New cycling apparel brand launches in Portland

Former Nike designer and outdoor industry veteran George Nelson has launched Kansept1 (sounds like “concept”), a new cycling apparel company.

George T. Nelson (“GTN”)

Nelson’s resume in the apparel design field includes brands like Pearl Izumi, Patagonia, DaKine, Fox Racing, Merrell and others. He graduated from Rhode Island School of Design then moved from Boulder, Colorado to Portland in 2004 to work as senior apparel designer for Nike’s ACG (All Conditions Gear) brand.

The company’s initial offerings include a selection of jerseys ($120), bibshorts ($175), socks and t-shirts for men and women. The collections went live last week.

Nelson says Kansept1 brings two of his passions — cycling (especially the competitive side of it) and product design — “full circle”. “I first started bike racing when I lived in New York City back in the late 80’s and early 90’s,” Nelson shared in an email yesterday. “For most of my time in NYC, I didn’t own a car so my bike provided an escape on the weekends out of the city on long club rides and races up to Westchester County and Nyack and out to Long Island and New Jersey.”

Nelson, now 58, still loves to ride and race and still designs products he’d wear. Asked how he’d describe Kansept1’s aesthetic, Nelson said, “That’s always a tough one to answer without sounding a bit pretentious isn’t it?  But I suppose it would be ‘modern classics’.”

Cycling apparel is an extremely competitive market and Nelson will fight for customers along brands like Rapha, MAAP, Le Col, Eliel and many others. That’s a far cry from Nelson’s early days at Pearl Izumi. “There were really only a handful of genuine players in the industry and, to be frank, they really weren’t doing a great job on the style and fashion side of it,” he says. “Today’s cyclist is more sophisticated and better informed and they’re demanding more and better choices, style and quality.”

The first collection from Kansept1 is road/gravel focused, but Nelson says a much larger offering is in the works.

Check out the Kansept1 website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest drops and deals.

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Watts
Watts
22 days ago

Another brand of $120 cycling shirts to choose from!

Merlin
Merlin
20 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Seriously. Is it just an ego thing to wear an overpriced cycling kit?
Apparently there is a market for this stuff

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
22 days ago

Glad to hear Eliel being repped. It’s great stuff.

Matt
Matt
22 days ago

People are going to pronounce it “can sept”, not “con sept”.

Ernest Fitzgerald
Ernest Fitzgerald
21 days ago
Reply to  Matt

If they’re from Boston, they’ll pronounce it “kahn-sept.”

Michael
Michael
22 days ago

Looks like nice stuff, but I can’t help but think about how that super long jersey zipper is going to bunch up when you lean over to ride. Maybe it’s just me being overly picky, but even the shortest zippers are usually too long.

Steve C
Steve C
21 days ago

Could be wrong, it’s kinda an odd way to phrase it, but I read it to mean cut of the jersey with a long front that will cause the requisitely long zipper to bunch. Not a full zip vs half zip criticism. But I could be wrong.

Some kit manufacturers have markedly shorter fronts than backs which fit nicely when riding but look a bit odd when standing. This looks like a more straight across cut which looks good on standing models but might bunch.

Michael
Michael
21 days ago

I mean the whole jersey seems long. Like the pockets would sit pretty low too. I only wear full zips too but mine look like they are at least 4″ shorter. 5′ 10″ 157, and wear small Castelli and find the zipper still bunches up

Nick
Nick
21 days ago

I feel like I just read an advertisement

Granpa
Granpa
21 days ago

I am skeptical that I could “rock” those jerseys. The horizontal stripes would not be flattering and I might end up looking like the Michelin Man

Hotrodder
Hotrodder
21 days ago
Reply to  Granpa

Yeah, my first impression on the horizontal stripes was “Greg Brady!” I’m sure I’m not the demographic for these, though – judging by the models, these will be more for the hard men and women of the sport. Nothing wrong with that, just my kansidered opinion.
I’m kancerned that this cut isn’t kanducive to kancealing my very slight paunch.
I’m thin, but not Thin White Duke thin.

Jef
Jef
21 days ago

Nice to see something new in the market considering Rapha and Eliel’s unwearable prints.

maxD
maxD
21 days ago

went to the website to learn why they misspelled their name, came away wondering why they didn’t name their company Red Kite! The jerseys look super transparent (you can see the bibs through them), the models look a bit traumatized, and I am not fan of intentional misspelling. That wouldn’t rule them out for me- I would be less picky to support a Portland brand, but I am unclear what the Portland connection actually is- other than founder lives/lived here. The headline says “…launches in Portland” but I am not sure what that means. Is there a headquaters or manufacturing plant here? Is there a store?

GTN
20 days ago
Reply to  maxD

hey all- thanks for all the comments (good and bad;)…this forum is enlightening! 😉 to answer a few questions: yes KANSEPT1 is headquartered here in Portland, manufacturing + sourcing is global including from suppliers here in the Portland metro area… our AEROtomic fit is what you might call “Euro-sizing” and very similar to that which you’d find from most of the competition… for a more relaxed fit, we suggest sizing up… our front full “SpeedZip” is bonded in and aero…also allowing for easier one-handed operation… as for price vs value, our goal is to offer premium cycling apparel intelligently priced… KANSEPT1 will not be the most expensive nor the least but hopefully our customers will (mostly) agree it is stylish, well designed and built to last… I do hope some of you will try out our apparel soon … we’re offering 20% off our Launch Collection for the month of June using code “K1LAUNCH” and thanks for the support! _GTNelson founder + creative director KANSEPT1

maxD
maxD
20 days ago
Reply to  GTN

Thanks for the response, GT. Do you have local storefront or are their any local shops that carry your stuff? I would like to check it out!

GTN
20 days ago
Reply to  maxD

we’re working on that Max… looking to partner with a couple PDX retailers… please stay tuned!

Matt
Matt
19 days ago
Reply to  GTN

‘Bonded in zippers’ on fabrics this light are not replaceable and I’m assuming they are #3 zippers which frequently fail. This looks like just another line of super light-weight cycling garments that are highly disposable. The world needs less of this kind of stuff and more companies/people thinking about the environment first.

GTN
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt

actually Matt they are replaceable… any zipper is replaceable… many of the top brands in the industry (Arc’teryx, patagonia etc) use bonded zipper construction which makes for a low profile (and aero) profile… plus we use YKK zips which are arguably the best… #3 zips are completely appropriate for a jersey of this weight and are not prone to failure unless they are from an inferior supplier… please do have a look and try out our apparel before deciding it’s “disposable”…

joan
21 days ago

It’s great to see a new cycling-focused business in Portland. I’d encourage them to consider expanding their size range. Currently the largest jersey available in their women’s cut is an XL, which they say is a women’s size 10-12, for a woman 5’9″-6’1″. A typical XL in regular clothes is more like a 14-16. Many women that size and above struggle to find technical clothing that fits, and there’s an untapped market just waiting for a cycling company to figure this out. Athletes aren’t always thin. Bicyclists aren’t always thin. Instead of fighting for slender bicyclists who already have a range of options, why not be inclusive and get money that bigger cyclists would be delighted to spend?

Jillian
Jillian
17 days ago
Reply to  joan

Agree 100% Joan – that was my thought too. So many clothing options for size 12 and smaller, would be great to see more inclusion for bodies of all sizes. Big market there!