1985… Madonna becomes the second female artist to have the top single (“Like A Virgin”, if you had to ask) and top album at the same time, and she goes on to be the top-selling act of the year. So in honor of the “Material Girl”, we present the latest edition of our Flashback Friday series, this time all about the materials (clothing material, that is) from our Spring 1985 catalog:
As you can see from the cover, bright and bold colors were the norm (as well as perfectly coordinated color-matching with your bike, apparently!)
But it doesn’t take long until we find some “Miami Vice” inspired jersey colors, as seen on the natty Italian jerseys above (lower left). Interesting for us are the wool jerseys at the top of the page, which tout a Bicycling Magazine jersey review from 1983 that said, “Wool continues to be the best material available for cycling jerseys.” We’re sure that many people will still argue in favor of that stance today, but even in 1985 most of the jerseys we carried were actually some sort of nylon/lycra blend. But the array of fabrics was impressive: there were polyester/cotton blends, tri-acetate, cotton/lycra and wool/acrylic to name a few. In comparison to the modern channeled micro-polyester fabrics of a modern jersey, like our Performance Elite Short Sleeve Jersey, these vintage jerseys feel much thicker and less breatheable than what we’ve come to expect on the bike today (although there is something to be said for the pastel styling).
Shorts are another realm where cycling fabrics have seen impressive upgrades. On this page you can see that wool shorts were still a mainstay of the market, with real leather chamois, of course. Chamois cream was not just a an optional comfort decision with these chamois pads, it was an essential part of your pre-ride routine!
Of course there was a bonus with wearing wool cycling shorts… it gave you a reason to wear suspenders! We offered a colorful array of models to hold up those sagging sweaty shorts, but how could anyone pass up the “Mork”-inspired rainbow stripes?
Wool shorts weren’t the only option though, as nylon/lycra shorts were already well on their way to becoming the most popular cycling clothing. Above you can see our signature “aerodynamically designed” model, a pretty solid short with 8 panel construction, elastic leg grippers and a padded leather or polypropylene chamois. Our modern Performance Elite Short shares some of this design heritage, but adds advanced product details that you have come to expect in a modern short: flatlock seams, silicone leg grippers, contoured panel design that hugs your muscles, and an advanced synthetic & antibacterial chamois that cushions your ride (with or without chamois cream).
We even carried some of the same brands back in 1985 that we still feature today, like the iconic designs from Descente seen here (in front of what appears to be a high school class photo backdrop, which does lend them a superhero-esque gravitas). We still carry a full complement of Descente clothing today, but sadly the cloud background has been lost to the ages.
We’ll close out our flashback to 1985 with the humble cycling sock. As you can see above, this part of the cycling wardrobe got short shrift back in the day. These were basically just your regular, one-size-fits-all crew sock, quite unlike the wide array of high performance socks that we offer today! But those sandals are fantastic, don’t you think?