Jeff Curran has a solution for bikers who feel out of place entering a bar in Spandex after a long ride.
His Boulder-based company, 4-year-old Elevenpine is looking for $500,000 to start making zippered shorts that riders can tighten up for a ride and loosen to look like regular athletic shorts off the bike. Curran is targeting bikers that want riding gear, but don’t need slick, race-ready Spandex.
“Almost 75 percent of people who ride bikes ride them for recreation and fitness, and only 5 percent ride for race or sport,” Curran said. “Think about when you go skiing with your buddies. Chances are, you’re not going to be wearing a Spandex racing suit unless you’re Bode Miller.”
Curran has designed, and is about to start manufacturing, a pair of shorts with zippers and Velcro built in down the side. Riders can pull the zippers closed to make a form-fitting riding short, or let them out for a looser, more comfortable athletic short.
The clothing is meant to bridge the gap between the Spandex-clad Lance Armstrong impersonator speeding around Wash Park and the casual rider cruising between breweries and coffee shops in RiNo.
“Brands are focused on racing and making everything as light as possible, so we have everyone walking into breweries and coffee shops wearing Spandex,” Curran said. “With that in mind, we’re providing an alternative to Spandex racing kits that you can make form fitting while you’re riding and loose once you’re done.”
Elevenpine’s product line has 10 items, including shorts for men and skirts for women, ranging from $40 to $100. The clothing is available only by pre-order on Elevenpine’s website, but Curran is negotiating to bring the brand into retail shops.
He wants to have his first production run finished and shipping to customers in April.
Curran raised nearly $300,000 from a team of eight investors, according to SEC documents. That cash will go towards manufacturing products and marketing, primarily through attending trade shows and setting up demos for riders, Curran said.
Curran, 45, previously was involved in San Francisco’s startup scene as an investment banker working with early-stage startups before hopping to the other side of the desk.
“I saw the ability of all these founders to create companies and value, and I wanted to be on that side of the business,” he said.
Curran was involved with another startup previously. He founded Acustream, a company that makes medical billing software, with his brother, Russ Curran, in 2006. He left Acustream in 2011 to focus on Elevenpine.