More and more often these days people are looking to buy bikes, parts, and accessories from smaller, less well-known brands. Some of this is because you can’t get what you want from the big guys, and part of it is because people want something more unique. I personally am a big fan of using smaller, less common brands that produce more unique or niche products. Because of this I decided to compile a list of brands that offer unique products, stories, or experiences. Some of these offer simply unique products, and some offer boutique versions of a more common product.
- Fix Manufacturing: Fix Manufacturing is a brand that make belts with integrated multi-tools, for cycling and everyday. The tools attach to the belt buckle, providing a secure, discreet way to carry a multi tool
2. Unno Bikes: A bike brand based out of Barcelona Spain, Unno makes their bikes in runs of 50 per year, making them extremely rare and expensive. The brand used to be far less well-known, but since their partnership with Worldwide Cyclery they’ve gained some traction, especially here in the US.
3. Ride Concepts: One of the bigger brands on this list, Ride Concepts is a rider run company that offers mountain bike shoes and apparel. They offer a wide selection of shoes, ranging from downhill clipless to casual flat shoes. I have a pair of their Livewire shoes recently purchased, and the first impressions are good.
4. AbsoluteBlack: This UK brand is best known for their oval chainrings, which come in a variety of colors and mounting options. If you’re looking for an easy way to add some class and style to your bike, this is a great way to do it.
5. Better Bolts: Similar to the previous one, this brand offers products to easily spice up your bike and add some bling. Their catalog is full of titanium bolts for various stems, frames, and also derailleurs and the like.
6. Silca: What used to be a dying Italian pump brand has been reinvigorated into a thriving company offering a range of products. Some of their best include titanium smoothie straws, 3D printed tools, and high tech merino wool socks.
7. EVOC: EVOC sells high-quality packs for riding, skiing/snowboarding, and everyday use. The packs are well built, solid, and have a lot of features. I have the brand’s Stage 6L, a standard riding pack, and also the Stage Capture 16, which is a camera/riding pack. The design is comfortable and allows you to pack a lot into a small space.
8. The Black Bibs: Offering extremely affordable bibs and jerseys, the Black Bibs is the place to go for high quality budget kit. I own a pair of the Black Bibs Plus, and they’re excellent.
9. R.M.U. Outdoors: Definitely the brand I was least familiar with until recently, R.M.U. makes three mountain bike products. A hip pack, an enduro belt, and a tailgate pad. The first two products aren’t anything special, but the tailgate pad is. The pad features a built in tool storage pocket, and a cooler for your post ride drinks. The styling is classy, and the attachment mechanisms are solid.
10. Parker Pens: Not a cycling brand at all, but hey, who cares. In the business of making pens since 1888, Parker pens makes some premium pens, with ball point, fountain, and rollerball style pens.
There you have it, 10 brands you need to check out right now. Ask me what my favorite is and I’ll say all of em.