Neil Berrett and Jeremy Smith wanted a well-fitting, high-quality and domestically made jersey. But as with Keith Bontrager’s trinity paradox — “light, cheap, strong; pick two” — they could never find all three qualities in the same jersey. So they decided to make one.
Cedar Cycling is a small new company based in Oakland, California. Berrett comes from a background in radiation cleanup, and Smith from the startup world and menswear.
“They were motivated by the lack of just the right product on the market, and wanted to build something for their local riding conditions, and do it in the USA,” Cedar Cycling’s Will Price said of the longtime cyclists’ motivation.
For Cedar Cycling, “just the right product” means merino wool, which they tout as the best natural technical material. But while fans of merino, Price, Smith and Berrett acknowledge that pure wool isn’t perfect for cycling because of durability and sagging issues. So, they worked with a fabric mill to develop a more durable, “high-performing blend of merino wool, nylon and elastane,” Price said.
Sewn in the Bay Area, the first jersey came out last April along with a 100% merino wool baselayer and T-shirt.
Cedar Cycling recently overhauled the jersey with a softer merino-blend fabric with a wicking nylon, a new fit that they say makes for a more comfortable position on the bike, and two hidden zippered pockets as wheel as three standard pockets.
The jersey sells for $170/£106. The merino baselayers and T-shirts are each $80/£50. Shipping inside the US is free; international shipping starts at $20/£12. The company has a 90-day, no-questions-asked return policy, so long as you haven’t crashed in the jersey.
The company also produced a limited edition Prolly is Not Probably jersey for the cycling blog of the same name.
Going forward, the people behind Cedar Cycling plan to add bibs, warmers, accessories, socks and outerwear. A women’s line is also in the works.
Last year, Smith and Berrett opened Standard & Strange, a boutique shop in Oakland that features domestically made products, such as casual wear, chocolate and backpacks, all from small brands.