As Engineers of Active Layers since 1946, we at Odlo take great pride in our products and the development process they go through. From the raw materials, to the final product, everything is rigorously tested and meticulously manufactured to provide you with the best performing garments to keep you #OneStepAhead. We reached out to our cycling Senior Product Manager, Tom Louage, to get an insight into how our cycling products are designed and developed and why he loves doing what he does.
FINDING THE CUSTOMERS NEEDS
Prior to the development process, the market is closely monitored by the product manager to keep an eye on trends and gaps within it. The brand is closely connected with pro athletes, retailers and end consumers which generates a variety of opinions to base the designs on. Tom, a fanatic cyclist himself, logging around 15,000km per year, uses his own experience to help with the design of the products. With most of the 15k done to and from work during all seasons and conditions, he sits on a wealth of knowledge of what works and what cyclists look for in their products. Once the gaps in the market are realised, the development process can start.
THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE
The first stage of the product development is a briefing with the design department where the team present a proposal which will either be approved or rejected. Once approved, prototypes are produced and sent off to be tested by our pro athletes and in-house cycling fanatics. There are plenty of cycling enthusiasts who love to test out the future products and ‘using our products day in, day out is the best way to improve them’ explains Tom, ‘I try to be very detailed when testing new products to make sure we make them as good as possible.’ As a competitor, Tom can test the products in the most extreme conditions which gives him a great platform to make any adjustments to designs prior to them reaching the final mass production lines. After testing in real-world conditions, the prototypes that make the cut are produced for salesman samples and are fitted and tested one last time before going into mass production.
THE MOST EXCITING PART OF THE JOB
Being the product manager, there are many exciting opportunities; Tom gave us an insight into the most interesting parts of his role and what keeps him striving to produce the better products each time. Firstly, he explained how the salesman samples are provided by the garment makers directly which they review in house, this makes the process more personal. He also loves seeing the sales figure developing in a positive way because it proves that the products are working and being enjoyed by the consumers.
The part that excites the most is receiving feedback from end users; ‘there is nothing more satisfying than being told that people love the product you brought to life' exclaims Tom. Having people enjoy well engineered, technically sound products whilst they experience an active lifestyle is what Odlo is based on and ‘to be an ambassador for the brand and show off our amazing products to the world’ is a great incentive for Tom.
Knowing the processes the pieces go through before being on your back, investing in high performing, technical functionalities will keep you #OneStepAhead.
Stay at the front of the pack with the Odlo RIDE Bike Jersey. Although not necessarily making you queen of the mountain, you’ll stand out in the pack with the vintage polka dot design and get heads turning. With its stand-up collar, full-length zip and high breathability, the performance jersey knows no bounds and will leave you looking and feeling great as you grind your way through the gears. Match up your jersey with the Odlo FLASH X Bike Shorts. With its ultra-lightweight, two-layer design and 12mm seat padding, the shorts combine a fantastic blend of modern design features with traditional cycling styling to create a product of ultimate class and performance. Performance and style continues through into the Odlo GLOVES Short. The fingerless gloves give you great feel whilst the padded Lycra palms ensure ultimate comfort as you clock up the kilometres.
The ultimate training and racing jersey, the Odlo KAMIKAZE Jersey includes innovative technical features, including a unique aerodynamic pattern to minimise wrinkles and ultimately air drag. Pack your back pockets full of gels, energy bars and whatever else you wish to take on your ride, without any discomfort; the jersey is designed not to move when the pockets are full. The truly distinctive design incorporates panels of bold contrasting colours’ so you stand out of the pack during your races. Compromise nothing with the full KAMIKAZE range and complement the jersey with the Odlo KAMIKAZE Cycling shorts. The bonded leg ends and aerodynamic material again reduce any drag, allowing you to tuck down and glide through the air on your fast descents. The stable insert, positioned at the lower back is an innovative design, aimed to reduce any power loss and increase comfort, highlighting the lack of compromise in these performance shorts. Finish off your outfit with a pair of Odlo BIKE Mid Socks which provide super arch support and boast an ultra-flat sole construction for optimum power transfer.