Products

Giro Manta Women's Mountain Bike Shoes
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Preview: Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

As I’m reviewing the road shoe from Giro called the Solara, I’ve also been able to plant my feet in the mountain bike version called the Manta. The  shoe, fit and features are mirrored between the two models, but the only difference is the mountain bike sole for better traction and two hole cleats.

Giro Manta Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes

MSRP: $150
Colors: Black/Silver (reviewed), White/Silver/Plum
Weight: 305 grams (size 39)
Details: Three straps, two velcro and one ratchet for easy on trail adjustments.

Out of the Box Thoughts

If you read my preview of the Giro Solara Women’s Road Shoe than there isn’t much more to say other than this is a mountain bike shoe with more scuff guards. The proof will be in the pudding if the shoe last over heavy abuse and trail testing. They are now suited up with Crank Brothers cleats and I’ll be ready to provide a full review after a few hundred miles! Until then, check them out on Giro.com.

Disclaimer: This product was provided for no charge for review

Light & Motion Lights
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This Little Light of Mine, Using Lights at All Times

This is a drum I have beat a decent amount in the past, but I need to beat it again as the summer days get longer and people are riding their bikes more and more. There are many reasons I believe you should have a front and rear light on blinking at all times on the bike, at the end it is safety and keeping you intact on your bike.

Reasons to Use Front and Rear Blinky Lights All The Time

  • I have been left hooked in a major intersection and fully believe a front light would have made the old man see me
  • Make yourself easier to spot
  • It makes cars more aware of you, and the space around you. In my experience with a rear blinky light it seems cars give you more space as they pass
  • Habit to turn on your lights
  • Why not??

Recommendations:

My favorite light set is the Light & Motion Urban 200 Combo Kit (support BSG and buy through that link!)

Raleigh RX 1.0 Womens
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2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike

A couple years ago I did a full review of the Raleigh RX 1.0 women’s cyclocross bike. The articles do get a lot of comments and questions still to date so it is very fitting that Raleigh USA is releasing the 2014 images and spec early!

The spec hasn’t changed too much from years past, the colors may appeal to more of a racer than the while but the mounts are still available for racks and fenders to make this into the commuter machine if needed!

What do you think of the new styling?

2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike Specs

Frame: 6061 Double Butted Alloy, Tapered headtube and seattube, flat oval downtube and seatstay, PF30 BB

Fork: Raleigh Carbon 1.125″ to 1.5″ taper, Canti-Bosses
Drive Train: Sram Apex, FSA Gossamer, 46x36t chainrings
Wheels: Formula Smooth Bearing Hubs, Weinmann 23mm wide XP Elite rims
Tires: Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance
Brakes: Tektro CR710 Canti Brakes
Cockpit: Raleigh Short Reach Bar, Raleigh 3D forged stem
Post/Saddle: Raleigh 2014 Alloy Dual Bolt, 20mm offset, Raleigh CX saddle
Bar Tape: CX Specific Bar Tape, all condition grip and increased shock absorption
Giro LA DND Women's Glove
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Preview: Giro LA DND Women’s Glove

There are two styles of mountain bike gloves I use. The first is your basic, light-weight, and is really there to keep your hands from slipping off your bars when they are covered with sweat, or when you slide across the hard pack dirt trails. The second type of glove I use is for longer rides, with a bit more padding in the palm and normally a size bigger for when my hands swell and my fingers “grow.”

The Giro LA DND gloves fall into the first category, with extra points for style.

Giro LA DND Women’s Gloves $26

MSRP: $26
Features:

  • Slip on design (no adjustable strap)
  • Slim fitting
  • Used on road or mtb

Full review of wear and tear in a month or so! If you are looking into buying a pair of these, support BSG by purchasing through this link at JensonUSA.

 Disclaimer: I was provided this product at no charge for review. Unfortunately, I was not paid or bribed for my opinion.

Bicycle Fashion
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3 Reasons to Connect Fashion with Bicycling

A guest article from Maria Boustead of Po Campo. Learn more about Maria at the bottom of the article.

First off, let me define what I mean when I say “fashion” and “bicycling” for the purposes of this post. By fashion I mean personal style, or how people choose to express themselves by the way they dress. I am not talking about runway looks or the fashion industry or too-thin models. And when I say bicycling, I am referring to using your bike to go from Point A to Point B, not bicycling as sport or purely for exercise or recreation.

We all agree that we want more people to bike for transportation because of the numerous benefits to our environment, our cities and ourselves. The main reason people give for not biking is because it seems too dangerous, or, in other words, they are afraid of being hit by a car. Bike lanes, especially protected ones, and better traffic laws do a lot to make people feel safer while on the road.

While physical safety is often foremost in our minds, we mustn’t neglect the element of emotional security. Bike lanes help with the former, and I believe that connecting fashion to biking can help take care of the latter. Here’s how:

1. You can see yourself doing it

commuter

Photo by Dustin Jensen © All Rights Reserved

We humans are highly social creatures and everything we wear/do/say communicates something about us. We are attracted to things that mesh with our sense of self and distance ourselves from things that don’t.

The desire to “fit in” is heightened when trying something new, such as riding your bike to work. When we’re not sure how to act or dress, we look to the people we identify with to follow their example (psychologists call this “Informational Influence”). So, if people can easily see other people that look like them riding a bike, they will more likely try it. We should be striving to get as many styles in the bike lane as possible!

2. It becomes an aspiration – I want to BE that person!

Here’s where imagery comes in. Media can be very persuasive because, done well, it taps into our inner desires of who we want to be. So, not only can you see yourself bicycling, but you can see your “best self” bicycling.

Today we generally lump people into four categories: The Road Warrior, The Hipster, The Dutch Belle and The Safety-Minded.

4categories
All four archetypes are effective at resonating with different people, and, while you might not be as lovely or as edgy as the imagery indicates, you like to think of yourself that way. I predict that as fashion and bicycling continue to comingle, we will see more of these archetypes start to appear to represent even more people, which will, in turn, get more people on the road.

3. It just simplifies things

Have you overheard this conversation as much as I have?

Person 1 says, “Maybe I’ll try biking to work on a nice day, but I’m not sure how to get started.” Then Person 2 says, “Oh that’s great! It’s easy. All you need to is…” and then goes on with a mindboggling amount of detail about what types of bikes (and components) are best for different types of rides, how you must have your bike outfitted with XYZ accessories, what you should wear, what you absolutely should not wear (like, jeans), etc. Dude, don’t over-complicate things – someone is just trying to get to work!

Photo by Loic Bernard © All Rights Reserved

Photo by Loic Bernard © All Rights Reserved

Conversely, fashion is familiar and therefore provides a reference point. You don’t have to learn all new jargon or start reading new magazines to see someone in an outfit similar to something you own to put two-and-two together and say “Hey, I can bike in that!”.
Connecting fashion to bicycling also hits home for me personally because, while I have always biked pretty regularly all over Chicago (and even founded a bike bag company there), I had never liked calling myself a biker. The word just carried too many bad memories of behaviors and styles that I didn’t identify with. But, now that fashion is entering the mix, and I am finally finding bicycling-related articles and images that interest me in publications of aIl types, and new bike brands and new apparel and accessory brands that speak to me. It feels good to feel included. I guess maybe I am a biker after all.

Maria Boustead launched Po Campo in 2009 because she needed a bag versatile enough to clip on to her bike while en route and attractive enough to take into her office or to a meeting upon reaching her destination. There were so few options for this; it just seemed like a major oversight and she knew other women would appreciate a fashionable and functional bag, too.

ZOIC Women's Clothing
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Preview: ZOIC Women’s Clothing

Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to watch the company of ZOIC Clothing transform and become a more popular choice for women’s clothing. Stylish and functional clothes for mountain and lifestyle bicycling, their clothing is a great fit for my move to the mountains!

ZOIC Women’s Starburst V-Neck Tech Tee $50

 

ZOIC Women’s Starburst V-Neck Tech Tee

 

Out of the 4 pieces that were sent from ZOIC this is easily my favorite. $50 for a tech t-shirt may sound a lot, but it has functions like vents near your shoulder blades and a pocket for an iPod or key. It also fits like a your favorite workout shirt but long enough on me for when I bend over riding. Time will tell how this wears, but for now it is a go-to when commuting or wearing a hydration backpack.

ZOIC Women’s Posh Plaid Shorts with Liner $79

 

ZOIC Women’s Posh Plaid Shorts

 

This stylish short pairs well with the Starburst V-Neck Tech Tee above. The liner is a pretty basic chamois, but good for someone’s first mtb short and liner combo. When mountain biking and needing a padded short I will personally use a short or bib that I already own. (I use fancy chamois remember?)

I plan on trying this short as a commuter too, maybe with a higher end wool underwear to act as that bacteria liner.

ZOIC Women’s Tailwind Tank $60

 

ZOIC Women’s Tailwind Tank

 

It’s summertime and we all care about our tan lines, right ladies? This tank, with built in shelf to hold your girls in place, is pretty dang comfortable. I have yet to test the shelf on a mountain bike ride, but I would assume if you are more than a large “B cup” you will want to wear a sports bra under. One of the best features of this tank are the two pockets (one zipper and one elastic) on the small of your back.

ZOIC Women’s Aura Shorts with Liner $79

 

ZOIC Women's Aura Short

 

The Aura short feels like a mountain bike short to me. Elastic across the backside, on the inner and outer (medial and lateral the Dr. E has to add) leg and adjustable velcro closure on the hips for a secure fit. These shorts will stay in place on your next uphill climb or downhill adrenaline rush. Time will only tell how the rear will hold up against dirt and sand on the saddle. As mentioned in the Posh short, I won’t be using the liner for long rides but it will work for a commute or your first mountain bike rides.

Initial Thoughts

Overall, most of these pieces have had one or two rides on them so I’m not prepared to talk too much about the fit or long term wear. I can say that they all look better in person than on ZOIC’s website. The materials feel nice on your skin and the attention to detail on stitching, accents and functional placement of things like zippers/mesh airflow pockets and such are pretty darn good for the price tags!

Look for a full review in a month or so, until then check out ZOIC’s women’s collection online.

Disclaimer: These products were provided at no charge for review. I wasn’t paid or bribed for my opinion. 

Bike League Pedal Equality
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Bike League: Pedaling Towards Equality

The League of American Bicyclists sent out the blurb below about bicycle rider equality.

Bicycling has more than doubled from 1.7 billion trips in 2001 to more than four billion trips in 2009 — and youth, women, and communities of color are playing a key role in shifting transportation demand towards safe, accessible, and equitable bicycling for all. A new report from the League and the Sierra Club, “The New Majority: Pedaling Towards Equity,” showcases analysis and data on the changing face and new leadership in the bike movement nationwide, as well as key challenges and opportunities to advance equity moving forward.

Read more on the Bike League.

2013 Ridley Helium
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Bike Profile: Ridley Helium SL

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

Cafe du Cycliste
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Cafe du Cycliste Women’s Clothing

Cafe du Cycliste brings stylish and well fitting clothing to women’s cycling from the South of France.

Cafe du Cycliste is a Côte d’Azur based company started by Andre & Remi. These 2 friends who lived in the South of France, originally set up this authentic brand when they got bored of finding only standardized cycling wear with designs based on professional teams.

Both were keen cyclists and had many friends in the cycling hotspot of the Côte d’Azur.  They found that many people shared their views. So they literally got off their bikes and started thinking about what people might prefer to wear.

Their first prototype came out in 2011 and the brand was born. Their focus on quality finishes and the use of high end materials produce beautifully tailored performance and leisure cycling wear, with all round usability maintaining a designer look and feel. The premium product ranges are split into 2 ranges and available for Men and Women.

Visit Cafe du Cycliste online

 

Giro Solara Women's Road Shoe
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Preview: Giro Solara Women’s Road Shoes

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.

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