When you weren’t taking in the great racing, out riding the amazing local trails, or sampling the expansive selection of food and beer in Asheville, CX Nats had a small expo that you could peruse. In addition to the big names typically associated with race support, the venue was also peppered with small clothing companies.
Maybe it says something about the style of cyclocross racers, but there was an abundance of fresh new gear that will help you stand out in the peloton, or traffic. Brands like Ridge Supply brought out the full display to help make color coordinating a little bit easier…
The story of Ridge Supply’s origin is that of triumph over injury, but also what happens when you take a chance. Originally from Central Virginia, Ridge Supply’s founder (and only employee) Matt Hawkins was hit by a truck when out riding his bike which resulted in a broken pelvis. On his way to the hospital the paramedics had to cut off his kit and in the end he was given a small amount of insurance money to replace it. Instead of going out to buy new gear for himself, the experience made him realize life is short and he should pursue his ideas.
So Matt took all the money from the insurance for his ruined kit and bought his first order of socks featuring his Skyline design. In two weeks they were sold out. From there, the brand has grown organically almost completely through Instagram posts. People seemed to like the fact that the designs were simple, used multiple colors, and could easily be made to match multiple kits.
Now Ridge Supply offered multiple socks, arm warmers, and Slipstream shoe covers that range from $15-$20 and are all made by Defeet using Matt’s own Skyline or Ridgeline designs. Of course if you’re really going for the matching look, you gotta have matching bottles. Ridge Supply has those too.
There is also a line of soft goods with Ridgeline t-shirts above. The kit pictured below isn’t for sale. Yet. Partnering with the other brand in the booth Cutaway, Matt brought Ridge Supply’s style and colors to Cutaway’s impressive clothing for a very attractive yet hi-viz kit. The kit is available through a pre-order on Ridge Supply’s site.
Also out of Virginia, Cutaway started in 2003 with humble beginnings in a few hand screened shirts for the Lynchburg Collegiate Cycling team. They still do a lot with collegiate cycling, but the garments are far more technical. Using some of the best materials available, Cutaway aims to offer stylish clothing that rivals the best out there but at more affordable pricing – the interaction short sleeve jersey bottom left sells for $85 and uses Italian Cloud open mesh fabric for breathability. The other gear pictured is coming soon to the line up.
Over at Defeet, you could pick up socks of their own design or of other collaborations like Handlebar Mustache. We’re told some exciting stuff is coming out of Defeet in the near future so stay tuned.
Speaking of bright, stylish, quality kit that doesn’t cost a fortune, Rouler was on hand to show their new threads. Based out of New Orleans, Rouler is launching a line of their own clothing rather than custom branded clothing from another company. The result is selection of men’s and women’s kit in black and white or eyecatchingly bright with a Big Easy flair. Available this spring, jerseys will be available for $110 with bibs selling for $130. Roller is also opening a new shop/cycling community hub in New Orleans soon which should be a great place to grab a coffee, buy some gear, or simply meet for a ride.
There was plenty of gear on hand form Rouler, as well as their booth mate, CrossHairs.
Next door, Endurance Conspiracy had two new shirts to commemorate the occasion. The Cyclocross National Championships and Mud is Murder T-shirts sell for $35.
Walz was also getting in on the commemorative apparel game with a CX Nats cap. Still made in California, Walz was recently acquired by Sew Sporty, another California based apparel company that makes Collegiate Rowing apparel. The move meant a new 15k square foot facility and the ability to do everything from silk screening to embroidery in house.
Another group of riders getting their hands into a little bit of everything, Team Soundpony was preventing you from wearing the same old gear with a little bit of everything in their own style. Soundpony is a bar, it’s a team, and it’s apparently a clothing brand with rad items like hand stitched jersey pockets on a t-shirt. If you want some you can find them in the bar, or at Cry Baby Hill…
Finally, tucked away in the Made-In-Asheville tent, Recover clothing had a display of their cycling themed soft goods. Made entirely from recycled materials (post consumer PET and post industrial cotton), the shirts and gear also have some rad designs based on some of Asheville’s best rides(plus a number of other designs). At $18-22 the prices for the t-shirts are also fairly reasonable. Find more at recoverbrands.com.