We went looking for an email about something or other, and accidentally found this entry, from one of our first customers. He penned it back in 2005, i.e two years before the first iPhone, when Nzo was still N-Zone. Let that sink in. And guess what: Dobies, our unique and beloved unified mountain biking short, were already a thing that could be talked about as old and well-thrashed example of a long-lived garment. And even more impressive, even in its first edition it had pockets perfect for carrying an iPhone! But we digress. Here is the message we found:
Dobies, in my book, are simply the best shorts on the planet.
I got my first (and so far only) pair about 7 years ago. N-Zone was a new startup company apparently more aligned to sifting about Zippy Central cafe than making a buck out of bikes.
It's great to see that the sift mentality can co-exist with making a buck, and that the Dobie is now the default bike short for those in the know. But let's focus on our story...I'm pretty sure my pair are #4 or #5. Back then N-Zone was an exclusive little boutique, catering for locals and the odd Aucklander who stumbled into town.
The local N-Zone mafia rode, played and drunk too much coffee together, and new goods were tried out on crash test dummies on the doorstep trails in the Redwoods - it's great to see little has changed.
You can spot old-school Dobies: they have been washed so many times the canvas is nearly white. The labels are unreadable or like mine, have fallen off entirely after years of abuse and high-speed application to terra firma. The pocket has a velcro flap. There will be frayed edges around the hem, from countless rides. In contrast, the black N-Zonium stretch fabric will look like absolutely new, and the chamois will too. Basically, they age like good jeans: lived-in, functional, street cred and comfy.
What have my Dobies done? They have outlasted 3 bikes. They have been worn to work all day for 4 years straight. They have been to America, where their minimal cool design and quality made converts all over. They have been tramping, swimming, climbing, flying, driving...they are the pinnacle of cycle couture - desirable, functional, uber-stylish and plain old-fashioned quality.The elastic waistband usually does the job, but when things get really exciting, the drawcord can be done up to ensure you & your Dobies are not parted. The pocket is just right for the phone & sunnies. The chamois...never needed more, never wanted less. On a bike it's just right, off a bike you don't know it's there. The fit lets you move around the bike without any hangups, yet you don't freak out the crowd when ordering a flat white.
Does this sound like love? Is it wrong to love a pair of shorts? Paula has been around as long as my Dobies, and I love them both dearly. I'd hate to ever have to choose between them, because either way I'd loose something indescribable.
Dobies rule. Here's to the next 7 years.