Number 918

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Now that we've seen the threads of the teams that will be on the elite stage of cycling in 2011, let's take a gander at the lesser known, but equally committed domestic American teams. This is a partial list that will updated as team kits become public.
Team Subway Giant. Not much to be impressed by here.
This kit is similar to other Subway designs.
It reminds us of a semi custom club design with logos slapped on
the standard chest\shoulders\sides.
This kit looks better on the road than on screen\paper.
GRADE   C+


Remember when Felt bikes were on the grand stage of the tour
under Team Garmin Chipotle? Seems like forever ago.
Anyway, so yes, here's Team Exergy Felt. If Daft Punk sponsored a pro team,
this would be it. This kit looks good. Not great, good. The earth tone
accent colors distract the viewer from the shaded geometric shapes, which
any Adobe Illustrator student would tell you
is the way to make something look like its 3-D
GRADE   B
Jelly Belly will probably not be changing their U.S. team's kit for 2011,
So here is the newly formed Belgium Jelly Belly \ Donckers Koffie kit.
Even though this jersey doesn't excite as much as say,
Jeremy Powers riding the barriers, we can say nothing bad about Jelly Belly.
They have been one of the longest US Team sponsors &
they have tricked us all into thinking candy
is a good snack to eat.... while riding.
Great design! Oops, I mean "Jrate Deezzine"!
GRADE    B+
Kelly Benefits takes a step backwards with this kit.
One look at this and fans will be running to the fridge for an ice cold Heineken.
Because of this kit, that UCI sponsored class for Team directors
now has a lesson point that simply deals with the impropriety
of using 2 shades of green in a kit design.
GRADE   D
SPECIAL AWARD... MOST DE-IMPROVED
Kenda Geargrinder here is trying to bring back
the early nineties, mountain biking, bad microsoft clipart,
and bicep curls all in one fantastic new team kit.
Wear this jersey anywhere near the Schleck brothers & we
are certain the 2 opposing styles will tear a hole in the space-time-continuum.
GRADE   C-
RealCyclist.com will be sporting this look for 2011.
At first glance, this doesn't delight. But after a couple of drinks,
you start to appreciate it. Vivid, asymmetrical artwork doesn't get used enough
in pro cycling, nor does long vertically running text & logos.
GRADE   A
Jeez its a race jersey, not a web banner ad.
Team Type 1, with their new European campaign aspirations
starts to take itself a little too seriously with the
new kit. Will they ride the Giro? I'm all for it, hope they do.
But they need to be reminded that Italians don't get diabetes(*),
nor do they like to read English in between wine gulps.
GRADE  B
United Healthcare moves away from the norm with their 2011 kit.
This jersey is a good fit for them. Professional, attractive, concise,
and effective. United Healthcare will no doubt continue to crush the
barely-insured U.S. competition wearing this kit.
GRADE  A-
Saving the perhaps best for last, here is the just released
Wonderful Pistachios kit. This kit is bold without being loud.
Fun, yet seriously pro. Loyal to the sponsor without being greedy.
The little catch phrases are neat - "Get Crackin", "All Natural".
It's lines and curves are a little dated, but that is minor point
that barely keeps it from scoring a prefect 100.
GRADE   A
So there it is... How do the US Continental teams stack up against the ProTeams? Pretty darn good I'd say. Teams seem to have put effort into design and it is good to see a lot of variety in the approaches to team kits. It is a shame, however, that no stateside team chose the super minimal style ( Team Sky, Leopard Trek ), but that probably comes down to marketing, team budgets, and the how and when these jerseys will be seen in the media.

There a couple teams that may or may not deviate from their 2010 looks:
Jamis Sutter
Livestrong U23 Team
Slipstream
Diadora Pasta Zara
They will be added when they become available.

(*) - definitely not true.

5 comments:

Josh Horowitz said...

Thanks for the great review guys.

Josh Horowitz
Wonderful Pro Cycling

Anonymous said...

Donckers Koffie-Jelly Belly is actually seperate from the US Continental team. Donckers-Jelly Belly is the new incarnation of the former Belgian team Qin.

Editor said...

Anon,

Thank you for that bit of info.

Anonymous said...

FYI: The Subway team is Aussie based not US.

Doctor of Rocket Surgery said...

Anon, the Subway team is actually NEW ZEALAND based, not Aussie (or US, as you correctly assert). If you're not sure how heinous a crime you've just committed, as a Kiwi living in Australia I can tell you it's akin to calling Radioshack Canadian...