Girona is well-known for its pro cycling team connections, so it couldn’t be more appropriate that the city has its very own pro cycling kit store.
It’s called Pro Cycling Outlet (formerly Bike Breaks Boutique) and is run by our partners, Dave and Saskia of Bike Breaks Girona.
In this article, Dave shares the unusual story of how they came to be selling ex pro team cycling kit, the advantages of wearing pro team kit and how their new online store will help people all over the world buy it at fantastic prices.
Read on and you'll find a rather special discount code too!
Sponsored by Pro Cycling Outlet/Bike Breaks Girona
Banner photo credit: Jo Jo Harper Photography
1. What's the story behind Pro Cycling Outlet?
It all started eleven years ago in our first, tiny, shop in Girona.
My friend, the pro cyclist Koen de Kort, had just changed teams.
He had a load of kit sitting in his house and I asked him what he was going to do with it. He said, “well, I'm going to throw it because I can’t really do anything with it”. So I said, “let's put it in the shop and see if we can sell it”.
We started with one little rail with about twenty items on it. They ended up selling really well and people really liked it.
Cyclists come to Girona and they always like the pro connection - and so having pro kit they can buy works well.
Now we have a new website and a 120 square metre shop with the entire shop stocked with pro kit. Plus a 500 square metre warehouse for the online shop.
3. How does the kit come to you?
In the past, it’s been very direct.
Pro cyclists in Girona bring us their kit to the shop. It’s become like a fun end-of-season ritual where we meet the rider and then look through what they have and we never know what we’re going to find. For example someone who’s left their race jersey in there from the Tour de France with the numbers on it or something like that.
We’re having to tighten up our processes a bit now, but certainly some of our kit still comes to us in this way!
4. What are your quality controls for your pre-owned cycling team kit?
First we sort it and discard anything that’s worn or damaged.
We wash and clean what we’re keeping and photograph everything.
In the item description we give detailed information where an item is pre-used so customers know what they’re getting.
5. What sort of discounts do you offer?
If you’re after cheap pro cycling team kits, we can help…
More or less everything we sell is half price and some things have as much as 80 or 85% discount from RRP.
6. What products do you sell?
We sell everything you could possibly imagine!
So top to bottom - helmets, glasses, lenses, skullcaps, base layers, jerseys (in different weights and weaves - so more aero ones, different lengths of sleeves etc). Then we've got jackets, gabbas, shorts and bib shorts with different kinds of chamois (or none at all). Then shoes and socks and shoe covers. And each thing comes in ten varieties!
It’s all super good quality and awesome for riding in because it’s at the cutting edge of cycling design. It’s the stuff that we mere mortals usually don’t get the chance to ride in, but when you do, you can really feel the difference.
I think when people start getting into cycling, they realise that the clothing and the kit are all quite important; that it actually makes a big difference if you have good quality kit. People know there's a whole load of tradition and folklore of what you can wear and what you can't wear and sock lengths and sunglasses outside or inside of helmet, straps, and all these kinds of things.
Cycling is a fairly unique culture - and what we've ended up with is quite a unique collection. We have lots of stuff that the pros get, which many people wouldn’t even know existed!
7. What's the difference between buying ex pro bike kit and buying from a regular cycling kit retailer?
I think the main thing is that we sell the kind of kit you can’t buy everywhere.
For example we have the same jerseys but in lots of different weights, because the pro teams will get the same jersey but in five different weights so they can be comfortable whatever the weather.
There’s also things like shoe covers - who knew there could be so many different types of shoe cover! Waterproof ones, thick ones, thin ones, neoprene ones, windproof ones, aero ones, thermal ones, neoprene ones...
Then there are the really quirky things like the fact all the bib shorts we sell have radio mic pockets in them. And some of our bib tights don't have chamois in them because they are for racing (so the pros take them on and off in a race over something else).
It’s this kind of thing that means riders love our shop, because we have all that ex pro team cycling kit and it can be hard to get.
8. What's your favourite item of pro team cycling kit that you sell?
I love Castelli’s short-sleeve Gabba jerseys. Back around 2009/2010, one of the riders said, “look, I don't want to wear a big bulky cold weather jacket”, which is what everybody back then used. He said, “I want something tight that I can race in with short sleeves so that I can vary the temperature”. He came up with this idea of having it made out of neoprene. So it's waterproof, but it works like a wetsuit and then you get different thicknesses so you can keep your temperature good in lots of different conditions.
The other teams loved it so much that they were taking that jersey and using black markers to erase the sponsor's logo so they could wear it in the race because it was just so much better than anything that anybody else had.
Now everyone knows that over Autumn and Winter a gabba-type jacket is the best piece of kit you can possibly have.
Castelli gabbas retail for around 200 euros and I'm selling them at the moment for 50 - and they're brand new.
9. What's your view on wearing pro team kit when you're not a pro? Some people frown on it?
Yeah, it’s a strange one isn’t it?
Some people say that the only person that should wear a pro cycling team jersey is a pro rider from that team. So some people have this weird mentality - like you can't wear that jersey because you're not on that team.
But yet you look at other sports and it’s the complete opposite.
Do you think Mohamed Salah cares if he sees anybody wearing a Liverpool jersey?!
It's a really odd thing and it limits the sport from becoming a business and progressing. There’s a weird club mentality - it's strange to me that some riders don't want to commercialise things like that because it would be so good for the sport.
A bit of a diversion, but it’s a similar debate about who owns the races and the TV rights. The Tour de France is the second most watched sporting event in the world after the American Super Bowl. Companies will pay $5 million for a thirty second advert at the Super Bowl. And you look at the adverts during the Tour de France and you’ll see adverts that were made on a budget of about 25 cents!
I think we really need to change our attitude on wearing pro team kit and this kind of thing if we want to see cycling thrive.
10. Any tips on sizing when you're looking at cycling pro team kit?
The thing with all brands and clothing is the different manufacturers make their kit in different sizes. For example, it's well known that Castelli's sizing comes up small.
You’ve also got to bear in mind that the pro cycling team kits are small because the riders are generally skinny!
But we’ve also noticed over the years that many people come into our shop wearing cycling jerseys that are way too big. So they’re wearing their cycling kit like normal clothes, but it's supposed to be skin tight.
Another thing to remember when you’re trying on pro team cycling kit is that it’s designed for riding, not walking about in. They are very technical garments. For example pro team cycling jerseys are cut so that you're sitting on a bike, not standing up and walking around. So when people are trying a jersey on in the shop, I find them trying to stand up and put their shoulders back and then they feel that it’s too small. But it’s not - the jersey is just designed for riding not walking.
If you come into the shop we’re always able to provide help and guidance on sizing. If you're buying online, we will always do our best to help over email or telephone too.
11. What's the best time of year to buy from you?
For cyclists, the end of the season feels like the end of the summer term when you were at school! There are lots of parties in Girona. Cyclists go for the off season and they would normally bring their clothing into the shop when they start their off season. It's sort of like an end of term ritual to bring us their kit!
When we buy from teams, the end of the season is often key too. That’s when they may change sponsor and they'll sell off their surplus brand new kit that they had from the previous season. We do very big deals when we get that stuff just because of the quantities we receive.
12. Practical details! What's your return policy?
We offer returns up to 14 days from receipt of the package and all the information for returning it is located in the tracking page the customer automatically receives after making a purchase.
13. And shipping?
As a launch special, we've got free shipping worldwide until 20 July 2020! Once that's over, we offer flat rate shipping worldwide. We have different ranges of price depending on the country.
15. Any launch deals we should know about?
For the launch we have two amazing deals, we will offer free shipping worldwide during the first week including bikes, and a Cannondale goodie bag for all orders over 60€.
We will also do a special offer on Cannondale Hollowgram Cranksets equipped with SRM power meters for the first week valued at 1,800€ and priced at 600€.
16. What's the best way to hear about your pro cycling team kit that comes in?
We share details of new kit and cycling team kit sales we’re running via our Facebook and Instagram channels.
It’s also definitely worth signing up to our shop email list (which is different to the Bike Breaks email list). You can sign up to the shop email list here.
A big thank you to Dave for sharing all this fantastic information about Pro Cycling Outlet and for giving us an exclusive Epic Road Rides discount code, Epic10. This will give you an extra 10% of their products and is valid until 31 July 2020.
Make sure you check out the Pro Cycling Outlet website www.procyclingoutlet.com - and call in and take a look at their kit next time you’re in Girona (you'll find it within Bike Breaks' home at Carrer Nou, 14 in the heart of Girona's old town)!
Heading to Girona? Don't miss our in-depth guide to riding in this cycling mecca as well as this article on the top things every cyclist should do in Girona, Girona's best coffee shops, tours and things to do when you're not cycling.