Owned by a Boulder husband and wife team, Brett and Ashley, Handlebar Mustache is a cycling company making high-quality socks, tees and kit. Their genuine love for riding and for making people even happier on their own bikes shines through even in my brief interaction with ‘HBStache’ and I’m stoked to bring you an interview with them on this Sockturday.
Their socks will surely get comments on your ride, and with so many to choose from you won’t have the same pair as anyone else in your bunch. Their philosophy of the company is as authentic as their philosophy of life so the quality and design of their products remains as true from day 1 to day 501. Find your personality in sock doping with HBStache.
What is your favorite HBStache sock/shoe combo?
That is a tough one…like choosing between your children. The one I am excited about is our Prep in the City with my new white Sub6’s. Waiting till the weather completely clears here in CO before wearing them though. Ashley has her eyes on some of the new Sidi’s like the ones our friend Megan Hottman is wearing.
Do you adhere to the height rules or answer demand instead?
6” is our go to length. We have been asked for others on occasion, but we won’t make “Gilbert length” socks. Our new Foiled fold down can be a solution for someone wanting a 4” sock for example. They can just turn it down a bit.
Do you make your own socks or do you use another company to create your designs?
We have had a relationship with Defeet since 2012. They have been great partners for us to manufacture the socks. We design them, and they produce them.
Why do you not offer a women’s sock different from a men’s? Oftentimes, especially for smaller footed women the design is off when worn and there may be rubbing inside a shoe from seams that are not quite right.
My wife is very finicky about toe seams and sock fit, but they work well for her. We also sell a lot of socks to women and keeping the sizing unisex allows us to carry more designs in our line. We haven’t been asked about a WSD sock before, or gotten any negative feedback about fit, but who knows what the future holds.
Do you design with men or women in mind?
We don’t think of gender when we create a sock design. We create designs we want to wear, and don’t see a boundary based on colors etc. The first bike and skateboard I picked out were hot pink, so I guess I’ve never bought into the whole boys wear blue and girls wear pink concept.
Do you consider mixed materials in your socks for specific purposes – warmer weather, cooler weather, wet weather, road versus CX, etc? Do materials make a beneficial difference to athletes?
Most of our socks are the same blend, we feel it to be the most versatile 60% Nylon, 39% COOLMAX® EcoMade, 1% Lycra®. We have wanted to add a warmer sock for years, but being vegan wool was out of the question. This year we added our Winter in the City socks (66% THERMOLITE® polyester, 32% Nylon, 2% Lycra®) which has been amazing. They are very warm and wick like nothing we have ever worn. This became the go to CX sock for many of our customers. Lots of miles logged on fat bikes in these as well.
What is your design inspiration? The meaning behind your designs and patterns?
Sockspiration can happen for us literally anywhere. We have made socks inspired by art on the wall of a restaurant, a men’s tie, street art, and quite often just playing with an idea that one of us had while riding.
Can you explain the fold down sock? Never seen that before! (Referring to Foiled Fold Down sock)
The sock is double cuffed, which allows it to be worn at 6” or folded down to 3” if someone wanted. The polka dots on the inside we just to added for a bit of fun. Ash came up with this idea after we started playing with a Foiled design at World’s in Richmond. This one has become my new favorite MTB sock based on the double cuff’s little extra layer of protection around the ankle/shin.