© Sprint Cycling Agency
AGU is a Dutch company that manufactures cycling clothing and accessories, including bike bags, helmets, sunglasses and shoes. It has a long and illustrious history in the sport, dating back to 1966, and has worked with some of the biggest cycling teams in the world.
Like in many countries, cycling boomed after the Second World War in the Netherlands, leading to a high demand for bikes and equipment. To meet this demand, three companies joined forces in 1966 to form Alkmaarse Groothandels Unie, or AGU as it is now more commonly known.
At the beginning the company manufactured a range of accessories, such as saddles, bells, lights and chains, and it quickly grew into one of the biggest suppliers of bicycle parts in the Netherlands.
As the cycling industry grew and the bike transformed into something that could be a source of fun as well as practicality, AGU shifted its attention to accessories and clothing.
That quickly led to some notable breakthroughs, with AGU becoming the first company to launch a lightweight bike bag in 1974. These were constructed from nylon and manufactured in Japan.
Next up was the 'Original' rain suit, released in 1976, which won multiple awards and was popular in the Netherlands throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Ever since, the company has continued to provide innovative solutions to clothing and accessory needs for cyclists.
Alongside this, AGU also made inroads in professional cycling and has sponsored some of the biggest teams in the world over the last few decades. It all started in 1977 when the brand created its first high-performance clothing in collaboration with Cees Stam, who went on to win his fourth title at the UCI Motor-paced World Championships using the new clothing.
As a part of its sponsorships, AGU has gone on to enjoy success at some of the largest races in the world, and has partnered with multiple top teams, including Panasonic and, currently, Jumbo-Visma. As a part of its partnership with Jumbo-Visma, AGU has released multiple special-edition jerseys for the Tour de France over recent years.
In January 2024 AGU announced its multi-year kit partnership with GCN launching the new Pro Team Kit as worn by the GCN presenting team on their video shoots. A full range of GCN X AGU clothing is also available to buy from the GCN Shop.
To meet the demands for cycling products in the Netherlands, three companies joined forces to launch AGU in 1966. While the company started by manufacturing parts, it soon switched to clothing and accessories and swiftly became one of the most innovative brands in the industry.
AGU’s first major innovation emerged in 1974 in the form of the first ever lightweight bike bag. The bags were manufactured from nylon by Yashuo Kurata in his workshop in Tokyo, Japan.
Having enjoyed success over its first decade of operations, AGU entered into the realms of professional racing at the end of the 1970s. Teaming up with Cees Stam, a multiple-time winner at the UCI Motor-paced World Championship, it released its first range of high-performance clothing in 1977. Performance clothing and accessories have remained a key staple of the brand’s offering ever since.
Nearly twenty years later, AGU entered into another major partnership with the then Rabobank team. After a brief interlude, it partnered back up with the team in 2019, which had changed to Jumbo-Visma, and has enjoyed plenty of success over recent years, with the team winning two Tour de France titles through Jonas Vingegaard.
We love cycling, being on the road, being outside, and enjoying every distance. And we love to share that passion with as many people as possible, every day. We encourage people to cycle more. To the supermarket on your city bike, going to work on your e-bike or doing a nice tour on your racing bike, weather or no weather, in all conditions, on all roads and on every bike: we are there for you. And now we believe more than ever in the power of cycling.
Cycling clothing is at the heart of AGU’s range, led by the SS selection of high-performance jerseys which are used by Jumbo-Visma. Every aspect of the design is built for performance, with the laser-finished sleeves fitting around a rider’s arms “like a second skin”. Beyond the jerseys, AGU also offers every other type of clothing a cyclist needs, from bib shorts and socks to rain wear and winter clothing.
Alongside its clothing, AGU also offers a range of sunglasses. This includes the Bold, Podium, Pride, Verve and Vigor selection, with something for every type of cyclist.
AGU’s helmets incorporate top-level safety technology, with many featuring the Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS).
From road to mountain biking and performance to entry-level, AGU’s selection of shoes cater to all needs.
In 2023, Jumbo-Visma became the first team to win all three Grand Tours in a single season. They did it while using AGU clothing and accessories.
© Sprint Cycling Agency
Current sponsorships: Team Visma-Lease a Bike, Tour de Tietema, Jeffrey Hoogland, Netherlands National Team
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