Eric Horton’s design career in the bicycle industry spans nearly three decades and some seriously big hitters, including the likes of Giro (Empire shoes, Synthe helmet, New Road clothing), Specialized (Body Geometry gloves, S-Works road shoes), and Fox (Forma boots, Pilot helmet). These days, he’s currently the head of product and design at Outdoor Capital Partners, a “boutique investment group” where he “develops strategic product line planning, provides aesthetic guidance and branding direction, oversees the color and graphics process, etc.”
If you were to cut him open, he’d probably bleed tubular glue, but there’d also be a telltale rainbow tinge of motor oil. That’s because — as is the case with many cyclists — Horton is also passionate about four-wheeled vehicles with engines; in particular classic race cars from days gone by.
Striipe Design has been Horton’s personal side hustle for the past several years, featuring socks that celebrate iconic motorsports colors and patterns. For example, the Rothmans socks recall the Porsches that dominated endurance racing in the 1990s; the CN36 pays homage to the Pirelli Cinturato tires that were so popular with performance cars in the 1970s; and the colors on the CSL could be mistaken for nothing other than BMW’s preferred competition livery in the European Touring Car series in the 1970s.
“I started Striipe Design to scratch an itch,” he said. “I’ve always loved motorsports and especially the classic liveries and design motifs from bygone eras. I attend a lot of vintage car shows/driving rallies in my 1986 944 Turbo and just had an instinct that I could contribute something to the community.
“Performance socks with graphics inspired by the best in motorsport was my big idea. Coming from the cycling accessories world, I always wanted to make sure that there was a true performance benefit for my customers, so making sure I used moisture wicking, breathable fibers was critical. Made in the US and using recycled content yarns was a nice bonus.”
The socks themselves are manufacturer by DeFeet, and select styles are occasionally offered in wool blends, too. And not surprisingly given the current pandemic, Striipe also incorporates a number of these patterns into neck gaiters and face masks, too.
Pricing is only quoted in US dollars, but international shipping is available. CyclingTips readers can get a 20% discount using the code, ‘CT20’.
Price: US$20 (standard socks); US$23 (wool socks); US$25 (neck gaiters); US$16 (face masks)
More information: www.striipedesign.com