Empowering women in cycling

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Giro Women’s Series Gear Makeover

0 Giro Women's Series

To celebrate the wonderful women in our lives we would like to hear why your mom, sister, wife, friend deserves to be made over by Giro.

Simply submit a picture with a description as to why she deserves an upgrade in new equipment. Once the image and copy is submitted, entries will be judged and selected by the Women of Giro.

Submit an entry between now and May,10th. The winner will be announced May 13th, on Facebook, winning a Women’s Series Helmet, women’s Shoes, Gloves, Socks and Caps.

Submit your nomination here and let’s cheer on the ladies that ride in our lives.

Cycling Gives Women Feelings of Freedom

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As a young child I always going out on my bike or out on a run to get out. I wasn’t one to play video games or watch tv, I always needed to get out.

Because of this the bicycle gave me a freedom further than my two feet. I didn’t need my parents, boyfriend or anyone to aid me in getting where I wanted to go. Exploration and adventure were a pedal stroke away.

“I think (bicycling) has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.”

Susan B. Anthony’s words, spoken in 1896, ring true today. Courtney Ramey, a dedicated bicycle commuter, agrees with Anthony: “It’s easy. It feels great. It’s freedom.” Pam Polizzi loves that “biking gives you a great deal of freedom in getting around the city easily.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/10/NSPP1CAFIB.DTL#ixzz0hsrYwouB

Today this is going one more step as women seem to be hesitant to get out on the road or bike trails to try this new skill. The second they do try it, they feel empowered and free of all the ties they left at home. The children, errands, work week or BlackBerry can go on hold for a couple hours as they ride.

What about riding a bike makes you feel free?

Can I Wear Guys Cycling Shorts?

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The easy answer to the question “Can I wear guys cycling shorts?”

Yes!

The hidden answer after that is, as long as they fit you.

For a very long time women were lucky to have various types of moderate level shorts.  There has been a few companies that come to mind that have been doing women’s cycling shorts well. These companies are : Pearl Izumi, Giordana, Sugoi, and Sheebeast.

Even with these brands, for one reason or another I’ve still worn about 50-75% of the time, guys shorts.   One of those large reasons are bib shorts, which is another topic in its own, I love them and not one company has made a good women’s design bib.  This has left me wearing guys bibs.  Other reasons are team sponsorship, right now the shops team kit are guys bibs, which is fine with me.

Reasons Not to Wear Guys Shorts

Length of chamois.  The pad/chamois goes high on guys shorts as they have more “package.” This freaks some women out as it comes well in front of the pubic bone.
Chamois size.  Remember that whole women’s design?  That goes with shorts too.  Women tend to need wider chamois in their shorts.  Just make sure the chamois doesn’t end too quickly for you or end where the saddle will rub.  That will leave you with several saddle sores.
Inseam length.  Companies tend to put a shorter inseam on women’s shorts compared to men’s.  This is another reason that I wear guys, I have long legs and the 6″ inseam on girls shorts are just too short normally.

Recommended Guys Shorts/Bibs to Try

Bontrager RXL
My go to shorts for the past year since I found them.  They have different materials through out the short to help with compression and the chamois is made to mate with their inForm saddles.

Gore Power Bib
– One of my new favorites if you read my article a couple days ago.  One note, do NOT get the Men’s Xenon bibs as the chamois has a break in the middle.  Can you say “camel toe?”

Final Thoughts

Don’t let your local bike shop confuse you, your favorite pair of shorts are two fold.  The first is the dressing room test, is it comfortable?  The second is to make sure it fits well on your favorite saddle.  Seams away from the edge of your saddles and that the chamois doesn’t “fold” in half and start pushing up on soft tissues.

Men’s or women’s : who cares as long as it fits?

Follow us on Twitter : @BikeShopGirlcom

Building a Budget 23 Pound 29er

4 Lightweight 29er Mountain Bike

It’s easy to say I have too many bikes but since leaving the industry full time and my amount of review bikes really rolling in I needed to slim down the stable.   One of these targeted weight loss areas was my mountain bikes.  Five months ago I had a 29er hardtail geared, singlespeed, 26″ full suspension (x2), 26″ single speed, 26″ hardtail geared and numerous frames not built.  Back in the fall when I started riding again I knew I wanted to get back to riding a single speed mountain bike pretty exclusively, atleast for what personally I owned and abused.

Lightweight 29er Mountain Bike

Budget Bike

Going with what I had in the garage I started with a Surly Karate Monkey frameset (MSRP: $465.) Next was wheels,  I had found a good deal about two years ago on clearance Bontrager Rhythm wheels (my cost : $100.) The other details:

  • Frame : Surly Karate Monkey (heavy)
  • Bontrager Rhythm Wheelset
  • Bontrager XDX Tires (Take off customers bike who didn’t want them = $30)
  • Avid BB7
  • Origin8 Space Bar
  • Race Face Stem (used at swap meet: $5)
  • Shimano Deore cranks
  • Thompson Seatpost
  • Fizik Vesta Saddle
  • Ergon GP-1 Grips

Finished Product

Lightweight 29er Mountain Bike

The Surly Karate Monkey is a great frame to start your 29er life on, it can be single speed or geared, disc or v-brake.  Plus, the price you can’t beat .   Without breaking the bank I got this single speed 29er to 23.15 lbs.  If I went tubeless and changed out some parts I’m sure I could get it closer to 21 lbs!

Review: Chamois Butt’r Her’ for Women

12 chamois butter her' review

For any ride over an hour I normally apply a layer of thin cream called “chamois cream” between my chamois and skin. The reasoning is to keep friction low between chamois and body, as well as skin to skin.

Chamois Butt’r Her’ for Women $15.99

As the guys in the bike industry are realizing that women and men aren’t made the same we are seeing more products hit the market that are specially formulated for a woman’s body. Chamois Butt’r Her’ is just this, cream designed to not throw off your pH-Balance while protecting your skin from friction irritation.

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Webinar on March 31: Writing Women Back into Bicycling

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A great webinar is happening at the end of this month thanks to Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. I have emailed an inquiry for some sort of content list of what will be covered, if feedback is welcome and the exact goals of the webinar.  Regardless, this is a great step forward and I’m excited to hear what all is going to be touched upon during this webinar.

Some say that transportation culture will change when more women are cycling. What’s the key to making that change happen? Hear all about it during APBP’s free webinar, Writing Women Back into Bicycling: Changing Transportation Culture to Encourage More Women to Cycle. This presentation is linked to the encouragement recommendations of the International Scan. Consider hosting a site and inviting your colleagues to attend.
This webinar is made possible by a generous contribution from the Family of Mrs. Neil L. Miller (1938-2005) Barry University HPLS Faculty.

Masi Bicycles Women’s Road Line

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There’s a take on women’s designed product the basics are shorter top tube because women (most women) have longer legs and a shorter upper body.   The shorter top tube and over all length of the bike allows for easier reach to handlebars, better fitting for someone with those long legs.

Masi has a take that those shorter tubes and steeper angles change the feel of the bike.   Instead they have simply made a couple of their key models smaller, changed colors and most importantly the touch points of the bike.  Touch points are narrower handlebars, seatpost that aren’t leaned so far back, shorter stem and an over all reach on the bike that allows you to use your brakes or shifters correctly.

Welcome the Bellissima line.  Tim Jackson of Masi isn’t sold on the pink, but I am.   Now to sell him on the idea of one model that runs smaller than 48cm.  Allowing our youth to get into the sport at a decent price would be very rewarding.

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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3 Women’s Saddle Recommendations

24 Saddle Recommendation Header

The question of “What is your favorite saddle?” is a very popular question in tweets, emails and in shop conversation. It is also probably one of the most user specific question around bike fit. My bits are not built like your bits, my seat bones are not the same width as your seat bones but I can give some generic feedback of my “go-to” saddles for women.

Pro advice: Make sure you check your saddle measurements prior to swapping out any of these seats! This includes height, and the distance of where your sit bones are most comfortable on the seat to the handlebars. Every seat will be different but these are good x/y starting points to measure off!

The Most Popular Women’s Saddles I Recommend

 

Fizik Vesta

Fizik Vesta

 

If you don’t know where to start with a new seat, start with this one.

When swapping out bike seat during a women’s bike fit this is normally the first seat I try. The channel through the middle section allows some relief on your girly parts and the wider sit bone area on the back of the seat keeps you well supported. This saddle was once on 100% of my bikes but as my handlebars went lower I had to switch to something with a flatter front to back profile and not a drop in the middle.

Tip: Make sure the area where your sit bones hit is level!

 

 

Specialized Ruby Pro

 

 

Specialized Ruby Pro

If your handlebar is lower than your saddle height than try out the Specialized Ruby. The relatively flat back area of the saddle and flexy middle section allow for a leaned over position. This saddle doesn’t have a ton of padding some if you are relatively upright it may be a bit too tough for your sit bones.

Tip: This saddle does come in different widths, so make sure to get your butt properly sized!

WTB Deva

WTB Deva

This seat is a bit narrow so if you are on a super upright hybrid or mountain bike the saddle may not support you properly. Saying that, this saddle has been a goto for cyclocross season for many years due gel inserts in the firm and pretty flat surface.

Tip: This saddle is not as tall as many others. You may need to move your seat up significantly.

(Yes, I like white saddles. It always makes a bike look faster in my humble opinion!)

CrossVegas Women’s Race to Receive Equal Payout

15 crossvegas women's race

Ladies, you have an even bigger reason to head to Las Vegas later this month. Lazer Sport has made it so women are receiving equal payout at the 2013 Cross Vegas race. Now ladies, support the race and sponsor that has allowed this to happen!

Lazer has stepped up their annual participation at Clif® Bar Cross Vegas with sponsorship of the Elite Women’s race.  This support equalizes the Elite Women’s and Men’s prize list with over $8,700 across 30 places.

Learn more about Cross Vegas.