Empowering women in cycling

Archives › July 2013

Intro: Chrome Barrage Cargo Backpack

5 Chrome Barrage Cargo Backpack

MSRP $160

Features
• Adjustable external 5-point cargo net system for storing / transporting helmet, wet race gear, or shoes
• Waterproof rolltop closure accommodates a range of load sizes
• Dual compartments separate wet/dry cargo
• Industrial strength Velcro accessory shoulder mounting straps
• Easy access side U-Lock/Waterbottle pockets
• Interior sleeve pocket fits 15” Macbook Pro (laptop sleeve recommended)

Specs
Dimensions: 11.5” wide, 20” high, 5.5” deep
Volume: 22-34 L
Weight: 3.3 lb

The Barrage Rolltop combines a Welded-Waterproof floating bucket with an abrasion resistant CORDURA® Brand grade outer shell to make the toughest waterproof rolltop possible. It features a low-profile design and side compression straps for load stabilization and increased visibility, an external cargo net to haul gear on the outside, and a Welded-Waterproof bucket liner that can keep personal items bone dry in any weather. The Barrage adapts to accommodate a range of cargo. The main compartment expands from 22L to 34L and features an expandable cargo net with compression straps for securing various cargo shapes and sizes. - Chrome Industries

Intro: 2014 Raleigh Capri Women’s Aluminum Road Line

4 Raleigh Capri Header

Hot on the heels of my review of the 2013 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0, Raleigh USA has released information on their 2014 line up. Over the next week I’ll be breaking down the line up by category. Keep up to date by checking out the search keyword “Raleigh USA 2014“.

Overall Upgrades to the Raleigh Carpi Series

  • Updated geometry (I’ll personally be looking hard into this as the Raleigh women’s bikes have always fit me out of the box perfectly, hopefully it’s made better!)
  • All Capri models are lighter
  • All Aluminum and Carbon frames feature upgrades seat stays, top and down tubes, and increased stiffness
  • Wheels have been upgraded to be stiffer and lighter
  • New sizing system (will be in a post of itself and linked here when posted)

Raleigh Capri 3.0

2014 Raleigh Capri 3.0 MSRP: $1,300

Spec: Shimano 105 10 Speed with FSA Gossamer Compact
Weight: 20.4 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: It’s hard to believe that high end Aluminum frames are gone with the do-do bird, I wish Raleigh’s highest tier of aluminum would be a bit lighter. This is a well spec’d bike, and if weight isn’t a worry safe yourself the cost of upgrading the $450 upgrade to the carbon version with the same parts.

Raleigh Capri 2.0

2014 Raleigh Capri 2.0 MSRP: $950

Spec: Shimano Sora 9 speed
Weight: 21.1 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: If you are on a budget but want a bike that will last a couple seasons until you are sure you like this road bike thing, take this bike for a spin. The upgrade to a carbon fork and 9 speed drivetrain is worth the $250 over the 1.0!

Raleigh Capri 1.0

2014 Raleigh Capri 1.0 MSRP: $700

Spec: Shimano Claria 8 speed
Weight: 23.3 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: I wish this model came in a 46 for smaller ladies or kids getting in to road biking. Overall though, if you are on a budget you can’t really beat a $700 road bike with a warranty and bike shop to stand behind it.

 

Driving Retail Success: Store Atmosphere Part 1: Take The Sniff Test

5 Pearl Izumi Driving Retail

Presented by: Bruce Schofield, Retail Services Lead, Pearl iZUMi

Having unpleasant odors, is one of the quickest ways to get your customers to leave your store. So what can you do, and how do you know if your store smells?

Here are a  few things to consider to keep your store odors in check.

  • Check in with your some of your better customers ask them if your store smells, if you get a yes you need to address it now!
  • The ideal smell is a scent that is just under your perception, consider using a aroma service to get it right.
  • Rubber is part of the cycling industry, however the smell can overpower a stores atmosphere. Try keeping the bulk of your repair and replacement rubber out of the retail area.
  • If you sell wetsuits, try using an auto air-freshener hung right with the wetsuits.
  • Keep personal food items off the selling floor and put the waste in the trash outside as soon as possible.
  • Vacuum your floor and dust on regular basis, make sure the bag in the vacuum is changed regularly.
  • Take the sniff test on a regular basis, if you have a female staff member use her for the test. I have been told that women can detect smells better the men.

Sign up for these weekly tips by sending Bruce an email at: brsignup at pearlizumi.com for Pearl iZUMi’s DRS Tip of the week and receive merchandising tips to help you improve your retail presentation and sell more.

Intro: 2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon Women’s Road Line

5 Raleigh Capri Header

Hot on the heels of my review of the 2013 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0Raleigh USA has released information on their 2014 line up. Over the next week I’ll be breaking down the line up by category. Keep up to date by checking out the search keyword “Raleigh USA 2014“.

Overall Upgrades to the Raleigh Carpi Series

  • Updated geometry (I’ll personally be looking hard into this as the Raleigh women’s bikes have always fit me out of the box perfectly, hopefully it’s made better!)
  • All Capri models are lighter
  • All Aluminum and Carbon frames feature upgrades seat stays, top and down tubes, and increased stiffness
  • Wheels have been upgraded to be stiffer and lighter
  • New sizing system (will be in a post of itself and linked here when posted)

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4 MSRP: $3,800

Spec: Shimano Ultegra Di2 11 speed w/ FSA SL-K compact crank
Weight: 16.3 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: Keeping the Di2 as their top tier model, this bike comes with better drivetrain (electronic) and a lighter crank.

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 3 MSRP: $2,700

Spec: Shimano Ultegra 11 speed w/ FSA Team Issue crank
Weight: 16.2 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: Putting two models so close together in weight and spec, but betting that a woman will want to pay $1k more for electronic shifting is an interesting move for Raleigh USA. They are either selling a lot of women’s bikes or have had a lot of request from dealers/consumers to have these two options. I would be interested to see at the end of the model year which sells more!

Raleigh Capri Carbon 2.0

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 2 MSRP: $2,200

Spec: Shimano 105 10 speed with FSA Energy Compact crank
Weight: 18.4 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: I’m not sold on the color, but right above $2k for carbon and a workhorse of a drivetrain this bike will sell on shop floors. Especially to the women that are tired of having a “girly looking bike.”

Raleigh Capri Carbon

2014 Raleigh Capri Carbon 1 MSRP: $1,750

Spec: Shimano Tiagra 10 speed with FSA Gossamer Compact crank
Weight: 19 lbs for 52cm
Sizes: 48, 50, 52, 54, 56cm
Thoughts: This is one of the models I was hoping to see a 46cm in for shorter women that want a carbon frame. Yet, a 10 speed equipped carbon bike under $1,800 is a welcomed package.

Learn more and find your local dealer to test ride over at Raleigh USA

Motivational Monday with Amy from NC

1 Amy Motivational Monday

What is your name and location?

Amy, Stanfield, NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mountain Biking

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding my brothers bike because my parents refused to take my training wheels off of my bike. I definitely ate the pavement after riding around for a little bit, but it did convince my parents to take my training wheels off :)

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

I don’t know if it’s so much a “who” but a “what.” My relationship with my husband is what motivates me to ride. I’ve always been active and found solace in being active. When my husband lost his job in 2008 and couldn’t find work (still un-employed but in school now) he had a hard time dealing with that which made our relationship a little rocky. Bike riding brought him out of his hard times and allows us to bond. He’s great at coaching me- he spent years on dirt bikes so he knows the skills. It’s awesome bonding time :)

What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?

I think it was just a simple ride around Sherman branch, but it was the first full ride of the season.

Tell us what you ride

I have a Gary Fisher Sugar 3+. Nothing fancy but it’s mine!

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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! 

Preview: Banjo Brothers Frame Bag

7 Banjo Brothers Frame Bag Review

Needing a bike bag? Scroll to the bottom for an exclusive discount with Banjo Brothers!

The exploding market of bikepacking has lead to the design and development of many useful products for the utility cyclist, specifically frame bags. Up until a couple years ago if you wanted to go with the minimilist approach of strapping things to your bike without a rack in a “frame bag” you were going to pay a decent amount of coin for someone to sew a bag for your bike. Thankfully, you can now find many bags coming to market that are more universal fit and ready for your excursions.

Banjo Brothers Frame Bag Review

Banjo Brothers Frame Bag $32.99-34.99

Size on test: Medium
Size and type of bike tested on: 56cm carbon cross bike and 55cm carbon road bike

Blurb from Banjo Brothers

The Banjo Brothers Frame Pack is designed to maximize the gear-carrying efficiency of your bike.  Built from tough-as-nails ballistic nylon with  waterproof zippers and a “no-rattle” zipper-pull garage, you’ll quickly wonder what you did withouth this bag. Two pockets – one full size and one  flat pocket to organize smaller items – includes wallet pouch and key clip. Our Med Frame Pack fits up to a 70oz hydration bladder

Cut-to-length straps fit oversized tubes to 3″ dia. Small fits sloping frames down to 15″ 102 cu in Interior Dimensions: 15.5″ x 5.5″

FEATURES

  • 01064 (medium) is 15.5″L x 5.75″ H x 2″W and 01063 (small) 14.75″ L x 4.25″ H 1.75″W

Initial Thoughts and Usage

Last week I strapped this bag to my bike for my first commute to work. Inside I had the standard flat kit, wallet, phone and then a handful of fruit. The bag felt pretty empty but very stable against the main triangle of my road bike. Today it looked like it would rain so I threw in a pretty compact rain jacket, some more food and a pair of gloves. Again, the bag felt pretty empty (maybe 70% used.)

While riding I don’t notice the bag below me too much. The first 10 minutes of the initial ride I noticed my knees very barely brushing the bag but the velcro wasn’t rubbing me and to be honest my pedal stroke is one that I can brush the top tube with my knees when I get tired. In a cross wind the bike catches a bit more but it doesn’t feel like a sail even under some large gust coming out of the foothills of Boulder this morning.

So far, I’m pretty stoked on this new addition to my commuter rig. Thanks to it’s size I don’t need a backpack and I love that it has two pockets for easy fetching of food or keys. It apparently can hold a 70oz hydration bladder so that will be the next thing to try.  Both of my bottles are accessible but the front can be a tight squeeze with the tight carbon cages I’m running.

20% Discount with Banjo Brothers Through July

That’s right, Banjo Brothers wants to know if folks that read my reviews actually purchase stuff. They are offering a 20% off discount off anything if use BIKESHOPGIRL at time of checkout (case sensitive.) http://bit.ly/12SPsAu

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review. 

 

Dialing in a New Bike Commute to Louisville, Colorado

17 Pearl Izumi Bike Commute

The above photo was taken for my sweet Em and her love of cows.

It’s been two and a half weeks of work at the new job and pretty early on it was apparent that I need to do something with this 45 minute car commute each direction. Between the time spent staring at cars and mountains ahead of me, the miles on the car and the gas being wasted a bike commute plan needed to be made ASAP.

Last Tuesday I rode into the office at Pearl Izumi for the first time. Roughly 28 miles each direction (an extra 5 on the way home after getting lost) added up to a solid day of riding but broken down into two bite size segments so my legs weren’t toasted when I woke up the next morning. There is a perfect mix of greenways (paved and gravel), road riding and dirt roads to keep everything interesting. The sights are gorgeous thanks to in the morning riding towards the mountain and then riding through “open space” with animals all around. I’ve already seen cows, foxes, prairie dogs and a ton of cool looking birds. Also, I’ve already wiped out on the greenway due to some construction and really soft sand being thrown across some gravel. Don’t worry, the bikes okay.

Pearl Izumi Bike Commute

I’m scheming up a rather lofty goal for August when it comes to bike commuting, it will mean random commuting rants on here, a lot of great gear reviews and all of you keeping me motivated but look for a full disclosure of this crazy plan come early next week.

Hopefully, your week is going well and you’ve put some time in the saddle! Who else commuted by bike today??

Spotted: Chrome Bags Chekhov Rolltop Utility Belt

1 Chekhov Rolltop Utility Belt

Chekhov Rolltop Utility Belt

Is it a murse, purse, sling or belt? The answer is: yes.
MSRP: $110
Details:
• 12″ wide, 8 1/2″ high, 2.5″ deep
• 2-4L Volume • Waterproof rolltop closure accommodates a range of load sizes
• Dual waterproof compartments separate wet/dry cargo
• Iconic quick release buckle with integrated bottle opener
• External phone pocket for quick access while riding
• Daisy chain mounting loops for attaching carabineer clips or bike lights
• Rear sleeve holds most u-locks

100% Welded-Waterproof Rolltop Utility Belt with iconic seatbelt buckle keeps phone, wallet, keys and windbreaker dry. Made to be worn on the hip or across the chest.

Made in USA. Guaranteed for Life.

The Tile, GPS Trackers for Bikes

13 The Tile GPS Tracker

Meet The Tile, little signal trackers that sync through an app so you can always found what you lost. This could be as small as finding your keys after a rough night, or maybe finding a stolen bike.

It seems from the video, the Tile communicates with iPhone/iPad (i-things) that have the Tile app downloaded. The idea is if everyone has the Tile app on their phone running the faster your lost item will be found.