Colorado is world renowned for outdoor sports. Every weekend becomes a pilgrimage to the trails, mountains, rivers, golf courses, and lakes. Denver International Airport moves so much gear that the baggage claim looks like a secondhand sporting goods store. Outdoor sports are so important that Governor John Hickenlooper created The Colorado Recreation Industry Office, a PR and marketing organization that oversees and assists the outdoor industry of Colorado. As a native Coloradan, I have learned from the young age that the earth is pretty much a playground.
When Qloom decided to expand their operations from Switzerland to the US, it was a no-brainer that they move to Colorado—more precisely, Boulder.
Qloom is a mountain bike apparel company, and the sister company of Cuore, a road cycling apparel company. I made sure to get the story on how it all started from Stephen Downey, the marketing guy at Qloom. The company was founded by Didi Ruegg, a former pro road cyclist from Switzerland. After retiring from the road, he picked up mountain biking as a hobby. Wanting to match his riding buddies, he suited up in the contemporary MTB regalia. He had two issues with mountain biking apparel of the time; first was that all of the clothing of the time was in drab earth tones; second was that the bicycle shorts kept snagging on the seat. Being used to the tight racing kits that you see in races like the Tour de France, Didi had trouble transitioning to the baggy clothing of mountain biking.
“There is an old saying: ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself,’ and Didi did!”
He designed a product with the functionality that he desired, and made it pretty flashy too. Didi has always loved the loud and bright styles that are associated with surf culture, so he created bicycle apparel with the same vibe. On his first ride with his new apparel, Didi was the butt of many jokes because of his unique style, but by the end of the ride, his friends were asking Didi for some clothing.
In my conversation with Stephen, he made it very clear that Qloom doesn’t want to be just another cycling apparel company. They don’t want to be just another logo on the jersey of just another professional cyclist. They want to be a brand that’s all about fun.
They want to be the lifestyle brand that includes coffee before, and beer with your buddies after the ride. I guess you could say that they’re the official sponsors of the weekend warrior or the recreational rider of all skill levels. If you are like me and not very good at riding, you can at least look good doing it!
While Qloom is available in stores in Europe, they plan to sell direct to customers via their online store in the US. As stated before, they have a fun color palate to choose from, but they also do custom clothing. Most bike apparel companies allow for customization of jerseys and lycra road bike kits, but Qloom has gone a few steps beyond. They offer semi-custom, which allows individuals the ability to change certain panels of their apparel. This is great because teams or individuals do not have to hire a graphic designer to get a unique look. They also have a one-article minimum as opposed to many of the companies that require at least five articles to be purchased.
The people at Qloom have also allowed for customization of the baggy mountain bike shorts, jackets, and gloves! Very few companies do this, and even fewer really promote that they have this ability. Again, a customer can opt for semi-customization of certain panels, or full customization. The personal promotion abilities are endless for Qloom customers.
Qloom is quickly coming to a bike trail near you. Let us eulogize the drab colors that us mountain bikers have been forced to wear in the past as we all get as much Qloom Bikewear as we can. Everybody deserves to be loud and wear clothing that advertises their personality, and with their custom options, advertises their respective businesses. I look forward to seeing all of you Qloom riders out on the trail.
Qloom can be found online at www.Qloom.com, www.facebook.com/qloombikewear, and @Qloombikewear on Twitter and Instagram. If you are looking to make an order, please use the Coupon code: ModernGladiator for a 20% discount.