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Italian apparel and protective clothing brand Alpinestars is focused purely on what makes riders faster and safer.
It works hand-in-hand with many of the world’s fastest athletes in a ‘race on Sunday, innovate on Monday’ approach to develop the best apparel and safety equipment for riders of all abilities.
Emboldened by six decades of motorsport experience, Alpinestars puts competitor feedback far ahead of following industry trends and caused a shake-up in cycling circles when it turned its attention to mountain bike apparel 17 years ago.
It brought a new level of innovation in materials, rider fit and general design, fuelled by the stand-alone focus that has made Alpinestars race suits, boots and gloves a favourite among Grand Prix motorsport drivers and riders.
Now Alpinestars has another, equally important, focus – a more positive impact on natural and social environments.
The company is in the process of obtaining B-Corp Certification, a globally recognised accreditation for organisations meeting standards for environmental protection, inclusiveness and social responsibility.
Now that Alpinestars has been in the off-road cycling industry for nearly two decades, it is using that exposure to riders’ needs and expectations to finetune its garments and equipment. True to form, those adjustments remain faithful to function and rider feedback, rather than conforming to seasonal trends.
That is reflected in the brand’s two current tailored ranges: the Drop collection for enduro and downhill and the Alps range for days on the trails.
“While all the garments have four-way stretch material, laser cutting and seal welding, the difference in designs and materials between the trail products and enduro products is significant,” according to senior product & sales manager Kahill Teirney from BikeSportz, which distributes Alpinestars in Australia.
The Drop range has been created with harder wearing fabric, for slightly more rigid garments really aimed at protection and race feel.
In contrast, Alps garments are tailored more for comfort on the trails: more breathable, softer and lighter and designed to be worn for a whole day of riding. Their designs are edgy enough to appeal to younger riders, while not looking out of place in a pub or café at the end of a day’s riding.
The colours and use of Alpinestars logo in the new ranges are subtle and well considered, without being ‘in your face’.
BikeSportz began distributing Alpinestars in Australia two and half years ago, believing there was a lot of room to grow the premium brand in the local market.
While Alpinestars already had a presence in this country, Kahill said BikeSportz saw a lot of opportunities to elevate the brand in Australia to the heights it enjoys in many parts of the world.
“It was a great opportunity to partner with a high-pedigree brand that really knows what it’s doing and where it’s going … that only introduces new products when there’s genuine reason for change,” he said.
Two of Alpinestars’ biggest sellers in Australia, the Drop 8.0 jersey and Alps 6.0 jersey are prime examples of quality and functionality.
The Drop 8.0 enduro jersey incorporates lots of mesh for breathability, combined with a particularly rigid outer fabric and a significant amount of scuff protection on the elbows. Pocket placement is equally functional, running diagonally over the hip so items stay close to the body and tucked away but easy to access when required – perfect for lift passes.
Drop 8.0 shorts are constructed with harder-wearing materials, abrasion resistant areas, more pockets for different items that are close to the body. The shorts are slightly longer than normal and integrate buckle closures.
They also offer slightly more adjustment for bigger guys, as well as riders who want to tuck their jersey in and make sure it stays tucked in.
The Alps 6.0 jersey is reinforced with a mesh panel down the whole length of the spine and sits square on the back. It’s clever design also ensure the jersey doesn’t move about while wearing a backpack.
It has the reassuring feel of a technical product but with comfort and good looks to match.
The Rover Pro short, also aimed at Alps customers, has minimal pockets that are well placed, along with simple zip and button closers.
Paragon V2 Bib Short
It’s a similar story with another Alpinestars best seller in Australia, the Paragon V2 bib short. Designed to be worn under clothes, it not only provides a quality chamois – to stay comfortable during a long day on the saddle – the Paragon V2 also includes hip and spine protection for unexpected departures from the saddle.
At $190, it’s reasonably priced for a bib-short, especially one providing added protection.
BikeSportz is distributing a full complement of Alpinestars products, apart from helmets.
The protective equipment includes bib shorts, elbow, knee and shins pads, and a variety of chest protectors.
It also incorporates neck braces ideal for BMX racing, particularly for helping kids bear the weight of helmets.
Bikesportz also recently introduced a small range of rain jackets and a comprehensive line of women’s apparel.
Alpinestars launched its women’s clothing two years ago and its styling has really evolved this season.
With more women are getting into enduro riding, Bikesportz has incorporated the range’s Stella protection jackets, designed and constructed specifically for female riders.
“Our kids’ jacket has also been really popular, especially in BMX. It’s a soft jacket providing good flexibility and movement,” Kahill said.
“In the past, young riders were stuck with hard motorcycle products: hard plastic, hard to move, hard to get on and off.”
Alpinestars also offers a padded short for kids.
“Junior riders often don’t have a lot of body fat, so their hips are the first thing that get absolutely ground down in BMX racing,” he said.
The range is priced to offer good margins for retailers and reaffirm its premium status, while staying affordable for anyone trying to get on an e-bike or mountain bike.
While it’s not the most expensive option relative to similar brands, it prices set a tone of quality and high-tech apparel.
For example, its lined shorts for $120 are very competitively priced, but offer a level of comfort that helps riders spend a full day on the trails.
Alpinestars has broad appeal – from guys riding dirt jumps and kids in skate parks and BMX racing, to cross country, enduro and downhill competitors.
The brand’s association with motorbikes and motorsport earns plenty of appeal with middle-aged cyclist, including guys buying e-bikes.
At the same time, Bikesportz is boosting brand recognition with younger riders by partnering with AusCycling and sponsoring junior competitions through the Alpinestars brand.
To find out more about Alpinestars, contact BikeSportz on 1800 808181.