A pivotal moment in beginning conceptualization of RaceDots came during cyclocross season a couple of years ago. Jason, our founder, had bought a custom skinsuit for racing. Many know well—and those who don't should—skinsuits are pricey. It takes a serious investment of cash and a serious commitment to race to buy one. After only a few races of the season (In cyclocross many people race multiple races in one day, sometimes both days of one weekend) his skinsuit already had several giant holes from the safety pins he used for his race number. He didn't want to make the holes any worse by re-using them, but didn't want to completely shred the garment by making new ones. That skinsuit needed to last through the whole season, so what to do?
As a runner I faced my own conundrum. One of my favorite parts of racing is getting a new outfit as my go-to for the races of that season. I wear worn out, faded, too-big clothes to run in every day, but on race day I wanna look and feel good. One of may favorite race day tops is the Lululemon Run: Swiftly (tank, tee, whatever). The fabric of that shirt, is a well-ventilated open weave, as it is on many technical shirts, which is nice and stretchy but still lightweight and delicate. The first time I raced in my Swiftly at the Philly marathon I remember the awful feeling I had removing my number after the race and pulling out a 1-inch thread as the tip of the safety pin exited the hole. I had always thought that safety pin tips were perfectly pointy, but one stick through a delicate fabric and you'll learn that they really are not!
What if it's chilly and raining in you want to wear a water-resistant jacket to race in? You want to stick holes through that? That Jingle Bell 5K at Christmas where you'd like to wear a cozy, thermal jacket? Nuh-uh.
RaceDots mean you don't have to decide between either being comfortable or not ruining a favorite piece of clothing.
High-end, technical clothing manufacturers—you all should be paying attention! We love your stuff, but we're not going to ruin it to race!
Two companies that seems to get it are Panache Cyclewear and Castelli. They make beautiful high-end cycling clothing as well as custom team kits, and we were proud to make custom RaceDots for them recently. When it comes time to print your team kit for next year, give them a look.
And if you're tired of making swiss cheese out of your most cherished workout pieces, give RaceDots a try!