Sombrio Stages Comeback with Acquisition by Sugoi

Apparel News

Fans of Canadian mountain bike apparel maker Sombrio are high-fiving today as the moth-balled brand was acquired by Sugoi Performance Apparel according to a press release yesterday. Founded by freeride pioneer Dave Watson in 1998, Sombrio captured the Canadian North Shore vibe, melding a loose-fitting aesthetic with tasteful yet edgy graphics.

In early December, Watson posted a heartfelt letter to the Sombrio website explaining that aggressive expansion plans and the loss of a critical investment partner left the company overextended, necessitating a halt to operations. Though clearly disappointed, Watson left the door open for a restart, and yesterday, only two and a half months later, Dorel Industries-owned Sugoi walked through.

“I welcome the opportunity this acquisition creates as well as the boost Sombrio will see in future products and improving relationships in our market,” said Watson in a press release. “I’m thrilled to lead the charge on the growth of Sombrio alongside a new team. Our brand will drive innovation with some of the best athletes and creative minded individuals in the two wheel space.”

The acquisition appears to be a good compliment to Sugoi, another Canada-based brand, who’s reputation is based more on performance and materials expertise than the cultural cachet Sombrio enjoys. The combination could be a boon for riders who seek a more casual look but want technical features as well.

In addition to Sugoi, Dorel Industries is parent to bike brands Cannondale, Schwinn, GT, Mongoose, Caloi, and IronHorse.

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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