I first saw Cedar Cycling in a post from Murphy Mack, the crazed director of such races at the SF Spring Classics, and the upcoming Raid on Sherwood Peak. It looks cool in a Rapha kind of way and was being produced right here in our backyard in NorCal. I tracked down the principals Neil Berrett and Jeremy Smith since i love to promote this kind of cycling business chutzpah. They sent me their answers to my questions through google docs. I take that as a sign of type A personality. That can only be a good thing when making clothes. I also LOVE that they “love” Oakland. That should make Hernando happy.
Can you give me a quick recap yon your cycling backgrounds.
Jeremy: I started working in bike shops around about 15 years ago, and have done other work around the industry since then. I raced mountain bikes way back when, but now I ride just for the sake of riding.
Neil: I was a terrible BMX rider as a child, and I’m still terrible at racing. But I still ride about 50 – 80 miles per week, usually on my road bike.
What were your day jobs before you started Cedar Cycling?
Jeremy: My career was in Product Management for the web. After I left my last position, I opted to work on Cedar fulltime rather than accept a VP of Product position for a startup.
Neil: I was a radiation protection technician at various environmental cleanup sites around the US. I haven’t left the industry entirely – I’ll take the occasional short term job.
We wanted to improve the overall quality of non-race cycling apparel for quite some time, and through work Jeremy had been doing in the apparel industry, wound up with the connections to manufacture domestically.
Cedar Cycling is a great name – what’s the origin story?
The naming process took months – we spent a good bit of time daily tossing around names, and arrived on Cedar while iterating through a set of options that we felt encapsulated both the outdoor aspects of our sport and the natural aspects of our materials. Cedar is also a great moth repellant, and the tree does grow in CA. We felt like it covered most of the dimensions of the brand.
What is the focus of your design and product development process?
The focus of our designs is functionality and focused application of materials. Our product development process usually starts with “I wish I had this…” or “I wish my jersey did this better…”.
One major differentiating point is the way we handle development and production. Rather than simply sending off a sketch and a sample to a contractor in Asia, we source all of our fabrics and trims, spend a significant amount of time with our sewing team here, and in general, stay very involved. At the end of the day, we’re a product company, and we act like it.
Give us a quick overview of your product line
The Standard Jersey is our flagship merino-synthetic blend jersey. It has the temperature regulation, moisture management and no-stink properties of merino wool with the structure and durability of a synthetic jersey. Unlike some of the other blends out there, it won’t pill up if you happen to look at it wrong.
Our Merino Baselayer is made of 100% Australian merino wool, it’s very very soft and very effective at wicking sweat and keeping you the right temperature. Slim cyclist cut and a very shallow v-neck.
Our Merino Tee, also 100% Australian merino wool is the softest tee shirt you’ve ever tried on. It’s got a standard tee shirt fit and is great for traveling. You can pack 1 shirt and get 3 – 5 days of wear out of it before it needs to be washed.
Our product roadmap is pretty deep. In current development we have updates to the standard jersey, a polo shirt, casual shorts, arm warmers, bib shorts & knickers. Past that we’re looking at a wind jacket, a winter weight jersey, winter weight baselayer, and maybe some other casual pieces.
You are a norcal business so curious as to where are you based?
Oakland, California. We love it here.
Check them out at http://www.cedarcycling.com
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