171 – No More Excuses. We Chat To Dirtlej About Riding Dry In The Dirt – Revisited
Jan and Lena – We chat with the Founders and Owners of Dirtlej AKA Dirt Suit, about playing in the dirt and staying warm and dry in our winter conditions.
This episode (#115) first aired 28-11-2019, but over the Christmas holidays it is time to visit one of my favorite product episodes. Enjoy!
On episode #115 we are chatting with Jan and Lena the founders and owners of Dirtlej. You may know Dirtlej better as the company that makes the Dirt Suit, the onesie that keeps you dry, warm and confortable in our dirty wet winter conditions. Their slogan is ‘No More Excuses’ and that is the aim of the Dirt Suit, giving you no excuses not to ride when the weather is just not playing ball. Now sometimes we just don’t feel like playing in the cold and that is fine, but for the days you are keen to get out and just need to ride no matter what the weather conditions the Dirt Suit will be your best friend, helping you get out on the trails and enjoy your ride that little bit more.
I first found out about Dirt Suit when I seen a social post by a past guest of the podcast, Yari Alpizar (episode #105 Listen here) riding in the rain and mud, and loving it. Now if you are like me the rain and dropping temperatures puts me off riding more than it should so I asked Yari what he was wearing and why he was having so much fun. He was quick to tell me about this awesome Dirt Suit and how good it was. My problems have been sorted! So I couldn’t help myself but to reach out and ask Jan and Lena on the show to tell us more about their awesome product, why they started it, how they grew their business, what other great problem solving products they produce and what they have planed for the future.
So tune in and find out how to have more fun this winter in the rain and mud with Jan and Lena from Dirtlej.
Enjoy the show!
- Why Jan and Lena started Dirtlej
- What their first product was
- How they got the idea for Dirt Suit
- The issues they had with finding a reliable manufacturer
- Why designing and producing a very technical product is not easy
- The problem with the first Dirt Suit samples
- Why the Dirt Suit keeps you so dry, warm and comfortable
- Why Jan left his job to concentrate on Dirtlej
- How many people Dirtlej employ
- The vision Jan and Lena have for Dirtlej
- Why it sounds cool to work for Jan and Lena
- Why Jan and Lena like chatting with their customers
- What other products Dirtlej produce
- How Lena came up with the idea for a waterproof short that is also breathable
- Their very cool ‘Maintain It’ app and how it works
- The future for Dirtlej
- How to buy and get in contact with Jan, Lena and Dirtlej
To me the Dirt Suit idea seems like a simple one. You get wet in Ireland (a lot), so why did I not easily come across something like this until quite recently. Yes there are lots of waterproof jackets and trousers on the market but why not a one piece suit. To me it makes more since, no more cold drafts or water going up your back and you don’t get that dreaded builders bum when it is minus degrees outside, that would put anybody off their ride. We chat to Jan and Lena about when they were first researching the idea for a one piece suit and simply couldn’t find anything on the market. At this stage Lena was thinking two things, 1. Why is nobody producing this? and 2. Is it because people don’t want it? I too would be thinking the exact same thing. As I say, it seems like a simple idea, so why were none of the large mountain bike brands making a one piece suit for the mud and rain at that time? Not to be deterred Jan and Lena pushed forward, knowing they had a great idea, and made the suit that has evolved over the last few years to what we see now…a very nice warm, waterproof onesie to help you enjoy your ride.
Jan and Lena had a little experience in designing and producing products that weren’t yet on the market, the Dirt Suit was not the first unique product from Dirtlej. Jan and Lena (I think mostly Lena, she is the designer, but keep that between us) were fed up having to wrap their bikes in foam and towels etc. to keep them protected while in transit, so Lena came up with the idea of producing a range of bike protection that is easily fixed to your bike and will help protect your ride when transporting or in storage etc. These designs would become the Bike Carrier and Bike Wrap and Dirtlej was born. I will not tell you how Jan and Lena came up with the name for their business, I will let Lena tell you in the podcast but I think it works really well, is catchy and does exactly what it says on the tin.
Jan and Lena have added to their range of products and now produce a range of shorts, riding tee’s and a very cool app called ‘Maintain It’. Jan describes this as a service history for your bike where you can keep a detailed list of everything you change, maintain or get fixed on your bike. You can also keep details of your set-up for different riding conditions and never have to worry about what height your seat was before lending your bike to your best friend for a day. It’s all good practical information that we kind of forget about but would be extremely useful at times. The app is free and will have lots of new added features in the near future.
This is what I love about Jan and Lena and the products they produce and sell. They are solving problems. Problems we as riders all come across, may it be from a wet butt to not remembering when you last changed your chain. These are problems we all come across and if these problems can be solved to make our ride easier or more enjoyable then great. I think Jan and Lena has achieved just that. Their products have a purpose, something more than just looking cool and as Jan puts it, they are not a fashion brand, they make products for a reason, to solve a problem and make your ride or journey that little bit better.
So put your feet up and find out more about the story behind Dirtlej, how it came to be and where it is headed, from its owners and founders Jan and Lena.
Thanks for tuning in. Enjoy the show!
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Thanks so much to Jan and Lena for coming on the show and sharing their story of Dirtlej.
And thank you once again for Listening! You guys are amazing!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!