how to
create a club

Words by Emil Rosenberg and photography by Payman Hazheer, Fernando Claro, Benjamin Andersen, Patrik Dahl

Lately, cyclists are more often choosing to form and enjoy petit, bespoke clubs. But team spirit and closer friendship bonds aren’t the only reasons for going smaller. We’ve brought the creating forces of the best teams in the world and asked for their thoughts on the matter.

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Fabric Samples from La Chemise / Verge

Today I’ll elaborate on what made us leave our previous establishments and form something new and unique, what’s required to start a club (or team) and how you’ll benefit from riding for your own colours.

Some said it was difficult, and the process of getting a team formed and eligible to hold licenses for cyclists meant lots of hard work. But looking into the process we found that it wasn’t too complex.

Actually, rather straight-forward. This is however something that will differ from country to country. Usually, the club can be officially created within a month – and that’s waiting for the official decision for a couple of weeks. It really isn’t much work.

And as for any new club, team kits need to be designed and produced.

For the NASCI kit, a geometric camouflage pattern was created. Later on, it was converted into grayscale for production issues with so many different blue tones. When in charge of the design – you’ll have to account for anything and everything.

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NASCI kit produced by Castelli

The idea of being able to completely form your own organization, be in charge of the visuals of it and also enjoy all this with the people you like the most made it an easy decision for us.

And while the process of getting the club alive can be somewhat time-consuming, it also great fun and once it’s done you’re up and running for good.

With the latest updates to Strava Clubs, it’s easy to stay up to date with your members with easy discussions and ride planner.

Thoughts from La Chemise owner Patrik Dahl (Stockholm, Sweden)

“First of all, It’s like starting a business; try to identify the reason for creating the club. Make sure the core group of people enjoy eachother’s company and that you share the same approach to cycling. Live by the motto ‘quality instead of quantity’ and 10 friends/individuals is a good number to start with.”

La Chemise Hawaiian Tropic kit (drink recipe included)

Then, we asked Patrik about kit design:

“When it comes to the kits, less is always more. Find a clear design and see that your clothes identify your club. Think about cohesiveness and how you’ll look when everyone is kitted out with matching apparel.

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La Chemise 2016 racing kit

“Black is a great base colour that stays nice for longer, and is more forgiving for differing body shapes and wash knowledge. Find some sort of accent element that makes your design unique. Don’t be afraid to go for more than one jersey! A nice pair black bibs matches well with different jersey designs.”

“And my last tip is to have at least one – or two – who wants to be very involved and engaged in running and developing your club.”

WEOUTDOOR Creative Director Fernando Claro on running the COMMFIXED team (Sevilla, Spain)

1. Unity is power. “But there is always a optimized number of member of a operative team. It is usually depending of what kind and level of races are you going to make, but less than 3 riders is not really a team.  More than 5-6 riders carries always a bit more complicated management.”

– A sponsor is much easier to get for 3 or 4 riders than 8, for example.

– Delegate the design process to one or two riders. Too many people reviewing the design waste time. The process need to be fast and without loss of momentum.

– Always stay together. Both before, during and after races. While competing, the look of a cohesive group of riders empower the team and call for attention.

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2. What’s your motto, inspiration and goals¿? “For us, this point is most important because it gives us the key for the kit design. Good designs gives a message that the team can pass on. The key elements of the design should be born out of a cool inspiration, a classic inspiration or a true racing inspiration…”

“We have created several “corporative images” for the team, even before we created the kit design. A shield, a naming, a lettering, etc… everything counts. And all components must work in same direction (together or separated. Take the TOPANA Team, for example. Topana is almost an acornym for the sentence: Todo para nada which is literally translated to “all effort is for nothing” but is an expression for: ‘Training a lot, but to no use’”.

“TOPANA gave us their complete trust in the development of their new image of the amateur road team. They image was created from a feeling they had, that training can be useless because sometimes competitive cycling isn’t always a level playing field.”

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3. Think about your racing context. “Your discipline determines the products: normal kits, speed suits, skin suits with or without pockets, etc. Think about the context and the landscape. Research what the races look like; do the riders go in a peloton, by themselves, in straight lines etc? What weather and light levels do they race in? Those are all key factors that should shape your design. If you are racing in Red Hook Criterium the design has completely different requirements than those of a mountain bike racer”.

“To be visible in the Red Hook Criterium, you need light colors to battle the context parameters: night racing with low luminosity, riders usually racing in straight lines, lot’s of background information (sponsors, spectators, colours) camera flashes etc)”.

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4. Logos and sponsors. “Lastly, even if it could seem a pittance. Don’t carry the design of logos from sponsors! Your team are the base of everything. Normally sponsors need you, not vice versa. Determinate the place of the possible sponsors before the deal is made. Few good sponsors are better than a lot of small ones. Many ask for specific locations on your kit - don’t be afraid to say no!”

Read more about the TOPANA branding here, the corporative project here and see more pictures of the energetic team here.

Next up, Mescal.cc creator Benjamin Andersen on team ambition, what small teams add to the community and droids (Copenhagen, Denmark)

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What was your vision with MESCAL?
“To create and develop a less conventional platform for cyclists who see their sport as an extension of their lifestyle. I want people to do everything they do with a smile. “

What role does the small clubs and teams play in the development of the cycling community?
“I believe the smaller clubs or communities symbolizes the same tendencies we see in every day culture. There is no longer cycling or not.

There are several subtle fragments of what cycling is and why we do it.

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We want to share values with the likeminded and this is why we group in smaller and more specific communities. Through this conventional cycling clubs will learn to have a more open approach to the sport. “

Why aren’t droids allowed?!
“Because “Droids are not allowed” in the Mos Eisley Cantina. It was a fun quote and it also has a sub tone of “no drugs in cycling” – no one’s allowed to cycle like a robot!”

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Inspiration Clubs

Mescal CC
Format RC
FTT Oslo
CK Barriär

Manufacturer’s who’ll help you with your kits

La Chemise

worth sharing?

Name: Emil Rosenberg
Age: 25
Lives in: Nacka, Sweden
Bicycles: Cervélo S5, Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon
About Emil: ”My passion for cycling lies in the challenge that puts your physical and mental capabilities to its absolute edge. I strive to capture the elegance of the hardest sport in the world.”
Follow on Velonode: @emil

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