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CNOCS gear is for road cyclists looking for high performance subtly styled apparel made in California

What is CNOCS (rhymes with frocks)?

So why in the world would anyone want to start a high-end cycling apparel company in the midst of tough economic times in a highly competitive market?  Aren’t there enough road gear apparel companies?  I asked myself both of these questions as I started this venture.  I noticed that there were a lot of companies making cycling apparel where the choice was been gaudy logo-wear or black Lycra not the choices wanted.  Also, in many cases, the quality of the materials has nothing to do with the price.  Many high-end cycling apparel companies use proprietary fabrics but I am choosing a different direction:  I am creating hybrid garments that incorporate technical fabrics currently used for other outdoor activities like backcountry skiing and mountaineering. Another reason why I started CNOCS, is that I  have found that as prices continue to increase, the quality of the products hasn’t followed.  When I recently paid $150 for some bibs, I wondered if I could do better. 

My mission is to create great looking and high-performance gear using the latest technical fabrics and top materials on the market – and still make money doing so.  There, I’ve said it. This is not an entirely altruistic venture.   I am hoping to offset the higher costs of technical materials and local production by selling more directly to customers and in doing so spending less on  advertising and marketing costs.  It may sound cliche, but the idea is to spend more on the actual garments than talking about them.

sample long sleeve kit
sample long sleeve kit

I am working with local (San Francisco Bay Area) pattern makers, cutters, and sewers.  The process is to research designs and materials, develop sketches, create patterns, produce prototypes, test prototypes and repeat until the look and feel are right.  My next phase is to put my prototypes into production.   That is where Kickstarter comes into play.

short sleeve jersey
short sleeve jersey

What, just men's gear, unfair!

I am starting with men's gear simply because I am more familiar with the market.  When I discussed my idea for CNOCs with some female riders, the reaction was great, what about us?  I get it, there really is a dearth of high performance women's cycling apparel.  Yes, it is unfair.  Hopefully, that will be phase two of my project.  Meanwhile, for the women who are lacking high performance gear, start telling me what you would like and I will work toward producing that.

Why Kickstarter?

I decided to use Kickstarter because I wanted to do a soft launch of my company and to raise funds to pay for materials; fabric, chamois (pads), zippers, labels, etc.  Raising funds at this point will enable me to buy a greater variety of fabrics and to get to the market sooner.  It will give me the flexibility to test some materials and ideas rather than wait for the third or fourth iteration to go into production.   Another reason I chose Kickstarter is because I think it is a fascinating new disruptive business model that will allow small businesses to start without incurring a huge debt.  It is just a cool idea.  I am hoping this results in investing more in material than in marketing and advertising.

What is my differentiator? 

All my corporate type buddies have asked me this question.  Fair enough.  I do have some particular features and materials that haven't really made it into the cycling apparel market.  My goal is to have a combination of high quality technical materials in well made, stylish products.  I am interested in producing gear designed for specific purposes, wind resistance for blustery days, secure pockets to stash license and cash, pads that protect your other valuables, and reflective material and zippers where you need them.   

 What’s in a name?

Having always liked the way Gaelic looks, I decided to see if I could find some Irish words that might relate to biking.  I ride in Northern California, and pretty much whatever direction I head in involves a hill or two.  CNOCs (rhymes with rocks, socks, frocks etc) is derived from a Gaelic word for hills (cnoic).  I did a little cheat on the spelling so I could use cnocs.com.

 Sizes and Addresses will be collected after the project is funded.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

My risks and challenges lie mostly in making sure my producers meet the production schedule. The designs are fairly final but I will probably make some final tweaks and adjustments before the first production run. How many options I can offer initially may depend on how much funding I get i.e. more funding equals more options.

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  • Pledge $11 or more
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    2 backers

    A very appreciative mention on my website and a pair of CNOCs socks, Defeet Aerator 1/4 length cycling socks.

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    8 backers

    Cnocs Cotton Cap. A 100% cotton unstructured twill cap. Heartfelt appeciation and a mention on my website.

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    2 backers

    A Cnocs cotton T-shirt and a mention on the CNOCs website and enthusiastic thanks from me.

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    1 backer Limited (99 left of 100)

    Men's Short sleeve cycling jersey with a nice soft fabric UPF 50+, mesh sides, zippered chest and rear pockets. It will likely be red with black mesh sides but I may be able to offer some color options. Retail: $79-$89.

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    6 backers Limited (194 left of 200)

    Men's Long sleeve full length zippered jersey with a wind resistent breathable front, chest and rear pockets, thumb loops and reflective accents. I specifically wanted to design a long sleeve jersey for cool rides. The wind blocker front panels keep your core warm. The lycra back and arms eliminate the stiffness of full soft shell jackets. Retail: $149-179.

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    0 backers Limited (100 left of 100)

    Men's Performance men's bib with top long distance Cytech Multi-D antimicrobial chamois, compressive fabric treated with Coldblack to reflect heat, UPF 50+. The pad is designed for long distance riding. You might have the chance to choose a smaller, more casual fitting pad. After a 60 mile ride you won't be cursing your seat. Retail: $179-$189.

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    3 backers Limited (97 left of 100)

    Men's Bib and short sleeve jersey combo. One bib and one short sleeve jersey. Retail $258-$288

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  • Pledge $260 or more
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    1 backer

    Men's Long sleeve jersey and bib combo. But wait there is more. Your choice of cap or T-shirt will be included. Retail:$328-$368

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Funding period

- (44 days)