Bikes & Tech
Pearl buttons add to the Western flavor. Photo:...

First Look: Conation Collective’s Western mountain bike gear

Conation Collective is producing its high-performance, Western-inspired mountain bike gear in Colorado
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
Conation Collective is the brainchild of Matt Hayes and was born from his desire for high-quality, lightweight, casual mountain bike gear. Fabrics are sourced from France, Italy and Australia but all production takes place in Hayes’ home state of Colorado. The initial collection, which Hayes is seeking to fund on Kickstarter, consists of two shorts, a few casual jerseys, and a pair of merino wool shirts, plus Conation socks. The look is casual, Western-themed, but underneath the patterns are performance fabrics.
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
Hayes swung by the VeloNews offices with an early production run of his Conation Collective gear, and the look and feel of the kit is excellent. Small details matter  — little things like the pearl snaps and stretchy material used on this Western shirt make it stylish and comfortable. Photo: Jenny Shea
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
Conation will sell a synthetic bib short and this merino bib short, both intended to be worn under baggies. These bibs are clever — not only do they have pocket space to let you leave the pack at home for shorter rides, they also incorporate a smart retention system for attaching the baggies. The small loops visible here hook into matching clasps on the Conation baggie shorts, holding everything in place. This allows for the use of a softer, less-constricting waist belt. Photo: Conation
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
The fabrics used in the two Western shirts are excellent, as is the hardware. Photo: Conation
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
Merino wool makes for a fantastic mountain bike shirt. It stretches, wicks, and, perhaps best of all, doesn’t stink or look ridiculous when you head out for post-ride beers. Photo: Jenny Shea
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
Pearl buttons add to the Western flavor. Photo: Conation
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
The blue plaid Western shirt will retail for $160 — pricey, but a reflection of the fabrics Hayes’ has sourced and the shirt’s Made in America stamp. Photo: D2 Photography
First Look: Conation Collective mountain bike gear
Conation Collective’s Kickstarter campaign will end on Wednesday. Photo: Jenny Shea