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Welcome to the world of Nzoactive


(republished from Juliana.com) Words by Anka Martin / images by Sven Martin

WP2 Exploring the Chilean trails early season 2014.

"On my very first visit to New Zealand in 2006 for the DH World Champs in Rotorua, I bought a bike T-shirt from a very “home grown” type vendor/stall. This doesn’t happen often, as I’ve never been a real fan of most of the bike apparel out there. This was different, the designs were clever, it was fresh and fun, and funnily enough, I still own this T-shirt.

Fast forward a few years on and we find ourselves living in New Zealand (a dream come true) and on a road trip to the North Island to the bike mecca of Rotorua. Ever since I had bought one of Nzo’s T-shirts back in 2006, this company has intrigued me and I wanted to learn more about the people behind this brand. To me, it’s about the people, their products, how they run their business, and what they give back to the community. When you’re new to a country, you feel this immense sense of pride and this loyalty to promote it and everything that it has to offer and I was on a mission to live and breathe everything kiwi, but I digress. Once in Rotorua, I stopped off at the bike shop to buy my first pair of Nzo shorts. It was love at first fit and I’ve never looked back since. I wanted to represent this kiwi company and have them along for all my adventures, journeys, and races. A quick call to introduce myself and say hello to Gary Sullivan, or Gaz as he is known, and Glen, and they insisted I head over to Mount Ngongotaha for a cup of tea and a tour of their home workshop. Perfect.

Backcountry exploring on the Heaphy Track in New Zealand pre season 2015 in my old faithfuls. Backcountry exploring on the Heaphy Track in New Zealand pre season 2015 in my old faithfuls.

Heading into the 2014 season, the Scuffers were my shorts of choice, combined with one of their many funky T-shirts and raglans, Gary also printed up some custom Kowai designs (along with other sponsors logos) for me onto merino raglans, so I had sweet “race” kits too. With this combo, I suffered through all the Enduro World Series races, survived the grueling Andes Pacifico race in Chile, the Trans Provence multiday stage race, loads of filming and photo trips, product and bike launches, clinics, adventures, missions, wet as a dog conditions, slipping, sliding, snow, crashing and burning, and of course lazy days just lounging. I was covered, literally, for anything.

WP12114 Sarah Leishman looking killer in her new kit as she navigates through the tricky, wet roots of the Whakarewarewa forest in Rotorua at EWS round one 2015.

I don’t think there are too many companies, never mind “smaller” companies out there that will do what these guys have done for our team. The timing was impeccable, as they were just getting ready to launch their new ultra lightweight Burner trail shorts, so Gary and Glen offered to match our shorts with our three different race jerseys. We now had red, purple, and green to choose from, to match our jerseys. We could pick whatever color we were in the mood to wear on that given day and we could all rock a different color on different days to mix it up and keep our new women’s team looking fresh and funky out on the tracks. Something different and unique to what everyone else is doing and wearing.

WP12116 Kelli Emmett ripping up the heather-clad hills of Scotland at the third round of the EWS 2015 Tweedlove.

I’m getting ready to put my Scuffers to their biggest test yet, spending the Month of March 2016 in these shorts, pedaling 3000km from the tiptop of NZ to the very bottom along with the main man Gaz himself in the Tour Aotearoa.

WP12117 Our shorts held up during these flash-floods and torrential downpours in Ainsa Spain a few weeks ago. Tough as. Sarah and I were struggling to hold onto our bikes however!






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