Hi all, I am pleased to announce the opening of our Voler store where you can finally purchase all of the Podium Cafe kit items you could possibly want! Please read carefully as there are some important details here to share with you.
Where to order
Here is the link to the store! If you don't want any more details, just go there and get started.
Non-Sequitur Note to People Outside North America
The Voler store does not ship outside the US and Canada. But that's not a big problem, because they will ship to me and I will pass on your order to you. More details toward the end.
How It All Works
The Podium Cafe Voler Store allows you to order just about whatever you want, in our colors, from Voler. Jerseys, shorts, bibs, arm warmers, caps, gloves, vests, skinsuits... It's all there.
In the past I asked people to commit to ordering certain items, collected all the money, then collected all the clothes and shipped them to you. Now, you can order directly and have your order shipped directly back to you, cutting me (and a lot of delay and confusion) out of the process.
The order will close on February 14.
Like a club order, the prices reflect minimums being met, and when the order closes we will have a tally regarding those minimums. Our informal polling in December made it clear that we would make the lowest minimums, for two reasons. One, a lot of you responded, and two, the way the store works, minimums are easy to meet. For example, all the bottoms count toward the minimum for all the items in that group, so if you order the men's fleece knickers or the regular women's non-bib shorts, that all counts toward the minimum for any of the related items -- knickers, bibs, shorts, men's, women's, different material, etc. Long and short sleeve jerseys, vests and skinsuits all count in the tops category. All accessories count as accessories.
Bare minimums are 15 pieces for the entire category, and that's the pricing you see as you proceed. Once the next level (25) is reached, which is pretty likely for all categories, the prices will drop roughly $4 per top/bottom and $1 per accessory. There's another reduction at 50 pieces, which is a decent possibility. So the cost you see at first is worst case scenario.
The first thing you see is two choices, women's items or men's. This is true for bottoms as well. Voler tailors jerseys and shorts differently, for men and women, because it's not the 20th century anymore.
There are three levels of quality: Equipe (basic), FS Pro (race-quality), and Velocity (really race-quality).
The Equipe line is the best deal, some $20 less than FS Pro and $25 less than Velocity. The material is durable and light, very pleasant and on par with stuff you see commonly in stores. If you are a pretty casual rider, this will definitely suit your needs. There is also a fitting option, race or club. The club fit is a bit longer and a bit wider in the shoulders. And an option for reflective material over the back pockets.
The FS Pro is probably where most of us will land. You can race in this, absolutely. It breathes, lasts, and looks excellent. It's good for spring, summer or cyclocross season. There is also a fitting option, race or club, and reflective pockets.
The Velocity is purely for racing, even lighter and more form-fitting than the FS Pro. Maybe a little less durable but still very well made. Very slick.
In all cases, long sleeve items will extend the color down from the shoulder.
There are vests, which are pretty lightweight, and jackets which come in shell, lightweight or thermal layer.
The skinsuits are what they sound like. They come in Peloton and FS Pro, which are both pretty race-like layers, since we are talking skinsuits. Pad options are lightweight.
There is also a road suit, which is a top and a bottom stitched together. This is a bit cheaper than ordering them separately, and the road suit comes with the usual rear pockets and a full zip. in terms of feel, it's more like regular tops and bottoms than wedging yourself into a skinsuit. I personally am very tempted by this option.
We offer the FS Pro line for all bottoms, which include shorts, bib shorts, knickers and bib knickers. Knickers will look like the regular shorts with the extra material below the knees in black.
- Sola: standard, available on all items. Comes in a matte-like finish.
- Milano: Available for extra $ in the shorts and bib shorts. More of an opaque finish. Lighter weight.
- Yukon Thermal Fleece: Available in the bib shorts, bib knickers and non-bib knickers. This is winter/spring layering, very warm. Perfect for the UK or Pacific Northwest for about nine months a year. There is no way I'm not getting these.
All shorts come with a variety of pad options -- again, tailored differently for men and women.
- The Apex pad is standard and rated a 4-hour pad.
- The Elan pad is rated for five hours (e.g. thicker than the 4-hr version) and is an extra $5.
- The Orion is rated for six hours and costs $8 more. It's perforated for additional breathing (since it's thicker).
- The Comp HP is a 6+-hour pad for an extra $10. It's the thickest, best breathing pad.
All accessories will be black with the orange \o/ celebrant figure. The artwork is not loaded up to the site yet but should be before long. For the shoe covers, the celebrant will be on the outside ankle. For the gloves the celebrant will face outward when you are gripping the top of the bars, like all gloves. Arm and leg warmers will be black with the celebrant on the lower side.
All sizing is American style! And it's pretty consistent too. Please see the sizing chart here.
If you are in the US or Canada (and maybe Mexico?), please choose to ship to yourself. Cost will be included in your order.
For people outside North America, please choose the "Ship To Coordinator" option. As I mentioned above, they don't ship outside North America, but I will, and Voler will gladly send orders to me for follow-up shipping.
Last time I mailed clothing all over the world, shipping cost between $15 and $30 to various places in Europe. When the time comes I will make arrangements with people who choose to have their items shipped to me, and see if there are any other PdC people in your neighborhood whereby we can package a few orders together. Or you can just pay the freight and I'll send it to you. If anything, you might save a few bucks by going thru me, since I'll look for some cheap way to send it (if you prefer), but I would probably be a few days slower than Voler.
What Happens After February 14?
Two things. Your order is scheduled for production which will result in completion and shipping by April 8. In time for spring!
If you did not order before February 14, or if sometime in the future you will want to reorder something, we will create a permanent store which will have just the basic Equipe jersey and Peloton shorts. No minimums, no coordinating with me (except for the shipping thing for outside North America), and no additional fuss. But very few options too, so if you know you want something in particular, get in your order before February 14.
Contact me, chris[at]podiumcafe[d'ot]com ... if you prefer. But if it's a question you think other people might share or appreciate, let's chat in comments.
Please feel free to share this with anyone you think may be interested. Unlike a club, I am placing no restrictions on who wears our clothing. Your parents? Your cousin? Some guy in your club who needs a wardrobe upgrade? Gift for a friend or co-worker? Kids?? [Sizes can run pretty small!] All are welcome.
Ready, set... GO!
Or for manual entry, here's the link: