Interview with CRAFT


We have had the pleasure of testing and reviewing kit from Craft since we started Bike Envy and so it we jumped at the opportunity to talk to them about how they have come to be experts in their field, developing award winning fabrics that are highly functional to help us to get the best out of ourselves on the bike.


Craft working with athletes since 1977


BE: Can you tell me a bit about Craft, the brand and how they came to be developing technical sportswear?


CRAFT: Since 1977, we have been actively involved in the research and development of ventilation and moisture dispersal properties for different fabrics.  The fruit of these efforts is the Craft Principle, our way of providing functional training and competition wear that ensures the best body micro-climate (the temperature and moisture conditions closest to the body) for optimal performance.


An intensive training session will result in the body producing a considerable amount of sweat.  This is just how it should be and a confirmation that you are pushing your limits.  If you are not wearing functional clothes, the sweat will remain in place and block the pores, causing your body heat to rise. Eventually the clothes will turn into a damp, cold and heavy “envelope”, relentlessly hampering your performance.


If you are wearing functional clothes, however, the skin will stay dry and you will be able to perform at an ideal working temperature.  Craft’s functional clothes, in up to three layers, create a perfect micro-climate and provide the basis for optimal performance.  Each layer is equally important and complements the rest

BE: Craft is a premium brand – there are more expensive brands for sure and many cheaper – what do you get for your money with premium brands that you don’t get with the cheaper ones?


CRAFT: All the brands on the market at the moment, through all price points, are offering technical properties to the garments.  However, ours are proven award winning and tested to last longer than any other base layer on the market.  


With CRAFT you also get the heritage that comes from being a partner with elite world tour teams and riders going back to CSC, Astana, Trek-Leopard, Radioshack, Orica-Greenedge and now Bora Hansgrohe and Peter Sagan.  The same functional designs which go into producing kit for pro riders to give them an edge also goes into our retail collection.


Craft developing fabrics since 1977


BE: What are the key trends for cycling clothing at the moment and what will be new for Autumn/Winter?


CRAFT: CRAFT bike is aimed at all riders; sunshine riders, a puncher extraordinaire, or someone for whom the Sunday ride with an espresso break is sacred.  Highly functional fabrics combined with ergonomic design ensure excellent body temperature management, body control, aerodynamics and comfort.



BE: How has women’s apparel changed over the past few years?


CRAFT: Women’s bike clothing has been revolutionised over the years, with women taking the bike market by storm.


Having a women’s designer on board for CRAFT, understanding the padding that is needed, as well as support in different areas makes the designing and testing a lot easier.  Men and women are anatomically different, so it follows that male and female bike shorts should be different.  Something we often get positive feedback on is the ergonomic padding included in our shorts, and female-specific pads are an important element.


BE: Do women have any specific demands that are different from men’s? 


CRAFT: Many different aspects need attention.  The female rider requires a wider, longer bike pad for comfort.  As long as those are in place our female riders are happy with our fun colour pop designs. For us there is far more to what we offer female riders than a scaled down version of our men’s range but in pink.


(Ed: We have to agree, CRAFT really do think about the female specific needs of cyclists when designing kit and the Craft Women’s Velo Bib Shorts are a great example of this)


CRAFT Velo bib short


BE: Do Craft have anything exciting in the pipeline that you can tell us about, perhaps in terms of fabrics or design?


CRAFT: We will always be strong in base layers and that is our foundation so continue to expect greatness there.  In addition to this, just you wait for Spring/Summer 2018 kit... the monuments range, colour splashes and a very exciting Gore-tex Active jacket. 


(Ed: We reviewed the Craft Women’s Warm Intensity base layer here and have to agree you can’t go wrong with a Craft base)



Craft Warm Intensity LS base

BE: What is your favourite item of Craft clothing and why?


CRAFT: The IPSO award-winning Active Extreme 2.0 Base layer.  It comes in round neck and crew neck, long and short sleeve.  It has elastic fabric that is channel-knitted to trap air and provide warmth but also Cool max Air fibre against the skin to enhance cooling and moisture transport.  Its body mapped mesh provides optimal temperature regulation and flatlock seams follow body movements.  Honestly, it’s no surprise it won the IPSO award with so much technology packed in it.


BE: What is the Craft ethos?


CRAFT: Our apparel is designed to allow athletes of all levels to perform at their optimum level.  If you’re comfortable, you are able to train better and if you train better you are happier and you enjoy the training more, no matter how difficult it is.


The CRAFT principle – don’t break the chain is highlighting the 3x principles of our clothing range:-

  1. Base layer – Active Extreme 2.0.
  2. Mid layer – Reel Thermal Jersey
  3. Protection layer – Velo Rain Jacket


(Ed: we are currently testing the Craft Women's Belle Jacket and so far we love it!)


CRAFT Belle jacket


BE: What does the future hold for Craft as a company?


CRAFT: We’re very excited for the future for CRAFT in the UK and Ireland, 2018 will be a landmark year for CRAFT, as we meld the high functionality you’d expect from Sweden’s top sportswear brand, with a more fashionable element. We have a strong range and message running throughout all the collections and the technical and functional elements will remain.



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