When mountain biking enthusiasts Zander Nosler and Charlie Cronk first started out in the sport, they noticed a lack of quality apparel designed specifically for mountain bikers. Mostly, the mountain biking “look” consisted of either street clothes or the spandex look, states Kitsbow co-founder Nosler. The duo set out to create clothes that better reflect the mountain biking culture. Nosler explains, “Northern California is the birthplace of mountain biking. What better place to redefine mountain biking apparel than here?” Launched as an internet-based business, Kitsbow focuses on making well-designed and high quality products with material, style and performance that matches the aesthetic of the mountain bikers. In other words, more flannel and baggies, with less spandex.
Unlike traditional clothing manufacturers that design products locally and then export the production overseas, Kitsbow manufactures its products in Sonoma County. It believes in a “lean production model” and makes only enough product to match demand. With the help of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board and staffer Heather LoBue, Kitsbow recently hired and trained new employees, which allowed them to expand their manufacturing capacity in Sonoma County.