Empowering women in cycling

Motivational Monday with Stephanie Cole

1 Stephanie Cole

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!

What’s your name and location?

Stephanie Cole, Charlotte NC (EM:PWRteammate and motivator)

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Road, Mtn, CX – Cyclocross is my favorite!

What is your first cycling memory?

My Dad gave up on teaching me how to ride a bike because I didn’t want him to let go of the seat, I had to teach myself. Yes, I have always been stubborn!

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I can find inspiration everywhere; it might be someone improving their riding, someone coming back from injury/illness or someone just starting to ride again as an adult.

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

Every time someone says ‘you’re riding well…’

All About My Bikes

Cannondale Hybrid, Giant TCR Road, Specialized Epic full suspension, Giant TCX CX, Gary Fisher Rig

Review: Answer Products ProTAPER 650 XC Handlebar in Pink

0 Answer ProTaper 650 XC Handlebar

While at Sea Otter this past spring I was hooked up with the new pink Answer Products ProTaper XC Flatbar. After installing and riding the bar for a couple months (15 or 20 rides) I can give some honest feedback.

ProTaper 650 XC Bars Details

Width: 685mm Weight: 235g (flat) Back Sweep: 3º Colors: PINK, Mango, Red, Green, Brunette (brown), Black

Answer ProTaper 650 XC Review

While the handlebar got me at the word “pink”, the weight and options are really what kept me interested. Even though flat bars really aren’t my gig, not giving enough sweep for my longer distance hauls. I ended up riding these bars for a couple months on my geared Airborne Goblin and then moving it to my Surly Karate Monkey single speed. The weight and taper were confidence inspiring, especially when you use a stem like Thomson that can sometimes crack handlebars when not installed correctly. A bike shop could carry a few of these bars in different colors and really add some flair to customers bikes. Check out more Answer bars on JensonUSA.com

This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing.  I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.

North Carolina Womens Cyclocross Clinic

0 NC CX

Bicycling skills clinics are an interesting thought. Adults, having skills clinics in the way you would for your favorite sport as a kid. For myself I need to become confident again going into barriers, and $40 for 6 hours of someones time is a great deal. Stackhouse is limiting the field for good instructor to class size so please sign up so I have friends at the event!

North Carolina Women’s Cyclocross Clinic in Boone

Sunday September 11, 10AM to 4PM

Boone Fairgrounds, 738 Roby Green Rd, Boone, NC 28607

NC CX

Two clinics at one location: our second annual Women’s’ Only CX Clinic featuring National Champion Ashley James and MSG champ Kim Bishop, and a cyclocross skills clinic for the boys led by Jacob Florence.

The Boone Fairgrounds, home of the High Country Cyclocross Series, is a great venue with agood mix of easy and challenging terrain where you can hone your skills, covered pavilions for lunch and lecture sessions, as well as ample parking. Clinics will be held at separate parts of the Fairgrounds so each group can separately practice skills including starts, cornering, barriers, run ups, and more, as well as pointers on training, nutrition, bike setup, pre-race rituals and more from National Champion Ashley James and some of the best cyclocross racers in the Southeast

Early Bird Registration is only $40 until the end of August, Pre-Registration is $50 until September 10 at Noon. Day-of registration is $65. Lunch is included.

Online Registration now open – clinics are capped at 30 participants each

USAC license (Road or MTB) is required. One day license is $5.

For Directions Click Here

Register at BikeReg.com or email us to learn more

Preview: Ergon PC2 Pedals

4 Ergon PC2 Pedal Preview

Pedals on a commuter are always an interesting dance.

Platform, clipless, toe clips, and then which brand/level? For my around town getter I try to keep platforms on year around to be able to hop on and just GO! The bike I keep at my office in Uptown Charlotte is this type of bike. Originally with BMX style platform pedals, $10 Wellgo pedals, they did well as a pedal but only when I had soft bottom shoes on. When I had dress shoes or some sort of heal the pedal’s “spikes” didn’t grab and became very slippery when wet.

Ergon PC2 Pedal Preview

Ergon PC2 Pedals

For 2011 I am on the Ergon Commuter Team where we are testing out their new products and talking bike commute goodness! In July I was sent a pair of their new PC2 pedals to give a spin and give feedback on. While this isn’t going to be a full review I did want to preview them and give my initial thoughts.

Details from Ergon on the PC2 Pedal

  • Developed composite by Magura (the brake and fork company)
  • Inner foot stop to keep correct foot positioning on the pedal
  • Ultra narrow q-factor
  • Integrated reflectors
  • Anatomically contoured platform, 6º angle for better joint alignment, knee angle correction
  • Maintenance free polymear bearings
  • 3M-SafetyWalk™ creates a slip free platform
  • MSRP $69.99

Initial Thoughts of the Ergon PC2

The PC2′s remind me of beach cruiser pedals with the sand paper feel on each side. This works very well and no matter the shoe so far, they hold a grip.

The pedals are size specific, I’m on a small pedal but at the maximum shoe size with a euro 42 shoe. Two of these pedals do feel very large in your hand, but once on the bike they feel supportive under feet and keep traction between your shoe and drivetrain.

After a handful of rides I am really enjoying these pedals. With an MSRP of $70 I hope they continue to impress me and provide a good alternative to BMX pedals and clipless for commuters!

The First Cyclocross Practice of the Season

1 Cyclocross Training

Have I mentioned how excited I am about the cyclocross season that is coming up? 50% excited about the racing and 50% excited about the environment, friends and culture.

Last night was the first cyclocross “practice” of the season. It really is a reason for friend, George Berger, and I to get out to Fisher Farms with barriers and ride around in circles. Another one of our friends, Mark, showed up to crush us.

Eye Opening Fitness

It is always easier to feel fast when you ride alone, and then you ride with folks that have been consistently riding…that’s when you realize you are slow as a snail!

All I can do is put my head down and plow ahead with training and efforts. Riding with folks that have had solid seasons, and consistent riding for over a year…it isn’t fair to judge myself next to them. Hell, I need to stop judging myself.

Be proud you are out doing it, be proud to be on the bike and keep moving forward!

Preview: 2012 Bontrager Vella Bag Line

0 Bontrager Vella Bag Line

Bontrager has released a new line of bags called the Vella. Modeling after what many European companies have known for the past few years, women don’t want bags that look like bike bags when they get off the bike. Functional bags with style. My main concerns on these bags are #1 for the panniers it utilizes the Bontrager Interchange specific hardware, rumor is you can switch this out for standard rack hardware but most shops don’t stop that type of things and I can hope the shop doesn’t stock oversized tubed racks. #2 I hope the handlebar bag holds up better than their last attempt 3-4 years ago.

Bontrager Vella Kava

· Handlebar bag
· Interchange hardware with flap to cover when not on bike
· Internal Velcro strap holds shoulder strap in place while on bike
· 450 cu.in.
· MSRP $100

Bontrager Vella Bag Line

Bontrager Vella Camu

· Shopper pannier
· Interchange transit hardware with zip-over flap to hide hardware when not on bike
· Expandable main body
· Padded straps can be stowed while on bike
· 1755 cu.in.
· MSRP: $110

Bontrager Vella Vana

· vertical shopper pannier
· Interchange transit hardware with zipper pouch to cover when not on bike
· Padded strap can be stowed when on the bike
· 1300 cu.in.
· MSRP: $110

The bags haven’t hit Bontrager.com, but I’ll have more photos uploaded soon!

Motivational Monday with Ann Groninger

1 Ann Groninger

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!

What’s your name and location?

Ann Groninger, Charlotte NC

What type of cycling do you enjoy?

Any kind on two wheels – road, mountain, commuting,..etc.

What is your first cycling memory?

I refused to let my dad hold the bike when I was learning to ride. He is still crushed, he says. As a kid I went everywhere on my bike.

Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?

I’m inspired by local bike shop owners who give up so much of their own time on the bike not just to further their businesses but also to make cycling better for everyone. I’m also inspired by so many community activists who channel their love of cycling into good deeds – Trips for Kids, the Dirt Divas and the Recyclery, for example.

What has been your best moment on a bike this year?

This is such a hard question because I’m always happy on my bike! I loved riding the Blue Ridge Parkway recently with bikelaw.com, Black Bear Adventures and some great friends – old and new. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I love riding along the light rail with my 2 year old in his i-bert seat. His excitement about everything around him is contagious.

In the next year, what are your goals with cycling and pushing yourself forward?

After years and years of riding for fun, utility and a little racing, I think I’d like to get stronger and race a little more…maybe cyclocross? I also want to continue and expand the community work I’m involved in. Bikes make communities better.

All About My Bikes

2011 Giant TCR SL

Santa Cruz Blur

Electra Ticino D7

2012 Raleigh RX Women’s Cyclocross Bikes

1 2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women's Cyclocross

This is part of a series of short posts releasing the new 2012 Raleigh Bicycles women’s line. Everything from 29er mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, more carbon and women’s cyclocross bikes. I’ve got the scope, but we can thank Raleigh’s Sally on this one.

Want to know how I can tell you with 100% certainty that the bicycle industry is finally valuing women? Two things, women’s 29ers and women’s CYCLOCROSS bikes. Yes, it is old news (other news sites scooped it a couple weeks ago) but I need to share with you one of those things that I am so super excited about. Two, yes two, women’s cyclocross full bicycles from Raleigh Bicycles in 2012.

This could be do to Raleigh’s Sally having a girlfriend these days and realizing the needs of women. Maybe Raleigh’s Sally needs the shorter top tube and taller head-tubes that women’s bikes have to offer. Raleigh is taking a stand for cyclocross in 2012 with 8 models for cyclocross and I am proud of them for stepping up.

2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women’s Cyclocross $1,650

2012 Raleigh RX 1.0 Women's Cyclocross
Aluminum frame, EC70 carbon cross fork and BB30.  SRAM Apex & Rival 10 Speed.

2012 Raleigh RX Women’s Cyclocross $1,100

2012 Raleigh Women's Cyclocross Bike

Same frame and fork as the 1.0 but stepping down to Shimano Sora 9 speed.

Photos from Bike Rumor

Stealing the photos from BikeRumor.com

2012 Raleigh RX Women's Cross Bikes
2012 Raleigh RX Women's Cross Bikes

2012 Raleigh Bicycles Women’s 29er Mountain Bikes

0 2012 Raleigh Eva 29 Comp

This is part of a series of short posts releasing the new 2012 Raleigh Bicycles women’s line. Everything from 29er mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, more carbon and women’s cyclocross bikes. I’ve got the scope, but we can thank Raleigh’s Sally on this one.

2012 Raleigh Eva 29er Women’s Mountain Bikes

You are hearing it here first, two models of 29ers for women from Raleigh for 2012. Yes, another large bike manufacturer seeing that women like 29ers too.  Each model of the Raleigh Eva 29 will be available in three sizes, Sm, MD, LG, with women’s geometry (waiting for geometry chart.) Both bikes are mid to entry level but a great place to start for Raleigh. Once I see the geometry I’ll give more feedback! Raleigh did get the brake rotor size right. 180mm front rotors and 165mm rear rotors on both bikes.

2012 Raleigh Eva 29 Comp $1,050

2012 Raleigh Eva 29 Comp

SR Suntour 80mm fork with lockout. A mix of Shimano Deore and Alivio in 9-speed and Tektro Draco Hydralulic brakes.

2012 Raleigh Eva 29 Sport $770

Suntour XCR 80mm fork with lockout. Shimano Alivio 9-speed and Hayes Mechanical disc brakes.