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Saddle Talk : Adamo Saddles

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About 3 months ago, my shop started carrying the Ideal Saddle Modification (ISM) Adamo saddles.   These saddles, at first, look very goofy.  There is no nose on the front of the seat and often are referred to as the tuning forks.  Flash forward the last three months and these saddles have themselves on more bikes than I originally thought they would.

Originally I really thought the saddles were a joke, we would try them out on a few bikes and see what happens.  The women and triathletes fell in love.  All the pressure from the frontal soft tissue was separated back into your two sit bones, where the weight belongs!  Women were able to get into the aero position or drops of the handlebars without cutting off circulation.

This saddle is still towards the end of the saddles I automatically go through in my fit process.  I think there is a need for them, but find they can be too wide and long term will be modifying the shell of the saddle so not to hit the groin or tendons of the inside leg.  Soon the saddle will go on a personal bike of mine so I can give you a true review.

Do you know any women using this seat? If so, what are their thoughts and feelings?  Where do they feel pressure, if any?

Batavus BUB : Initial Thoughts

0 Batavus BUB

This was originally published at our sister site, Commute by Bike. As the bike is a step through design and fits in well with trying to get more women on bicycles, I’ll be cross posting the review on both sites.

When the Batavus BUB rolled into my bike shop a good amount of thoughts rolled into my head with it.  It looked heavy, was it? Where were the hand brakes or gears?  Could I take it down my 4.5 mile daily commute with a decent size hill in the middle?  (My worry was going up and down on it.)

Riding the BUB


I quickly checked the BUB over and rode it home that 4.5 mile commute.  The step through design was very handy and made me crave for one in my daily ride.  Very easy to get on, plus I didn’t worry about ripping my jeans as I didn’t have to throw my leg over the back of the saddle.  The handlebars and saddle seemed to me much like what we consider in the US as a Beach Cruiser.  For the entire first ride I was fighting with finding a position I felt efficient, yet comfortable in.  If I was comfortable on the saddle, it would start to rub my inner thighs.  If I was comfortable with the handlebars I was in a weird laid over position grabbing half way down the long swept back bar.

It took me a week to really grasp the ride of the BUB.  It truly is a bike for folks that maybe don’t ride everyday, or are looking for something on the end of the spectrum from their mountain/road bike.  You can easily hop on this and go, you won’t be going very far or very fast but it is easy and comfortable.

As I mentioned, initially I couldn’t get comfortable on this bike.  Mainly due to the length of my long legs and once I was home I raised the stem a good amount in order to sit more upright than leaned over.  In the end it fit a wide height range, for my 5′10 height down to my 5′5 girlfriend just as well.

The Prototype BUB & What I Would Change

The bike that I was reviewing was a prototype of sorts, it didn’t have the 3 speeds that the standard BUB will.  Gears would of helped keep me in a comfortable seated position on the small climb I have coming from my work.  I also wish it had some sort of rear or front hand brake to assist with the coaster brake, but that was also mainly me as I’m not used to riding a coaster brake bike.

All the options were installed on the test BUB.  Front and rear racks, as well as front and rear lights.  The racks had an interesting mounting design, it is non-standard and you’ll have to rig up your favorite rack to work on this bike if you wish.  The racks felt very strong and stable, a small child could sit on the front, but would completely wreck the steering of the bike.  The tubing on the rack is oversize, to the point a standard pannier clip system (of all types) doesn’t fit without bending or modifying.  Out of all my panniers in my collect only the Basil bags that you drape over one side of the rack to the other worked.

The lights weren’t anything too special.  Yes, a little different in looks but if you already have lights from another bike, save them and reuse them on the BUB.

Small Details

This bike turned heads, and caught many eyes.

The unique paper clip design made people ask questions and want to ride it.  The only other bike I own that causes such questions is my Xtracycle.

The “mood meter” seemed like a joke to me.  This little dial under the top tube that you are supposed to move dependent on your mood.

New pedals are needed unless you are rolling this bike in only fair weather.  There is no grip on them and several times when wet I slipped off the pedals.

Full Chainguard, good fenders, strong wheels, and reflective Schwalbe tires. The small details that many “commuter” bikes are left off with weren’t forgotten here.  I just fear they over thought the design aspect of the bike, leaving it very limited to accessories.

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out

Batavus BUB Review : Introduction

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Batavus BUB

Batavus BUB

A quick introduction was posted over at CommuteByBike.com to introduce the Batavus BUB I had teased about a couple weeks ago.  The BUB is a watered down version of most Batavus bikes.  It’s for the person wanting a true city bike but not all the bells and whistles like full chain guard and generator lights.

We are fortunate enough to be one of the first bike testers for the prototype Batavus BUB.  The bike we had in for review was a one speed with a coaster brake.  Slowly I’ll be unveiling my own thoughts, along with a friend who is a pretty new cyclist/commuter.  Let’s start with an introduction from a shop called Renaissance Bikes that was our contact for the BUB.

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

The Perfect Bike Fit

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A benefit of my job is being able to work with many different people and customers on various types of bikes.  The shop I manage is a big player in bike fitting and making sure if you purchase a bike, or your body changes, you will be happy, safe and comfortable on that bike.

This leads me to my thought for the day.  Regardless of what type of bike you ride, there is a perfect fit for that bike and yourself.  This fit can also change with time and be open to that idea.  The reason for that is day to day your body changes, you stretch more or less, you sit more or less, you eat more or less (and so on.)

It is Subjective

The perfect bike fit is subjective to yourself and the bike fit technician you are working with, it can also be subjective to the day you walk into the shop to be fit.   As I’ve mentioned before I slowly plan on picking a part a bike fit and highlighting the key things you should pay attention to to find that “perfect bike fit.”

Merchandise on Bike Shop Girl

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I’m tentatively going to expand into merchandise and small product sales on Commute By Bike and Bike Shop Girl. But I would like your feedback. What type of things would you purchase through us vs Amazon? Would it be enough to know you are supporting a great resource to purchase that light or bag through us?

Let me know what you think and what you would be interested in!

Pre-Season Part II

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Spinning Legs


My initial post about Pre-Season planning turned some heads over at Team Estrogen’s forum.  Many people were excited to talk about their 2010 goals, but after 4 pages of women’s goals there were a few asking me if I was crazy.  They looked at November and December as resting times, or they may still be trying to complete 2009.

All these things are fair, but I find planning out your season prior to the holiday season makes things easier and you may eat one less serving of mash potatoes.

We didn’t get many comments on the blog about 2010 plans, so let me start off mine:

  • Training for Trans Iowa. The race is the end of April, and it will be roughly a 30 hour race across the “B” + “C” roads of Iowa.  Cyclocross and mountain bikes are much needed.
  • The rest of the year I’ll be doing what I can, when I can.  Maybe continue the local weekly mountain bike series, hit a couple longer distance mountain bike races like the 100 miler, or 12/24 hour lap type.
  • Smaller goals include stretching more, strength training and losing about 15 pounds of fat (hopefully gaining back 8 pounds of muscle.)

Now these are my goals, there are many things behind them like finding a better fit saddle for 300 miles on a cyclocross bike, the proper lighting, nutrition and preparing my mind for all of it.  I knew this task was daunting and overwhelming so I have suited myself up with proper testing and coaching.

Next time we will be talking about what type of testing, what coaching does for you and why even someone getting into cycling or trying to lose weight could benefit from all of this.

Pre-Season Planning

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Off SeasonThe off-season and pre-season are two of the most important parts of your training program.  If you are a competitive cyclist or athlete, you are aware that off season is slowly ending and pre-season for 2010 is right around the corner.  You also could be like myself, my pre-season started about two weeks ago and I’m two weeks into my first 6 week leg of training.

The off-season is time to put your feet up, take in a couple beers and reflect on what you achieved in the past year, or want to achieve in the next year.  Pre-season can also be called early base, but normally starts late in the prior year before your season.  So 2010 pre-season is actually in late 2009.

Quickly I want to talk about pre-season planning and why putting it off until January/February can cause more trouble.

The holiday season is hard for everyone, and it can be even harder as you’re traveling, not bike riding and eating lots of yummy holiday meals.   That’s okay, realize you are going to do this and stop stressing.  This also means you need to ride your bike during the holidays to keep your pounds low going into the next season.

Sit down during Thanksgiving vacation and think about what you want to do next season, what are your goals and how can you obtain them.  Tell them to us, put them in writing down in comments so you aren’t only committing to yourself, but to the world wide web that this is what I’m doing for 2010.

Next, look at your holiday schedule and figure out how to fit one more stretching routine, small group class or run in, even once a week.   It will keep your stress down and weight off from all the holiday events.

The 2009 season just ended, but you now are in the seat to make 2010 even better.

Photo Credit : NBPL Teen Book