British saddle maker Brooks has owned the leather saddle category for decades, and now a Korean company called Zimbale is branching out into the lucrative US market via Hyde Park Cyclesports in Boise, Idaho.
"My own interest in Zimbale came about partly out of frustration with the unpredictable availability of similar products from existing suppliers and manufacturers," Hyde Park Cyclesports owner Jim Powers told BikeRadar. "I received an email from Zimbale and asked for some samples. I was impressed enough with the samples to begin a conversation about becoming the US distributor.
"We were able to come to an agreement, and now I'm working towards meeting their projections for sales in this country. Interbike is the first step."
According to Powers, the Zimbale brand was created by a small group of individuals with backgrounds in textiles, manufacturing and cycling who also saw the need for a more reliable source of fine leather saddles and leather and textile saddlebags. The group is in Korea, and the bags are made in Korea.
The US$79 Zimbale leather saddle bag
The US$159 Zimbale leather saddle is shaped like the Brooks Swallow model, made of Australian cowhide with saddlebag tabs. The US$79 Zimbale leather saddle bag comes in honey, brown or black Australian cowhide.
Powers is also distributing Zimbale's Carradice-inspired cotton saddlebags, starting at US$54 for the 2.3-litre seat pouch.
For more information, visit www.hydeparkcyclesports.com.