Kit Critic is a column on cycling style by Aliya Barnwell, the founder of Ride Up Grades, a cycling instructor, and a longtime rider. Follow her on Instagram at kitaddiction.
Have you heard of this little platform called Instagram? No? How about an antique called Pinterest? It allows people to search for ideas or inspiration and pin them to a board for later reference. I believe I left some relics there. In fact, my first social media purchase was through Pinterest. It was a bike tool roll that has since been redesigned. I hate it.
Who cares, and what does this have to do with cycling kit? We cyclists should care, because now there’s a social network dedicated specifically to kit. With a little help from our friends we can find kit that fits without having to play the returns game, and without having to study fit charts like we’re interpreting the prophesies of Nostradamus. If Pinterest had been set up the same way I might have avoided that poorly-designed tool roll, which opened up while on the bike and scattered my roadside repair supplies across Houston street.
Kit.Fit is the company behind the Kitfit – Cycling Kit Obsessed account on Instagram, and a new social shopping app by the same name. Kit.Fit allows users to create an online closet complete with their unique measurements and their preferred fit (snug/race or comfy/club).
They started in 2015 as an account that shared photos of kit and the local Aussie cycling scene. Built under the guidance of tech executives who are friends, the app was already in the works. As cyclists themselves thrust irrevocably into the era of online shopping with the rest of us, they wanted to offer more than pictures of the best-looking kits. The app offers a new way to find the fit that works best for each individual and their unique shape. Because two people can be the same height and weight and still not fit the same size item.