Premium cycling apparel brand MAAP is designed in Melbourne with a focus on quality, functionality and fashion. As an early leader in the explosion of boutique cycling kit brands of the last few years it is simple, stylish, classic and a cut above the rest. I recently caught up with the MAAP team at their headquarters in Melbourne to talk about the story behind the brand.
Founded in 2014 by keen cyclists and long time friends, Oliver Cousins and Jarrad Smith both come from cycling and fashion backgrounds. Ollie, a designer for surf and skate brand Globe, and Jarrad, with a long history in the local Melbourne cycling community.
Ollie and Jarrad saw an opportunity to invite more people into the sport and allow people who are already into the sport the opportunity to confidently combine style and function when they rocked up to a cafe or bunch ride in apparel that was fashionable, while also being extremely performance-driven.
In their North Melbourne office, Ollie, Jarrad and their team take a very considered approach to the design, development and product testing process for each garment they release. The development process is a rigorous one involving lots of prototyping and road testing of the Italian made garments. Testing things like breathability, moisture wicking and sun protection, they are continuously looking to find solutions to the issues in their customers’ riding experiences. To bring a more scientific perspective to the development process, they also actively collaborate with Melbourne sport scientist Ken Wallhouse to develop speciality items like an ergonomically engineered chamois designed to mirror the emerging trends in the saddle market.
Family is important to MAAP, and a big part of the brand. If you look online and out in the community, you’ll see a tight-knit global family making up the spirit of the brand, which the team sees as critical to meaningfully engaging in local communities across the globe. These early adopters have been extremely passionate about what MAAP is bringing to the world and their constant feedback has been a large part of MAAP’s success. “It’s a small but tight crew who help us bring the idea and the stoke of MAAP to places like Sydney, Perth, Japan, Seattle, Malmo and other parts of the world.”
Being an Australian created and based brand, MAAP is exceptionally positioned to make great warm weather product. In addition to that, and something that is really important to MAAP, is rounding out the range with harsh weather product, benefitting from the geography of the extended MAAP family in places like Malmo, Sweden and New York.
Cycling is not a job requirement at MAAP but the team are all very passionate about time on a bike either racing or recreational, after all it’s a part of who MAAP is. For example, work starts at 10am on a Wednesday morning, allowing staff time to go for an extended morning ride, and at the end of every month they have a company ride, usually about 70 kms.
“Cycling is an amazing sport whether it be on the road or dirt, giving and an incredible sense of freedom and accomplishment. Whether you’re tracking goals, or out exploring on the weekend, that kind of sense of freedom and accomplishment is something that everybody should be able to experience. If a barrier to entry is that you don’t feel confident enough to get in there because it’s not cool and MAAP can help provide that confidence, then that’s amazing, MAAP’s raison de etre.”
Check out the MAAP range online at maap.cc