Endura - you see a lot of it around, don't you? So were you guilty of assuming it's a bit... generic?
Our founders Liz and Phil (pictured below, with adventurer Mark Beaumont) used Endura kit throughout the 2010 odyssey that led to the launch of VeloVixen. And they loved it - for over 10,000km.
But for a while we were all still a little guilty of the same prejudice. That vague (and uninformed) sense that perhaps it didn't quite... fizz! Were we missing something?
We were. A little further investigation quickly told us how wrong we were. Today, it's simply one of the most exciting brands around. Never judge a book by its cover. Here's a flavour of why...
Endura was founded in Scotland in 1993 with a no-nonsense commitment to improving how cycling kit fitted, performed and worked for everyone. They still make plenty of their kit in Scotland, and are proudly based in West Lothian. Importantly, their team is chock full of female talent - a massive plus for us, of course!
From day 1, Endura has been a maverick brand. Their stated philosophy was, and still is, 'Renegade Progress'. Endura range of ground-breaking products have in many cases gone on to earn iconic status within cycling and have frequently reset benchmark for function and durability for the industry.
In road cycling, you'll find Endura's name emblazoned on some of the biggest names in the sport. Take the Cervelo Bigla women's team, for example, one of the top teams in the world. With characters like Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Lotto Lepisto and Britain's Ciara Horne in the ranks, they're regularly to be found on UCI podiums.
VeloVixen Road Favourites from Endura
And that's even before you get onto the Movistar men's team - once again the leading team in the peloton in 2016, and little wonder with names like Valverde, Dowsett and Quintana (above) involved.
Why do these massive teams go with Endura? It's all about the technology. They work extensively with Simon Smart of Smart Aero Technology - widely acknowledged as the world’s leading aerodynamisist in cycling.
'Does all that fancy stuff make any difference to me?', you cry! Well, it does. All that tech trickles down - and makes sure that all the way through the range the fit, finish and technology punch well above their weight.
Away from the road, it'll come as no surprise to learn that Endura's mountain biking products are right up amongst the best. No surprise, given Scotland's proud MTB heritage and landscapes... What may surprise you is the range of stunning colourways and designs, to say nothing of the great female fit.
VeloVixen MTB Favourites from Endura
Endura are perhaps MOST famous for their urban and commuting kit, and that environment is where you're likely to be most aware of them. They can draw on the incredible technology and materials from their road and MTB ranges to come up with some of the safest, most durable, most visible and most comfortable kit available.
One of Endura's greatest advantages is just how easy it is to use their kit across all kinds of cycling. Why not use pretty much any product for a weekend potter down the towpath, or your next spinning class?
VeloVixen Urban Favourites from Endura
And all this is without mentioning arguably the most recognisable cycling star of them all: Scotland's own Danny MacAskill, the man who's transcended cycling and gets us all purring at his unique party tricks on a humble bike. Did you know he's all kitted out in Endura? He is, and with regular 10m viewer videos doing the rounds, he's a man in demand.
This video gives a flavour of Danny in his home surroundings - using Endura to better effect than most of us can ever dream of...!
Over a generation, all of this has seen Endura evolve from a proudly Scottish local brand to a global stalwart of the cycling sector. And with that has come the real fun. Today, they match great finish, fit and robustness with fabulous styles and colourways. And they're associated with some of the most exciting names in cycling. Could you be next?
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