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Review: Trek Lexa SLX Women’s Road Bike

0 BSG - REVIEW- TREK LEXA SLX

3-4 years ago Trek launched a women’s aluminum road bike model line up called “Lexa“. Since, the Lexa has become a widely popular road bike in the US as Trek has offered many different model levels and a variety of colors to appeal to any woman. Additionally, the WSD fit of these bikes is a hit with women of many proportions. I’ve had the opportunity to test ride many Lexas and finally was able to snag an SLX model for a long term review to see how it really will last for women looking to invest in a new road bike.

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Review: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Hi-MOD Dura Ace

6 Cannondale Women's Hi-MOD Evo

MSRP: $6600
Sizes: 44, 48, 51, 54, 56
Details: Geometry is based on front stack height (how tall the front end is), Shimano Dura Ace through out other than the Cannondale Hollowgram SI cranks. Wheels/Tires are from Mavic

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Review: Giro Sonnet Women’s Helmet

6 Giro Sonnet

Giro Sonnet Women’s Helmet MSRP $90

Details: 25 vents, no visor, in-mold construction

A helmet under $100 with a slender shape for women, that’s the Giro Sonnet.

Pro’s: Weight, price, color options, availability in-store or online

Con’s: Fit system hits my ponytail (details I know), very neutral colors available

Overall Thoughts of the Giro Sonnet Women’s Helmet

I see two users buying this helmet. The first time road warrior that will be on the bike up to 2 hours at a time, or a MTB/commuter that is upgrading from that entry level, $40 heavy helmet, they started with. If you are either of these people, this helmet is perfect. If you are going to be doing 3+ hour rides, the helmet will feel heavier on your head and there are more ventilated options out there.

It’s a great helmet at a great price. I wish they tried one crazy color in the line up, but that’s me.

Purchasing this helmet online? Support BSG and purchase through this link to JensonUSA.

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost for review. If you purchase through the JensonUSA link, I may receive commission. 

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.

 

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

Review: Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

2 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

A women’s carbon bike that is happy on the all day century, yet stiff enough for trying your hand at criteriums.

MSRP: $4,000
Details: Performance carbon frameset with a taller headtube and a little more relaxed geometry
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra 6770 Di2 with 6700 bits mixed in. A full Shimano groupset which is rare to find these days
Components: Handlebar, stem, seatpost and seat are all the Raleigh brand of Avenir. Not top level parts but competitive in durability and weight
Wheels: Weinman DP18 laced to Formula hubs
Full Spec on Raleigh USA

Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

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Bicycle Shopping: The Three Common Styles of Bicycles

16 Bicycle Categories

So you are in the market for a new bike, but you don’t know where to start? You aren’t alone!

When customers walk in to my bike shop starting their hunt for a new bike one of the most important things I ask is this: “where do you want your bike to take you?” In upcoming articles I will help you answer that question and continue to empower you in cycling. Today’s article is focused on breaking down the three most common styles of bikes and what their most broad use is. These styles or categories are: Road, Mountain, and Hybrid.

When I quickly count on my fingers the different styles of bikes that most good bike shops carry, I come up with 14 (I promise I only have 12 fingers). 14 categories of bicycles to confuse you, overwhelm you and lead you down different avenues, maybe even putting you on the wrong category so that you never ride that new bike hanging in your garage. These 14 categories don’t even include the different kinds of mountain bike wheel sizes, fat bikes, or thoughts of road bikes.

Today, we’ll be using wide strokes to paint a picture of bicycle types that can be helpful as you start your hunt for a new bike.

Road Bikes

Trek Road Bike

These bikes have round, drop, handlebars. If you haven’t been on or near a bicycle in a while then you may refer to these as a “10-speed.” They are efficient,  fast, and tend to have a more leaned over and “aggressive” feel (but not uncomfortable.) They are meant to be comfortable for the long ride, and have many different sub-categories for different uses. Triathlons, gravel races, bike touring, and so many more things can be under this category. A solid road bike that doesn’t have parts you will be replacing within the first season of heavy riding normally starts around the $1000 range.

Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bike

These are widely popular as they are the all terrain vehicle of bikes. Knobby, fat, tires that allow you to roll over things and go on various terrain. Most kids start off on these, and they can be found in many department stores so they are often the “gateway drug” to bikes. Your everyday bicycle shop mountain bike is between $350-650. Anything under $500-650 is probably not meant to go truly mountain biking, but instead plays the part for when you go down dirt paths, gravel and off pavement. A sturdy “single track worthy” mountain bike normally starts around $800.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid Bicycle

Though I’m a pretty performance oriented cyclist, the hybrid is my favorite category of bikes. This category is what will get folks out of the gym, off the treadmill or better yet, off the couch! The hybrid is decently efficient on the road, but normally has an inverted tread to allow for some sand and hard packed gravel riding. The fit is a bit more upright, feeling more comfortable to the rider going <2 hours. While there are extreme hybrids costing $2k with disc brakes, carbon forks and features similar to a road bike, rather these bikes normally start around $350-500 for a nice sturdy, comfortable bike with parts that will last. The hybrid is a bike that any cyclist should have in their garage for grocery getting, bar hopping and greenway cruising. There is a chance you’ll grow out of this bike when you decide you want to go further on the road, or hit more aggressive mountain bike trails. That is okay, the hybrid will always have a place in your collection.

Bike Profile: Ridley Helium SL

1 2013 Ridley Helium

Earlier this spring I brought in a Ridley Helium SL to show to shops and put some miles on. This is the lightest bike Ridley has ever built, and honestly a joy to ride. As stiff as most will ever need, and super light. 15 lbs out of the box with Fulcrum Racing 3′s on it! With the move to Denver I’ll be selling this bike (look in the upcoming weeks for the post for details on pricing) but I as it is such an awesome bike I wanted to feature it before it left my fleet.

Ridley Helium SL

MSRP: $6,995
Details: 60, 40, 30 ton hi-mod carbon frame. SRAM Red group, Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels, Forza cockpit (bar, stem, seatpost)

 

2013 Ridley Helium

2013 Ridley Helium

Preview: Giro Solara Women’s Road Shoes

5 Giro Solara Women's Road Shoe

Requirements of a good road shoe for a woman: Fit, stiffness, looks and price. (Normally, in that order.)

Giro Solara Women’s Road Shoes

MSRP: $150
Colors: White with Gold/Silver accents, all White with Silver accents, Gunmetal with Berry
Weight: 270 grams (size 39)
Details: Three straps, one ratcheting closure (replaceable) and two velcro straps. Good ventilation up and under the shoe.

Initial Out of the Box Thoughts

I’m a fan of Giro shoes, I wear the higher end “guys” shoes in the Gauge and Factor. When given the chance to review a more reasonable price Giro shoe I was happy to oblige so that I could see if the comfort I find in a $200+ shoe could be found for around $150.

Right off the bat, the shoe fits. This isn’t a super narrow fitting shoe, but with solid arch support and “neutral” toe box it should fit more women off the shelf than say a Sidi or Shimano (Sidi is narrow, Shimano is wide.) The sole isn’t as stiff as their carbon versions, but this may be a good thing for women that want a bit of give in their sole.

Look for a full review in a few weeks on how the shoes and insoles hold up. Until then, check out Giro.com for more info.

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

Preview: Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Hi-MOD Dura Ace

6 Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women's

While the growth of available product for women in the bicycling industry is evident there are two key area’s lacking, high end mountain and road product. It takes a bold company, with a strong belief in women, to invest in product with a high price tag for women. Cannondale is doing it with their SuperSix Evo Hi-MOD. Available in SRAM Red, Shimano Dura Ace and Ultegra Di2. I recently took delivery of the Shimano Dura Ace model and will be putting it through some abuse to see if the $6600 road bike is for you.

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women’s Hi-MOD Dura Ace

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Women's

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