ELEVENPINE is a Boulder-based company with a mission to get more people on bikes by providing high performance alternatives to spandex racing outfits that also look great in the coffee shop. Their amazing team members have worked with brands like Nike, North Face, Pearl Izumi and more, and their products show just how skilled they are. We sat down with the creator, Jeff Curran, to learn more about the company.
Tell us about the concept behind ELEVENPINE clothing.
ELEVENPINE is focused on changing and growing the cycling industry for the benefit of all. We want everyone to enjoy bikes and all of life’s adventures. Our patent-pending 11P™ system transforms shorts from technical, form-fitting shorts to loose, comfortable and fashionable in seconds. Cyclists finally have a high performance alternative to spandex racing outfits that they can confidently and comfortably wear both on and off the bike… for everyone’s sake.
I grew up playing lacrosse, hockey and soccer. We never wore game outfits other than during games. In fact, my college lacrosse coach made us wear sweatpants when we practiced so we would feel quicker during games in our shorts. I bike a lot, but never understood why there is not a high performance alternative to spandex. Spandex outfits are great to wear if in a race. But, when not racing, cyclists need and deserve an alternative that provides performance, comfort and style on and off the bike. Do you care if you are 0.5 seconds slower after biking 30 miles? Do you choose to wear spandex racing outfits when you ski? Choose to wear a speedo at the beach? Cyclists – and the public in general – deserve a choice as well. Importantly, many more people will ride bikes if there is a comfortable alternative to the lycra racing outfits that looks great on and off the bike.
Our shorts are perfect for all types of cycling – road, mountain, touring, indoor/spinning and more. Importantly, the shorts also do not get caught on the seat post, which is a common problem. Ask any mountain biker. Our shorts are also fantastic for yoga, triathlon training (especially for bike to run brick training), running and almost any gym activity.
It is important to note that cycling is the world’s 2nd largest and fastest growing recreational sport that is bigger than skiing, golf and tennis combined (NSGA). 100 million people in the US ride bikes (PeopleForBikes). ELEVENPINE is focused on the 73% of cyclists that ride for fitness and recreation, not the 5% that ride for sport (NBDA).
We are very fortunate for our tremendous Boulder-based team which brings years of experience from brands such as Pearl Izumi, GoLite and more.
Tell us about your Kickstarter campaign.
We initiated a Kickstarter campaign last year, but decided to terminate for a variety of reasons. Currently, our first production run is in process and elevenpine.com is now live with a Kickstarter style campaign, including limited time discounts to thank our initial supporters on all pre-order purchases of our shorts, liners and skirt.
Who is the designer behind ELEVENPINE clothing?
Hillary Glenn Riley is our amazing designer. Hillary is a graduate of Colorado State University and launched her career in New York City before returning to Colorado to work with brands such as Pearl Izumi, Smartwool, Title Nine, GoLite, Spyder and Neve Designs. We are most fortunate to have Hillary lead our design team.
What type of fabrics are used in the manufacturing process? How do those compare to spandex (in weight, durability, flexibility, etc)?
Given our revolutionary design, we incorporate a variety of fabrics. However, the main body fabric is made of 4-way stretch fabric that is highly breathable, comfortable and durable. Separately, our liners have mesh sides for increased air flow and include advanced absorption chamois technology to keep cyclists comfortable on the longest of rides.
How is performance improved with this new fabric? What differences will riders notice?
While we incorporate high quality, technical fabrics, our true differentiation is our revolutionary design. Our shorts perform and look like spandex shorts when form-fit on the bike. But, in seconds, they easily convert into loose, comfortable and fashionable shorts off the bike.
For what type of cyclists are your shorts designed?
Road bikers have the obvious need for a spandex alternative and are for whom we initially designed the shorts. However, spandex is a strong part of the current culture. Many roadies will be thankful for an alternative, but mountain bikers may initially have a stronger demand for our products, particularly since our shorts do not get caught on the seat post…which is a big problem with the traditional baggy mountain biking shorts. Touring and charity road bikers should also have a strong demand given the very social nature of each, as should indoor cycling (spinning) and triathletes, particularly for bike to run brick training.
Are your products just for men?
Men are the obvious and very public need for an alternative to spandex. However, women also deserve a high quality alternative to spandex and we therefore developed an awesome short, skirt and liner.
What are your initial launch products?
Uprising Short – Our sport style that is perfect for road and mountain biking, spinning, touring and is terrific for bike-to-run brick training for triathletes.
Crankitup Short – A more casual style with belt loops and zipper fly that tends to be a favorite amongst mountain bikers, but great for touring and all cyclists.
Liberator Liner – Highly breathable liner giving tremendous comfort for all rides that pairs perfectly with our shorts.
Combo Deals for superior performance and additional savings
Uprising Short – Our sport style that is great on the road, dirt, spinning as well as a favorite for bike-to-run brick training for triathletes.
Kickitup Skirt – Hit the town with this little number that also transforms into a comfortable, form-fitting performance piece, ready for any ride or high-output activity.
Liberator Liner – Described as the “most comfortable liner I have ever ridden” by a local pro triathlete, our liner pairs perfectly with our shorts and skirt.
Combo Deals for superior performance and additional savings
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in the launch of your products?
Product – It seems obvious now, but creating our simple and eloquent solution was not easy. We prototyped numerous creative closure methods before developing our 11P™ system.
Manufacturing – Finding a high quality production partner was also filled with trials and tribulations. I wanted to produce in the US. Unfortunately, given the high quality and technical attributes of our products, we could not produce in the US at a marketable price point. We fortunately established a relationship with a terrific producer in South Korea. Our operations and products are all based and designed in Boulder.
Sales and marketing – This is the next stage in our development as we launch officially this spring. Our goal for 2016 is to drive awareness of ELEVENPINE; to let cyclists know that there is finally an alternative to spandex. Our main activities will include grass roots campaigns through participation in cycling, triathlon and charity events throughout the year, as well as establishing key partnerships, philanthropic activities and engaging consumers via social media.
When will ELEVENPINE be available for purchase, and where will we be able to find it?
ELEVENPINE shorts, liners and skirt are now available for pre-order purchase at significant discounts for expected delivery in March at elevenpine.com. This is a very limited time opportunity for our initial supporters, as prices will soon increase. We are hopeful cyclists (and their friends/spouses) will support us with our Kickstarter style campaign before we officially launch the company this spring.
How can people contact your company if they would like to learn more about the products or provide additional support?
It would be wonderful to hear from everyone. Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, requests and stories as well as interest in potential partnerships and investment.