Right from the start product development was a central part of O'Neal's philosophy. The types of bikes people were riding, and the tracks they chose to explore, heavily influenced what products O'Neal made. From the beginning, O'Neal looked to leading manufacturing processes and material technology to assist and protect riders who were seeking to push the boundaries of what a man (or woman) on two wheels could do. This philosophy is still very much central to O'Neal's product development today.
Their innovative approach to product development has helped shape the industry. O'Neal's first foray into mountain biking came in the 1980s with both the launch of AZONIC and, for the first time, O'Neal MTB-specific specific: clothing, protective equipment, and accessories. The sport was growing, and there was a real need for riders to push themselves and their bikes further.
From the 1960's the sport of motocross has developed, and from the start O'Neal has been one of the pioneers and innovators of MX clothing. Jim O'Neal was an MX rider during the birth and initial growth of the sport. Jim was driven by a need to help his fellow riders (and himself) achieve more on bikes with equipment that was designed specifically for their needs. These same ideals inspired O'Neal to enter the mountain bike market in Europe and the USA in the late 80s.
O'Neal was the first brand to introduce Fidlock®, the innovative one-click magnetic chin strap fastener, to the MTB market. More recently the O'Neal Zipper Knee Pad was acknowledged as one of the most innovative MTB protectors available on the market today.
Current O'Neal team riders include Greg Minnaar from South Africa (current two times World UCI Downhill Champion), several other international Downhill World Cup and Enduro World Series riders, and many other sponsored riders at a grassroots level. O'Neal understands what it takes for riders to stay at the top of their game. The brand supports riders so that they can do what they do best and strive to contribute to the sports of MX and MTB as they continue to progress.
45 years on and O'Neal is still pushing boundaries, and continuing to set a new standard. Two wheels with an engine or only pedals; the philosophy for O'Neal has been (and always will be) the same—the pursuit of excellence and innovation in riding gear.