TOP 10 OLDEST BIKE APPAREL BRANDS

LTP have looked into a fast-growing industry, and based on an internal analysis on more than 300 bike apparel brands, we have concluded an interesting top 10 list of the oldest brands in the industry, all telling true stories of traditions, hard work, never-ending innovation and state of the art techniques.

Before we dive into the list, first we look into how the Italian brands have been dominating for a long time. Now, a lot of new bike apparel brands have entering from many new countries, says Indre Kabasinske, Chief of Sales, Bike and Athleisure at LTP.

‘Which other countries are you experiencing joining the ‘battle against Italian bike apparel brands?

“The scenario we are working in has been changed in the last 5-8 years. Basically, new countries are arising in the trends of being the most attractive bike apparel brands, targeting new generation cyclists. UK saw a real explosion of new brands, some of real luxury, as well as Australia with brands that become real trend-setters all over the world, and which lead the main direction for all the business. I think the strong point of these Australian, UK and North European brand is the so called ‘pure and clean’ look almost Nordic. Made up with highest technology fabric, fine colors and clean design for an always more demanding new generation audience.” , says Indre.

Indre concludes, that even though the list includes the oldest bike apparel brands, it is not necessarily the top 10, that have made the history of cycling apparel. Regardless how old they are, and how innovative they have been, and still are, the list is relatively short, and out of 300 analyzed names, we would still highlight Castelli, Assos, Gore and Rapha. Like in every market - also in cycling apparels there have been innovators and trend setters and followers. Innovators and trend setters are few, followers are always many more.

#10 Founded 1976 –    ASSOS   , SWITZERLAND    First movers!   Assos draws from more than four decades in the cycling industry. Founder Toni Maier is credited with developing the first carbon fiber bicycle frame in 1976, and his motivation and goal was to improve aerodynamics. He quickly realized that the wool- and cotton-based bike clothing of the time was the main cause of drag. That same year he introduced the first Lycra cycling shorts. Indeed, you can thank Assos for the double-edged sword of skin-tight cycling apparel. Call it obsessive or just a winning business philosophy, either way ASSOS pride themselves on their meticulous attention to even the smallest detail of their cycling apparel. Design and research, combined with strict adherence to exacting production standards, result in clothes of such high quality that they’re prized by performance cyclists worldwide.

#10 Founded 1976 – ASSOS, SWITZERLAND

First movers!

Assos draws from more than four decades in the cycling industry. Founder Toni Maier is credited with developing the first carbon fiber bicycle frame in 1976, and his motivation and goal was to improve aerodynamics. He quickly realized that the wool- and cotton-based bike clothing of the time was the main cause of drag. That same year he introduced the first Lycra cycling shorts. Indeed, you can thank Assos for the double-edged sword of skin-tight cycling apparel. Call it obsessive or just a winning business philosophy, either way ASSOS pride themselves on their meticulous attention to even the smallest detail of their cycling apparel. Design and research, combined with strict adherence to exacting production standards, result in clothes of such high quality that they’re prized by performance cyclists worldwide.

#9 Founded 1974 –    VAUDE   , GERMANY    Responsibility for people and nature   What started out as pure passion for outdoor, quickly turned to also include passion for cycling, today representing a wide range of textiles and equipment. Sustainability and responsibility are the predominant core of Vaude, and the company can present an impressive range of certifications and cooperation’s, including environmental-friendly and fairly produced products.

#9 Founded 1974 – VAUDE, GERMANY

Responsibility for people and nature

What started out as pure passion for outdoor, quickly turned to also include passion for cycling, today representing a wide range of textiles and equipment. Sustainability and responsibility are the predominant core of Vaude, and the company can present an impressive range of certifications and cooperation’s, including environmental-friendly and fairly produced products.

#8 Founded 1973 –    LÖFFLER   , AUSTRIA    Become better, Every day   This is the goal which unites every athlete and every Löffler employee. This goal takes precedence over everything. In 1973 Löffler started to produce innovative high tech clothes, helping their customers to become better dedicated athletes. With sustainable production they also encourage their customers to become fair consumers. All products are carrying the OEKO-TEX®-Standard 100 label, confirming the harmless and pollutant-free materials. Löffler also holds the OEKO-TEX® STeP certification for sustainable textile production.

#8 Founded 1973 – LÖFFLER, AUSTRIA

Become better, Every day

This is the goal which unites every athlete and every Löffler employee. This goal takes precedence over everything. In 1973 Löffler started to produce innovative high tech clothes, helping their customers to become better dedicated athletes. With sustainable production they also encourage their customers to become fair consumers. All products are carrying the OEKO-TEX®-Standard 100 label, confirming the harmless and pollutant-free materials. Löffler also holds the OEKO-TEX® STeP certification for sustainable textile production.

#7 Founded 1973 –    BELLWETHER CYCLEWEAR   , USA    #LIVETHERIDE   Definition: one that takes the lead or initiative;  LEADER;  also; an indicator of trends. Since 1973 Bellwether has been committed to making high-performance cycling apparel with equal consideration for style, technical innovation and high quality. Every fabric, chamois, panel, stitch and trim are carefully selected and scrutinized to extend and enhance each and every riding experience. Bellwether products are designed in Long Beach, California and ridden globally.

#7 Founded 1973 – BELLWETHER CYCLEWEAR, USA

#LIVETHERIDE

Definition: one that takes the lead or initiative; LEADER; also; an indicator of trends. Since 1973 Bellwether has been committed to making high-performance cycling apparel with equal consideration for style, technical innovation and high quality. Every fabric, chamois, panel, stitch and trim are carefully selected and scrutinized to extend and enhance each and every riding experience. Bellwether products are designed in Long Beach, California and ridden globally.

#6 Founded 1970 –    NALINI   , ITALY    Authentic people, Authentic products   A story of sport and life combined. Nalini’s history dates back to 1965 and is all about the passion of brothers Vincenzo & Claudio Mantovani. The story of Nalini is an authentic story made of authentic people, true enthusiasts, who know how to combine technology with human touch, the warm touch of human hand.

#6 Founded 1970 – NALINI, ITALY

Authentic people, Authentic products

A story of sport and life combined. Nalini’s history dates back to 1965 and is all about the passion of brothers Vincenzo & Claudio Mantovani. The story of Nalini is an authentic story made of authentic people, true enthusiasts, who know how to combine technology with human touch, the warm touch of human hand.

#5 Founded 1970 –    SANTINI   , ITALY    Made in Italy, Made with Passion   "Great cycle clothing should fit so well that you don’t even notice it”, says Santini.  Pietro Santini founded Santini in 1965. At first Santini was an artisan factory making clothes for others. But, fuelled by his deep passion for cycling and racing, Pietro made the choice to design and manufacture Santini products exclusively in Italy, now exporting around 75% to the rest of world.

#5 Founded 1970 – SANTINI, ITALY

Made in Italy, Made with Passion

"Great cycle clothing should fit so well that you don’t even notice it”, says Santini.

Pietro Santini founded Santini in 1965. At first Santini was an artisan factory making clothes for others. But, fuelled by his deep passion for cycling and racing, Pietro made the choice to design and manufacture Santini products exclusively in Italy, now exporting around 75% to the rest of world.

#4 Founded 1958 –    SCOTT   , SWITZERLAND    "No shortcuts"   This defines the Scott spirit of doing things the right way, for the right reasons. It's how they see product design and it embodies the true beauty of sport - the greatest personal achievements aren't accidents, they are hard-earned and well deserved. Scott believes in ambition, passion and dedication just as much as they believe in design, innovation and technology.

#4 Founded 1958 – SCOTT, SWITZERLAND

"No shortcuts"

This defines the Scott spirit of doing things the right way, for the right reasons. It's how they see product design and it embodies the true beauty of sport - the greatest personal achievements aren't accidents, they are hard-earned and well deserved. Scott believes in ambition, passion and dedication just as much as they believe in design, innovation and technology.

#3 Founded 1950 – PEARL IZUMI, USA    Make Athletes Better   Plain and simple. Before there was a PEARL IZUMI, there was a man and a bike. He rode that bike 38 miles a day, every day. Not for exercise or for the fun of it, but to deliver 90 pounds of clothing to his customers in a neighboring village. The year: 1950. The man’s name: Kinji Shimizu. And in fourteen short years, he’d go from lugging clothing on a bike to redefining what every cyclist wore on them.

#3 Founded 1950 – PEARL IZUMI, USA

Make Athletes Better

Plain and simple. Before there was a PEARL IZUMI, there was a man and a bike. He rode that bike 38 miles a day, every day. Not for exercise or for the fun of it, but to deliver 90 pounds of clothing to his customers in a neighboring village. The year: 1950. The man’s name: Kinji Shimizu. And in fourteen short years, he’d go from lugging clothing on a bike to redefining what every cyclist wore on them.



#2 Founded 1946 –    DE MARCHI SPORT   , ITALY    Italian cycling clothes since 1946   With more than 70 years experience, De Marchi is today the world's oldest cycling clothing company. No other brand has contributed equally to the evolution of cycling clothing, introducing many of the innovations that changed it forever, like the tubular weaving, the zipper use instead of buttons, the first elastic chamois for cycling shorts.

#2 Founded 1946 – DE MARCHI SPORT, ITALY

Italian cycling clothes since 1946

With more than 70 years experience, De Marchi is today the world's oldest cycling clothing company. No other brand has contributed equally to the evolution of cycling clothing, introducing many of the innovations that changed it forever, like the tubular weaving, the zipper use instead of buttons, the first elastic chamois for cycling shorts.

#1 Founded 1876 –    CASTELLI CYCLING   , ITALY    You know you are getting an unfair advantage!   Up till now – nothing has changed! Every day Castelli set out to create tomorrow’s revolutionary futuristic clothing. It all began in 1876, when a tailor by the name Vittore Gianni opened a small tailoring store in Milan. A lot has happened for the oldest bike apparel brand since then. For instance, Castelli were the first to launch a collection for woman after working closely with Olympics gold medalist Paola Pezzo in 1996.

#1 Founded 1876 – CASTELLI CYCLING, ITALY

You know you are getting an unfair advantage!

Up till now – nothing has changed! Every day Castelli set out to create tomorrow’s revolutionary futuristic clothing. It all began in 1876, when a tailor by the name Vittore Gianni opened a small tailoring store in Milan. A lot has happened for the oldest bike apparel brand since then. For instance, Castelli were the first to launch a collection for woman after working closely with Olympics gold medalist Paola Pezzo in 1996.


Feel free to contact me at ali@l-t-p.com, if you have any questions or we should meet in Euro-Bike in Friedrichshafen, Germany at September 4-6, 2019.

About LTP

LTP is a Danish owned garment manufacturer for +60 premium brands within active sportswear, outdoor, athleisure and sustainable fashion. LTP was established in 1991, and is probably the biggest functional garment manufacturer in Europe with bluesign setups in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Vietnam

LTP consists of two divisions; LTP Garment and LTP Contract Furniture producing in ten fully-owned factories.