Brands We Love Episode 1: Donkey Label
The team at Fat-bike.com has the pleasure of working with some amazing people making amazing products to help us keep the rubber side down. I thought it was time we give a shout-out to brands that are making an impact not only through their products, but through their commitment to the cycling community, or making the planet a better place for all of us. I’m calling this series Brands We Love.
To kick things off I want to start with a company right here in my neck of the woods. Donkey Label has been quietly crafting boutique-level cycling gear for over ten years in the Twin Cities. Granted, their line of wearables is focused on the skinnier side of the bike tire spectrum, but that doesn’t mean they don’t support fat-tire riders, too. In addition to their race kits, they’ve got great t-shirts and base layers for all seasons. I’ve been wearing the Merino Tech-T on gravel rides, mountain bike sessions, and as a base layer under my winter gear for fat bike adventures.
Earlier this season they sent me a full kit sample designed by cyclocross and mountain bike phenom Ellen Noble. Ellen is a Trek factory racer whose Palmares include a silver medal at the UCI Cyclocross world championships, a handful of national championships, and UCI world cup wins. Donkey Label partnered with Ellen to design a sweet cycling kit demonstrating Donkey Label’s commitment to women’s contribution to cycling. But it’s not just for the ladies.
The Ellen kit from Donkey Label is available in two color schemes and has become one of my favorites due to its excellent fit, understated design, and amazing comfort. The bibs fit just right allowing for all-day adventures in the saddle featuring Donkey Label’s custom design chamois, mesh shoulder straps, and light compression throughout the body of the bibs. The jersey features longer sleeves for extended sun protection and a snug race-level fit. The kit is finished off with a pair of DL socks that bring matchy-matchy to new heights.
Midstream through this Brands We Love piece I received a shout-out from the team at DL. Hot off the press are two new kits to dazzle the peloton, impress the coffee ride crew, or that cowbell jangling cross fanatic lining the course tape. These new designs share a subtle color scheme allowing riders to mix and match the pieces to freshen up their style.
The Café Racer design was inspired by British motorcycle culture from the 1950s. Café racer motorcycles were stripped down to the essentials not only for simplicity but also to defy the status quo. The Donkey Label Café Racer line preserves the same aesthetic by toning down the colorway and reducing the flash-factor to give you the best of what DL kits have to offer: comfort, great design, and high quality. The new kits feature the tried-and-true DL chamois bib shorts and multi-panel jersey.
Donkey Label sponsors pro-level racers on the UCI cyclocross circuit but also supports junior racers, and development teams locally in the Twin Cities. Their headquarters in south Minneapolis also plays host to Donkey Label Training– “Created to bolster equity in the functional fitness experience centered around silent sport development and performance, Donkey Label Training delivers coaching for all ages to promote and support epic outdoor adventure.”
Donkey Label’s commitment to high-quality products, rider equity, community, and a brand ethos that encourages us all to be “hard-working and humble” makes Donkey Label a brand we love.