From vintage to nouveau and from wool to lycra, here's the complete history of all our kits since 1978.
THE FIRST KIT
Our founder, Don Beavis designed the Club’s first jersey, which was 100% wool, and unfortunately when wet, would stretch out of shape and at times you would appear to be wearing a skirt. They would also shrink, unevenly of course, with the striped side shrinking more than the rest. The chosen colours of red, white and blue were reflective of the club’s membership at that time (Australian, English and French). There were a few different versions of this kit.
In 1984, members weren’t happy with the quality of the jersey so the supplier was changed to Giramondo, which did a much tighter weave and cost $29.
Nowadays you might see some club members wearing a replica of the first jersey, but made with modern materials that can cope better with wet weather. This new kit is reserved exclusively for our 'old boys' who owned the original wool version.
THE NEW KIT SAGA
A questionnaire circulated the previous year that showed members were far from happy with the lacklustre kit design, which hadn’t changed much in seven years. As an individual club it was thought we should have a distinctive and specifically Sydney jersey. The executive searched far and wide for a dazzling design that meets the criterion necessary to please its members. Spencer White and Sarina Baker produced several designs for a more avant-garde garment and fashion designer Christine Sunde was also active in creating designs that were specifically Sydney based. Debate continued to rage with several ballots drawing no consensus, and no one willing to make an executive decision.
THE 2ND KIT
The ‘Great Jersey Design Exercise’ finally had a winning design in 1987 as the result of numerous committee meetings. The design retained the club’s red, white and blue colours while creating a very dramatic and stylish jersey that was trendsetting for the time. Part of the re-design included a new logo, which incorporated the Sydney Opera House for the first time. Vertical lines of old were replaced with multiple diagonal lines in the same overall colour scheme. Gone too was the old wool fabric used in the first jersey. By the 1980s, synthetic materials came into vogue for cycling apparel, and were easy to wear, much lighter and more shapely. This jersey was made from a cotton-backed lycra and cost $40 for members.
In 1992, for the first time, sponsorship logos were incorporated onto the jersey. Our first sponsor was Bondi Junction Cycles run by club member Alan Lumb.
The club was so proud of the kit we introduced a club jersey ride every Sunday to show it off.
THE 90s DESIGN COMPETITION
Many club members had expressed an interest in changing the current five-year-old jersey design. The committee set up a design competition and the above image was published in the newsletter to motivate members to get their pencils out! The rules were it that all designs must use red, white and blue and look different to our local rivals. The competition turned into a never-ending debate so the committee decided to open the competition to design schools and colleges with a $300 prize. This kept the process neutral and avoided all the mess.
THE 3RD GENERATION
In 1993 the third jersey in our history was chosen after a majority decision at a club meeting held at the Duke of Edinburgh. The more dynamic 'look' incorporating the Sydney Opera House 'sails' was produced by Netti. The kit was also available in women's specific cut and we were the first club in Australia to do this. We were also the only club to offer specially designed arm warmers. Skin suits were also available for the first time for SCC members. The standard jersey came in at $69, which was not cheap but was still well below other trade jerseys (not to mention other clubs’ ‘trade’ jerseys who lacked the imagination to design their own).
Four similar versions were produced over a decade, lastly for the club’s 25th anniversary in 2003.
In 2004, we produced a special kit for members who competed in open races. The sponsorship from Kinselas Hotel “Middle Bar” enabled a lot of SCC riders to have a go at NSWCF Open racing. Any club member who entered a CNSW Open Event, was entered by the club, had their prize money doubled if they won and supplied with a special Kinselas race kit to wear. All the costs were covered by Kinselas Hotel, encouraging more people to race. At the end of the year 57 different riders across all grades, age groups and event types raced. There were over 300 separate entries / races entered. There were six 1st places, four 2nd places and five 3rd places of which four of each were either State or Australian Titles (Medals).
4TH GENERATION - HARBOUR SILHOUETTE
A new jersey is designed with the iconic Sydney skyline and a host of sponsors. The kit was subsidised by the club with the jersey and knicks combo coming in at $100.
“I think we have the best looking kit in Sydney, hands down! The two great things about the kit are that nearly everyone is wearing it and it feels good to wear. The team at Nalini are true professionals and it shows in the quality of the kit. With perhaps 500 pieces of gear sold there have been no complaints of quality. The big improvement is not the design or the quality or that we have a full range, but that it is universal – one kit for all – and when everyone kits up together it is a wondrous sight (well so I have been told). I know a few members of the other local clubs and they are annoyed about their new “design” and the poorer quality, and that they are paying $100 or more for each piece.” Barry Doosey
In 2011 the jersey became sponsor logo free. The new clean lines of the jersey were a hit with the Club members and stood out on the road and in races.
Since 1990, the Sydney Opera House has been a major feature of our club kit, but it did not feature on the original designs, which were cleaner and simpler in style. Although many members liked our previous ‘Sydney skyline’ design, we wanted to move away from looking too clichéd. We took a more subtle, yet still distinctively Sydney approach. Member Niall Durney used his creative skills to design a new SCC logo, which retains the Opera House theme but presents it in a striking and contemporary way.
The committee decided to transition to a different kit supplier, to increase the range offered to members, and eliminate the need to hold large amounts of stock. SCC was unusual among cycling clubs in that for the past 20 years we bought bulk quantities of kit, warehoused it, and provided a mail-order shop. Offering that facility required us to hold up to $60K of stock, and restrict the range as we didn't want to be left with dead stock if the design changes. But the main driver for change was the unnecessary workload put on our Clothing Manager, George Schneller, to always provide warehouse facilities, stock control, picking and packing, and all correspondence with members (queries and returns).
While we were extremely happy with Babici for the previous three years, they were unable to offer the online ordering facility and small batch sizes we wanted so we moved suppliers to Champion System. This allowed members to order online during a window of time (eg. one week per month), and once the window closes they will make the kit and send it direct to the members within four weeks. Because they're set up to do this globally the club will be able to offer different qualities of jerseys in two cuts ('race' or 'club'), choices of chamois, plus arm and knee warmers, gilets, caps and other accessories.
For the first time we were able to offer skinsuits or speedsuits as one-offs instead of needing a minimum quantity of 20 or more. Originally we'd planned to transition the previous design to the new supplier, but it couldn't be done consistently well across the expanded range of items, so an evolution of the design was agreed to. A big thank you to Niall Durney, who in between designing buildings, twilighted as our kit designer, spending many hours sweating over the details on dozens of templates.