Since we are in Rotorua, New Zealand, for Crankworx, we paid a visit to the new Nzo store in the center of town. Nzo is an apparel brand that has been making mountain bike shorts and jersey for nearly 20 years under the direction of owner Gary Sullivan, or Gaz. He opened the concept-style shop two months ago with the building’s owner Craig Corbett.
Inspired from the desire of comfortable, well-looking clothes that still function, long-time mountain biker Matt Hayes said he grew tired of wearing his lycra to the bar following his rides in the mountains above Boulder, so he designed a line of performance-oriented mountain-bike clothes that include v-cut shirts, western-style plaid shirts and low-cut bibs that allow for easy bathroom breaks.
Female mountain bikers rejoice–apparel designed for our contingent of riders is finally improving. The clothing coming out next spring covers a wide range of styles, and is designed around practical fabrics, flattering fits and color combinations that have actually been thought-out instead of being an afterthought.
Troy Lee Designs partners with Arron Gwin to create their lightest weight, most athletic fit, limited edition TLD Sprint race kit. The all new Sprint race wear for 2014 has been completely redesigned from the ground up and is our lightest, most athletic race fit kit we have ever designed.
New shoe line utilizes Shimano's new TORBAL (torsional balance) technology; improves protection.
Mavic's 2014 clothing line has been trail-tested by the world's best enduro racers and is designed to withstand the rigors of high-alpine, technical riding.
The Mavic Crossmax Enduro shoe was designed for, as the name implies, enduro racing—which in fact, means that it’s perfect for most of us—the everyday mountain biker. Not long ago, if a mountain bike shoe was good off the bike, it was crap on the bike, and vice versa. Enduro racing is spawning the seemingly obvious marriage of these two extremes.
After spending a half-dozen rides in the newly released women’s New Road apparel, I’m starting to think the marketing minds behind Giro should have called it New Mountain–or perhaps a more neutral New Ride–because the pieces seems to be just as comfortable on singletrack as on asphalt, if not more so.
We take one more walk around the pits at Laguna Seca to highlight this year's most promising gear.
The Lodown glove is all about getting intimate with your handlebar. In fact, Specialized’s marketing reads more like a condom wrapper with slogans like ‘second skin fit’ and ‘slip on design.’ There’s no doubt about it: This is a minimalistic glove, and I like it.
"We had no idea what to call them,” Gary recalls, “so we put a piece of paper on the counter and invited people to write down suggestions for a name. And this local guy named Jake, he came up with the name dobies, but I don’t know where he got it from. I thought it sounded pretty good. It’s a bit confusing though, since some customers call them “dobbies” with two Bs, and some call them doobies, with two Os, which they are neither."