Category Archives: Gear

We Go Big On Style

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We may be a small bike touring company, but when it comes to style, we go big.

When inGamba guests began telling us that people were asking where to buy our kit we were a bit perplexed. We were honored that people wanted it, but the kits were something we’d designed for ourselves and our guests. These kits are part of the welcome package our guests receive upon arrival for a trip.

The idea for the kit came to me when I saw how little attention most cyclists paid to what they’re wearing and how often things were really, really wrong. Besides simple fashion blunders, there also seemed to be a general lack of knowledge about how performance clothing is suppose to look and feel.

OUR FRIENDS AT GIORDANA
Italian style and quality

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To help us create a superior kit, we turned to our friends at Giordana. (They’re Italian and understand these things.) Our relationship with this clothing manufacturer goes back to when I worked in publishing, and continued when I made my return to the professional peloton with the Cervélo Test Team.

I’ve loved Giordana clothing for many years—and even helped develop some of it. We realized that another way to make our inGamba trips special was to provide every guest with the perfect kit: jersey, shorts, socks, gloves and the mandatory cap for the coffee shop stop.

CLASSIC INGAMBA
Modern design and technology

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The design is classic inGamba, blending an inspiration born of old team kits with a touch of modern design and product technology. We’re so confident in the quality that we’re certain this will quickly become one of your all-time favorite kits.

We all have a cherished T-shirt that we refuse to give up. We wear it over and over again until it contours perfectly to our body. Then after hundreds of washes, we’re finally forced by a significant other to let go. We kept this in mind when we developed our inGamba T-shirt, and went through dozens of samples to find the optimum blend of softness and style. If this doesn’t become your favorite tee, send it back and we’ll refund your money.

Perfection and preferred is the idea behind all of our T-shirts, hoodie and hats. These off-the-bike items will be the staple and number one go-to in your wardrobe. When you simply need an extra layer before dashing out to the store, you’ll reach for the super-soft hoodie. And the trucker hat can hide any hair mess you throw at it.

We hope you relish this first-rate cycling and casual clothing as much as we enjoyed making it for you. Introducing the inGamba Gear Store.

The InGamba Kit

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Christmas is approaching rather rapidly, so why not get those presents organised in good time? We have some great ideas for you…

Giordana’s Scatto bib shorts are made with a combination of textured, anti-abrasion Zaffiro™ fabric and a smooth, lightweight shield Endurance™ fabric for the perfect balance of durability, comfort and compression.

We’ve selected Giordana’s Vero jersey which is cut slimmer in the chest and sleeves; this more aggressive cut is worn by the majority of professional riders.

Buy Now!

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João tested 37 T-shirts in three months before settling on this one. We think it’s a little obsessive, but coming from a guy who used to work at Esquire magazine, it’s not surprising. This super-soft shirt has a brushed feel and vintage coziness that will quickly make it your favorite. Buy Now!

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The SciCon saddlebag used by inGamba staff and guests. The tool-free attachment is fast and simple, and allows you to remove the bag so you can wash your bike after every ride. The bag comes with two tire levers integrated into the attachment; one on the inside of the bag, and one on the outside. Leave your old tire levers at home. Buy Now!

The Rain Bag, By Ted King

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by Ted King – Professional Cyclist

They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad preparation. I don’t know who they are, but I balk at that logic. As someone who entered the sport of cycling in the frigid and snowy Green Mountains of Vermont, cut my teeth throughout New England’s wet and unpredictable springs, and who now races across the globe with no reprieve for a “rain delay” as is common in baseball or car racing, I know a thing or two about riding in less-than-ideal weather. Turns out there is such a thing as bad weather; better yet, there also exists such a thing as being prepared for it.

“Borsa di freddo” translates from Italian literally to bag of cold—or more appropriately, bag for cold. The English parlance among my Anglo-Saxon colleagues is rain bag. But regardless of what it’s called, this sliver of security offers a bit of reassurance going into a potentially cold or wet day.

On the professional level, a bag for each rider sits in every team car behind the race or long day of training camp. At just an arm’s reach from the team mechanic, the bag waits on-call for when the weather turns sour.

When watching rainy races on television—and before the drops are visible on camera—you’ll see a small cadre of riders quickly slip to the back of the peloton to collect appropriate attire for their teammates. Each rider will radio to their team cars the clothing request—a jacket, arm warmers or cycling cap—and the mechanic will dig through each riders’ bag for the clothing. After the subsequent handoff, the rider will pedal into the cold or wet weather coming from all sides to get back to the peloton.

The rain bag is roughly the size of a large shoebox and made of a soft fabric, frequently with two zippered compartments. Some riders keep the bare minimum in their bag, but the sage veteran will effectively keep a spare (or two!) of everything one might need on a long day: shoe covers, leg warmers, knee warmers (maybe even winter tights), an undershirt or two, arm warmers, gloves of all varieties, vests and jackets of different weights, neckgaiters, cycling caps and winter beanies. The second compartment will store an extra set of shoes. Although it’s uncommon, shoes have been known to break midrace and a quick swap will save the awkward and embarrassing single-shoed riding. Pro tip: Always have extra shoes.

The more likely items to be requested—typically arm warmers and a vest—will be closest to the zipped opening. Again, this is the habit among the wise veterans more than the eager rookies who haphazardly stuff their bags with whatever they think of last minute. The packing technique is certainly noted by the team mechanics who have the duty of rummaging around the bag looking for each riders’ request. Pro tip number two: Always be nice to your mechanic.

And pro tip number three? Embrace the changing weather with a borsa di freddo, rain bag, security blanket, err… security bag. Doesn’t matter what you call it as long as you have one at the ready. You may not be able to change the weather, but you can absolutely prepare for it.

Please note your nationality (country flag) and how you would like your name to appear on the Pro Rain Bag in the order notes during the checkout process.

Construction material 100% Nylon
Lower portion of the bag is a separate zippered compartment for your shoes
36cm x 28cm x 12cm
14″ x 11″ x 5″
Made locally in Italy by SciCon

BUY HERE

Giordana: pushing the boundaries with FR-C

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inGamba’s Donkey Week had a surprise mid-trip treat from our friends at Giordana, who sent over their new elite collection, the FR-C: FormaRed-Carbon, for all of our guests to put to the test.

The range is cut to a race fit and is designed to mould to your body like a second skin and keep you looking great and feeling strong all day.

The FR-C bibs are a deviation – in our opinion, a welcome one – from the recent shift in cycling apparel towards superfine fabrics that sacrifice comfort for lightness. The supportive, high-compression fabric used in these shorts is exactly what you need on long, hard rides and the wide, sturdy straps add to the overall feeling of a well-constructed product.

Giordana have been friends of inGamba for a long time. And not just because they make some of the best cycling kit on the market. They’re our clothing manufacturers of choice because we share a genuine passion for cycling, because we both believe in quality and because we’re both immensely proud of what we do.

Giorgio Andretta founded Giordana in 1979 with a clear goal: To offer athletes unparalleled performance by combining the best of Italian craftsmanship and style with the latest technological advances. More than 30 years later, his company still sets the standard.

We think this range performs perfectly, and represents the best of Italian manufacturing. And just as importantly, it looks cool. It’s the kind of kit that makes you just wanna pull on a fresh pair of crisp white socks, and hit the road – hard.

 

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Singing in the rain

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Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It’s a cliché, but as hackneyed phrases go it’s a pretty useful one to remember as a cyclist. This sport is hard on the best of days, but cold winds and hard rain can make it insufferable. Even a little drizzle can turn a fun spin into a misery march if you leave the house in the wrong kit.

That’s why pros have rain bags. Neat little black receptacles that are labelled for each rider and stacked like bricks in the back of the mechanic’s car. They can carry shoe covers, gloves, arm and leg warmers, hats, different glasses, a gilet, a raincoat – all the precious things you could want when you crest that hill and see dark clouds looming large on the horizon. They also have a space for spare shoes, something that every veteran of the peloton will tell you that you’d rather have and not need than need and not have.

 

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Being properly equipped for anything that the elements can throw at you makes a huge difference. It can be the difference between enjoying your ride and just hanging in until home. Sometimes, it can be the difference between making it to the line and surrendering to a DNF.

 

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Everyone at inGamba likes to think that we do a pretty good job at providing the best possible cycling experience for our guests, but we can’t control the weather (not yet, anyway). What we can control is that our riders are prepared for any forecast. Our partners Scicon provide everyone with their own personalised rainbag, and once it’s in the back of the support car, all you need to do is raise your hand and let the mechanic know what you need. Assuming you’ve packed right, that little black bag will come to be a huge source of confidence. And when you feel those first drops hit, you can just smile and know that you’re ready for anything that the road can throw at you.

 

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“When watching rainy races on television—and before the drops are visible on camera—you’ll see a small cadre of riders quickly slip to the back of the peloton to collect appropriate attire for their teammates. Each rider will radio to their team cars the clothing request—a jacket, arm warmers or cycling cap—and the mechanic will dig through each riders’ bag for the clothing. After the subsequent handoff, the rider will pedal into the cold or wet weather coming from all sides to get back to the peloton.”

Ted King, pro rider for Cannondale-Garmin & friend of inGamba

 

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World Bicycle Relief: Mobility matters

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This is not a bike. This is a game changer for the young and a life saver for the sick and helpless. This is mobility, which in developing countries means access to a world of hitherto inaccessible opportunities. This is schools and medical treatment and a route to market. This is a future.

World Bicycle Relief is a Chicago-based charity that is dedicated to improving the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest places by providing custom-designed bicycles and the parts and mechanics to maintain them.

The heavy-duty Buffalo Bike was created as a sustainable solution to age old problems of poor infrastructure and isolated towns and villages. Because while donating bikes to people in need isn’t a new idea, the traditional approach of donating second-hand bikes to poor regions and disaster zones has always been hampered by myopia. Compatibility and availability issues mean that even if those normal bikes arrived in good condition, the vast array of different models, styles and brands would make maintaining them long-term totally impossible.

By contrast, the Buffalo is a rugged, reliable machine perfectly suited to life on rough roads in remote communities. It weighs 23kg including racks and fenders, with a frame made from oversized 16-guage steel tubing. Its coaster brake offers ease of use, safety and improved durability, while the heavy-duty wheels are more than able to withstand whatever type of terrain they’re faced with. And because there’s only one model, the mechanics can afford to stock a steady supply of spare parts.

Studies in the field suggest that with a bike, student attendance increases by up to 28% while grades increase by up to 59%. Healthcare workers can reach 40% more patients more often, and entrepreneurs increase profits by up to 50% by travelling farther and carrying more goods.

 

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To date, they have distributed more than 200,000 bicycles and trained more than 1,000 bicycle mechanics in countries like Angola, Botswana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The goal is to eliminate distance as a barrier to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. And at inGamba, we’re extremely proud to support that. Our One Guest: One Bike program donates $147 – the price of one bike  – for every guest that takes a trip with us and whenever possible we urge people to match this donation with a gift of their own.

For us, a bicycle is a recreational tool. But to millions of people around the world, a bicycle is an inexpensive, sustainable form of transportation, one that can mean the difference between seeing a doctor, getting to school, making a living – or not. One of the things we are most proud of at inGamba is our One Guest: One Bike program where we donate $134 – the price of one bike – to World Bicycle Relief’s Africa program in honor of each person who travels with us.

– João Correia, inGamba founder

It’s impossible for us to understand just what a difference these bikes make. $134 wouldn’t even get you a pair of high-end tubular tyres, but a Buffalo Bike from World Bicycle Relief will literally change lives. Their Educational Empowerment Program provides bikes to students – 70% of whom are girls – and to teachers and education workers in rural Africa. Local community committees select those most in need and oversee bicycle use, while students sign a contract committing to school attendance. They arrive safely and on time and studies consistently find that grades and attendance rates improve after students receive bicycles.

 

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And when it’s not in use for educational purposes, the whole family can benefit from increased mobility. For example, a 2012 survey found that clinic visits for children under the age of five had more than doubled, as mothers were more easily able to bring them for vaccinations and treatment. The program also aims to strengthen local economies and promote long-term sustainability by assembling bicycles locally, training mechanics and improving the spare parts supply chain.

Around the globe, World Bicycle Relief has shown that whether it’s giving kids the chance to get an education, helping farmers bring goods to customers, assisting in disaster relief or fighting HIV/AIDS, the bicycle can do so much good. It’s a viable, cost-effective and long-term solution to some of the most challenging problems in developing nations – and we’re delighted to be a small part of that. We hope you will be too.

If you’d like to find out more or make a donation, visit the dedicated inGamba page here

 

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