Empowering women in cycling

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Basics : Cycling Computers

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There is a great accessory for your bike called a bike computer or cyclometer.   Like a cars dashboard it can tell you many things about your speed, average, time and even get into more detailed things like cadence*, heart rate or incline.  The computer works on your bike by either a cable running from the computer head unit on your handlebar/stem area down your bike to a sensor that zip ties on.  Then a magnet is placed on your wheel, every time the magnet spins past the sensor it sends a transmission to the computer head.  It computes how many times per minute or second the magnet goes around, does some math and tells you your speed/distance.   The wheel diameter is very important as that is part of the calculation to get the right speed/time so make sure to set your computer head unit for your wheel and tire size.  If you change tire sizes, reset the settings.

There are many ways to separate computers, especially if you start getting in to a lot of data capturing.  For this article we will start basic, wired or wireless.

Trek Incite 9iWired Versions :

Entry Level :
Basic featured include speed, time and average speed.  Utilizing a cable that runs from your handlebars down to your front fork on the bike.  They range from $24-35 and many type or colors are available. The Trek 6i and Cateye Mity 8 are my picks in this category.  For this category, go down to your local bike shop and buy what they recommend.  This way they are familiar with set up if you need any help at all.

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Motivational Monday with May

0 Motivational Monday with May

WHAT’S YOUR NAME AND LOCATION?

May Lauzon, Myrtle Beach, SC

WHAT TYPE OF CYCLING DO YOU ENJOY?

Triathlon/Shop & club group rides

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST CYCLING MEMORY?

You will be horrified to know that I did not ride a bike without training wheels until I was I believe EIGHT years old. I have some foggy recollections of my dad trying to teach me at a park, but it was a childhood friend that literally gave me the push I needed in the third grade.

WHO INSPIRES YOU TO RIDE, AND BETTER YET WHY?

I’ve come a very long way since the days of third grade, and now I regularly help lead rides out of our local bike shop… Two groups of people highly motivate me. The first is the Cat 2/3/4 roadie guys that drive the pace really hard every Saturday morning, one being the owner of our bike shop whom I work for. The group of local triathletes that am lucky enough to call my “Iron-brothers” whom helped me prepare for my first 140.6 also keep the dream alive, they got me started on this journey.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST MOMENT ON THE BIKE SO FAR THIS YEAR?

I think one of the most exciting moments on the bike this past year was back in April at the USAT Collegiate National Championships. The atmosphere at that race is incredible, with over 1,200 college students bringing the spirit of over 100 schools all together for one race… Coming into the turn-around point for the second lap of the bike during the women’s race, the hundreds of men that were waiting for their start lined up three-deep to cheer on the girls. I was so proud to be wearing Coastal Carolina’s black and teal out on that course.

TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR BIKES

I lovingly call my bikes my “babies,” and I have been known to kiss my race bike goodnight. I own a Trek Speed Concept tri bike named “Dr. Pink” that I love to bring in great splits on, then there’s my Trek Madone road bike named “Spangle” that I do fun group rides on, and last but not least I have a classic steel Trek cruiser called “Rosie” which I use during the summer months, especially back when I used to ride to work as a lifeguard at the beach.

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!

Would You Go To a Skills Camp?

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While browsing over the Trek/Gary Fisher bikes I mentioned this morning, I came across the Trek Dirt Series.  These skills camps seem to be held all over the west coast & parts of Canada.  There are women’s only and co-ed versions.   My question goes back to the title of this post, would you goto a skills camp?

Around Charlotte There is the Dirt Divas

The local women’s mountain bike group, the Dirt Diva’s have a weekly group ride for various levels and a monthly skills clinic.  Several of these ladies have told me about a camp they would go to in Whistler for big hit skills.  I’m a chicken with no money or time to travel and learn how to jump off things.  My skills are earned, riding with friends, testing my insurance plan and well…growing some courage.

Over 5,000 Ultra-Satisfied Participants

The Trek Dirt Series claims to have 5,000 satisfied participants.  I wish I could see the demographics and travel time for their participants.  Would it be worth the travel/hassle and logistics?

Would You Go?

Do you love mountain biking and have a budget to play with? Would something like this excite you?

Motivational with Cathi from Charlotte

3 Motivational with Cathi

What is your name and location?

Cathi from Charlotte

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Mostly Cross Country MTB

What is your first cycling memory?

Riding with my husband on an old, heavy Trek not “grasping” that it would be “easier” if I shifted.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

Patty Smith. She is, and continues to be, an inspiration to so many (all levels).

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

Yet to come? A couple of casual/traning rides were I was feeling really good, really strong and skills were “on”. :)

Tell us what you ride

I have 4; a Salsa Dos Niner soft tail for XC riding/racing, a FS Santa Cruz Superlight for all mtn, a Niner One 9 SS for fun, and a Trek Madone carbon road bike.

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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! 

Motivational Monday with Kristin

1 Motivational Monday with Kristin

What is your name and location?

Kristin Apotsos, Melbourne Beach, Florida

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Cyclocross, mountain biking, riding bikes to school with my 2 kids, I want to like road cycling

What is your first cycling memory?

I felt like a hot shot when I was given my neighbor’s robin egg blue Schwinn with a sparkly banana seat. Several years later, my Dad painted it metallic copper. I was proud of that bike. It’s a shame that my kids have not experienced the beauty and comfort of a banana seat.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

There is nothing more motivational than been getting spanked in cyclocross. Since moving up to CAT 3, I’ve been blown away by the power and endurance of my competition. I also have huge admiration for cyclists who compete in RAAM (Race Across America) and other extreme cycling events. Two years ago I followed the progress of an amazing local competitor & part-owner of our local bike shop (INFINITY Bike Shop!). He must have superior pain management skills.

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

Hands down, the best moment on a bike thus far in 2013 was taking an an orange popsicle hand up from a man wearing an orange full body suit during the Florida State Cyclocross Championships. It was my second race of the day. It was hot. It tasted awesome.

Tell us what you ride

I own four bikes and am seeking a fifth. My oldest bike is a green ’98 Specialized Stumpjumper. We have a long history together. We’ve done mountain bike races, 12-hour races, triathlons, and now cyclocross races together. I also own a full suspension Trek Fuel EX, a WSD Trek Madone 5.2, and a turquoise vintage Raleigh cruiser which is used for errands and towing surf & paddle boards. I am shopping for a carbon CX bike with a lot of character and a small price tag. As corny as this sounds, I trust destiny will bring us together. I’d love to add a single speed to the family as well.

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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! 

Motivational Monday with Terry

1 Motivational Monday with Terry

What is your name and location?

Terry in Santa Clarita, CA

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road and Mountain

What is your first cycling memory?

Oh my. I was in, probably, 2nd grade. My g-pa bought me a girl’s bike, used, and painted it ‘Candy Apple Green.’ It was beautiful. I remember falling on the bar and dragging my toes on the ground and scraping them badly. Also, hitting that bar with my crotch was so painful. That’s my first memory of cycling. That was 45/46 years ago.

Who inspires you to ride? Better yet, why?

At this time, just my own motivation keeps me going. I bought my road bike in Nov. 2012 for my 52nd birthday. I wanted to be able to ride farther on our city’s bike paths. My mtn. bike was holding me back. I’ve only ridden 250 miles since getting it, but they’ve been good miles. I challenge myself each time I ride to 1.) Go farther and 2.) Go faster. I’m still slow and the farthest I’ve gone on one ride is about 23 miles. But I’m so excited to keep trying.

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

…Moment…Was a ride. From the beach parking in Ventura up to Ojai and back. Riding up and back down was great. I’ve done it twice and can’t wait to try again. There was some walking uphill, but mostly I rode. I felt so proud of myself.

Tell us what you ride

I have a 2012 Giant Defy 3 and a 2008 TREK WSD. I forget the details. Both bikes are great. When I’m just cruising on Venice Beach or someplace flat, I have a basket on the front of my TREK and put my small dog in the basket.

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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! 

Motivational Monday with Michelle

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What’s your name and location?

Michelle from Iowa

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Recreational road, touring, mtb, and dabbling in CX since I now own two ‘cross bikes and I figure I better represent.

What is your first cycling memory?

My brother helping me learn how to ride a bike in our backyard. It was my neighbor’s yellow bike that was way too big for me but falling on the lawn made it less traumatic.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

Myself, it has always been something I’ve enjoyed. From when I first learned to ride and could go on mini adventures by myself to the park up the street, to riding around the “country block” on gravel roads when we moved out of town, to commuting to class in college, and then I really got into cycling after college as a way to stay in shape, socialize with others on group rides, ride RAGBRAI, and more recently, doing some bike touring around the midwest. It’s also a great stress reliever, a great time to think deeply and also mash out any frustrations I might have from life off the bike.

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

I bought a new bike this year, a Lynskey Cooper CX (it’s pretty much my dream bike), so taking the first ride on it was freakin’ amazing! Especially since I went from an aluminum frame to titanium, it was like going from a station wagon to a sports car. It met all my expectations and then some.

Tell us all about your bikes

Lynskey Cooper CX, Trek XO1, Trek 4300, recently sold my Fuji Absolute converted single speed.

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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!

Women’s Twenty Niner Bikes

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Earlier this week it was announced that Gary Fisher as a bicycle brand will be discontinued. Gary Fisher and his bikes aren’t going anywhere, but they will become a “Gary Fisher Collection” for Trek Bikes in 2011. There are pro’s and con’s of this which I won’t bore you of. The biggest pro I want to mention today is Trek’s “Gary Fisher Collection” Twenty Niner WSD bikes.

Fisher Mamba WSD

Mamba WSD $879.99

A price point 29er that came out a couple years back.  24 speeds, coil fork but nice high aluminum frame and disc brakes.  A great place to try the 29er wheel size.

X-Caliber WSD

X-Caliber WSD $1539.99

On the other end of the 29er spectrum from the Mamba is the X-Caliber.  30 gears, with the new 10 speed SRAM X-7, hydraulic disc brakes and all the bells and whistles you need to keep you happy for a long time.

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!