Returning to the pro peloton was an exciting opportunity for dhb
Returning to the pro peloton came about just as dhb started to seed Aeron LAB - the most advanced kit dhb has ever made. We caught up with dhb Senior Marketing Manager, Kirsty who told us why being partnered with professional UCI team Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes is so important to dhb.
We’d always been clear that, if we were to get back into the pro scene, we didn’t want to partner with just any team. It needed to be a team that shared our core values, and one that was open and willing to help us genuinely make improvements to our kit for our customer with valuable, regular feedback. We didn’t want to just badge up some kit and throw it out there, we wanted to work collaboratively to make our best-ever kit, even better.
Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes are a true family
Their dedication to each other, to their plans and strategies, and to the people that support them is impressive. They share dhb’s commitment to continuous improvement and were more than keen to help us test new prototypes to see how fast we could make our kit. They’re also loads of fun, which makes working with them a pleasure as well as a learning curve.
We regularly have a selection of the team into the dhb offices to talk to our Designers and Developers. They spend A LOT of time of bikes, so we can get some thorough feedback relatively quickly. This allows us to speed up our processes, and in turn, pass on these improvements to our customers - something that has sped up the longer we’ve worked together.
Team Manager, Tim Elverson identifies that “We’ve seen suggestions that help our racing go more smoothly, more comfortably and faster now on the kit that’s being purchased.” Importantly for us, this view is shared by the riders too. Rider, Alex Paton has called dhb ‘one of the team’s greatest assets’ by providing the very best kit that us as riders have requested.
Each year we have tweaks and developments geared round making us faster or more comfortable on the bike (sometimes both).” Our job is ensuring that these improvements are passed onto the kit we have available for customers, which is important to us, and what you can buy is exactly what the team wear.
Our focus isn’t solely on speed
Which means this is kit that works for those not quite at Canyon dhb’s level just yet. With many, many hours spent in lycra, comfort is hugely important to the team, and we’ve worked hard with them to improve this too. It’s been a revelation for rider Tom Stewart;
“It's great to see a clothing brand focus so much on fit and comfort too. Being comfortable on your bike 4 hrs into a race or training ride is a crucial part of competing at a high level. If you finish your ride and you can't wait to take off your kit, it's probably the wrong kit. I've never been able to wear a skin/race suit to so many races before and still feel comfortable in it at the end of a race.”
Our journey started in in 2018, and we’ve seen some huge improvements since then. As Tim says, “Version 1 of the Aeron LAB kit won a stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in 2018 and since then we have developed a skinsuit that has allowed us to win 76% of our domestic races. From the team’s point of view, it’s exciting to be part of that journey where we work so hard to be winners.”
It’s exciting for dhb too.
Proven in the peloton
2019 saw Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes win the OVO Energy Tour Series for the second year running - with a dominant performance in almost every stage - winning 4 of the 7 rounds. The team replicated this with an impressive 6 wins out of 6 at the National Circuit Series- taking the team prize and the individual win overall for Matt Bostock. Alongside this, the team have celebrated 33 individual victories, in the UK and further afield in Europe. And it’s not going too far for the dhb team to share in this success. Alex Paton agrees, telling us “The new Aeron LAB Speedsuit we have developed with dhb have been a part of the entire teams extra speed and many victories this year.”
As dhb, we’re proud to be contributing to the team’s success, and we’ve already got something exciting up our sleeves for next year…Taking all the input from the team this year, and adding in some wind tunnel testing, has resulted in the fastest bit of kit we’ve ever produced, and it will be available for our customers in Spring 2020.