Kitsbow Becomes Employee Owned and Aims for B Corp Status

Jan 7, 2022 at 3:23
by Ed Spratt  

Kitsbow has revealed that from January 3 it has been bought from previous shareholders by its employees.

Starting 10 years ago, Kitsbow has been increasing its scale of production with a shift to U.S. manufacturing in 2019 with a complete halt to offshore-made clothes in 2021. Employee owned companies give staff a greater say in how the business should operate and in Kitsbow's case it seems that will make for more ethical and responsible practices. In its PR, it listed some of the past initiatives that the current leadership has embraced including:

- Training a workforce with no prior experience making premium apparel
- Helping build trails in Old Fort for access by all
- Making 180,000 hand-sewn masks for first responders and medical professionals, and eventually the general public
- Making apparel in a sustainable way to better protect the planet
- Building and operating a unique retail service with excellent and healthy food made locally, free public restrooms, and free parking while riding/hiking
- Hosting the first bike shop in Old Fort in recent memory
- Using only compostable materials in all shipping and packaging
- And creating generous employee benefits, such as 100% health care insurance paid by the company, on-site yoga, reimbursed footwear, subsidized food, and more

The sale included a commitment to keep the majority of ownership in the hands of the company's employees going forward.

Alongside the employee ownership, Kitsbow has also announced its aim to achieve B Corp status and it has become a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). In its press release, Kitsbow says being a PBC: "empowers leadership of the organization to embrace 'social and public good' of both customers and employees, while operating in a responsible and sustainable manner, and place the interests of shareholders on equal footing. Diversity and inclusion are also values threaded throughout a PBC’s legal structure and purpose."

Becoming a certified B Corp is not an instant process, looking at a business’s social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. It can often take a year or longer for certification but with the new ownership, the work has started on receiving a B Corp certification.

bigquotesWhen the opportunity to buy the brand and all of its assets became available, the employee leadership was unanimous in doing so as a public benefit corporation, and immediately starting the process for certification as a B Corp as well. We have been embracing social and public good since we landed in North Carolina to make clothes, so it was a natural step to make.David Billstrom, the CEO of Kitsbow

bigquotesWe are beginning the new year with a bang, not only with employee ownership but also with a pledge to sell apparel only made in the United States. We sold the last of our offshore-made apparel at the end of last year, and from now on, other than gloves and socks, all of our apparel will be made in the U.S. It is truly a very new year.Jessie Inglis, director of production at Kitsbow



176 Comments

  • 191 0
 This is really cool. Gonna go out of my way to seek out their stuff. Vote with your dollars!
  • 7 0
 This, I want to buy some RideNF pants, but they never have any. Maybe these guys will produce higher volume.
  • 10 0
 @whitedlite: I'll sell you mine
  • 2 0
 @whitedlite: pre order, early January delivery
  • 4 0
 @Trowel1: nothing in medium is available for preorder. They all just say sold out.
  • 1 0
 @whitedlite: their pants are real nice but super hard to find in stock
  • 1 0
 @whitedlite: wine colour only DP3, pre order it’s on there site
  • 26 1
 came here to say the same exact thing. Remember folks, status quo will never change regardless of your protest signs if you keep buying corporate shit. Buy local, buy domestic, build back better the right way.
  • 6 4
 Your gonna wanna use those dollars and many more$$$ for your Kitsbow apperal purchase!
  • 2 0
 @whitedlite: First riding pants I have actually liked. get yourself some if you can
  • 7 0
 @whitedlite: get on their mailing list and/or keep an eye on the IG. they do frequent (albiet small) runs, which they typically announce when they drop. fantastic gear & great people. the factory is 10 mins from my house - stoked to support local manufacturing (esp when the product is so good).
  • 2 1
 @Trowel1: only in XSmall, I’ve signed up for every pant in medium to receive a text. Never received anything and been on list since November
  • 1 0
 @whitedlite: looks like Kinetic Cycles has some www.kinetikcycles.com/21f-nf-pant-dp3.html

Not sure if they ship to the states though... but they are super high quality and are very comfy.
  • 2 0
 @whitedlite: its because they're so damn good!! DP3 and Berzerker, unreal fit and quality!
  • 2 0
 For those in Vancouver following shops were slated to recieve new RideNF stock in December:
Dunbar
Kenetic (Coquitlam)
Lynn Valley bikes
Obsession
Corsa Cycles- Squamish
  • 13 7
 what if (and hear me out on this) we vote with our dollars by not buying and thus normalizing $230 pants. wild
  • 20 0
 @peterman1234: Everyone: Why does nobody make stuff in North America?

Kitsbow/NF: We do, here you go.

Everyone: No, not like this!

But seriously, this is out of reach for many and that's ok. But if you've got the means, I think it's cool to support companies that make stuff here and seem to treat their employees well.
  • 2 0
 @peterman1234: yeah! you should buy $150 pants from another brand so they'll fall apart in 2 seasons
  • 3 6
 PB commenters, mocking anyone that has a new high dollar bike by saying: “I will never pay the high price for dentist bikes, all I buy is used”. High and mighty PB commenters I will spend triple the cost to buy any product that meets my so called social agenda. There is a word that defines the above: hypocrite.
  • 4 1
 @Stinky-Dee:.I'm pretty sure buying a used bike and buying expensive gear they will last a long time are in the same direction. 1 pair of $250 Kitsbow shorts will 100% outlast 3 pairs of $150 tld shorts. So really, if you're in it for the long run an expensive quality made garment that's made to last is cheaper and more sustainable over the years just the same as a used and pre depreciated ride. Clothes don't depreciate or get sold on the secondary market like bikes do. Buying a used frame saves you the initial depreciation while also keeping one more new bike from being produced. I'm pretty sure the correct word isn't hypocrite there.
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: yep. I have 2 pairs of KB pants, 3 shorts, 4 chamoixs(literally amazing piece of kit I would pay double for), and some shirts. but it's their Icon Pendleton shirt that is the real winner. just amazing. fit is second to none, it is both warm enough and not too warm in 99% of situation, and its tough af. yes, it's all expensive, but I have abused the hell out of all of it and only had to have one pocket fixed, which Kitsbow does for free!
  • 56 0
 First, I was mad at the company that made bike clothes for dentist posers. Then, I got a pair of their shorts and I realized that I liked them. That was maybe 5 years ago. I still have those shorts, still wear them all the time, and expect to still be wearing them 5 years from now. So I bought a couple other things of theirs for myself, and a couple for the wife. Mostly great, easy to return when it wasn't. Wearing my Icon as I type this. Now, I ain't mad at the dentist-poser-bike-clothes company any more.
  • 9 0
 Their stuff is really nice. I got a merino sweatshirt from them (sadly discontinued) and it is my favorite piece of riding gear. The price is steep but its made locally (lol, kind of North Carolina is a looong ways from the PNW) and its quality.
  • 5 0
 @mtmc99: The Kitsuma merino hoodie is back.
  • 2 0
 @jmusuperman: thanks for the heads up. Might just have to grab it. My old one is hoodless which is perfect for me but this might just be worth it
  • 2 0
 @jmusuperman: named after the kitsuma trail in black mountain north Carolina.
  • 8 0
 Buy once cry once. I love a good deal as much as the next person and hate paying for a brand.

That said, I rarely buy cheap riding gear anymore because a cheap $20-$30 USD pair of riding shorts would be falling apart after one season. Where my $70-$100 shorts are going strong after many years.

Not everyone can, but if you have the means, pay more for something that is comfortable and lasts for years vs something that winds up in the landfill after one year.
  • 1 0
 @weebleswobbles: from ridgecrest to old fort
  • 1 0
 @brass-munky: I can't wait to move back to the old north state! Love that place
  • 24 0
 This is the way
  • 20 1
 Wish I could support but - this is just all a bit outta my league $$$-wise. I'm a local, love what they're doing and how (check out the singletracks or pisgah podcast interviews - the CEO gives a s***, knows how al this works for manufacturing, how to go around that and why it matters for people and environment). But still - I simply don't have enough green to afford this type of gear - even the base jersey (not flashy or sporty at all) is $70 and t-shirt $35.

Weirdly I think its worth it for a brand to do this and for those that can afford, its great - these are local jobs and process that skirts China / Asia altogether, has huge local heart & effect. But sadly, even w/ the gear we use, some of the extras like this just aren't in reach. Maybe Kitsbow can have an affordable clothes program for those of us who aren't - I'm gonna say it - dentists, lawyers or other higher end earners w/ lots of extra cash to play with.
  • 6 0
 Gotta play the long game. All my $50 shorts get a season, maybe two if I'm lucky. I have a bunch of their gear and admit I was puckering when I bought my first piece, but it really is high quality stuff. I blew out a pocket on an older jersey of theirs and it's now getting repaired. Wish it was free but for $40 I get to keep a jersey rolling for a few more seasons I hope! I now have 3-4 years on a lot my Kitsbow stuff, and while the company is a little funny sometimes to communicate with I do dig their ethos. I'd like to see them do less life style clothing and more active wear but I'm guessing they make choices based on what sells.
  • 3 0
 @plume: I was thinking my two Zoics (both going on 4 yrs strong) are kinda long game. I have a couple other pair, Giro & P-Izumi, and even custom made (UK) Dirty Rides Apparel DH pants (only $140, fits like a glove) and nothing's failed so far. If I bought this at Kitsbow that would be about $1100 not even counting shirts. A coupla PB jerseys and a banger GMBN jersey pack (3 long / 3 short) on sale for $120 and I have gear literally for years.

I do get it though - ultimately these probably come from Vietnam / SE Asia and not from my Old Fort brethren / sisten down the hill from me, so that is a sad fact I'm not supporting them. But... I only just recently heard of Kitsbow anyway, and I live here. $380 over the years pants & shorts instead of about $1200 for similar gear at Kitsbow prices (and Kitsbow is not making custom DH pants) is kinda real.

I appreciate what they do and why - it easily makes sense, but if I had to buy Kitsbow I'd have a pair of shorts and maybe 3 shirts or 30% of the gear - nothing else. Seems spartan
  • 2 0
 I'll be honest - saw the prices of their kit a couple years ago and never looked any further. Laughably expensive upon first look. That said, their pricing prevented me from even looking into the company or what they are about, and that's a huge bummer. Seeing now that they assemble their gear in the US, have a crash replacement policy, and overall seem to be a pretty stellar company, makes me want to at least keep them on my radar the next time I'm in the market for some riding shorts.

I agree with you though, with shorts ranging from $200-270, I'd love to see something around the $130-150 range before I could feasibly splurge on a pair. Perhaps the organizational changes being made may facilitate an opportunity for a price point approachable for more people, fingers crossed.
  • 3 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I think that’s kind of the point, less is more. Buy a few well made pieces of gear that last a long time. Less impact on the world, landfills, all that…
  • 1 0
 @toddz: Exactly. The only thing of theirs I've been able to get to fit me is the Mescal short. Have one older pair (at least 150 rides) and one newer. Don't anticipate needing new shorts for, say, five years. Fits my ethos and awesome for the planet, but interesting as a business model. Think they're going to have to trend like Patagonia and sell a lot of Icons to lumbersexuals to wear to the coffee shop.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I get it, I have plenty of asia made gear too. Agreed about the $300 shorts too. I’m not blindly loyal to these guys but like you said, they’re local, they do good advocacy and if you feel like splurging on one of their pieces you’ll enjoy it. Check out the clearance section from time to time, almost everything I’ve gotten from them was on sale.
  • 2 0
 @plume: @dancingwithmyself @toddz - I'm down w/ all this for real, but I guess the bigger question is - why just mtb gear (or maybe its not). If yr gonna insist on this for mtb gear, and if I was flush with cash, maybe I could - so then doesn't this insistence have to be everything you buy too? None of our bikes (bars, brakes, pads, tires, lube, seats and endless components) are really made with this ethos (esp carbon anything - its a haz-wasteland in Chinese manufacturing areas for this) and everything would be better if we could all support every biz like tihs but it comes down to the scale or product & markets. Point being (and maybe you do this for everything you buy) not all products fall in this pricing range (food, cars, beers, whatever) and yeah, lots of people buy good products for the best reasons and plenty of people don't care whatsoever - but doesn't the ethos to buy Kitsbow have to be applied to every single product in your life then?

Not ripping here, just pointing out that its hard to be consistent across the board since we're all buying so much crap constantly from hard-goods to consumables, services, etc. Again - wish I had the bling to score some Kitsbow but I rarely do and even then, the kid or a dog gets sick, car or house repairs, doc bills and spiraling debt - something. It makes $250 on one pair pants seem crazy luxurious.
  • 1 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: I don't look at it that way; the majority of the stuff we buy and continue to buy is asia produced, so it's nice when there is an alternative. Your point is that the cost of entry is very high, and that for most riders they're not able to justify the $250 tag for shorts when you can litterally get something that looks similar for $40. The hope is the $250 is more than just the cool factor for wearing a local kish brand, but that the piece actually adds a lot more value to your experience than the $40 piece does. The hope is that it lasts a very long time, fits excellent, and provides many memories. For a lot of people, that's WAY too much thought into... shorts, so again, I get it.
  • 3 0
 @plume: I hear ya (and thanks for not railing back, that seems to be the MO 1/2 the time here). so yeah, good points. I've actually done the $35 Amazon thing on shorts & regretted it, but have had good luck (and style) w/ Fox, GMBN, Dakine, Zoic, P-Izumi (and other bike brands) so, have a few good things and not too much. Def in the loop on the local thing, plus value tho (and Kitsbow is literally 20 air miles from my house) and I think they offer lifetime repairs(?) Anyway - def not against it & glad to see it going. Its still prob gonna be the Rich Guy brand for a while, just sayin'... and oddly, I've not seen a single rider around here wearing it vs. the other major outdoor brands but maybe that'll change as they sink into the local culture.
  • 21 5
 I like the shorts but $270? Struggling to see exactly what is justifying that price
  • 36 5
 Ethics
  • 10 3
 company paid healthcare and free shoes... Smile
  • 18 3
 When you building high quality clothing and pay more than what a worker gets in Vietnam or wherever most clothing is produced this is the cost. Being able to outsource to places with non-existent labor laws (not that Americas labor laws are very good) artificially lowers the cost of production.
  • 16 2
 It's called made in the USA. American wages and American prices. I definitely support domestically made products.
  • 6 19
flag likeittacky (Jan 7, 2022 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 Hipster styling
  • 15 1
 @femto505: and if people continue to support these brands, the economies of scale will come with time. my American-made bikes really don't cost much more than similar bikes coming out of some unknown factory in asia.
  • 27 3
 "Struggling to see exactly what is justifying that price"


You can reframe the question to "What are you willing to justify in order to lower the price?"
  • 24 1
 I'm local and have family just up the mountain from Old Fort where they're located. I'm normally cynical about things like this, but it would be hard to overstate the impact that Kitsbow is having on that area. They've basically single handedly revitalized the town after all the previous textile employers left in the 90s due to NAFTA.
  • 5 1
 @adrennan: I purchased a Tunner 5 spot back in 2011 that's made in the USA. I wished Tunner still made aluminum bikes. As you pointed out the price point is not much more than the top band bikes. It just shows you bike manufacture with Asian production have higher profit margins with exploiting people and labor. Your dollar votes, I disagree with how the Chinese Government suppresses their people and the issues with Hong Kong.
  • 4 1
 In the end, sales of a product justify the price.
  • 4 0
 @AndrewFleming: this! I may not buy the clothing based on price, but if they sell product and change their local economy in the process, I salute them. I’ve watched plenty of poser lumberjacks in coffee shops spending $300 on boots they use to walk around the city to know people are happy to spend money on clothes. If Kitsbow can sell their product at a price that pays their workers well, I applaud them wholeheartedly, even if I don’t spend that kind of money.
  • 5 0
 @femto505: yes, but especially worker-shareholder made goods.

many american workplaces don't treat their emploiyees well either

workers should always be shareholders to some degree.
  • 1 2
 At least for that price they could sell you the full pant and you can cut them off yourself
  • 2 5
 @MisterChow: that’s most self righteous thing I’ve heard in a while. I think there are plenty of necessary things people need that can easily be justified and prioritized over USA made athletic apparel.
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: name checks out
  • 1 1
 @brass-munky: Don't ya just love me!?
  • 2 0
 @txcx166: Of course there are things that can justify lower priced, foreign made goods. The point of the comment was clearly to encourage you to think about what those are and where you would draw your line dividing justifiable vs unjustifiable.
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: on a scale from 1 to 10
  • 13 0
 I’ll never comprehend how a company that charges this much for basically custom ordered clothing can’t offer tall sizes in their shirts and uneven waist sizes in their bottoms (33, 35, etc). I have no problem paying for quality, but only if it actually fits my slightly out of the norm body.
  • 3 0
 This. Would love odd size waists and something like athletic and slim cuts. I am by no means in the gym cranking out deadlifts year round, but anything of theirs that truly fits in the waist is way too tight everywhere else.
  • 1 0
 @dancingwithmyself: I have the same fit problem. I've found women's shorts fit me better. Give it a shot.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: That is an interesting idea. Will give it a try. Thanks!
  • 11 0
 My wife bought me a Kitsbow riding shirt when we first met because a friend recommended them and when I saw it all I could think was “How could you spend that much?!?!?!”
But 6 years later it’s as good as new and I love it. It’s one of my favourite shirts.
Glad to see this. I’ll also be supporting you in the future.
  • 7 0
 This is good all around, they are pumping life into the town of Old Fort which has needed it for awhile. There really so is some incredible riding around there so I think this is a win win.
  • 5 0
 I got one of their jerseys this past fall and was really impressed. I love seeing companies that actually care about their employees and go above and beyond for them. Will continue to buy their products.
  • 5 1
 Wanna save the environment and put people to work? Goodwill.
$1.69 for most of their stuff. And you give low skilled labor an opportunity to work. If the "gear" (it's just clothes) falls appart, replace it . $250 buys a lifetime of used clothes there. A win win.
Americans have way too much stuff and freak out over first world problems "I need a riding shirt that doesn't have a hood...and one that does..." "I need AWD to drive to the gravel trailhead on the best highways in the world", etc. Wake up.
  • 20 14
 Paying 100% of health insurance certainly explains why a flannel from them cost $260...
  • 117 7
 If only there were some other way to provide health care to people which didn't require private companies to insure their employees
  • 47 57
flag FrankS29 (Jan 7, 2022 at 5:51) (Below Threshold)
 @appltn: Not that I disagree, but when the US Government gets involved in ANYTHING, a huge mess turns into the hugest mess.
  • 49 0
 @FrankS29: The rest of the world agrees with that
  • 82 32
 @FrankS29: only cuz the Republican Party ethos is to sabotage the government and then claim it doesn’t work.
  • 25 8
 @pakleni: I do wonder if the people down voting are actually realizing what I'm saying.

It's a comment on the insane healthcare costs in the US and their pricing reflects the reality of doing business the way a lot of people say they want business done.

As for the US Government and healthcare, anyone down voting that clearly has ZERO experience with Medicare, as a Pt or a Provider.
  • 45 26
 @bertimusmaximus: Hate to deliver the bad news, but BOTH parties are just as equally broken.
  • 27 14
 @FrankS29: lol Medicare has been chugging along for a solid 50 years works just fine, absolutely no reason it couldn't just be expanded to cover everyone instead of just those over 65, but go off!
  • 16 11
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: If you think the Medicare system is "just fine" you're living in a fantasy world. I work in a surgical center that deals with Medicare all the time, it's a nightmare for Pt's and Providers.

Private insurance claims are 100x quicker and easier to submit and get paid on. On top of that, Medicare payouts are so low that it encourages 1 of 2 things, limiting Medicare Pt's to make sure you can run a viable business OR take in way too many to make up for low payouts with pure volume. Guess what a focus on pure VOLUME gets you in the surgical world...
  • 3 0
 @appltn: Ho wait... sécurité sociale, depuis 1945.
  • 16 0
 @FrankS29: To be perfectly honest, I didn't aim at US healthcare systems alone. Wink

But I do agree with you. We all know about US healthcare horror stories that, for us Europeans, are mostly impossible to comprehend.
  • 2 0
 @pakleni: Mostly yes !
  • 6 4
 @FrankS29: how do you think other countries keep their healthcare costs from spiraling, magic?
  • 18 6
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: You're confusing the full cost of healthcare and Insurance. US Insurance premiums are sky high for A LOT of reasons. A big part of it is simply how unhealthy we are as Americans and how fast we run to Dr's and want medications for every sniffle.
Another part is payment systems in the US healthcare systems. MASSIVE amounts are written off by hospitals and providers every year for various reasons, they make up for it by increasing the base cost of treatment, thus feeding the cycle, why do you think a Tylenol in a hospital cost 50-70x more than at the store?
Part of it is simply the economics of an open market system, if you want to draw top surgical talent, that costs money. You have top surgeons commanding well over a $1 million a year, that has to paid for somehow...
We don't want to forget end of life care. In US we have a MASSIVE cost for keeping people alive as long as they are now. In many other countries elderly live with family and have at home care. The US is basically the only country that has such a massive nursing/elder care network and trust me, it's expensive. We pay it as Americans because god forbid we find room in our significantly larger than average homes (compared to the rest of the world) to keep our parents with us.
The list goes on and on for our sky high costs and Medicare will in no way shape or form fix it. Matter of fact, if they had to take on coverage for the Nation, the fragile and antiquated Medicare system would crumble.
  • 13 13
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Socialism, that's how. Something is given up/taken from somewhere else. There's no free lunch. Also helps when your population is less than an eighth of ours.
  • 19 7
 @FrankS29: No actually I am talking about the full cost of healthcare. It eats up a much, much higher portion of the GDP in the US than the rest of the developed world, by orders of magnitude. You can bend over backwards and try to find all the rationalizations in the world, but the reality is this: we simply pay more than other nations for the same services because they institute cost controls and our private health insurance mostly doesn't.

So the nice gold plated plans pay out the ridiculous hospital bills. The folks who can't afford health insurance go without regular checkups or preventative care and only receive healthcare under the most dire (and expensive circumstances) and the rest of the under-65 muddle through with mediocre insurance that fights them at every step of the way (pre-existing conditions babe).

Medicare is the most functional component of it, since at least it is able to control some costs through its purchasing power and has incredibly low administrative costs. If the private insurance industry had to handle the costs of the high need elderly population, the whole thing would collapse upon itself. They don't want it and there is a reason they don't use their considerable lobbying power to do away with it. Just skim off the top with their (publically funded) medicare advantage plans. And this is before even getting into the absurd costs of our pharmaceuticals (and comparing to what other nations pay for the same drugs).
  • 18 0
 @SlodownU: Socialism. Wow ! Is France a socialist country in your mind ? Because not even close IRL!!
  • 16 3
 @FrankS29: Dude, people do not run to the Dr for every sniffle in the US. Putting off healthcare is a huge thing.

Plus, the rest of your argument about "keeping people alive" is BS. The US is NOT ahead of other countries in life expectancy whatsoever.
  • 10 0
 @Ricolaburle: welcome to the extremely cursed US healthcare discourse.
  • 1 2
 @Ricolaburle: No, but France has many problems in common with the US, and your President has more direct power over the people, even the ability to dissolve parliament. I'm a Francophile and love visiting France, can't wait for COVID to be over.
  • 5 9
flag FrankS29 (Jan 7, 2022 at 7:42) (Below Threshold)
 @HB208: Correct, we are not ahead of other countries in life expectancy, but we are far ahead of them in how much we pay for elder care thanks to our extensive use of nursing home/elder care facilities.

And yes, far too many people run to a Dr's office for absolutely no reason in this country. Why do you think high deductible plans were put into place?
  • 6 3
 @FrankS29: I can testify from personal experience that Medicare works just fine. It would have been an option for anyone when the ACA was being negotiated, but the insurance industry killed the government option
  • 1 0
 @bertimusmaximus: you should read An Economic Theory of Democracy by economist Anthony Downs. And then once you’re sufficiently jaded, come back and join all of us here that only get our news from a mountain bike website.
  • 5 6
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I'm not rationalizing it or saying it's good. Think I was pretty clear from the get go that it's NOT good.

However, your assumption that Medicare for all will fix it is simply incorrect. The problems facing our healthcare system are far too numerous and like it or not Medicare is a big part of that problem.

In it's current form it's not anywhere near a solution and asking the US Government to manage the Nation's healthcare is a terrible idea.

Ideally a government should be able to manage it, reality is the US Government is not equipped to manage it, at all.
  • 3 1
 @Hayek: I would expect nothing less from someone who has Hayek for a user name. Personally, I prefer Salma to Friedrich.
  • 12 1
 @FrankS29: Ya wanna know why we pay so much more for elder care? Let me you into a secret: For profit elder care.
  • 10 0
 @Hayek: @withdignityifnotalacrity: the biggest reason healthcare is so ficked up in the USA is due to the corruption of the government. Healthcare is a major lobby in Washington, which limits any form of a free market for the public....and then theirs the pharmaceutical industry which basically owns “our” political parties. Every negative issue in the USA (war, poverty, inflation, employment, healthcare, etc.) are caused by our corrupt, bloated government reducing free markets.

I prefer Mises & Rothwell.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: can't wait too. If you come visit the french Alps, please stop by !
  • 2 0
 @appltn: Having spent my first 30 years in the UK and the last 18 in America, ill say that neither are perfect.
  • 4 0
 @noplacelikeloam: they are both examples of bloated, corrupt government.
  • 2 3
 @HB208: Ya, that's basically what I was saying.

But it's not just for profit. Even state run facilities can be insanely expensive. NY state as an example, without proper estate planning NY will suck the elderly dry. If someone is put into a state run nursing home they will seize retirement funds, force the sale of real estate and do their best to pocket all of that money with huge monthly fees, typically much higher than private facilities.
  • 3 0
 @FrankS29: it’s not the profit that’s the issue, it’s that the government limits how many elder care facilities can even be in a location, then they place unnecessary rules on to the facilities.
  • 3 3
 @unrooted: Government doesn't like competition when it comes to bilking massive amounts of money out of people.
  • 5 7
 @bertimusmaximus: Please provide more political talk on a bike website. That is what the world is missing. MUST have a political comment on Cascade links, Fox 38, and on everything. Thanks, Bertius for taking this flag up the hill. And thanks to your well-put, political comment I will never vote Republican again. After reading this I have changed my mind on the entire history of my political thought. You have done the impossible. Once again PLEASE MORE POLITICAL POSTS on Pinkbike. That is what is missing in our lives. Please note this is Sarcasm.
  • 2 0
 @kanute: you still vote? Good for you.
  • 5 2
 @FrankS29: "Hate to deliver the bad news, but BOTH parties are just as equally broken."

That is extremely lazy. _IF_ that is true, what are you doing about it?
  • 3 0
 @FrankS29: I don't know. I'm pretty conservative, yet I can see a difference in them. One is arguably well intentioned, yet naive and incompetent at actually accomplishing anything. The other has shifted from well meaning, to merely obstructionist. Leaves me voting third party or generally against incumbents these days.

I just wish we could get rid of the two party system.
  • 3 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: just fine, with 100% of workers supporting the much smaller number on Medicare. Try to scale that to include everyone.
  • 6 5
 @Sardine: I am doing my part by making libertarian points on a non political website… mostly used by kids who have successfully been programmed by the left wing cathedral who believe they are open minded but won’t even read one word more than it takes to realize the comment doesn’t align with their “progressive” worldview.
  • 2 2
 @Sardine: I vote.

With my money and on a ballot.

When I look at both parties and they both say I don't belong because I can see and understand multiple view points and I think that you can't always win like a spoiled toddler, I'm going to ahead and say that they are both broken.

Moderation went out the window, the extremism on both sides of the isle is just sad to watch.
  • 1 1
 @FrankS29: alright enough of the lexicon of medical garbage blah blah blah
  • 2 0
 www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-lazarus-20150306-column.html.
Whenever I see US healthcare come up I'm reminded of this story. You can buy this same tube of ointment for under £5 in the UK.
  • 1 1
 @bertimusmaximus: Republican party: "Government can't do anything right, defund them!" Also Republican party: "We don't spend enough on our military that's already 7x larger than the next 5 militaries put together, they need more funding!"
  • 1 1
 @SunsPSD: Also Democratic party: "We don't spend enough on our military that's already 7x larger than the next 5 militaries put together, they need more funding!"
  • 1 2
 @unrooted: so you prefer a couple of guys who don't even understand the concept of inflation, and were notorious white supremacists/anti-Semitic and segregationists. Good for you.
  • 3 0
 @southoftheborder: what an enormous surprise, if I disagree with a progressive I get labeled a racist?!?!?!?!
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: nope, I'm not labeling you. I'm labeling those who you ponder as role models.
  • 1 0
 @southoftheborder: their economics makes the most sense to me, if you believe that the federal reserve should be a for-profit institution then I don’t know what to say.
  • 3 3
 @unrooted: central bank abolishment is a core idea in Misses papers. However, it's just a marginal one when it comes to defining the core values to found a healthy economy. Their whole individualism/meritocracy is based on a fallacy. If you have been born with the privileges Misses and is kind did, you surely are miles ahead of anyone else. "Defund the state" is a fallacy on its own. Look at the Scandinavian countries, they have the biggest tax pressure in the world, and yet they manage to have universal health coverage, decent infrastructure and the lowest ratio of poor people per million.

If you think the state is robbing you, you need to look at the starts of the American union. Stevenson wrote how the judicial branch of the government was created to keep the common people out of the core decisions. You can become a representative, a senator or even a governor without going to a university, but you can't become a judge or justice without a title. And since the university level education has been kept private in the US, it acts as an income barrier, barring the populace from dictating what laws do actually allow bot the common people and the government can and can't do.

So instead of trying to move everything to the private landscape, empower the government and allow it to actually regulate what a corporation can do, thinking of the common good. Stop electing CEOs.

Misses and his whole "the market self regulates" fallacy is sadly upheld by a bunch of middle class fools who think they have more power/resiliency than they have. Just think of this: what needs to happen for you to become one of the super rich kind, versus what needs to happen for you to be in the streets, begging for money. Now think of the odds of those two events happening. Sooner than later you'll realize you're closer to become homeless than you are to become Jeff Bezos.
  • 2 1
 @southoftheborder: all of that works in theory, but in the real world governments are made up of people who are only looking out for their self interest, or are corrupt. The majority of the Federal government are unelected bureaucrats who do not believe in competition with the free market, while the elected members of government are hand selected by billionaires.
  • 1 1
 @unrooted: The free market is a myth. Whenever a player reaches market dominance, it'll work to crush their competitors. And the whole spilling theory is another myth. Ultimately, those in the lower steps of the income ladder are building a bigger cup for the rich, effectively preventing it from spilling anything.
  • 1 0
 @southoftheborder: you do know that the government is limiting competition, right? And i think the most important reason to be a libertarian/anarcho-capitalist is because I don’t want my money stollen from me to pay for wars that kill innocent people and make rich people richer.
  • 3 1
 @unrooted: It's not that government is corrupt. Our problem is Legislators cannot get elected without funding from corporations and private millionaires. Result is we have laws and policy that drain wealth from those creating it (middle-class).
  • 1 0
 @flaflow: please explain how that isn’t a corrupted system???
  • 6 1
 $229 for a pair of pants? im not living in that tax bracket (goes back to thrift store). That kinda money eats into the bike build budget.
  • 5 0
 I see all the cool kids rocking NF pants which cost the same. So I think that's one of their more reasonable items Smile
  • 4 0
 I would make a dentist joke but apparently we are supposed to make lawyer jokes in 2022. The lawyers at POC have sent kitsbow a stern letter telling them to charge more as it makes POCs clothing and prices too high in comparison.
  • 1 4
 Yeah ethical or not, eff this company
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd: why though?
  • 2 0
 I was gifted an Icon flannel shirt. It is by far my most consistently used piece of cool weather kit and it is awesome. Fabric is a little prone to tearing which is a bummer given the price but they also have a very cool repair program.
  • 6 1
 dang, gotta love capitalism disguised as moral high ground. Someone buy me that $260 flannel!!!!
  • 6 4
 Very cool, good for the employees. The gear is very nice, very expensive and many of the items have close to a 2 month lead time once an order is placed. Tough purchase proposition for me.
  • 20 2
 Reason for long lead times is that they are waiting for your order to make your shirt. Rather than cheaply overproduce a bunch of extra somewhere else, they make just what's necessary. Tons of cheap clothing, plenty of it brand new, ends up in landfills. I'm just as guilty of wanting things NOW, but I have to admit, Kitsbow's got a good approach. And they're right in my backyard, building epic trails.
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: so is each piece custom made for the buyer?
  • 4 0
 @Hayek: "Custom" implies that it's tailored, and I'm not sure about that... but my understanding is that you order the shirt, then they make the shirt, instead of the other way around like most clothing manufacturers.
  • 1 0
 @Lokirides: got it. I can never find shorts that fit right. Was hoping that this was custom as most custom tailors around here can’t make technical riding shorts.
  • 2 0
 @Hayek: they wait to make something until it's ordered so they never have to sell anything for a discount at the end of the season, but they won't adjust any of the measurements. Which is a bummer because I would happily pay $200 for shorts that fit my weird proportions but $200 for shorts you have to wait 2 months for doesn't seem like such a good deal.
  • 3 0
 @Hayek: try reaching out and see what happens.
  • 2 0
 Smart move by the employees! International shipping is only going to get worse. Might as well make it close to home. I'll definitely be looking at their lineup come spring 2022.
  • 1 0
 This is good new for a great clothing brand making some good looking kit but... we can all agree a lot of their gear is seriously expensive. Of all things, and unless it's an aerosuit (get that in their first) clothing doesn't really make you ride any better and if you stack wearing Kitsbow threads do you check your clothes or your bike first?
  • 1 0
 The thing is, you can buy from a company like TLD and have a pair of gloves for half a season, or you can get Kitsbow gloves for years. Their stuff is higher priced but it lasts for a long time
  • 1 0
 @brass-munky: I'm no dentist but I don't scrimp when it comes to the right gear for the job (I own Kitsbow, Patagucci, TLD, Fox etc.). Personally, in my experience Kitsbow last just as long as the rest but are putting an exclusivity on their gear that I just don't think justifies their price
  • 1 0
 Have their gloves improved? The last time I used their gloves was because I got them half off (only way to afford them), rode a wet ride, and found out the hard way that their goat skin palm does not grip when wet, leading to a fractured humerus. It also doesn’t wipe sweat. This made me concerned about the absence of critical thinking in their design process/material choices. I haven’t been interested in purchasing anything since for fear that some other choice might lead to serious unintended consequences, like fabric leading to a rash, chafing seams, pockets that catch on things, etc. Hard to justify premium prices based on my non-premium experience.
  • 2 0
 I have all thought their stuff was really nice. I first heard about them through Kendall-Weed. It is a bit out of my budget though so I have not tried it personally.
  • 2 0
 Do they have a place I can try on the gear? I visit up near Old Fort frequently. Would buy a pair of shorts and a t-shirt or two, but for the price it's gotta fit great.
  • 3 0
 yes, the ride house has most of their gear and I tried on an icon when I was there last
  • 1 0
 @willandchar: thanks, i'll check it out next time i'm up that way.
  • 1 0
 Hopefully, the new ownership and corporate status will allow them to look at their materials some. I would gladly pay the price for their wares if the materials they chose for their kit wouldn't ass-ram Mother Nature.
  • 1 0
 I'm fortunate to be able to afford these but can justify the price. I still have Endura clothing from when I started MTB'ing in 2006. Kitsbows top of line shorts versus Endura are 2.25x's more.
  • 1 0
 I love my humvees
  • 1 0
 Great company!! I own a bunch of their clothing and I use and abuse their gear often. It holds up!! Worth the price!! Looks great, feels good, and will make you ride better!!!
  • 4 5
 I so wanted to be a fan of the brand. I found what should have been the ideal color combo, ordered up and the received jersey wasn't even close to the same color. I returned it thinking they made a mistake, but unfortunately someone didn't know how to take pictures. First time ever receiving gear that the color did not match what was on my monitor.
  • 2 0
 Weird to see this downvoted. That was his/her experience. I appreciate the honest feedback.
  • 4 3
 Was really excited to support this brand until I realised the prices. $200 or $260 for some shorts? Hell no am I ever spending that.
  • 1 0
 Fair play to them, this seems like positive change. Though it's a shame that buying ethically produced items is still something reserved only for the wealthy.
  • 2 0
 Great company with amazing products. Hoping to be an ambassador again at some point.
  • 2 0
 Love Kitsbow products. Checkout the interview with them on the Singletracks podcast.
  • 3 2
 $260 flannel....makes capitalism look better and better. The world is effed anyway. My next shorts will be from Sierra trading post for $30-$40...at 60% off
  • 1 0
 Does it look good because the company making cheap clothing pays its workers pennies on the dollar?

Or does it look good because this is obviously surcharging for positive PR while the capitalist holding the highest volume of shares rakes in massive profits?

This is still capitalism at $260. Just because it is "employee owned" doesn't make it non-capitalist.
  • 3 0
 Nice
  • 1 0
 Love this. Hopefully, they fully democratize their workplace. Workers of the world unite!
  • 3 1
 Just go with Hand-up
  • 2 1
 The Hand-Up pants are so nice, I have 2 pairs - 1 in each of the materials. And a pair of their shorts. But their stuff is not made in the US if that matters.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: Agreed. The pants do the job nicely and are a great value IMHO
  • 1 0
 Are they ever gonna have their master link short in stock again?
  • 1 0
 Well played Kitsbow, from Biketoberfest to Infinity and beyond!
  • 1 0
 Well that's the opposite direction FOX is going lol.
  • 1 0
 Very cool!
  • 1 2
 It does not correspond to the sport.. The prices are higher then they should be.. Crazy world..
  • 1 0
 Nice!!!
  • 6 7
 Is kitsbow patagucci’s younger brother?
  • 2 1
 Patagucci. Hahahahaha
  • 3 2
 More like patagucci's father. Scaling up from a pair of shorts, if Kitsbow made a parka it would cost about $3000.
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