THREO products are uniquely designed to fit and flatter your body, helping you achieve your best results no matter the distance.
What was it that made you take the plunge to start Threo?
We didn’t feel there was a brand out there which catered for the needs of women like us, who love getting outdoors and being active, doing crazy long rides and races and who needed top quality, durable kit. Just because we had a love and a passion for sport and needed technical clothing to support us, we still wanted to look stylish whilst we did it. We felt existing kit brands shortchanged women in terms of fit and fabrics, for us – the needs and wishes of the women who wear THREO is at the forefront of everything we do.
The beauty of a background in sport is that it gives you confidence, and we thought well if no-one else is making kit for us – we will!
Where did the name Threo come from?
It’s an old English word for ‘three’, and it’s the feminine version so we thought that was appropriate! It also refers back to my racing philosophy ‘train hard race easy’, which always kept me going through hard sessions, putting the focus on the fact that you are always rewarded by the effort you put in – and that the race is meant to be the fun bit at the end of the months of hard training, and that you should always enjoy the racing side. We wanted to encourage women to enjoy racing and being competitive, and for our brand to reflect that.
What specific feedback did you get that has helped you design the padding/comfort (undercarriage!) for tri suits and cycling shorts? And what’s different about your padding!? (this comes from me always having sore bits when cycling!)
Being experienced racers and cyclists ourselves is key when designing our kit, we set out to create our dream items, removing any problems or uncomfortable experiences we had experienced along the way and building in the practical elements like sweatproof pockets and slots for our headphones.
We use female specific chamois, from TMF, the best in the business. This is essential as women have different pressure & contact points on the saddle than men. We also spend hours choosing (and testing) the placement of the seams and the paneling for maximum comfort. The fit and the sizing are also incredibly important. We are rare at THREO in that we cut all our own patterns, instead of relying on factory standard. We had issues with comfort in existing kit so we decided to break out and do something different.
Saddle, bike fit and chamois cream are also just as important for maximum comfort on the bike. Pressure causing saddle sores could actually be caused by an incorrect bike set up, so we would also recommend looking into a bike fit if you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the saddle.
We’ve tested this kit inside and out, I’ve done over 5000km on the bike in them and raced a 25 hour bike race in them last year and I can honestly tell you they are the most comfortable shorts I have ever worn.
What mix of fabric have you chosen for tri suits, and why?
We use a compression fabric, which has been given a water resistant treatment for our trisuits. This is combined with flexible mesh and lycra paneling to give maximum flexibility and movement of the kit, while ensuring that it only moves where you need it to.
The water resistant treatment is key, enabling you to dry quickly when you transition out of the water and onto the bike for comfort, but also to reduce chafing and ensures the trisuit doesn’t ride up on the legs. Incidentally we give this treatment to all our kit, having cycling shorts or running leggings which dry really quickly are game changers when being active in British weather!
We built in movement by using incredibly lightweight and flexible fabrics across the back and the shoulders, to help when you’re down on the drops on the bike, and for the run. All our fabrics have UV protection, so you don’t need to worry when on a really long ride or racing in hot weather, which is also part of the reason for bringing out a sleeved trisuit this season – to protect against the weather. Building in practical aspects like roomy pockets for fuel and creating an inbuilt race belt were borne from our own experiences racing and frustrations.
What challenges (if any) are there of being a female design/founding team?
We actually see being a female design / founding team as a key asset in what are conventionally male dominated sports. There are more and more women racing and training, and challenging themselves, every day and we are proud to be a part of that, and to support our community of customers. We sometimes face difficulty in convincing decision makers in the industry that a female focused brand is not a ‘niche’ brand (I mean, we’re 50% of the population, that’s not a niche, that’s a key market!) but we have always been lucky to work with great retailers like Sigma Sports and Velo Vixen who don’t have this mentality, and who understand their female triathletes and cyclists customers are looking for great quality kit. Besides, we’re triathletes – we rise to a challenge!
How does Threo kit stand out from other (female) products?
Our unrelenting focus on our customer, and what they need, and the quality of our kit is what makes us stand out. We understand exactly what they are looking for and we are prepared to spend the time to create it. We do not simply tweak male products and designs to fit women, we start with them. Racing and training in the kit ourselves means we understand what each item needs to do, and how to do it.
Being a small brand and only accountable to ourselves, means we are quick & dynamic and we can respond to customer feedback. We spend a lot of time in our community, encouraging women into the sport by hosting women only rides and talks and supporting them, and this is reflected in our clothing.
Why did you feel the need to design new triathlon/cycling kit?
We felt we could do it better, and more stylishly, than the clothing that was already on offer.
Since our launch in 2016 we have noticed bigger brands raising their game in response to our products, and that’s why we love competition – it forces everyone to be better.
Multi-sport and triathlon are incredibly friendly and encouraging communities and we wanted to make clothing that inspired women to take up sport, to turn around and say to those women – hey, come and join us, anything is possible if you put your mind to it and honestly, it’s really fun over here!
For more information, please visit the website.