Tucked away in a small industrial park in Orem, Utah; Lizard Skins quietly and happily produces the products all cyclists need, but rarely think about. Items like handlebar tape, grips, body armor, frame protectors, gloves, shoecovers, and more are Lizard Skins’ stock and trade; and as Lizard Skins will tell you, business is good. With yearly double digit growth for the past eight years and distributors in over 85 countries, Lizard Skins’ owner, Brian Fruit, is currently sorting out a new, larger location to house their rapidly growing business.
At their Utah headquarters Lizard Skins not only warehouses the inventory of this 22-year old company, but also develops and manufactures a large portion of it right on the premises. Chief among these in-house produced items are their carbon leather frame protectors. Cut out and stamped on a large hydraulic press, these protectors are exactly what their name implies: resin-free carbon fiber fused to cow hide leather. While Lizard Skins does sell carbon leather frame protectors to the public, their main buyers are OEMs. Bike brands like Intense Cycles and Pivot Cycles, among a huge list of others, has Lizard Skins make custom fit pieces to protect carbon downtubes and chainstays from flying rocks and forged steel chains.
Neoprene items like body armor, frame, and shock protectors are also made in Utah. Lizard Skins cuts the neoprene and applies graphics before sending the materials out to a small cadre of expert sewers that assemble the product on their own schedule in the comfort of their own homes. Anodized aluminum grip collars are custom etched as well by an in-house laser. This capability allows Lizard Skins to turn around a custom order for a team or OEM in just 24-48 hours!
The company’s commitment to produce local jobs and protect the beautiful place they are located is admirable. All of Lizard Skins’ packaging for its USA-made products are locally sourced to guarantee quality and sustainability. In addition to producing as much of their product as possible in the U.S., Lizard Skins is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint. With their expansive rooftop photovoltaic array, Lizard Skins produces over 30% of the power they use by harnessing energy from the sun. They’re also committed to investing in trail access and donate a portion of the sales for every pair of North Shore and Moab grips sold to building trails in each respective area.
Lately, the company’s DSP Handlebar Tape has been their hottest selling item. With sponsored riders like Colombian phenom Nairo Quintana and the rest of the Movistar and Belisol Pro Tour teams, the product is certainly race proven. We love it too. DSP Tape is without question the hands down favorite of every roadie at Art’s.
Pro baseball seems to like it too with top players like Hunter Pence and David Wright swinging Lizard Skins wrapped bats for the past 2 seasons. By our estimation it probably won’t be long before Lizard Skins is seen as a baseball bat tape company that happens to make cycling products. However that plays out, Lizard Skins will continue to produce premium products in overlooked categories, and they’ll do it well in Orem, Utah.