Having taking a minor tumble off the bike on the way into work last Friday morning, I took the rapidly blooming haematoma on my left hip to The Bike Show at Excel that afternoon cursing the basic lack of protection that cycling clothing affords its wearers. I was reminded of the time I learnt to snowboard when, similarly lacking protection against the many falls I had that first day, I resorted to heading out the following day with the chalet’s oven gloves strategically positioned between my thermal tights and my snowboarding trousers. A day or two later I bought a pair of lycra shorts with great big lumps of padding in the sides and was able to return the oven gloves (after washing them) to their natural environment. Great for snowboarding or mountain biking, sadly the shorts are way too lumpy for road riding though and I’ve never used them on the club ride.
Imagine my interest then when I spotted a stand at the Bike Show, tucked away at the back of the fair, offering normal-shaped lycra bib shorts and arm warmers with discreetly built in layers of shock absorbing silicone padding. Naturally I limped over for a chat. I was told by the two friendly guys – Robert and Karl – running the stand that their product – being offered under the name ProBumpWear – was brand new to the market and, as far as they were concerned, it was unique. The garments, which were being made in Poland, have a thin layer of sheet of the silicone stitched inside the panels on the hip and thigh or the elbow and forearm. It was remarkably simple and looked as though it would be pretty effective without compromising performance. I took their cards and said I’d get in touch about reviewing them.
The guy I spoke to – Robert – had confided to me that, after a period of R&D, they had only really been trading for a couple of days. With the Bike Show their obvious focus I wasn’t overly surprised therefore when I looked up their website a day or two later to check prices and found it “Under Construction”. They had obviously been focussing on the product and the show I thought.
So I sent Robert an email. It immediately bounced back with a “Mailbox unavailable” message.. Hmmm. I sent the message to Karl instead. That bounced back too. So I called Robert’s mobile number and left a message. A week and half later it’s still unanswered. And emails are still being rejected..
It’s no big deal. Perhaps they have more important stuff going on. It’s just that, for a company who are trying to help ease the pain of falling on your ass, they seem to be making a pretty big show of falling on their own asses in terms of launching a product. Having something interesting to sell is a massive part of any commercial venture but actually having a means of people buying it is pretty key too.
If anyone knows of ProBumpWear and how to get a message through to them – I’d love to know too.