This week Echelon Sports in Brisbane announced that as of March 2013 are distributing Assos Cycle Wear in Australia. A complete cycle-wear range is new for Echelon Sports who were founded in 2001 beginning with Zipp Wheels and subsequently now look after a host of well know cycling brands in Australia including BMC, SRAM, 3T and Prologo.
The Swiss brand Assos (greek for ‘Ace’) have been producing their ‘technical cycle apparel’ since 1976 and are a premium brand with a distinctive look. They place a lot of emphasis on the performance aspect in their range of cycle-wear, and you could say, also looking the part while cycling. If you have seen Assos advertising, you will recognise more than just a touch of confident Italian fashion flair.
For Bicycles Network Australia (BNA), I asked Echelon Sports Managing Director Chris Langdon about the Australian re-launch of Assos.
BNA: Echelon Sports have just announced that they are distributing Assos cycle wear in Australia, were you looking at add a line of cyclewear to your inventory?
Chris Langdon: To be honest we hadn’t looked at clothing as a product category option within our plans, when Assos approached us it wasn’t a difficult decision to make ! Assos is such a great brand and held in the highest position in the market, that really made the decision for us.
BNA: Tell me about Assos, what do they have that makes it a good match for Echelon Sports compared with other brands?
Chris Langdon: Assos is a premium cycling apparel company, It is the perfect match for our company, all of our brands are in similar positions in their specific categories. When you look at each of the brands we work with, they are all leaders in there respective categories in relation to new technologies and product development. For us it isn’t just to do another brand, it is imperative that the brands we work with fit our companies profile and passions, at the end of the day your work needs to be fun and if it isn’t you shouldn’t be doing it !
BNA: Will your customers be buying Assos for the look or the performance?
Chris Langdon: I would say that Assos attracts both of those customers, Assos is leading the way in performance, fit and fabric technologies whilst always remaining very mindful of there heritage and the customers they attract.
BNA: Are there risks or challenges of adding a line of clothing to your business which focuses on bikes and cycling equipment?
Chris Langdon: With any type of business there are risks involved without risk there is no reward, We have been overwhelmed with the interests for Australian bike shops requests to become Assos dealers. I think this is a great start for Assos and for me a true indication of how well regarded the brand is within the Australia cycling community.
Dealer and customer requests can be directed to Echelon Sports