Empowering women in cycling

Searching for “women\\'s 29er”

The Bike Industry Needs More Women Like Liz Hatch

55 Liz Hatch Photo

The name Liz Hatch is a sensitive subject in the women’s cycling peloton .  The sexy blonde has made many pro women cringe.  Last year I mentioned her name during an interview with Team Vera Bradley and they weren’t happy.  Why?  Some call her a wanna be. Not fast enough to compete with the great girls.  Some call her a sand bagger.

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Women Bike with the Bike League

0 Bike League Women Bike

Some killer information from the Bike League’s program Women Bike

May is National Bike Month, and we want to make sure you have all the tools and inspiration you need to get women riding in your community! In this special edition of the Women Bike E-news, we’re keeping it short — so you can get out and ride, of course!

To help showcase the power of women on bikes this May, we invite you to take three steps to make this the best Bike Month ever:

  1. Ride with CycloFemme
  2. Register for the National Bike Challenge
  3. Download Bike Month resources to get more women rolling in your community

Learn more about Women Bike

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.

First Ever National Women Cycling Forum

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Wheels of Change
Sue Macy, author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flats Tires Along the Way), will appear as the keynote speaker at the inaugural National Women Cycling Forum.

The forum will be held Tuesday, March 20, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in conjunction with the 2012 National Bike Summit.

Women still cycle at much lower rates than men in the United States — making up just 24 percent of bike trips in 2009. But that trend is shifting. This Forum will be the first national gathering specifically dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing how to engage more women in bicycling.

 

“This critical topic and rising energy is gathering momentum across the country as more women of all backgrounds are starting to ride or getting more involved in the movement,” said Carolyn Szczepanski, Communications Coordinator for the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “We’re eager to start a continuing conversation aimed at increasing the number of women who bicycle for transportation and recreation.”

 

 

Learn More over younder_____ http://nationalwomencyclingforum.eventbrite.com/

 

 

Intro: Review of 2014 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross Bike

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This past summer Raleigh Bikes released photos and spec of their 2014 cyclocross line, including the RX 1.0 Women’s bike. The bike didn’t change too much other than paint and some small part upgrades. I was excited about the bike (mainly due to the paint job and price) for women and thought it would be a perfect do-all bike for my better half. So here we are doing a second review of the women’s RX 1.0!

This second review of the Raleigh RX 1.0, in the 2014 model, is to look at it as an all purpose bike. This is how most women are looking to purchase a cross bike in this price range as a do all, fun finder.  There could be road rides, green-ways, Rail to Trails,  commuting, baby hauling and maybe a cyclocross race thrown in there to say you did it.

A refresher of spec and pricing can be found here. The original review over here.

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Your Feedback Wanted: What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

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Over the years I have been lucky enough to be embraced, grow with and learn from some great women’s groups. The first that comes to mind is Artemis Racing out of the Mid-Atlantic and then there are the Dirt Diva’s in Charlotte, NC.

As I mentioned earlier this week, one of my goals over the next year is to help my Team Cycleton build and grow a women’s team. As I build the groundwork and before I put out a call for applicants for the team I want to hear from you.

What Makes a Great Women’s Cycling Team?

The specific word I want to point out in the above question is TEAM. While there will be some club aspect, social events and rides, it is also a large goal of mine to help develop female racing. This includes having like minded goals, training rides or events and education on all aspects of bike riding/racing.

So sound off, what have you seen work in making a successful women’s cycling team that helps develop women into strong riders and racers?

Top 5 Online Resources for Women

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When I created Bike Shop Girl a few months back it was mainly out of frustration for the lack of information that is readily available for women.   The basics are out there, but you have to be a Google Jedi Master to find the right answers, and often you are left with half-assed ones that only confuse you more.  My goal for this site has always been to be a resource, and maybe a place I have a rant or two but that isn’t the point.

Though limited, here are some of my favorite online resources.  Some of these resources are targeted towards women, others are targeted towards cyclist in general but have great knowledge within their .com walls.

Forums

  • Team Estrogen – A full range of forums for women.  The forums aren’t very strict so often guys will be able to search/post if they need.  Keep private information just that, private.
  • Bike Forums - The moderators will keep tabs on you, and after a few months of them knowing you are “female” they will allow you in their private “women only” section of the site.  This is my used forum online for resources, I used to post often but now use it mainly for its search function.
  • RideMonkey - A mountain bike oriented forum and online community.  This is another forum that you’ll have to request to become part of their “women only” section.

How To Advice

  • Blue Collar MTB – One of the original sites I wrote for online.  It is no longer active, but a great resource for how to do things on the cheap.  Long term if there is interest in this type of maintenance I maybe persuaded to start writing for it again.
  • Park Tool - The leader in bike specific tools, this company also has invested in teaching others.  Check out their how to’s broken down by bike part.

Your Turn

What sites do you frequent or recommend?  Turn us on to other blogs or sites that have helped you become a stronger cyclist.  Better yet, how can Bike Shop Girl become a better resource for you

Preview: 2012 Specialized Jett Women’s Mountain Bike Line

1 Specialized Jett

When the Specialized carbon fiber 29er, the Fate, was released there was talk about the Jett. An aluminum version of the sporty carbon hardtail. Now there is details to share!

Specialized Jett

Highend Aluminum Women’s Racing in 26″ or 29″

The new Specialized Jett comes in two models, Comp or Comp 29″. Exact same “mid-level” build on both, only difference is wheel and tire size. I really wish that the build was a step up on parts. 9-speed with Alivio cranks (SLX rear derailleur and hydraulic brakes..) doesn’t seem to fit the need of an aggressive rider. Full SLX or XT would have been a better fit for in my mind.

Specialized Jett Spec

Details to Note

  • 80mm of travel on both models
  • Frame size specific spec. This means a smaller frame will have shorter cranks, smaller brake rotors and narrower handlebars.
  • M4 aluminum, 2nd from the top level of aluminum that Specialized has to offer
  • Lock out and adjustable rebound on a coil sprung fork
  • Super low stand over (still waiting on geometry to confirm) and short front end to fix the 29er downfalls.

 

They Say We Need More Women Bicycle Commuters

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BikeShopGirl CommuteAcross the internet there is a buzz on an article that was originally posted on Scientific American. The article titled “How to Get More Bicyclist on the Road” hits again and again that aiming the cycling infrastructure around women that you will have not only more women on bicycles but more families and men.  Citing many reports and research done across the world Scientific American makes it seem that if you have off road bike paths that have more direct routes to and from places, than scenic routes, than you would have a stronger cycling infrastructure.

I agree, but only to a point.  Yes, I think women control a lot of household events and happenings.  If it was easier for me to get to the grocery store on a bike than my whole family would be doing it and taking my children to football practice or school.  All of these are right on the target with what researchers have said.  The point that I disagree is what happens if your errands are small, maybe you are a single woman or live more than 3.5 miles from the stores and work?

Most U.S women will not be going by bicycle for utility reasons if it is more than 3.5 miles and here is why :

1. It is very hard for a woman to stay presentable over 3.5 miles, especially if the terrain is not flat.
2. We do not want to be sweaty, to re-apply make up or to fix our hair for the second time that day.  Nor do we feel like it is okay to do that in the bathroom at work (normally.)
3. It isn’t socially acceptable to go by bike in most U.S cities.  I would argue that the culture and city life has to change, not only the way you ride a bike.  In Portland, OR or Boulder, CO it is the cool thing to ride your bicycle everywhere.  It has been taken in by the city with open arms.  If you move to one of those cities and you don’t ride you will be ready for a wide awakening.

Follow the buzz across the internet and add your own below in comments.

EcoVelo – An Indicator Species
TreeHugger – How Can You If Tell Your City is Bikeable?
VeloMuse – Recent Findings That Give Pause

Review: Outlier’s Women’s Daily Riding Pant

2 Here are the pants on me after my afternoon commute. I've tried to pull my shirt back so that you can get a good look at the waist band.

A guest post from Laura Colbert of Loose Nuts Cycles in Atlanta, GA.

I am a girl who loves denim.  Outside of work time, I’m always in dark, well-fitted pair of jeans, even if I’m on a bike.  So when I started commuting more, I didn’t think twice about what I would wear for the ride.  Continue reading →