sold by one of his buddies at a bike shop in town. The zipper is significantly more sturdy than those wimpy hidden ones found on most products. Is the material any better? I'm not sure about that, but the zipper is certainly industrial strength!
 
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