As you may have noticed, our SASTAN Jersey and Soft Shell A/M Shorts are a bit more than your average trail kit. Perhaps your reaction to the pricing even compelled you to wax poetic about it on your favorite social media channel, and that’s fine, we don’t blame you. Can’t say we didn’t see it coming. Still, if we could impart the one thing that we feel most strongly about, it’s that Kitsbow mountain bike apparel is not merely expensive for the sake of being expensive. We love mountain biking, and could certainly express that love by offering another price-conscious mountain biking jersey or short made overseas from standard-issue materials and processes. However, we believe this to be an avenue with few stones left unturned.
Our path is the one less traveled because we love purpose-driven stuff that fits, that complements its natural surroundings, and is constructed by friends in Vancouver from the very best fabrics and hardware available. We also wanted our garments to ascribe to a certain level of attention and hand-detailed care that many of us simply haven’t seen in a very long time. But to accomplish all this, we had to disregard the current mountain bike apparel design and production paradigm, resulting in a price that might feel a bit foreign to some. Rest assured we understand that this kit is very much an investment. Value is extremely important to us, and thus we don’t think it should ever be secondary to hitting a price point.
We find great value by starting with great elements — like our partnership with Schoeller Textiles of Switzerland. Here, we have complete design freedom by being able to create small product runs with full access to Schoeller’s amazing library of innovative, industry-leading technical fabrics. Another critical component of our business model, is the choice to produce everything we offer right here in North America. Whether or not it could be made cheaper here or overseas is beside the point. We’d like our company to be part of a movement that values using excellent materials to further and reinforce the quality and capability of North American design and production. We want to be part of making this movement the new standard, and not some trendy, esoteric exception. Of course we also wanted immediate proximity and a direct line of communication with our production partner to ensure we meet the strict levels of quality we seek to achieve — not unlike the standards set by Chris King, a certain hero of ours. King has long preceded the ‘trend’ of domestic production, quietly illustrating the benchmark for superlative quality, efficiency, and sustainability in modern North American manufacturing. And like King, this is a big part of why pricing is simply not the axis around which we design our garments.
Quite simply, it’s this way because we wanted our kit to “go to eleven.” We wanted to literally take the best of what’s available and create the best fitting, most comfortable, and most durable kit you’ve ever taken to the trail. And we wanted it to happen right here in North America. Maybe this doesn’t need to be a part of everyone’s riding experience, and we totally get that. We just wanted it to be part of ours.
In future posts, we’ll continue to reserve this space for conversations dear to us. That could be anything from last weekend’s ride, to the merits of 29-inch wheels, or how to brew the perfect espresso (hint: temperature!). Naturally, we’ll also spend plenty of time talking about Kitsbow Mountain biking apparel too: like the amazing Merino State and Schoeller fabrics we’re using, along with offering a more complete profile of our manufacturing partners in Vancouver, so kindly stay tuned. In the mean time, if you have questions or thoughts regarding anything we’re doing, we really do appreciate your feedback. You can hit us up on Facebook or Twitter, or shoot us an email. Of course you can also write us an old-fashioned letter if you so choose, but be warned that we believe handwritten correspondence is best read whilst enjoying the homemade cookies you’ve also sent.