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Bioracer Speedwear: One of cycling's best kept secrets - Gallery

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Bioracer were celebrating the national teams they support during the track world championships

Bioracer were celebrating the national teams they support during the track world championships (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer's Tempest fabric has excellent water repellency properties

Bioracer's Tempest fabric has excellent water repellency properties (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Each panel of each custom jersey is taken off the printer manually, bundled together and then sent to the stitching room

Each panel of each custom jersey is taken off the printer manually, bundled together and then sent to the stitching room (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Massive printers sublimate the jersey designs onto the white base fabrics

Massive printers sublimate the jersey designs onto the white base fabrics (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A cutting machine cuts the correct size panels for a corresponding jersey size

A cutting machine cuts the correct size panels for a corresponding jersey size (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer have an array of fabrics for the different panels on different jerseys

Bioracer have an array of fabrics for the different panels on different jerseys (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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You might recognise this ribbed material from the sleeves of several professional jerseys

You might recognise this ribbed material from the sleeves of several professional jerseys (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer continually develop products and their range of chamois are a particular point of pride for the Belgian company

Bioracer continually develop products and their range of chamois are a particular point of pride for the Belgian company (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer's Smooth Technology chamois has no stitching and focuses on comfort and ventilation

Bioracer's Smooth Technology chamois has no stitching and focuses on comfort and ventilation (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer are perhaps most well known for their Star Wars range of jerseys and shorts

Bioracer are perhaps most well known for their Star Wars range of jerseys and shorts (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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As well as their own clothing range, Bioracer produce cycle clothing for Oakley and POC, used by Team Dimension Data and EF Education-First Drapac respectively

As well as their own clothing range, Bioracer produce cycle clothing for Oakley and POC, used by Team Dimension Data and EF Education-First Drapac respectively (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer's Spitfire line includes a range of eye-catching designs

Bioracer's Spitfire line includes a range of eye-catching designs (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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While the majority of Bioracer's products are produced in Eastern Europe, the company makes their custom and professional lines in Belgium

While the majority of Bioracer's products are produced in Eastern Europe, the company makes their custom and professional lines in Belgium (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A few famous faces have worn Bioracer national jerseys over the years

A few famous faces have worn Bioracer national jerseys over the years (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Custom jerseys begin white with colour screen printed onto the garments through a sublimation technique

Custom jerseys begin white with colour screen printed onto the garments through a sublimation technique (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer take pride in their skinsuit for the Belgium cycling team at the Rio Olympics, pointing out they were one of the few teams that managed to stay zipped up

Bioracer take pride in their skinsuit for the Belgium cycling team at the Rio Olympics, pointing out they were one of the few teams that managed to stay zipped up (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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The Bioracer HQ showcases some of their most recent victories in the foyer

The Bioracer HQ showcases some of their most recent victories in the foyer (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A wall of jerseys showcases some of the company's biggest projects

A wall of jerseys showcases some of the company's biggest projects (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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The new 3DCUT chamois pad is shaped anatomically

The new 3DCUT chamois pad is shaped anatomically (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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While the custom jerseys can be screen printed, the stitching is more limited in colour choice

While the custom jerseys can be screen printed, the stitching is more limited in colour choice (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A look at Bioracer's various pro-level skinsuits

A look at Bioracer's various pro-level skinsuits (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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The speed suit material used by Greg Van Avermaet during his Olympic road race victory

The speed suit material used by Greg Van Avermaet during his Olympic road race victory (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Wout Van Aert's thermal cyclocross speed suit

Wout Van Aert's thermal cyclocross speed suit (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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As well as bike frames and custom clothing, Bioracer have also made custom footwear and inner soles in the past

As well as bike frames and custom clothing, Bioracer have also made custom footwear and inner soles in the past (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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The shoes resemble Adam Hansen's custom Hanseeno footwear, although these are a few years older

The shoes resemble Adam Hansen's custom Hanseeno footwear, although these are a few years older (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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The custom inner sole machines are still in use

The custom inner sole machines are still in use (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Different components of the inner sole result in greater comfort and power transfer, while preventing injuries

Different components of the inner sole result in greater comfort and power transfer, while preventing injuries (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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The company has worked closely with German company FES

The company has worked closely with German company FES (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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A look at a very early SRM power meter

A look at a very early SRM power meter (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Once cut, printed and bundled together, the jersey panel components are stitched together by hand in-house

Once cut, printed and bundled together, the jersey panel components are stitched together by hand in-house (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Professional outfits are often custom tailored for each athlete

Professional outfits are often custom tailored for each athlete (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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One of Bioracer's concept bicycles, which you steer with your shoulders and rest your hands by your saddle to cut through the wind

One of Bioracer's concept bicycles, which you steer with your shoulders and rest your hands by your saddle to cut through the wind (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Just a small selection of colours to choose from…

Just a small selection of colours to choose from… (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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Bioracer's Protolab is the research and development department of the business, largely creating new products for their professional athletes

Bioracer's Protolab is the research and development department of the business, largely creating new products for their professional athletes (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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This machine tests the durability of chamois pads

This machine tests the durability of chamois pads (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)
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In the early days of the business, bike frames and shoes were in the product line-up

In the early days of the business, bike frames and shoes were in the product line-up (Image credit: Josh Evans / Immediate Media)

This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

In the past twelve months, 38 medals have been won at the road, cyclocross and track world championships, all while wearing Bioracer clothing.

Despite this race-winning pedigree, Bioracer hasn't quite got the same race-proven reputation as the likes of Castelli, Sportful, Endura, Santini or even Rapha, but why?

As the Classics season kicked off, I headed over to Belgium for 'opening weekend' and to learn more about why Bioracer in Belgium is one of cycling's hidden gems.

Belgian roots

A wall of jerseys showcases some of the company's biggest projects

Located in the industrial area of Tessenderlo in eastern Belgium, Bioracer was founded in 1986 and has grown into a company that is deeply rooted in one of the true cycling heartlands of Belgium and the Netherlands, and where cycling is more than just a sport.

Bioracer has been involved in many areas of cycling performance improvements including bike fit and apparel — known by the company as Bioracer Motion and Bioracer Speedwear respectively.

Both wings of the business see comfort as pivotal to performance. If a rider is comfortable, more power can be asserted for a longer period of time, fatigue will take longer to set in and power can be transferred more efficiently. 

In conjunction with comfort, aerodynamics is also a key part of the company's focus, and Bioracer is a shareholder in the Flanders Bike Valley wind tunnel, alongside Ridley Bikes and Lazer helmets.

Making a cycling jersey

Each panel of each custom jersey is taken off the printer manually, bundled together and then sent to the stitching room

It is quite simple to break down the costs associated with producing any high-end cycling apparel: research and development into materials and garments; professional team development and support; as well as the usual overheads such as machinery, facilities, labour, shipping, distribution, and marketing — plus a bit of profit margin too. 

Managing to squeeze all of this into a jersey's retail price is quite a task though, and a competitive one at that. The likes of Oakley perhaps understandably skip several of these steps by choosing to let companies such as Bioracer do the majority of the legwork for them.

Bioracer's professional level kit, custom clothing, plus research and design happens in-house at its headquarters in Tessenderlo, while its regular range of clothing is produced in eastern Europe in an attempt to keep costs reasonable for the consumer.

While the custom jerseys can be screen printed, the stitching is more limited in colour choice

However, the process of cutting different materials for the different panels on each garment, followed by sublimation of artwork onto each piece and stitched together by individuals, is the same labour-intensive process regardless of location, but a focus on durability is key for the company.

Bioracer's aim is for its garments to last either one ride a week for four years or four rides a week for one year, and it truly believes its offering value with its products.

Bioracer Speedwear

Wout Van Aert's thermal cyclocross speed suit

Bioracer's Aerosuit RP 2.0 RR Mesh Stratos SS speed suit was designed specifically for the Belgian national team at the 2016 Olympics, with the hot and humid conditions at the forefront of the design — as well as the iconic sky blue of the Belgian national team and nation's flag across the chest.

Greg Van Avermaet went on to take victory at the brutal Rio Olympics road race, but while fans might remember the image of the peloton rolling past the Copacabana, or the horrific crashes on the descent of Vista Chinesa, Bioracer's highlight was when Van Avermaet crossed the line with his Bioracer speed suit zipped up.

The speed suit material used by Greg Van Avermaet during his Olympic road race victory

As well as aero benefits in the sleeves, the Airmesh's main torso fabric was designed to not only wick sweat from the body but hold it as a light sponge to act as a cooling vest as the air flows over it to reduce core temperature. And after more than 250km of racing, Van Avermaet was one of few riders still racing with their jersey speed suit zipped up.

The strongest legs obviously won Gold on the day, but racing in a jersey that helped keep core temperature down and improved aerodynamics by staying zipped up should have helped to reduce fatigue too, putting Van Avermaet in the best possible position at the sharp end of the race.

Winning in the WorldTour 

As well as the medals collected by the Belgian, Dutch and German national teams on the track and road, and mud in cyclocross, Bioracer has pedigree in the WorldTour too. 

As well as its own clothing range, Bioracer produces cycle clothing for Oakley, used by Team Dimension Data

The likes of Mark Cavendish for Team Dimension Data wears Bioracer clothing at the highest level of the sport. Branded as Oakley, Bioracer produces an array of 'white label' clothing in conjunction with its national kits and core lines.

It says a lot that despite Bioracer not being one of the best known cycling apparel brands, two WorldTour teams trust the company to develop and produce their kit, which is not only tested to its limits at the top levels of racing but is considered key to margins of victory.

A look at Bioracer's various pro-level skinsuits

Looking forward

Bioracer acknowledges there is a fine line between performance and comfort, and it is this which is arguably its biggest challenge. Focusing the company's energy on striking this balance, as opposed to large and costly marketing campaigns to put them ahead of the pack, is something that Bioracer takes pride in.

Continuing to invest in innovation is the primary goal for the Belgian outfit, and by sticking to this mantra it hopes word and reputation will spread. Perhaps in the near future we will see Bioracer grow into a key cycling apparel brand and have the global respect it deserves.