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Legacy Italian helmet brand Limar sets up US office

Published April 22, 2023

MONTEREY, Calif. (BRAIN) — Italy's Limar is now selling its helmets and eyewear to U.S. retailers and consumers from an office in Ketchum, Idaho. The brand has certified its complete helmet line to the U.S. CPSC standard and is looking to establish its mid- to upper-tier offerings in the U.S. market. 

The 30-year-old brand has had several U.S. distributors in the past, including JBI and Albabici, but this will be the first time it has had its own operation, said Bianca Bernardi Marshall, the brand's U.S. co-president. At the Sea Otter, the brand was featuring its new Air Atlas MIPS aero road helmet, and its Tonale MIPS and PORA MIPS mountain bike helmets. The brand has a long association with top pros, currently sponsoring the Astana QAZAQSTAN World Tour squad featuring sprinter Mark Cavendish and the KTM Protek mountain bike team, among others. 

Limar helmets boast various MIPS systems for safety, including the in-molded MIPS designs that have less plastic than previous systems for reduced bulk and improved airflow. The Air Atlas MIPS includes a small removable rear extension called the U.F.O. that is said to improve straight-line aerodynamics without impeding ventilation. It can be removed for crosswind conditions. Its Air Pro MIPS road helmet, introduced at the Giro d'Italia last year, has maximum ventilation for hot climbing days. Marshall said Limar planned to launch the Air Pro MIPS at the Tour de France last year but sponsored riders asked to use it on the hot Giro stages near Mount Etna. (That experience led Limar to name its new enduro helmet, also intended for hot days, the "Etna," she said).

Marshall sees the most U.S. growth potential in the mid- to high-end of the market, where Limar's styling sets the brand apart. "This is a sport driven by passion; appearance matters," she said. 

In the U.S. Limar will be sold direct to consumers, through brick-and-mortar retailers and by a handful of e-commerce sites, she said. She said pricing in the U.S. is protected by a minimum advertised pricing policy. "I love it in the U.S. because you can use MAP. In Europe, if you start to talk about pricing they cover their ears and say 'we can't talk about that!'" she said.

Limar's Idaho operation is being run by CrankTank. 

The Limar Tonale.
Topics associated with this article: Sea Otter Classic

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