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Keep Skiing in Mind with This Nordic-Inspired Bike Gear

Matt Quann launched Ornot, his San Francisco–based company, in 2013 to give cyclists an alternative to becoming rolling billboards. The company typically trades in tasteful, darker-colored bike kits designed to weather trends (remember how flashy cycling clothing looked when Lance Armstrong was winning the Tour de France?) and the Bay Area’s notoriously changeable climate. Recently, however, Quann deviated from the typical palette and went all in on a collection of cycling gear inspired by the distinctive Salomon 811 combi boots from 1992.

Salomon’s memorable 811 Combi boot from the early 1990s

If you were Nordic skiing in that era, you know this boot. With a purple heel, turquoise upper, and yellow-green zipper, the 811s were hard to miss and—apparently—hard for Quann to forget. (Heck, I saw a pair in the wild just three years ago at Craftsbury Outdoor Center.) While cycling is his main focus, Quann grew up cross country skiing in Wisconsin, and this nine-piece collection is an homage to the colors and general vibe of the Salomon ski boots. 

For all the skiers who get a buzz out of biking during the off-season, this kit’s for you. Here are some of our favorites from the collection.

Women’s Micro Climate Jacket (Royal)

With its straight-outta-the-’90s yellow-green zippers and teal fleece collar, this jacket garnered attention—and yes, compliments—on every group ride I wore it on. The website lists the color as “royal,” but don’t be fooled into thinking this jacket is a nice, deep blue. The Micro Climate is most decidedly a royal purple—think Maleficent or the evil queen in Snow White—that made me happy every time I put it on. The inside is studded with a 3D-lofted pattern of turquoise triangles that add a touch of warmth to the sleeves and chest panels, while the back is left unadorned for maximum breathability. Stretchy, water resistant and small enough to tuck into its single rear zippered pocket, the Micro Climate is designed for 40- to 67-degree Fahrenheit days. $228 

Men’s and Women’s Park Jersey (Nordic “Away”)

Made entirely from recycled Italian fabric (Ornot is a Climate Neutral Certified brand) this jersey is soft, silky, and form fitting, with rear pockets for snacks and a hidden zipper pocket to stash your keys or a credit card. The purple/teal/yellow-green/grey color scheme (there’s also a Nordic “home” jersey that flaunts more of the royal purple) is a direct pickup from the Salomon 811s, right down to the micro pattern on the body, sleeves and pockets, which nod to the geometric purple “confetti” extending across the 811’s forefoot. $134 

Seat Bag (Nordic)

Unless you love to ride with jersey pockets bulging, a seat bag is non-negotiable for stashing your fix-a-flat kit. Unlike old-school wedge-shaped saddle bags, however, this one is slim and oblong shaped, tucking neatly up under your saddle via an adjustable hook-and-loop strap. Despite its diminutive dimensions (6 x 3.5 inches), the bag handily hauls a spare tube and CO2 cartridge/inflator, multi-tool, tire lever and plugs. Plus, the waterproof rear zipper and liner help keep everything dry, except in the most extreme conditions. Bonus points for the reflective detailing. $28

Max Sock (Plum)

Thanks to the cheery purple color (technically referred to as “plum” but a perfect match for the rest of the Nordic collection), you won’t want to shuffle these socks to the back of your drawer. They’re made in the U.S. from recycled water bottles, with a lightweight, open-mesh weave that helps keep feet cool. Minimal seams help mitigate hot spots—and might tempt you to wear them for more than just bike rides. $18

Handlebar Bag Mini (Nordic)

This brightly hued bag adds a pop of color to the front of your bike and provides a handy place to stash extra snacks, your wallet and phone, or other small treasures. Though it’s on the smaller side for a handlebar bag, the semi-rigid shape enables easy access mid-ride, while two hook-and-loop straps and a tether cord keep things locked in place without making a swap-out between bikes cumbersome. $44

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