Capital bike bag start-up move up a higher gear

An Edinburgh-based creator of bespoke cycling bags has expanded its product range and is gearing up to hire its first employees after enjoying rapid sales growth.

Founder Ross OReilly said Straight Cut has experienced whirlwind growth in its debut year. Picture: Contributed

Straight Cut, founded last summer by entrepreneurial cyclist Ross O’Reilly, designs and creates tailored bags for the commuter and “bikepacking” markets.

The start-up has launched its latest offering the Saddlebag to complement its existing Top Tube Bag, Tool Rolls and custom Frame Bag, which was shortlisted for a product innovation prize by the Scottish Mountain Bike awards.

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Straight Cut, which boasts partnerships with high-end bike companies including Gamma Transport Division, is now targeting the introduction of further product lines in the next year, as it prepares to move into its first design studio and to take on staff.

O’Reilly, an avid cyclist and Napier University product design graduate, spotted a gap in the UK market while working in a cycle shop and planning a bikepacking trip in June last year.

After failing to find bags to suit his needs, he was inspired to design his own custom carriers for cyclists to transport everything from tents and clothes to food and tools.

He is now targeting ambitious growth on the back of better-than-expected sales and support received from bodies such as Business Gateway Edinburgh, which has provided one-to-one advice.

O’Reilly said: “The last year has been a bit of whirlwind for me with sales coming in quicker than expected, being shortlisted for a prestigious innovation award and putting plans together to take the business to the next level.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months will bring with the launch of new products, a new studio and bringing in a team to grow the business with the help from various organisations, including continued support from Business Gateway Edinburgh, which I’m very grateful for.”

Susan Harkins, head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “Ross’s passion and determination to bring such a creative, innovative product to market for cyclists is commendable.

“We are absolutely delighted to be a part of his exciting journey.”