Le Col springs from one pro-rider’s drive to create the ultimate performance cycling apparel, with products and collections inspired by pro-racing, designed with technical details that count towards success on the road.
Designed in Britain. Made in Italy. Road tested to the limit.
A step up in performance
We’ve been watching the growth of Le Col over the last few years and are incredibly impressed by the products, innovations and the authenticity of the link between the pro peloton and the brand. Le Col produces some of the best performance cycling kits on the market, so we are delighted to be making Le Col’s gear available to Wiggle’s customers. With Yanto Barker’s tenacity and passion for cycling leading the Le Col team, along with his unflinching attention to detail they are making pro-level race focused kit available to all.
4 Questions for Le Col & Yanto Barker
How did you manage to juggle a pro cycling career with launching and then running a cycle clothing business?
After twenty years of racing at Pro-Continental & Continental level, I knew I wanted to turn everything I’d learnt about performance and speed into something meaningful and useful. The idea for Le Col didn’t happen overnight, and it came about because I was obsessed with performance and I knew kit could and should perform better. I wanted every advantage and I had to know every improvement that could be made, had been made.
It was really challenging at first to fit in a full training session in the morning followed by a full day at the office in the afternoon. But I was kept going because I knew I could make cycle clothing that not only felt better from a rider’s perspective, but also performed better too. Looking back, you could say I was a bit naïve; when the Italian factory that produced our first few collections told me I’d have to buy the whole operation if I wanted the upgrades I’d designed actually produced, I’m not sure they were counting on me actually doing just that. I raised the money and bought the factory a few months later.
How does owning your own factory help Le Col?
What it does for us as a manufacturer, is allow us to realise every single design, modification and specification myself and our team of designers want to see. That means no compromises to any piece of Le Col clothing. Everything has been designed for a purpose.
The close relationship we have with our factory in business terms also allows us to continue to manufacture in Italy in an area renowned for cycling & materials expertise. Where competitors have had to make compromises, we can continue to focus on exactly how we want our products to perform.
The Le Col by Wiggins collaboration launched last year, how is Bradley involved with Le Col?
My friendship with Brad goes back twenty years to when we raced in Team GB together as Juniors. Obviously, he went on to win one or two more races than me, but we kept in touch and always caught up at races like the Tour of Britain. We’d chat about cycling kit, current trends and Le Col. From an early stage of the brand he wanted to be involved, and he’s got such a deep knowledge of cycling style throughout the decades, his vision for the range he wants to develop is so clear, it makes it easy to bring to life. He works with our Head of Design to subtly modernise some of the best-looking jerseys throughout history
The collection now has entire Winter and Summer ranges incorporating Le Col’s technical and performance features, with Brad’s iconic style. Don’t tell him I said this, but there are a few pieces of kit from his range that are some of my favourite we’ve ever made.
Le Col has always supported a few UK based pro teams, why are they important?
There are two reasons we’ve always sponsored pro teams, first it allows us to test and develop our kit through insight from cyclists that are riding up to 5 hours a day, every day, pushing the kit as far as it can go. Also it’s a personal mission of mine to deliver the best performance kit to pro cyclists, especially younger teams, who it will make a winning difference to. Seeing the next generation of World Tour pro cyclists on the podium in Le Col is so important to me.
We’re partnering with four British teams this year, Team WIGGINS Le Col, Storey Racing, Drops Cycling & Ribble Pro Cycling, they all share our values and objectives and you can expect to see a lot of their riders at the front of the peloton this season.