Early in December 2013 we announced the sad news that iconic Canadian MTB brand Sombrio was contemplating an extremely uncertain future.
Faced with the fallout of expansion plans that had gone awry, and with the withdrawal of a key investor, things weren't looking good.
But now it appears a knight in shining armour (or should that shining bike kit?) has appeared in the form of Sugoi, the cycling, run and triathlon clothing brand.
We knew Sombrio as a gear brand with a significantly large and impressive offer for women. The 2014 range, which we had a good look at while at Eurobike 2013, showed quality production, top-level technical features, and attention to detail as well as bags of style.
Although there were a few rumours and rumbles that things weren't quite going to plan, it was still a shock to the bike world when Sombrio announced they were in trouble.
Founder Dave Watson, who started the brand in 1998, released a statement that explained the situation, ending with an appeal and a ray of hope;
With these challenges we’re in an incredibly painful position in that we have to pause or halt business until we find a way forward, or a buyer. Granted, our door is still open, and were operational, our future is quite uncertain.
Sombrio’s future will need someone with the resources, expertise and vision to continue bringing Sombrio’s innovative, high performance riding apparel to a huge market looking for an alternative to the status quo. We look forward to finding that white knight, rebuilding our team and making a charge for the peak.
We are extremely happy for Sombrio that Sugoi have stepped in to buy the company and safeguard its future. We're also happy to hear that Dave Watson himself will still be there, representing and developing the brand.
Kyle Weiner, President of Sugoi, explained their interest in the brand;
There are a number of synergies in adding Sombrio to the SUGOI family. We've been an admirer of the Sombrio brand for many years, and its addition will provide strong growth momentum for the combined companies. This was a natural fit for us and an incredible way to expand our portfolio of apparel, developing Freeride, gravity and lifestyle mountain bike offerings.
As for us, we're hoping that this means the awesome women's MTB kit we had tantalising glimpses of at Eurobik makes it to the bike shop shelves.