Customer Stories: Among friends

Custom design
Customer Stories

At Kalas we serve a diverse variety of customer types, who have at least one thing in common - they all want to create their own custom designed cycle clothing. These include individuals, small groups of friends, clubs, teams, companies, charities, and events. In our series Customer Stories, some of them tell us how we helped them achieve their objectives and highlight the aspects of Kalas’ service that they benefitted from the most.


Anyone, at any age, can fall under the spell of cycling, even if they already have one sporting activity in their interests. Cousins Jarda and Pavel know about it. Two businessmen from the Moravian village of Sazovice, who have swapped their loose football jerseys for tight cycling jerseys, soccer cleats for trainers and included shaving their legs in their sporting rituals. They jumped from the football field to the saddle and founded a cycling club in their village: the Bike Team Sazovice. But it didn't just stop at rides and local races. Their characteristic spirit of seeking out and overcoming difficult challenges led them to the most famous mountain bike pairs race, the Cape Epic. In our Customer Stories section, we take a look at the story of these two laid-back guys from Moravia and their team.


The village of Sazovice, located about 10 km from Zlín, seems at first glance like an ordinary Moravian village. But as in every village, there are various peculiarities. The very first one is the modern cylindrical church in the centre of the village, which is sure to attract the attention of every visitor. From the centre, let's move to the other end of the village, this time to see the peculiarities in human nature. For that is where the protagonists of our story are to be found. On the southern edge there is a building with a food industry run by Jarda, and on the northern edge there is a business run by Pavel in the engineering industry. They are cousins, sporty and determined to face challenges. "We've been into sport since we were kids, riding our bikes and thinking of all the things we would do. We've been competitive since we were little," Pavel recalls.

At first, however, it wasn't cycling that captivated the teenage youngsters. "We got hooked on football and played it until we were 35, actually. Then we gave it up because of our age. Actually, when I say age, I mean performance," Jarda clarifies with a smile. The stagnating fitness due to increasing age was compounded by another circumstance that caused the end of his football career. "Football has the disadvantage that you have to have a full complement of players to play, and more and more often it happened that somebody checked out at the last minute and we had to cancel the match. That's also why cycling won for us, it's an individual sport and a team sport at the same time. You can go alone and not be tied to anyone, or you can go in a group by agreement," explains Pavel one of the reasons why he switched from kicks to trunks.

"We had been preparing for the first bike race for six months, it seemed like the biggest event in the world."

When they founded Bike Team Sazovice together, they were not alone. Two other former football players from the local community were at the birth. The quartet of enthusiastic sportsmen laid the foundations, divided up the functions and got the club off the ground. As cycling rookies, however, they were long committed to making their racing debut. "We prepared for the first bike race for six months, consulting all possible technical things, for us it was the biggest event in the world at that time," Jarda notes with exaggeration. Gradually, new members started to join their team and now their base has grown to less than 20 members. "Our club is based on the fact that we enjoy cycling and we want to have it as a hobby, not as a horse," Pavel states the main vision of their team, which they founded in 2009.

No cycling club will be a real club as long as its members gather for rides together in different coloured clothing. "Creating a cycling outfit was the next logical step," explains Jarda. "Our first experience with an unnamed brand manufacturer, however, was not a pleasant one, although it was smiley. We chose the colours, picked the designs and had everything made, but the clothes when they arrived were basically see-through. We could see everything, even the things we weren't supposed to see," the cousins laugh about their first unpleasant experience with making cycling clothes.

To have peace of mind when they next ordered clothes and to be sure that everything would arrive in order and to the required quality, they turned to our company. "We already knew the Kalas brand as an established and reliable brand, so we didn't experiment anymore and went for the safe bet. We make no secret of the fact that we like quality and want the best. We've been ordering clothes from Kalas for 8 years now," explains Pavel, relieved that he can rely on a quality supplier.

"We have tried many others, but this fits us perfectly."

Because change is life, Bike Team Sazovice have a tradition of renewing the existing design every two years. "We pick a sample design from a pro team for inspiration and then change it in different ways. We then vote amongst ourselves who likes what, which is not always ideal because everyone has their own taste and we are constantly arguing. Luckily, we agree that we want the design to be subtle, clean and nice to look at," they nod in agreement. "We also really value the services of Kalas in that we get a visit from their experienced sales representative. We call, meet, talk, feel the new samples, try them out and know right away," praise the two cousins, who most highlight the Razor jersey and Endurance 3D inner saddle among our products. "We've tried many others, but this one fits us perfectly."

With Bike Team Sazovice established as a stable amateur team, its members decided to take the next big step. "We love a challenge, and one of the first ones was Mallorca, although at first it was unimaginable for us as laymen to cycle in Mallorca. We had been planning to ride it for about a year. Again, we were as nervous about it as we were when we were preparing for our first race. We were terrified of setting up, planning, renting bikes," Jarda describes his first experience with camping on the popular Spanish island.

Over time, this annual event has become an established tradition. And it was in a small hotel room in Mallorca when Jarda and Pavel had a new challenge. "We were lying in our room, exhausted after a hard swing, when we talked about whether we should try racing outside sometime. Our first thought was to try a stage race. Then we realised we didn't actually know any, so we started looking into stage races. How about the Cape Epic? That would be a blast!" says Pavel, describing the moment that fundamentally changed their approach to training on the bike.

"We thought we'd try to enter the lottery for start numbers, knowing we wouldn't get drawn anyway."

The Cape Epic is an eight-day stage race for mountain bike pairs in South Africa. Over 800 riders from more than 50 countries regularly take part. Although the race belongs to the UCI international calendar and features Olympic stars, most of the starters are enthusiastic amateurs who enjoy mountain biking as a hobby, just like Pavel and Jarda. However, due to the limited capacity of the starting field, the organizers cannot allow all those interested to start and the final selection of entries is determined by the hand of fate through the lottery. "It was more of an experiment. We thought we would try to enter the lottery for starting numbers, knowing that we would not be drawn anyway. Then we got an email to make sure we were seated, because we had made it to the 2019 edition of Cape Epic. We didn't expect that at all," Jarda says of his unexpected lottery success.

Although the Sazovice duo got to the start of the Cape Epic rather by chance, the ambitious cousins were certainly not just going to take part. "We like challenges of this type, we honestly wouldn't enjoy it if it was just a trip. That's why we prepared honestly for the first edition, as well as this year's." The conscientious preparation also bore fruit. "In our case, it wasn't a fight for survival, we were riding decently, we were happy with our performance until Jarda started to suffer from stomach problems, which caused us to withdraw from the race," Pavel sadly concludes their first chapter at Cape Epic.

The premiere at the South African race did not go as expected. However, the guys from Moravia don't like unfinished accounts, so they returned to Cape Epic after three years, wearing the unmissable orange jerseys specially designed to celebrate this race. "This year was especially challenging. We arrived at the finish line completely exhausted. Then you sleep in your tent, barely get a good night's sleep and then in the morning you're back at the start, it was like a battlefield. Still, we had a good run. But then the unpleasant feeling of stomach upset that I had 3 years ago came back and I knew it was over," recalls Jarda. "The next day Pavel caught it. We really wanted to go on and finish, but unfortunately our health didn't allow it again. It's infuriating," Jarda bitterly ends the story of this year's Cape Epic, which chooses not only amateurs but also experienced professionals as its victims of stomach problems.

But Jarda and Pavel don't live only for the prestigious pairs race on the African continent. They have managed to form a bike team and enjoy the friendly atmosphere rather than the results. "We wanted to form a group of cycling enthusiasts and enjoy the races, meet each other at the races, have a beer, say who was lucky, who was better, who was worse. That's what we enjoy. We ride together both on mountain bikes and on the road. Every year we organize children's races for the village, where 75 children take off," Pavel concludes by listing the main activities of Bike Team Sazovice.

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