About GarneauGarneau is an iconic brand that has been leading the way in outdoor apparel and accessories since 1984. Their product lines are designed to help cyclists, runners, triathletes, skiers, and snowboarders to perform at their very best.
From Olympic Hopeful to Outerwear MogulBefore Garneau revolutionized cycling apparel, it wasn’t uncommon for competitive cyclists to don dish gloves and garbage bags to brave heavy downpours. The absence of lightweight, waterproof fabrics left many cyclists opting for weight-savings over comfort. It may have been a strange sight, but it was a logical choice in a sport where every ounce counts.
But Louis Garneau was determined to change all that. He launched his namesake brand in 1983. Working out of his parents’ garage in the sleepy town of Saint-Augustin-des-Desmaures, Louis managed to craft an array of thoughtful, durable, and even revolutionary cycling apparel. Monique, his wife, played an integral role in the entire process.
Then, in 1984, Louis qualified for the Summer Olympics that were to be held in Los Angeles. As the Canadian National Champion, he was the obvious choice to represent the country in the men’s road race. Needless to say, the entire ...Canadian team was decked out in Louis’ homemade apparel.
Though he didn’t take home any medals, he cycled hard and came away with something even better: a plethora of boots-on-the-ground insight into what cycling apparel should be. By speaking with the other competitors, Louis had effectively undergone an intensive education and emerged a wiser man.
So it came as little surprise that just four years later, in 1988, Louis and Monique moved their operation to a 32,000 square-foot building and staffed 118 employees. In just a few short years, their business had also expanded from local to national distribution.
Over the next decade, they would gain entry in the US market as well as 20 other countries. What made their business model so unique was that they offered a one-stop-shop solution for helmets, shoes, and apparel. Today, their lines include many other specialized products, too.
First-Place in Revolutionary Design and InnovationDespite the fact that Louis Garneau didn’t come first at the Olympics, his company went on to enjoy many firsts of their own. For example, in the North American market, Garneau is credited with being the very first company to incorporate sublimated designs into their cycling jerseys.
What’s more, the early aughts saw a lot of innovation. By this time, Garneau had cemented their place as a leader and pioneer in the cycling apparel industry—especially when it came to using cutting-edge fabrics to enhance performance and comfort. Consider the Ergo Air Concept; this patented technology put Garneau lightyears ahead of other brands.
Giving Back to the CommunityLouis Garneau is more than just a businessman. As a seasoned philanthropist, he has made it part of his life mission to give back to the community. If you were to ask him about his greatest achievements, he wouldn’t defer to his 150+ racing victories. Nor would he mention how he transformed a grassroots hobby into a global powerhouse.
Rather, Louis’ greatest victories include things like the Granfondo Garneau-Quebecor. This annual cycling event was founded in 2008 as a way to raise money for Little Brothers (Les petits frères), an organization that seeks to provide better care and companionship for the elderly in Québec.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Garneau?
Garneau is a sports retail brand that designs and manufactures outdoor apparel and accessories. Most of their products are specialized for cycling, running, triathlons, and snowboarding/skiing.
Is Garneau a Canadian?
Garneau is a proudly Canadian brand, with strong roots in the founder’s home province of Québec. Despite their international distribution and global acclaim, Garneau maintains a tight-knit community of dedicated employees throughout their Québec and Vermont offices.
Who is Louis Garneau?
Louis Garneau is the founder of the Garneau cycling gear company. He was born in Québec and is famous for competing in the 1984 L.A. Olympics in the men's individual road race. Today, he continues to work as an innovator, designer, businessman, and philanthropist.