I’ve said it before, Toronto has never really felt like a city with a lot of home town pride. Often overshadowed by the size and reputation of US cities, people always seems to be looking south for what’s good. It’s an unfortunate reality but it shouldn’t be.
Toronto is home to some vibrant scenes. For many of us cycling is one of the things that makes Toronto such a great place to live. The weather is good, the roads are hilly, and there is a vibrant community of cyclists challenging, supporting, and inspiring each other. Fact, we even our own home grown startup brands. One of those is Two Circles Cycling.
I’d been watching their social feeds for a while and every time I mentioned Two Circles to friends, they all had good things to say about the founder, Joseph. So I got in touch with him and arranged an opportunity to meet up for a coffee. I really wanted to find out the backstory and importantly what’s coming next.
Who is Two Circles?
First and foremost Two Circles are a small cycling apparel company based in the popular west end of Toronto. Formally a photographer by trade, the founder Joseph, is a familiar name and face around town as a regular fixture with the popular Bikes On Wheels rides.
After the usual hellos and intros I began by asking Joseph why he started Two Circles. The answer is one I think that we can all sympathize with. While there is definitely a lot of cycling apparel out there, and more popping up every day, it’s historically been hard to find quality apparel together with great graphic design treatments. Frustrated by the lack designs he’d want to wear, Joseph decided this was an opportunity.
Two Circles is focused on a delivering a product that intersects quality construction with appealing design. And at a fair price. That’s an important point to add. The brand is stocked locally here in Toronto at Bikes on Wheels but they offer free shipping across Canada in the US. It is great to hear that Two Circles have orders coming in from all over the world and now have distribution in the UK and South Korea.
The first season for Two Circles has been successful and Two Circles is currently restocking the most popular items. The lineup consists of the essential jerseys, bibs, jackets, and gilets along with a range of accessories that include warmers, gloves, and scarves. Although the jerseys and bibs are designed in matching sets, Two Circles does offer them as separates for both men and women.
All of the graphics are designed in-house and materials are mainly sourced from M.I.T.I in Italy while manufacturing of all jerseys, bibs, gilets, jackets, and gloves takes place in Italy to Two Circles specific patterns. The jerseys and bibs are built upon the essentials you expect from raglan sleeves, mesh panels, full zips, silicone grippers, and a top-end chamois from Elastic Interface.
Joseph told me the most popular items to date have been the polka dots (on their 4th restock). But to me the standout has got to be the Stripes Jersey. A catchy monochrome pattern of angled stripes with varying line weights. Although I’m a sucker for high contrast monotones, the Two Circles Stripe Jersey reminds me of my favourite outer wear design of the last decade. The Burton AK Psycho Stripe.
Let me start by saying I’m glad there is more to come from Two Circles. While Joseph is restocking parts of season 1, he’s busy putting the finally touches on season 2. Not only will there will be new designs, there will also be some new manufacturing sources in Italy. I asked when we could expect to see the new season available in the web store and Joseph said mid summer. They are waiting on a Kickstarter campaign approval.
Long term plans for Two Circles include bringing the manufacturing process on shore in Canada. It relies on them finding a partner that can produce to their quality specs while also meeting international workplace standards and safety requirements. The hunt is on and I know many will be excited to see this happen. If you've got any leads, get in touch with them or comment below.
Until then, and if you want to see sneak peaks of the new kits, Two Circles has been throwing a few pics up on their Instagram feed. Pre-orders are live now. Unfortunately don’t get too excited on that floral black and grey vest, I keenly asked about it and it won’t be part of season 2. Hopefully for season 3.
Before saying goodbye, I picked up a Stripes jersey from Joseph which I’m excited to slap on. Check back later for a review and I’ll add a link to this post once it’s up.