History of AGU
Three wholesalers in Alkmaar merge on 1 May: Kerkmeer (Willem Kerkmeer), GOMO (Foppe Bergsma) and Jako (Jaap van den Kommer). Van den Kommer becomes the general manager and they start in a new building with 14 employees. The Alkmaarse Groothandels is born!
The first AGU truck appears on the road: we take care of transporting the goods ourselves.
The first exposition at the "Tweewieler-RAI" (European Bicycling tradeshow). Four trucks are now transporting the goods.
The theme of "Biking pleasure" was launched. From now on, AGU develops products that make cycling more fun.
The production of lightweight bike bags started. The low-wage country of Japan was selected at that time. The first bags were made by Yashuo Kurata in the heart of Tokyo.Partly because of rusty Datsuns and Toyotas, Japan's image wasn't so good back then. So the “Made in Japan” stickers had to be removed from the packaging in Alkmaar.
Van den Kommer Sr. is succeeded by his sons Peter and Jaap Jr. AGU has built up a beautiful awards cabinet. Still, there is one prize that made AGU "big". That was in 1976 award for the best rain suit. The Ministry of Roads and Waterways hosted a tongue-in-cheek competition to encourage biking: "Who can design the best rain suit?" Out of 87 submissions, most of them from the world of fashion, AGU's rain suit wins the competition. The prize was awarded by the minister at that time, Mr Westerterp. The jury's report: "At a first glance, this rain suit is not distinguishable from a conventional rain suit. But upon closer inspection, it turns out to be extremely well considered in both details and finish." This is the beginning of an extraordinary boost for the AGU brand and for the company. More than 1 million Agu-Sport rain suits are sold throughout Europe. No one can ignore AGU any longer, even the royal family...
Sponsoring is not yet common parlance. But AGU wouldn't be AGU if it didn't want to support the three-time world champion. Cees Stam gets sponsored. His new cycling clothing is so good that he becomes the world champion slipstreamer in his AGU outfit.
Bike racing clothing is introduced for the first time, and during the Tweewieler-RAI. A new building is built in Alkmaar, at Beverkoog, where AGU establishes itself. The building was opened in October of that year. The first Kollektie Magazine appears. In full colour, but thinner than the ones these days. It's all of eight pages - with a single rain suit, five bags, 13 cycling shirts, three racing bibs, a dickey, a jacket, a training suit, a sweatshirt, three pairs of shoes and such accessories as gloves and caps. These days, a list like this would be impossible.
AGU introduces the rain jacket that likes to cycle. The jacket is a rousing success and many others wish to copy this. AGU indicates that those parties who don't remove the jacket from the assortment will be sued.
The promising cycling talent Steven Rooks had no team, sponsors or license at the start of 1983. AGU thought that he deserved the opportunity to prove himself. Together with Univers, AGU took care of providing Rooks with clothing and equipment. Rooks wins the Luik-Bastenaken-Luik tour in the SEM team colours, but doesn't forget his "saviours". While the cameras are rolling, Rooks puts on his AGU sweatband. That year, we couldn't keep that sweatbands in stock.
Breathable rain gear is developed. Sponsoring expands further with Post's Panasonic team.
Quorum is one of AGU's successes. To this very day, they remain tough-as-nails bags for the vacationing cyclist. In 1988, three adventurers biked the Paris Dakar route and Quorum was along for the ride!
An old classmate, Anton Duyn, walked into AGU one day and asked why only natural chamois was used in racing pants. Under his arm, he had a bolt of cloth from the Japanese company Kuraray Co. Ltd. It was a type of imitation leather that had been used up to that point only in the most expensive models of Mercedes. The first pants with the imitation natural chamois were made by Moa Sport in Italy and tested by Peter Post's Panasonic team. Under the Nalini name, AGU was the first company in the world to process artificial chamois into the bibs and to market them.
AGU sees promise in an upcoming talent: Leontien van Moorsel. AGU decides to sponsor her and, sometime later, Leontien won her second world championship in Tokyo. Sales of AGU's Primo helmets benefit considerably.
AGU receives the Grand Seigneur, the highest fashion award in the Netherlands. According to the jury, AGU has introduced fashion to the outdoor and athletic clothing sector. New products are still developed with this in mind.
Acquisition of the Koga cycling team by AGU-team. All of the PTT's male men and women bike in AGU's breathable suits.
AGU grows bigger and bigger and the building at Beverkoog becomes too small. A new location was sought and found at the new industrial estate Boekelermeer to the south of Alkmaar.
After having dressed the Post, Koga and AGU-Continental teams for several years, a contract was concluded in October to act as clothing sponsor for the Rabobank team. From that point on, the Rabobank Pro team rides in outfits designed by AGU designers. It's an agreement that would last some 16 years.
On the occasion of its 40th birthday, the AGU icon is renewed. The familiar AGU "cloverleaf" is slightly adapted, with the keywords for the new logo being: Reliable, Tough, Quality and Progressive.
New collections of cycling clothing break all records. AGU is the proud sponsor of the Leontien Ladies Ride and of the Egmond-Pier-Egmond beach race.
With the introduction of the carbon fibre chamois in 2011, AGU raised the chamois collection to a new, higher level. The chamois was unique due to the use of carbon fibres that provide better distribution of heat, optimum transport of perspiration moisture and a permanent antibacterial effect. The chamois was remarkable not only for its comfort, but also for its technical look.
AGU's Outerwear line receives accolades. The innovative AGU Masaki jacket was distinguished with a Eurobike Award! An international jury presents awards to the most innovative products related to bicycles.
AGU's SEQ Urban coat wins a Red Dot Design award, an international distinction for aesthetic, innovative and functional design.
In 2016, AGU is 50 years old. Naturally, this milestone is widely celebrated at various events.
AGU entered into a partnership with BEAT Cycling Club. AGU supports the big ambitions of the first professional cycling club in the history of the sport and will contribute to the further development of the club. Furthermore, AGU will be the official clothing supplier for club members and the club’s pro cycling teams.
AGU starts sponsorship professional beachracing team AGU-Team Imming.
AGU takes over ZAES and is no supplier of skatesuits, triathlon and skeeler clothing. As from January th 1st, 2018, AGU has been officially clothing partner of the national teams of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Italy, Austria, Taiwan, Belarus and Switzerland. These teams also skate in AGU competition suits in South Korea.