Back to Media Release Gallery

Forget Lycra. This Cycling Brand’s Stylish Wares Are Made From an Eco-Conscious Merino Wool.

June 16, 2023

Pinebury’s jerseys and tees are made from a merino-based performance fabric that’s easy on the environment and the eyes.

Kyle Rancourt loves his home state of Maine. And he particularly loves exploring its dense pine forests and craggy coastline from the seat of a bicycle.

But what he doesn’t love is the state of contemporary cycling gear. To Rancourt, it often feels like a choice between garish, overly designed kit from American brands, or their more tasteful Italian equivalents that are a pain to ship and thus harder on the environment.


“I just couldn’t find the apparel that I wanted to wear that I believed in,” he tells Robb Report. “It felt like most of the time I was buying stuff that I just liked the look of, and then I would see where it was made and what it was made from, I would be disappointed.”


But as the younger half of the father-and-son duo that established the Lewiston, Maine-based footwear maker Rancourt & Co. in 2009, he is in a unique position to do something about it. This spring, he launched Pinebury, a new outdoor apparel company that shares the family business’s affinity for domestic manufacturing, natural materials, and classic design.

“When you think about activewear, made-in-USA and natural materials are the last thing you think about,” says Rancourt, who acts as Pinebury’s founder and president (while he continues to serve as a partner at Rancourt & Co., the two are distinct operations). Pinebury is challenging those assumptions by manufacturing its slim initial offering domestically—its cycling jerseys and performance tees are made in Massachusetts, while the socks and arm warmers come from North Carolina.


But just as vital as their origin is what the clothing is made from. Pinebury’s tops are manufactured from Nuyarn, a natural performance fabric made from a blend of 90 percent merino wool and 10 percent nylon (the socks and arm warmers are made using a more conventional merino-wool blend). The New Zealand export is created by drafting—rather than twisting—merino fibers around a nylon filament, resulting in a twist-free textile that’s not only finer and lighter than traditionally spun merino wool, but also stronger, quicker drying, and more elastic.

The result is well-suited to the rigors of outdoor cycling, though Rancourt also champions its utility for running, hiking, or everyday errand runs. “I wear them daily,” he says of Pinebury’s performance tees, which benefit from a clean design interrupted only by a single chest pocket. “I wear them out under a chore coat or a sweater, or I wear them on their own.”

A preference for minimal design and earth tones inspired by the Maine landscape runs through Pinebury’s debut collection. Its cycling jerseys are similarly clean, marked only by a simple two-bar stripe at the arm and jersey pockets at the rear. Future seasons will see the introduction of new colorways for its tees and jerseys inspired by spring or fall, as well as seasonally weighted fabrics as heavy as 180gsm or as light as 100gsm (Pinebury’s current tops sit at 145gsm).

Rancourt plans to expand its accessories range into merino caps and underwear, and in the future hopes to tackle further cycling categories like outerwear and shorts—though the latter might be a few years away.

Although its products are not manufactured in the Pine Tree State, Maine DNA runs through Pinebury from top to bottom. The brand’s most recent photoshoot took place in Acadia National Park, and the name itself is an homage to Vacationland. “It’s sort of an alternate, or imagined name for Maine,” Rancourt says of the company title, which combines the state tree with the suffix “bury,” meaning “stronghold.”

An appropriate bit of wordplay, as Pinebury feels like Rancourt’s personal contribution to its preservation. “I love outdoor spaces and we need to protect them,” he says.


Seen Published In

Robb Report

Read Article