Portland State’s cycling team has the second-coolest kit in the nation

Posted by on May 14th, 2019 at 2:34 pm

(Designed by Portland-based graphic artist and photographer Gavin Rear. Photos by Gavin Rear.)

A kit designed in Portland (by Gavin Rear) and made by a Portland-based company (Castelli US) for a Portland-based team has been singled out for recognition by America’s sanctioning body for bicycle racing.

USA Cycling announced last week that the Portland State University Cycling Team earned runner-up honors for Best Kit of 2019. The inaugural contest was held via USA Cycling’s Instagram where followers chose their favorite team kits from 64 teams around the country. (The winner was Colorado School of Mines, also made by Castelli.)

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(Photos by Joe Flannery)

Here’s what the team had to say about their great looking kit:

“When we were working on the new kit design our goal was to create something that could be raced in after the collegiate season was over. A piece that wouldn’t feel out of place at the local races, whether it was cyclocross or road. One of our teammates took the photos at one of our favorite roads for team rides. The new kit came alive amongst the greenery during the photo shoot. We also have a favorite sock combo for this kit, which are the matcha digi camo socks made by The Athletic. The Athletic is a local sock company that has been supporting PSU Cycling for many years, so we try our best to show off their socks as much as we can.”

The PSU Cycling Team competes in the NW Collegiate Cycling Conference where they were crowned Division Champs in 2014 and 2014. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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43 Comments
  • Avatar
    mark May 14, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Great work, Gavin!

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    pdx2wheeler May 14, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    Looks nice, but I don’t understand the appeal of wearing kit when riding around town. I feel bad when I pass those guys. I’m happy just being your average Fred…

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      John Lascurettes May 14, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Used to work with a guy who is a nationally-ranked track racer. He wore his kit on the way to work because he found interval training (racing between red lights) as one of the best ways to stay in shape in the off season.

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        Gary B May 15, 2019 at 7:13 am

        Interesting. I have no experience as a bike racer, but was formerly a competitive swimmer. I always trained in regular old swim trunks, while many of my peers would train in their race suits.The extra resistance from the shorts (which was substantial)wwas a big part of my training.

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          Dan A May 15, 2019 at 7:36 am

          Did you ever get saddle sores in regular trunks?

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            pdx2wheeler May 16, 2019 at 6:16 pm

            Strange, I don’t see football players wearing their kit of a football helmet and shoulder pads when training around town. Baseball players in their uniforms… Bowlers with their wrist braces… Hey, don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful design, congratulations! Me personally, one man’s opinion, I just doesn’t get the appeal. If it makes your wheels spin and gives you that edge then go forth and be happy. Cheers!

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              SERider May 17, 2019 at 4:29 am

              See a lot of bowlers bowling their way down the street?

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              Brian May 17, 2019 at 6:24 am

              Don’t many teams ask that you wear your kit when out on rides in exchange for the perks you get?

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          John Lascurettes May 15, 2019 at 10:39 am

          His “swim trunks” was his commuter bike and pannier. He wasn’t riding his super-light track bike.

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          SERider May 16, 2019 at 11:27 am

          My swim coach always said training in trunks was a bad idea because it was so much extra drag that it actually changed your form a bit. We only had one guy on the team who did it and he was hurt most of the time.

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          pdx2wheeler May 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm

          Exactly, train with the most resistance possible, not the least. Then when you’re in actual competition the racing kit gives your that extra bump you need.

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      hotrodder May 14, 2019 at 7:09 pm

      The appeal of wearing kit around town is that when you’re riding up to Larch or out to Sauvie or maybe going out towards Vernonia is that it’s better to ride your bike to where you’re going.
      When I pass someone who’s all kitted up in town while I’m doing errands or heading home from work on my commuter bike, I just tell myself that he or she is probably finishing up 50 or 75 miles and I’m wishing I could have gone with them.

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      Dan A May 14, 2019 at 8:30 pm

      Some of us have ridden a ways to get there.

      I wear kit anytime I’m riding ‘for exercise’, even if it’s just a 20-minute ride. I’ve got a closet full of them from when I raced on a team that required us buy a new one every season, so I may as well wear them.

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      Middle of The Road Guy May 15, 2019 at 8:56 am

      It’s better than getting naked at the start of the ride.

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        hotrodder May 17, 2019 at 12:06 pm

        I like getting naked before a ride!

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      Charley May 16, 2019 at 9:52 am

      I’m sorry you feel bad! Sounds rough.

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    Mark Remy May 14, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    I just came here to say “kit.”

    Kit, kit, kit!

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      JF May 15, 2019 at 8:45 am

      The only thing worse than calling your bike clothes “kit” is wearing a cycling cap under a helmet.

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        Austin May 15, 2019 at 10:12 am

        What should I wear under my helmet, then? And don’t say “nothing”, because I use the brim to keep the sun out of my eyes, and the rest to keep the sweat away from my eyes.

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          rainbike May 15, 2019 at 10:34 am

          And a brimmed cap helps keep shield my eyes from those annoyingly bright bike lights.

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        Dan A May 15, 2019 at 11:07 am

        If I don’t wear a cap I get striped burns on my bald head. So it seems like a pretty good idea to me.

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          Brian May 15, 2019 at 11:18 am

          Helps me stay warm on those long, wet, coldass commutes.

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            TAJ May 17, 2019 at 11:05 am

            And helps keep the raindrops off my glasses.

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        Middle of The Road Guy May 16, 2019 at 8:55 am

        Yet cycling companies still make them.

        Back when I shaved my head, I used to get some interesting sunburn patterns on my dome. I wear caps now for a couple reasons – the brim keeps sun (and bugs) out of my eyes, and I no longer get stung on the head when I catch a bee in the bonnet.

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        PS May 16, 2019 at 10:17 am

        I don’t know, I think the only thing worse than telling people what they should or shouldn’t call their clothes is telling people what they should or shouldn’t wear.

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    Carrie May 15, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Based on perusing the Instagram feeds of all the top contenders in this kit race, it’s too bad that women don’t race bikes at the collegiate level. Oh wait, they do, but you’d never know it from what people choose to show as representative of their sport.

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      tridork May 15, 2019 at 10:55 am

      The homepage of the NWCCC website has women on it…

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      Dan A May 15, 2019 at 11:08 am

      I’m glad my college cycling team has equal representation on their website, though I’m sure they are just one of the exceptions that proves the rule.

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      PS May 16, 2019 at 10:13 am

      This is disingenuous at best, just looking at PSU and CO School of Mines, both have men and women represented and congratulated in multiple posts in the first nine pictures on Instagram.

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    Middle of The Road Guy May 15, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Price is going up 10% next year!

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    Wylie May 15, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Currently going to PSU and cannot for the life of me figure out how to meet up or ride with anyone on the psu cycling team. I’m not even fully convinced that they exist

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    mark May 15, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Disappointed with the majority of these comments. It’s no wonder some folks are reluctant to give cycling a go; they might get judged for wearing the “wrong” clothes!

    Can we give props to our local design talent for the national recognition? I’ve seen some of Gavin’s other work, and have been much impressed with his eye for detail.

    BTW, I’ve only seen Gavin in a stretchy bike outfit once. The hundred or so other times I’ve seen him, he’s been wearing regular clothes and he uses his bike for transportation.

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      donttreadonme May 15, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      Right? Like you have to wear a skin suit or you’re going to get saddle sores and people can’t do big rides not dressed like the tour de france? I don’t think so.

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        hotrodder May 15, 2019 at 6:20 pm

        Nobody here said you had to.
        I want what I want, but I’m not going to dictate to anyone.

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      Toby Keith May 15, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      Sounds like a lot of sour grapes from people who can’t wear them. Well I can’t squeeze my fat ass into them but think they look super cool!

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        Middle of The Road Guy May 16, 2019 at 8:57 am

        I was thinking of spray painting myself and just slapping a Castelli label on my ass – it’s the only way that stuff would fit.

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          Pete May 16, 2019 at 9:35 am

          LOL!

          Hood River Velo (in its short life) partnered with them and I bought a variety of purpose-built Castelli gear, like their rain jersey which is impeccable. (Assos is the only other stuff I’ve found with similar high quality; it’s crazy $$ but I used to get free in exchange for hosting pro racers).

          I found the sizing bizarre, to your point; at 6’4″ 180 lbs 34 waist XL generally fits fine. For Castelli the XXL is tight. Rain jersey feels like it’ll choke me to death, except it’s designed to fit perfectly in the more prone position racing or riding aggressively.

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    dan May 15, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    John Lascurettes
    Used to work with a guy who is a nationally-ranked track racer. He wore his kit on the way to work because he found interval training (racing between red lights) as one of the best ways to stay in shape in the off season.Recommended 7

    I took a sabbatical this summer and was shocked at how much my fitness declined when I didn’t have the daily double sprint to work and sprint home. I’m back at work now, but with a shorter commute and still feel like I’ve lost fitness…

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    Maddy May 16, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Gorgeous designs! I zero understand the shade being thrown. These racers get to wear stunning kit designed by a super talented local. Yay!!!

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    Chris May 17, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Something positive to report and people gotta hate. Seriously check yourself, haters. Who cares if someone wants to wear lycra around town? Who cares if they don’t? Why are you being all judgy? Are you that perfect?

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    Vince May 17, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    What is the fascination with black cycling clothing? Not only is derivative from a design standpoint, it’s functional camouflage on a dark Oregon day.

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