Empowering women in cycling

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Last Days to Win a Bike Light

3 Light & Motion Motivational Monday

Light & Motion Motivational Monday

We are in the last day of the June Light & Motion Motivational Monday light contest!

This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion.  Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. In the next few days we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!

Commuter Bike: The Salsa Casseroll

0 Salsa Casseroll Commuter Bike

I’ve done tons of posts elsewhere in the web about the Salsa Casseroll.  It could be one of the most universal bikes I have ever purchased (besides the Surly Karate Monkey.)  Geared, internally geared, single, drop bars, flat bars, rear rack, no rack, chainguard, mud flaps, and the list of what this bike frame can do is endless.

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Introductions and Questions: Tech Tuesday

5 Kids Fix Bikes

Kids Fix Bikes
With the wild success of Motivational Monday, and a ton of “tech” questions rolling in to our email what is a better way than to have a tech clinic day each week?!?!

Starting next week we will be starting to have a tech article every Tuesday. This could be steps to changing a flat, how to tighten a stem, what tubeless means, etc etc. For this to work, I need to hear from you. What tech questions do you want answered?

Thanks to Livestrong.com for the use of their photo

Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Tammy Sadle

9 Interview with Tammy Sadle

Light & Motion Motivational Monday

Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!

This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!

Interview with Tammy Sadle

What’s your name and location?

Tammy Sadle, Boulder, Colorado

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

You know, the ‘wind in the hair’ types…crusin’, road, and mountain

What is your first cycling memory?

Me and my little sister, Kim, riding bikes in our community growing up. We had just watched The Muppet Movie and were trying to recreate the scene where Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy were riding figure eights on bikes while singing. Let’s just say there was a minor collision and lots of laughter involved!

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

Organizations such as First Descents (who I’ll be fundraising and racing the Leadville 100 for) and other Colorado based health promoting non-profits/charities have provided me with the ‘WHY?‘ I needed to immerse myself back into competitive cycling. I had started to find bike racing to be a quite self-promoting sport and no longer knew how it fit into my broader life goals, until I signed up for LV100 with First Descents (they had 20 available spots for people willing to raise at least $3,000 before the start of the race). Suddenly I had purpose and desire beyond myself and was instantly enamored with the good vibes and happy faces of the entire mountain biking community. More specifically, my coach, Daniel Matheny (Carmichael Training Systems/Honey Stinger pro), is a big inspiration because he has been able to translate my ‘turbo’ and overachieving mentality (which often leads to burn out and disappointment) into goals, structure and lifestyle that are FUN, sustainable and low stress but not without challenge. Of course, the women of mountain biking (especially those with mad descending skills), and who represent and give back to their community, inspire me to be a positive example.

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Racing with Jeanie Longo at Steamboat Stage Race and hearing her tell me to ‘Go! Go!’ in her cute French accent. She is amazing!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011?

To become more involved with local health promoting groups (especially with young girls/women) through volunteering (Valmont Bike Park, Colorado High School League, and others) and to continue to be true to myself…doing what feels good and makes me smile. Oh, I do have a list of skills I’d love to master which include learning to do a wheelie and some bike mechanics.

Interview with Tammy Sadle

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I purchased a 2010 Scott Spark Contessa which is totally tricked out with the best, hand picked parts. I take no credit for this, but am fully enjoying it and believe that to a large degree…it IS about the bike! You gotta find a bike that fits you well, is dependable and lightweight. Don’t wait to become a cyclist, the right bike and gear can help with this! I also have a Cannondale CAAD-9 road bike with a Powertap to do structured power-based training and a fixed-gear road bike for fun.

The First 24 Hours of a Bike Tour

3 Bike Law Clothing Kit

Let’s turn back time by a month or so, do you remember that I won a wonderful scholarship from BikeLaw.com to join their Blue Ridge Bike Tour?   That’s where I am now, on that 4.5 day tour from bed & breakfast to bed & breakfast down the Blue Ridge Parkway with Black Bear Adventures.

Day 1 of my Blue Ridge Parkway Bike Tour

Thankfully co-rider (and scholarship winner) Weldon Weaver nicely picked me up to carpool the two hours from Charlotte to Blowing Rock, NC.  A ton of great conversation and scenery we arrived at 1pm to our hotel.   Our fellow touring friends didn’t roll in until 3pm so Weldon and I were biting at the bit (dressed and ready at 3pm Peter!) Finally everyone was ready, and I think we rolled out around 4pm.  Most of us rocking our new Bike Law kits, wool socks and awesomeness.

Bike Law Clothing Kit

30 miles, a lightening storm, Blue Ridge Parkway and a killer descent.   A great way to start a 4.5 day bike tour!

Day 2 of my Blue Ridge Parkway Bike Tour

Blue Ridge Bike Tour

Wake up sore, feeling hung over (didn’t take enough electrolytes the day before) and not sure I was really prepared for the days climbing!   At breakfast we happen to see the days weather, and it didn’t look pretty.  Cycling cap on, Gore water proof jacket, and a baggy full of treats in my bag.

I suffered, and suffered some more.  Wet socks, wet cap, wet gloves, we ass.  You get the point.  We went up a whole lot, and down for what seemed like seconds (some of the best seconds I’ve had in a road bike in awhile.)

I learned a lot about myself.  I thought I sucked at climbing before, I am even worse than I thought.  But, damn I love going down hill fast!  I learned to keep pedaling, to find a rhythm in your body and keep trudging.

Tomorrow is a new day, I hear we are riding up Mount Mitchell.   For now I leave you with photos from Peter @ Bikelaw.com

The Bike Industry Needs More Women Like Liz Hatch

55 Liz Hatch Photo

The name Liz Hatch is a sensitive subject in the women’s cycling peloton .  The sexy blonde has made many pro women cringe.  Last year I mentioned her name during an interview with Team Vera Bradley and they weren’t happy.  Why?  Some call her a wanna be. Not fast enough to compete with the great girls.  Some call her a sand bagger.

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Win a Bike Light – Motivational Monday with Lisa Cramton

6 Lisa Cramton on a single speed

Light & Motion Motivational Monday

This month’s Motivational Monday posts are brought to you by one of my personal favorites, Light & Motion. Between now and the end of June, Light & Motion wants to know who or what in the cycling community motivates  you. All you have to do us leave a comment here or on Light & Motions’ Facebook page. At the end of the month we’ll be choosing one lucky winner to score a brand new VIS 360 commuter light!

Lisa Cramton on a single speed

What’s your name and location?

Lisa Cramton, recent transplant to Phoenix via Laguna Beach, CA and Crested Butte, CO all within the last 11 months!

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

All kinds, but if I had to pick one…. My Niner Air 9 Carbon SingleSpeed. What doesn’t kill you makes you faster!

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding my bike around the block singing at the top of my lungs (in the deepest gravely voice I could find) “Jeremiah was a bullfrog… Was a good friend of mine…” I wish I had that on film.

Who in the current cycling industry inspires you, and better yet WHY?

SO MANY!! Without a doubt, a man I have known for 20+ yrs, Dave Wiens because of his humility, love of the sport and dedication to getting more people involved. He’s the man!! Doug Bradbury,father of mtn bike suspension, for most of the same reasons! The folks at the back of the pack always inspire me. The peeps out on the Tour Divide, I can’t stop watching!! Check it out here, isn’t it OBVIOUS?? Ned O, will he ever quit racing? I hope not!! Pro rider Jenny Smith, she gives back so much… Any pro that goes to a trail work day… I could go on…

What was your best moment on a bike in 2010?

Either SS Worlds in New Zealand (pic) or my last ride in Crested Butte before we moved to LA, Reno Flag Bear Deadmans, one of the best rides in the universe. I cried most of the way… I miss the riding there SO MUCH!!

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward in 2011? RIDE MORE… Hmm… There are a few goals I have… Because we have moved 3x in the past year I have gotten out of volunteering for trail work, I spent a summer working on the IMBA Trail Care Crew and LOVE diggin’ in the dirt! Being in the industry and pushing the drug we call cycling, I think it’s pretty important to give back whether it’s by volunteering at an event, course marshaling at a race,, doing trail work, taking kids riding, whatever you can find to give back, DO IT!
I also want to find a way to do customer service clinics at shops, especially for women. Show women that they can be comfortable helping guys in bike shops, that they know how to answer the technical questions, show them how to approach/talk to “dudes”. The ladies don’t have to be there just to clean the bathrooms, sell bike tubes and tidy the clothing section! I found working at crankbrothers that people have a tendency to be super defensive when asking questions or talking about warranty stuff, especially to a woman and it doesn’t have to be that way. I also want to go into shops and show the shop rats that they will get much better results calling the bike vendors not ready to rumble! The bike companies want to help you not bum you out. AND…! JRA is NOT covered under warranty, ’cause there’s always more to the story!!

Wanna Know About my Bikes?

I JUST sold a GF SS Superfly as well as a geared one (I never rode it other then La Ruta ’08), I have a Niner SIR frame I want to build up 1×9, a Niner Air 9 Carbon SS (my main squeeze), an older Lemond road bike, a Felt Breed SS CX (makes for an excellent commuter), an Electra 3sp tandem with flames on the fenders for dates, my first road bike (’85?) a Raleigh Racing Comp, a 60′s era Schwinn Typhoon and an old skip tooth Firestone Pilot with a ’54 Gunnison bike plate on it!

A Carbon 29er for Women from Specialized

2 2012 Specialized Fate Womens 29er

2012 Specialized Fate Womens 29erIn the past year 29ers finally hit the women’s niche of the market.  Locally I have only been able to put my hands on the Trek versions of the women’s 29ers.  After the test ride and looking deeper at the geometry I wasn’t sold. The bike didn’t ride well, but that was one brand trying their hand at the women’s 29ers. Specialized has had their own cross country recreational women’s 29er line out as well, the Myka. The line has several different models, from 26 to 29, including two different levels of the 29er hardtail.  Now, Specialized wasn’t the first company to the original 29er market – they were actually very slow about the movement. They must really love the bikes, and what 29ers can do for women (I Told You So) as they have released a couple new lines of 29ers for women, including a carbon hardtail.

The Fate – Women’s 29er carbon mountain bikeSpecialized Fate Women's 29er

Some of the details: Performance fit (race ready), 80mm travel, and a higher level of components. The Fate will be available in stores in September in two models: the Comp and the Expert. Each will come in three sizes: 15″, 17″ and 19″. Pricing is not yet finalized, but is expected to come in between US$2000-3000. (Details from CyclingNews)

Depending on the level you’ll see the spec of something of the following:  Roval 29er wheels, Renegade 2Bliss tires, XX chainrings with custom gear ratios, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and Specialized saddle, handlebar, stem and post. (Details from BikeRumor)

The Jett – Women’s 29er aluminum mountain bike

The Jett’s full details haven’t been released but this is what we found over at TwentyNineInches. M4 Aluminum (2nds from highest grade in Specialized library) and the same performance fit as the Fate. The exception will be rack mounts.

What is Specialized doing different with women’s 29ers

You’ve heard my rant about the wacky geometry that Trek’s 29ers possesed. I haven’t seen Specialized by the numbers, but they are doing some custom things to their new line.

First is a “women’s designed carbon layup”  which I am questioning to their product managers but it is an interesting thought. From there Specialized teamed up with Rock Shox for a custom fork.  At the 15″ size the offset of the fork is different, it goes to 51mm. Finally the headtube is as shortened as much as I have seen especially with the integrated headset that most production 29ers are using now.

From Bike Radar‘s Q & A

Hughes said Specialized has noticed that women have been slower to adopt 29ers than men. Part of the reason is that many shorter women believe they are too small to fit on a 29er. And in fact, looking at the geometries of bikes like Specialized’s popular Stumpjumper hardtail 29er (for which the smallest size is a 15.5″), that observation proves true for many women although possibilities for smaller female riders vary by manufacturer and model.

The Fate’s geometry will naturally position female riders lower and longer than they would be on the Myka. For example, on the 15″ Fate, a 10mm shorter headtube drops the front end of the bike, an 8mm longer top tube puts women in a longer, more racing-oriented position while 17″ and 19″ Fates have 20mm shorter head tubes. With 6mm shorter chainstays for all sizes, the Fate also climbs better and ends up with a shorter wheelbase (14mm for a size 17, for example) for quicker handling than the Myka.

One of the biggest issues encountered during the design process was addressing toe overlap, a common problem on smaller bikes, especially those with shorter wheelbases. To address this, the small 15″ bikes were designed with a 51mm fork offset while the 17″ and 19″ frames will feature the standard 46mm offset.

What does “Women’s Specific” 29ers mean for you?

The jury is still out.  The folks that have given feedback thus far are Specialized branded racers. I have a message out to Lea Davidson, who races for Specialized, for more specific questions from her last race on the bike.  These bikes were designed for those that like a lower front end, but want the benefits from a 29er.  The Myka is their recreational bike that will suit more women off the bat, but for the women wanting to push themselves further and faster or perhaps used to the Epic or Titus Racer-X the Fate is for them..  Finally, I am simply excited that a company like Specialized is seeing the women’s market big enough to design a new carbon line around it.

Once I know more, you’ll be the first people to know!


Camelbak Octane 18x Review

0 Review of Camelbak Octane 18x

Review of Camelbak Octane 18x Camelbak Octane 18x

MSRP: $99.00
Water Capacity: 100oz
Size: Expanded 20L, Closed 16L
Weight: 1LB

80 mile road rides, epic mountain bike rides, a Swiss Army knife that folds into a camel’s back. The Camelbak Octane 18x is a great bag. You’ll make some sacrifices on the long day trips for a lighter bag, but overall this is a great water hauling bag.


How the Camelbak Octane 18x Fits

To save some weight they take the structure and extra padding from the pack. The bag can be rolled up and the shoulder straps are thin.   With tons of weight this would make the pack pretty uncomfortable but with clothes and water it was great. I never used it to haul down hill gear on my back!  As a woman I normally have issues with the chest strap being too high on my neck, or stuck across my boobs. This one had enough room to move up and down without hindering.

Uses of the Octane 18x

Expandable, from 16L of room to 20L when unzipped.  This holds a good amount, more than the bag could probably support on your back comfortably. I stuffed it with clothes, shoes and food one day. Due to not having tons of back support it is easily conformed and the bag’s light weight material ended up looked like a sack of potatoes.  I loved the waist pockets with key clip and the zipped up minimal sizing.  I used this bag on the road since it was so light, on hike a bikes, and simple rides around town.  As long as the bag isn’t loaded down it is pretty ventilated.  It doesn’t have any fancy mechanics to keep it off your back, so you do get sweaty, but the bag isn’t heavy so it isn’t horrible during my southern humid commutes.

Final Thoughts and Review of the Octane 18x

When I was approached my Camelbak to review some of their product I had things in mind.  I’ve used many “all day” packs.  Ones that carry your life on your back comfortably.  I wanted something for cross country riding and possibly using on longer road rides.  Weight and ability to still haul was what I needed.

The Camelbak Octane 18x answered all my wants.  While it isn’t going to be perfect for everyone, it fits what I was looking for and that is rare in my life.