With the absence of major bike shows in the past 12 months, the bike industry has become creative with the introduction of new products. Without shows and media launches, brands and PR firms have, like many people able to work from home, turned to virtual meetings in an attempt to reach a wider audience.
Cyclocross Magazine recently attended a virtual presentation from Echos Communications, one such PR firm that represents several major outdoor brands. Within the two-day event, we previewed and virtually discussed new products from some familiar brands as well as some companies less familiar to us. It was odd not but able to touch, let alone test, any of the mentioned products, but these are unusual, pandemic times.
Here are some of the items we found to be interesting. We will have hands-on reviews of some of the products shortly. [While companies paid to participate in the event, just as with expos like Sea Otter and Interbike, media received no compensation to attend or cover the products.]
Hit "Next" to scroll through the different products and companies.
Kora: Yak Wool from Tibet
Kora is one of the outstanding companies new to us. Kora produces yak wool clothing. Yaks live year-round on the Tibetian plateau at altitudes over 3000 meters. The founder explains the yak wool’s long hollow fibers offer unique properties of softness and warmth. In performance testing, the yak wool fabrics outperform merino wool fabrics in water resistance, warmth/weight and breathability. The wool grows under the yak’s outer coat. In the spring, the yak sheds its wool, which yak herders collect without the need to shear the yak. The herders sell the wool for staples, but much of the un-needed wool falls onto the grassland.
Kora uses that un-needed wool to make high tech outdoor fabrics and clothing. The partnership with the nomadic Tibetian herders and the development of the fabrics using the yak’s wool is a decade long evolution with sustainability and benefit for all.
A winter cycling jersey uses a hybrid fabric Kora called Hima-Layer Stratam 350. The fabric has a yak wool inner layer. The outer layer uses environmentally friendly Dupont Sorona, a biopolymer made with corn starch.
According to Kora, “the smooth surface offers protection from the elements while supporting breathability and moisture management.”
(Hit “Next” to scroll through the different products and companies.)