After Team Sky unveiled their new 2018 kit last week it was only natural for debate to break out at CPOfficial HQ as to which new kit was the best against the rest.
So we thought we would create a definitive ranking as we cast our sartorial eye on what the professional teams have come up with so far. We’ll start with the worst kit so far.
18. Team Sunweb
German team, Team Sunweb, have decided to sack off changing their team kit pretty much at all for 2018.
Instead they have stuck with their same old black and white kit that we find literally the most boring kit out of all the World Tour teams. It is particularly a shame because their 2017 season was jam packed with victories and a new colourful kit would’ve been a great way to show what a bumper year it was.
17. UAE Team Emirates
Not only did they mess up the Italian national champions jersey for Fabio Aru but their very plain design of black and white interspersed with the UAE national flag leaves a lot to be desired for fans who like a dash of colour.
Instead we’re left with something that you might see in a school kids art and design final project, simple and underdone.
16. Team Sky
After winning the Tour de France for a fifth time, Team Sky decided their special white kit should stick around for longer.
Doing away with the black, Castelli have taken the would-be Empire from the dark side to the light side. Their special edition Tour de France kit was clean and fresh with a simple level of contrast that felt natural and not gimmicky, even though the idea of a one-off race kit is just that.
Employing the light blue stripe across the chest as an homage to their first kits feels like a try-hard attempt at making something “new” for fans which doesn’t sit well with us. It’s not all bad though, we enjoyed the move from black to white.
Much akin to their 2017 iteration of the kit, Astana have stuck with the same colour way but have away with the faint fade at the bottom of their jerseys.
Instead they have to let the Astana blue contrast the black shorts that we saw last season all with highlights of yellow on the sleeve cuffs while the short’s have a blue hem to them. Same old, same old for the Kazakhstan team.
Changing titles from Orcia-Scott to Mitchelton-Scott, the Australian team has also swapped blue and green for black and yellow and it works.
We can’t say we were big fans of the Orcia-Scott kit so this is definitely a marked improvement to us, the finest of kit connoisseurs. It’s a little bit boring for our liking but it could be a kit that grows on us.
We appreciate that Bahrain-Merida’s team design staff didn’t copy Team Wiggins for a second year running but have instead dialled back the similarities removing the blue shoulders and giving the bright red more of a prominent placing across the torso.
The intricate gold design on the front of the chest is a nice touch alongside the gold touches around the bands of the arms and underlining the team’s name. Maybe team leader Vincenzo Nibali will be able to match his kit’s golden aims in 2018.
12. BMC Racing Team
BMC is usually right up there in our list of top kits, the cool and abstract blocky design that we all know is different and eye-catching but one new minor detail has really changed our opinion. Don’t get us wrong, we still really like the new 2018 kit but the introduction of a blue collar has soured things for us.
The American team are sticklers for maintaining a high quality process which has been seen in their previous kits which has evolved over several years to be a top quality piece of thread. Unfortunately they have turned their backs on that with this out of place blue collar.
We really like Greg Van Avermaet’s gold touches though. You stay classy Greg.
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it and that’s exactly what FDJ have done. The cool blue, white and red design is simple but sticks out with it’s asymmetrical design and funky shapes.
It may not be as exciting as the likes of EF Education First-Drapac but it does the job in keeping the French team looking good and standing out. Now all they need to do is get Thibaut Pinot to end the home nation’s drought at the Tour de France.
Sticking to what they know, LottoNL-Jumbo’s striking colour way makes a return for 2018 with a few minor adjustments. The major one being the introduction of personalised lotto balls on the backs of the riders.
With a few textured design points around the edges of the torso, the kit is relatively plain and straightforward. We enjoy the stand out design and colouring but for some reason the kit doesn’t excite us as much as we’d hope. Whether its the over simplicity of the design or the lack of exciting talent on the team, it just seems like its a kit that may not stand out as much as we’d hope.
9. AG2R La Mondiale
A vast improvement on last year’s kit, the French team have simplified proceedings for the better. Instead of a Lego based design, the kit has taken on a sort of national champs style with three bands of colour.
The blue is also slightly brighter giving a good level of contrast to the white that it sits under. However, the brown is still a mainstay in the kit design, particularly in the shorts where it can act as very unfortunate camouflage… That’s why it’s only sitting eighth in our ranking.
Once this issue is resolved, expect the French team to rise in our estimates, both sartorially and performance wise.
8. Lotto Soudal
Belgian team, Lotto Soudal, opted to stick with what they know when they made only the most subtle of changes with their 2018 kit.
Employing a distinct chevron in the centre of the torso, the style is certainly reminiscent of old school kits from the golden era of cycling. Like a pack of classic Marlboro cigarettes, the kit has a clean-cut contrast going on but, unlike Marlboro cigarettes, Lotto Soudal’s colours won’t damage your health (we hope).
Some may like the slight changes but in a year when team’s are completely redesigning their kits, this seems a tad boring.
Having chopped and change with their kit over the last few years, it’s interesting to see what they’ve decided to come up with this year.
Using an out-there red for the main jersey colour, the Trek-Segafredo riders will certainly stand out among their peers in the peloton. However, when it comes down to it, their kit is a red top and black shorts.
That may be unfair as it is quite nice but it might be a little too simplistic for us. Having said that, the white highlights and visceral red is a nice change for a peloton that seems to be going blue and white. Middle of the park for us.
6. Dimension Data
We know we said that completely redesigning your team kit is the cool new thing to do but there’s something about the slightly altered Dimension Data kit that we love.
Gone are the black shoulders and in are a fresh white. Among the changes are slightly larger logos at funny angles but it somehow works nicely as the Manxman looks like some sort of wax work modelling it.
Bright and clear, the white and green work well being clean and vibrant unlike the Team Sky counterpart which feels a bit limp. One point of contention for us is the lack of a collar, which may expose unruly chest hairs that sneak up.
We really enjoyed the tasteful inclusion of maroon in the kit last year. It was unexpected, fresh and slightly different from the rest of the peloton. Then they included a white shouldered version for their Tour de France campagin which was a nice progression of the original kit.
Enjoying the status of slightly off the wall, the team seem to have taken it one step further this year with the introduction of a very light blue instead of white which to some may look like the white colouring is a little off. We do like it but it does feel a bit washy, maybe it’s a grower, not a shower? We’ll see.
4. Quick-Step Floors
Coming straight in at three, we really enjoy the royal blue that the Belgian team decided to go with this year. Unfortunately, Bora’s minty jersey has pushed the Belgians down to fourth.
Removing the white shoulders and consolidating the blue the kit looks smart and elegant and will look good in the peloton, adding some dark richness without being too dark.
Our only bug bear would be the visualisation of Quick-Step’s animal mantra, “The Wolfpack” on the rear of the neck, which we find to be a bit lame. Can’t help but imagine Alan from the hangover cutting his hand before all the riders go out to race.
Otherwise, a classy affair for a classy team.
Growing up the sartorial lesson to live by was “blue and green should never be seen” and for years it seems Movistar hadn’t attended that lesson in fashion school.
However, it seems the Spanish telecom team has finally seen the light as they revamped their dark blue and lime green kits they had worn for years. In their place: a fresh sky blue to navy blend has been ushered in.
The gradual blend and white logos create a smooth but striking look that seems cool in the heat and on the streets*.
*Never wear a cycling kit unless you’re on a bike.
Fresh, cool and bold, the kit is a nice progression from last year’s iteration showing a nice step forward without departing too much.
It’s easy on the eyes, the sponsors get good coverage without being so overt and its gives more credence to aquamarine being a cool colour. Coming straight in at number two, the kit does well but just misses out on being the top dog down to EF’s kit just being so cool.
It’s unfortunate we won’t be seeing Peter Sagan rocking this kit this year as he managed to bag a third rainbow jersey for the third time running.
1. EF Education First-Drapac
EF Education First-Drapac may have the worst name in the peloton but they don’t have the worst kit. Like their name, the kit is quite convoluted but for some reason it just works.
Reminiscent of Italian kits from the 1990s, the fluorescent pink shoulders and bright green highlights look like a neon sign saying how great you would look if you wore this.
The distinctive nature of the kit is not for everyone but for us it’s loud and distracts from the fact that, like EF Education First-Drapac, we may come up short right at the last.
In summary, we have no idea about fashion. We’re a cycling website.