“You are always part of the Shimano family,” Drew Johnson was told by a senior Japanese manager after he left Shimano Australia. The journey has led him to become the Australian representative for the Cuore, a Swiss brand of cycle clothing.
Drew set up shop in Alexandria in Sydney’s inner west on a broad leafy street overlooking an oval. Volagi bikes hang in the window and racks of Cuore cycle-wear line the walls. There is a glimpse of the workshop in the back room as I sit with Drew, sip a cappuccino, and listen to the story of Cuore.
After building up Australian-made Netti Atom cycle-wear, Drew then moved across to Shimano Australia in 2008 where his expertise was vital to building the newly acquired brand, Pearl Izumi. Pearl Izumi global president Jürgen Eckmann and Managing director Jürgen Sprich later departed and moved to Cuore in 2012. When Drew left Shimano in 2013, the ’Shimano Family Connection’ remained when he aligned with Cuore to take over their Australian distribution and continue the strong personal relationship.
But who are Cuore? They are a brand responsible for supplying many other cycle wear brands. I rattled off a list of cycle-wear brands, and though Drew couldn’t confirm, his reaction suggested that Cuore is quite prolific.
Founded in Switzerland in the late 80’s, the Cuore brand has recently grabbed the spotlight with the Swiss IAM cycling team, which includes accomplished pros such as Sylvain Chavenel, Sébastien Hinault, Thomas Löfkvist and German / Australian cyclist Heinrich Haussler in its roster. The smart cycling kit for the UCI Professional Continental team attracted a flurry of enquiries across Australia.
Cuore don’t do ‘off the rack’, rather the make premium custom cycle wear. Drew acknowledges that any reputable shop or cycling club should care about the quality of the kit that their supporters or members wear, many of the custom cycle wear suppliers however provide poor fitting and poorer quality garments.
Drew highlights the Cuore quality and notes that the brand have their own chamois which becomes a seamless part of their kit design, and the women’s’ chamois is anatomically design for the female format. To ensure a perfect fit, part of the service includes sending across samples with the entire size range so that each person can try first. Drew also welcomes cyclists in-store to take measurements.
Although there are no minimum orders, the economies of scale dictate a lower cost per unit for large volume orders. The Cuore range starts with the Finisher, followed by Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Drew Johnson believes that the premium quality and word-of-mouth can inspire clubs, bike shops, and groups across Australia.
Details of the range are available online: www.cuore.ch/custom/au/
You can also call Drew on his mobile, 0402 379907 (say that Christopher from BNA says G’Day)