Orbea introducing helmets in 2010

Spanish company branching out beyond bikes

Spanish bike company Orbea is introducing helmets in 2010, a new category since offering Orbea clothing to the European market the past three years.

Of the four new helmets -- Odin, Thor, Rune and Ari -- Orbea USA is bringing three to market, ranging from US$99 to $199 in February, 2010.

"Please don't think of us as just a bicycle maker," Orbea USA's managing director Tony Karklins told BikeRadar Thursday. "We're a well established global brand at this point, and we're starting to offer more 'solutions' for the market. We've been in the clothing business in Europe for three season now, and clothing will be introduced to the US market this spring. Helmets will have a global launch this February.  

"Who knows what's next; we're proud of our unique designs and engineering capabilities and we feel that it will lead us into many exciting new categories in the future," he added.

When asked if Orbea-sponsored cross country Olympic champion Julien Absalon was wearing the new helmet next year, Karklins was vaguely specific.

"He is currently under contract with Catlike, but I have a strong suspicion that he will be in everything Orbea for the future."  

Orbea was founded in 1847 as a family firm specialising in gun manufacturing. In 1930 it changed its focus to bicycles.

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