09 February 2009


Since some some weeks I have this strange idea to start the creation of a new team outfit for this year's season and since some weeks less I am in contact with F2P in Singapore to find out about possible options. And all that despite all the considerable time and effort I had last years which brought nothing but blood, Swiss and tears. And of course a lot of colors to our otherwise boring and meaningless, gray existence. Well, it was mainly orange I have to admit.

There are three major reasons why I thought about having new team outfits:
  1. The 2008 short sleeve jerseys were nice, but a little bit tight for some (most) of the team members. This is because they are based on so called "pro-cut" specifications, i.e. these jerseys are made for guys and girls who do not only ride like pros [just as we do], but also look like cycling pros [which most of us don't]. I send F2P some photos of typical Positivo Espresso riders [I will mention no names, but my one was included] and, well, they didn't said it that clearly, but, how can I explain .... well I also had to swallow .... but basically they recommended something called "fun-cut".
    But better to own a jersey which can be used than one to hang in a frame on the wall.

  2. As the 2008 jerseys were the first design we made, there were certain strategic mistakes incorporated which are closely interlinked with the problems outlined above under (1). To cut a long story short, I was many times mistaken for Sydney Greenstreet and Tom was asked to sign autographs with "Akebono". Even Ludwig would have looked like previous German Kanzler Helmut Kohl. So I got some strategic hints from F2P this time how to do a design that makes as look, smarter, faster and slimmer.

  3. Finally we had no matching bib shorts for our fantastic team jerseys. In 2008 I rode a lot of times with the Positivo Jersey and the NFCC bib shorts - the best shorts I ever had and coincidentally manufactured by F2P. So I thought it would be nice to have some comfortable, good looking bib shorts as well.

  4. And we didn't had a long sleeve jersey as well, which meant that we could not sport the Positivo Espresso logo during the cold season. Yes, we could also use wind stopper jackets, rain vests, team socks and condoms imprinted with our logos but at some point one has to draw a line and say: Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.
So, I had some discussion about possible designs, minimum lot sizes and options and I came up with the following ideas for 2009:


Well I didn't want to change the overall theme so drastically so I stayed with the same colors as last year as a principle theme: orange, light and dark gray. I also left the "flag bands" at the sleeves as they are very good looking and can be used handily to explain the international background of the team. I added the Haiku from Beat Takeshi on the back side, please check here for the explanation.

In order to make as look faster, smarter and slimmer I put the flamboyant orange of the front and back and the grey on the side panels and shoulders.

The joke on the side panels about dogs, pedestrians, cars and bikes was nice for 2008 but should not be extended in to this year.

And we can also easily make a long sleeve jersey out of this as well.


A continuation of the same theme as on the short sleeve jerseys to have a unified outlook. Please note that the so called base panels are all uniform dark grey (so called "carbon grey"), they come only in eight base colors and cannot be imprinted with logos or patterns. At least not at a reasonable cost and also not without loosing durability.

The design emphasis our mights legs and people we will pass along the road will be terrified in awe and respect. Please also note that the long awaited "Traffic light bug" sticker is now integrated on the back side for everyone to see. From behind, of course. These are extremely comfortable bib shorts - I wrote that already I know, but I would like to emphasize this again.

I still need to work on the long sleeve jersey design which I will do within the next days.

Please let me have your honest feedback, we can still work very much on the design. We need to place an order of 20 items of each of the basic types (so either SS jersey, LS jersey or bib shorts) and then we can have a minimum lot size of 5 or 10 or the other two basic types. Obviously, the more we take, the cheaper it will get. So please let me also know which types would be of interest to you.

To give you an idea of the cost involved :

- Short Sleeve Jersey app. 8.000 Yen
- Long Sleeve Jersey app. 9.500 Yen
- Bib Shorts app. 8.500 Yen

The last time I have paid upfront the complete order of 20 jerseys, however this time I would expect some help in this regard from the Positivo Espresso Hard Core Team members.

It would be nice to have the jerseys ready for the Fuji Hill Climb event at the start of June. Or Itoigawa? Hurry up guys.


Manfred von Holstein said...

I definitely like the design, but I think I need to recognize I'm part of the minority in the team that needs a very different cut. So I think I may have to pass on this opportunity and stick with the brand-new 2007-design jersey I just acquired. Maybe I'm thus behind the times, but better than being ahead in terms of weight (and I strictly mean this in terms of climbing hills!).

TOM said...

Michael, thanks for taking the initiative on this major undertaking again!

When I showed the design to my dear wife, however (and I don't know about you guys' Japanese spouses), it did not fall in good earth...

It is funny of course but the locals just don't seem to be adept at interpreting sarcasm like we do.

Conclusion: if we stick to this design (I'm really only talking about Beat's poetry), then I will probably only go for the bib shorts(a ladybug might be a nice addition there). Are we using the same orange and grey shades as last year's version?

mob said...

I will add some comments to clarify and comment on the feedback I have received in the meantime:

Pro-Cut / Fun-cut

This issue is only related to the jerseys, not to the bib shorts; there is only a standard (pro, of course) version available. Ludwig, in case you are interested in matching bib shorts for your 2008 jerseys (same colors), you would get a very comfortable and cost-competitive one.

Red Light Haiku

Can be discussed: to abandon the idea, to make it smaller, to place it on the side panels, to include it on the short sleeves or long sleeve jerseys only. Let's wait for some more feedback.

Full length Zipper for short sleeve jersey

This makes sense and we can include this in the design, provided that F2P has this option which i am not sure. I will ask. So far we have foreseen 3/4 length zipper.

I guess for the long sleeve jerseys that would not be required.

Long Sleeve Windbreaker

F2P has a wind vest which I have received as a sample and which is not good (only mesh on the back). They also offer a windbreaker, made out of a light textile, but I have no specifications on this. I will ask, but the cost in 10.000 Yen plus. Let's see if there is more interest from the team riders.

Jersey Quality

In 2008 we have used a 140 gr/m2 fabric for the jerseys which is OK for summer. There is a lighter 130 gr/m2 version which was not recommended by F2P.

For the long sleeve (winter) jersey we have the option between 140 gr/m2 (like the summer jerseys) or 200 gr/m2, this is some kind of fleece attached to the inner side. I also have seen a sample, I was not so much impressed.

So I would rather go for a 140 gr/m2 version also for the long sleeve. Both materials do not have a windstopper function, so if it gets really could you need a jacket on top anyway. So I thought that the long sleeve would be nice for mid-season and as a jersey to wear below a winter jacket.

F2P also makes winter jackets and I got a sample for review but was not too much impressed. I guess I am a little bit spoiled by Assos.


Generally we would use the same colors as for the 2008 jerseys, so we can match 2008 and 2009 outfits. The dark gray is a little bit different because the base panels of the bib shorts come only in standard colors, one of them called Carbon Grey (I didn't know that carbon is gray, so this is more marketing than accurate description). Therefore the dark grey will be one Pantone grade different from 2008- that's it.


Let's assume we order the absolute minimum of 20items of one and 5 each of the two others, 30 items all together, and 8.000 Yen per item, so we need to pay 240.000 Yen. It might very well be that we do not have orders for all items at the time of ordering them from F2P.

So my idea is, that we share the initial cost between all riders and that we then reimburse the riders at the same rate as the jerseys get paid. Then there will also be more effort from all parties to sell the remaining jerseys.

Positivo Espresso Shop

I already confirmed with Nagai-San, that we can use the Positivo name for 2009, he had no objections.

Doing more with Nagai-San is, in my opinion, hopeless. I gave him three jerseys on consignment last year which he kept in a plastic bag in a closet in the back of his shop. Jerome, Ludwig and me bought the jerseys in the end. There was no promotion and very little interest from Nagai-san. I value him as a mechanic, but as a businessman I would like to keep some distance.

I will keep posting updates with the comments and infos coming in.

Bryon said...

Thanks for all the efforts in desing and the likes... I am in for the bibs and jersey


TOM said...

Thank you Michael for the update...it won't be easy to reach a consensus!

I really like the new looks of the re-designed jersey and the new bib shorts and would love to order both as a set.

The more I look at Takeshi's tanka, however, the less funny and the more banal the message. Granted, if worn overseas, it might have some exotic appeal...

Couldn't we stick to the old SLEEP, DRINK EAT RIDE YOUR BIKE adage?

Think Positivo!

mob said...


the Haiku left nobody untouched, some comments are very clear against it to be printed on the jersey, for other team members it seems to be a must. I will wait for some more comments and also for the answers to other questions from F2P and then come up with a proposal.

My feeling is, that the key point is to get committed orders for 20 bib shorts, where the design seems to be less controversial.

When we are OK with this, we can most likely ask for minimum order sizes of 5 pieces for mostly all kind of other jerseys, jackets etc. and designs.

I will keep you updated.

TOM said...

Thanks Michael. The bib shorts...great!! I mean, guys, these are the most comfortable bib shorts you will ever get !!! (it's not just the price that makes it such a good deal). I have tried many different brands so far but the padding inside these F2P is unbeatable! Just fabulous; not too soft not to hard and extremely comfortable on your butt.

Another thought on the Haiku perhaps, it will make potential Japanese members happier and prouder if more English or even Japlish is utilized...

mob said...

The discussion about the haiku is becoming a little bit overheated now, I feel. Let me first come up with some new ideas and information before discussing further would be my suggestion.

To answer one of the questions in advance, the 2009 is different from the 2008 design (gray and orange areas have been interchanged among other things) and (some of us) need new jerseys because the 2008 jerseys are too tight.

As a team, I feel that we should have jerseys with whom everybody feels comfortable and happy. Nobody should be forced to ride in a jersey which he does not like just because it is the official team jersey. In both ways : I do not want a too provocative but also not a boring jersey.

I am sure we will find a way.

marek said...

i love it ... and since the last one doesnt fit me anymore i might order one too (this time one size up)

James said...

I like the design. Less 'fussy' is good.
I concur with Tom's view of dropping the 'haiku' and replacing with the original 'sleep, drink, eat, ride your bike'.
Or perhaps a translation of that into Japanese?
Or perhaps 'If you're thinking too much you're not riding fast enough'.
Or perhaps 'Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult'.
Or perhaps 'Better wear a latex, cause you don’t want that late text, that “I think I’m late” text'.
Which are just some of my current favourites :)
I would order one SS and one bib shorts. I do not think I would use a long sleeve to be honest.
Thanks, as ever, for your efforts.

TOM said...

Or perhaps "ONLY STOPPING FOR RED LIGHTS AND CUTE CHICKS" (sorry Juliane if you're reading this...)