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09.05.2016

Not many proposals for bringing back lycra meet with approval, but this one did. And for that, cyclists in Bangalore should be glad.

Akshat Khanna, a former techie with Oracle and e-commerce head at BumsOnTheSaddle, and Vinesh, a graduate of NIFT Mumbai and ex-buyer with Madura Garments, prefer to introduce themselves as cyclists first. All the other work experience details follow, which explains why their latest venture is Ministri, a line of performance wear for Bangalore’s cyclists.

Lab rats for the product were athletes including Naveen John, India’s first international pro-cyclist.

Saddles + Sweethearts

We rode doubles with them this weekend, spotted boys in tight bib shorts and learned that whether you cycle seriously or just on weekends, "aerodynamic, comfy" gear is important. Throw in good quality lycra and competitive pricing, and you've got a product that the founders believe you will love. "The fabric mops away sweat, reflects UV rays and remains breathable," says Akshat.

Lab rats for the product were athletes including Naveen John, India’s first international pro-cyclist. “We wanted our clothes to be tested by amateurs and cycling pros", which meant tweaking zippers and pockets based on feedback from Bangalore’s cycling tracks.

In order to make sure that their clothes adhere to international quality standards, the duo tracked down a Chinese factory that manufactures Italian fabrics used by other major cycle clothing brands like Black Sheep, Castelli and Rapha. “We’re starting off with the same five kinds of fabrics that go into creating a premium jersey or pair of bib shorts, but we’ve focussed on fine-tuning details and fits to suit the Indian body,” Akshat says. Their e-store also retails three t-shirt designs that we don’t love, so focus on the jerseys and shorts instead. 

Ministri is barely a month old and they've already received orders for customised gear from racing teams and cycling clubs all over India. And once they are done riding this wave, they’re gunning for those who like running. 

Does browsing fitness gear online count as exercise? 

Getting there: Shop at ministri.in, Rs 650 for casual tees, Rs 5,000 for cycling jersey & Rs 5,500 for bib shorts.

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