Two Bowie songs spring to mind for this: Fashion and Changes! Ythan CC currently enjoys what is widely regarded as one of the classiest kits in the SCNEG region, but it hasn’t always been so… Read on for a brief sartorial history of Ythan race kit!
Originally set up in 1987, the club only began racing in 1988. A club top was therefore required for racing in and various design consultants came up with a simple design – a gold base with a big black “Y” on it.
However, it only took a few washes for the black to fade to a brown and the kit is now believed to be extinct and the originals all relegated to duster or oily rag status.
In 1990 the club decided to revamp the kit and settled on a light blue top with a yellow luminous patch and a pink stripe. The thoughts at the time were that it was a nice bright design and the yellow patch would help
motorists see the cyclists. Unfortunately, the yellow patch was on the left hand side which would always be closest to the pavement while cycling – at least when cycling in the UK. It would be OK for the continent.
The other issue with this kit was the shoulders. The way the kit was produced meant that the shoulders were always sticking up, making the cyclist look like an extra from Thunderbirds!
In 1995 the club decide to flirt with some kit sponsorship. The New Inn was approached and a sum agreed for an initial two-year sponsorship deal. A new kit was designed using a darker blue and there was an attempt to use the same yellow with pink band but have a “fade” effect. A Scottish Company, TAL (now Endura) supplied the kit. When the kits actually arrived, the pink band had now turned into a red, pink, orange, purple band with little spots all over it. It must be said that this kit polarised the club – you either loved it or hated it. In the end the sponsorship deal ended after two years and the cash raised from having the sponsor only really covered the cost of set up of the kit and gave members a £10 discount on their first top.
In 1997 when the sponsorship deal ended, the kit was revised to drop the New Inn logo. This kit remained in place until 2006. In recent years I have heard of people who left the club rather than race in these colours. A bit extreme, but as mentioned before, you either loved it or hated it.
By 2006 the number of people who hated it had risen considerably. Club Member, Andy Duncan took on the task of designing a new kit. A number of designs were submitted to a vote by the membership. A blue kit with black panelling was voted for as the most popular option and Impsport were chosen as the suppliers. This kit has proven to be very popular and has been modified a few times to update and “freshen up” the design.
To keep the membership satiated with their requirements for new kit, Andy also designed a few one-off limited-edition kits that can be used for social rides and for non-BC races. The first one was introduced in 2009. This kit was a white version of the existing kit replacing the blue main body with white. This was the first of the kits known affectionately as the “Ythan away kit”.
In 2010 the blue kit was updated slightly with white side panels introduced to help give the kit a slimmer look. The YCC logo added to the sleeves of the top and the website address was incorporated into the design. Impsports had been the suppliers for this kit and an on-line ordering system where members could order individual items (at a premium cost) was seen as one of the benefits of using Impsport. It meant the club didn’t have to carry a stock of kit. However, quality issues including varying kit sizing, quality of chamois and differing shades of the Ythan blue, dogged these kits from Impsport. In 2011 Impsport increased the size of their own logo and turned it red without informing the club. To many members this was the last straw and an alternative supplier was sought. .
In 2011 the limited edition “away” kit took a professional view on design, with logos of well known cycling equipment suppliers adorning the kit. As a bit of fun, the slogan “Ythan as in python” was included as a nod to the fact that many outside the North East of Scotland don’t know how to pronounce Ythan. It was decided to try a new supplier for the kit as the club membership was well and truly fed up with the service from Impsport. Champion systems were chosen as this kit supplier. This kit seems to be good quality, the sizing appears to be accurate and so it was decided to use Champion for the official kit.
At the end of November 2011, the designs of the new kit were shown to the committee, and with a few minor tweaks the new design was sent off to
Champion systems to be converted into working drawings. The new design incorporates the Ythan QL logo and the 25th anniversary logo. A new kit was released to the Ythan CC membership in early 2012.
In 2015 a white version of the kit was produced (another away kit from the official Blue and Black racing kit. In 2017 a yellow sleeved version of the kit was produced. Again slight variations produced a kit which had a bit more visibility By now tens of thousands of pounds had been spent on kit by the membership and Champion Systems had produced varying shapes and sizes of the kit.
In 2019 a mountain bike specific kit was introduced with a popular camo design but still with the basic Black/Blue/ yellow theme. The kit is in the form of a baggy MTB top intended to be worn over body armour.
As the club moves on and fashions and club demographics change, no doubt the kit will change again. It’s always interesting to see the old kit out and about on the roads.