Empowering women in cycling

Searching for “light”

The HandleBand

12 The HandleBand

I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of this mount but my rockstar girlfriend has debated with me over coffee that this design is very thought out and will benefit many people. Not so secretly, they had me at bottle opener.

What Is The Handleband?

Our phones help us navigate and train. They’re our cameras, our lights, and our emergency link home. So why don’t we use them with our bikes?

The Handleband is a simple tool that brings to light the untapped potential of our smartphones. It offers a simple, elegant and universal means of uniting your smartphone with your bicycle.

Here are a few things that make it unique:

  • (1) In use, it is smaller than a deck of cards.
  • (2) It is removable (so its doesn’t clutter your ride)
  • (3) It works with any phone, bike and case.
  • (4) It is simple and robust. (One reinforced unit)
  • (5) It holds a lot (flashlights, pumps, diplomatic flags)
  • (6) It is a bottle opener.

Check out Handleband.com and Kickstarter page

Liv/giant Releases 2014 Women’s Cyclocross Line

12 Liv Brava SLR 0

The press release I received last night from Liv/giant was a long one (two pages long without photos.) As I started reading it, every paragraph was making me more giddy than the last. Why?

Liv/giant is about to rock the women’s cyclocross world

Meet the Liv/giant Brava SLR women’s cyclocross line! Two models, the Brava SLR O and Brava SLR 2 both equally stunning in their own category. Light weight, disc brakes, women’s geometry and colors that I personally find attractive.

Liv/giant Brava SLR 2 MSRP: $1600

 

Liv/Giant Brava SLR 2

 

The lightest women’s-specific cyclocross bike—and the only one with disc brakes—is all about performance and versatility. You can race it during cyclocross season, commute with it in all kinds of conditions, or use it for long rides on mixed terrain. The lightweight, responsive ALUXX SLR alloy frame features an OverDrive 2 steerer tube for stiff, responsive steering and a toptube that’s shaped for shouldering comfort. A D-Fuse SL composite seatpost provides compliance over rough terrain. Additional performance-minded features include disc brakes, a 15mm thru-axle for enhanced handling precision, and smooth, clean internal cable routing. – Liv/Giant

Liv/giant Brava SLR 0 MSRP: $4800

 

Liv Brava SLR 0

 

The lightest women’s-specific cyclocross bike—and the only one with disc brakes—is all about performance and versatility. The lightweight, responsive ALUXX SLR alloy frame features an OverDrive 2 steerer tube for stiff, responsive steering and a toptube that’s shaped for shouldering comfort. A D-Fuse SL composite seatpost provides compliance over rough terrain. Additional performance-minded features include disc brakes, a 15mm thru-axle for enhanced handling precision, and smooth, clean internal cable routing. -Liv/giant

Sizing/Geometry of the Brava SLR Women’s Cyclocross Bikes

Brava SLR Geo

I suggest to be familiar with the geometry of these bikes before test riding. Traditionally I ride a 55/56cm which normally equals a Large in women’s bikes, but looking at top tube lengths I will fit a medium. Everything else in the geometry looks straight forward, and should fit many short torso’d women very well. This part (other than pricing and spec) was one of the main reasons I was so giddy reading the press release! Hopefully I’ll be able to swing a leg over one of these bikes to give you a full report on handling and sizing.

Review: Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

2 Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

A women’s carbon bike that is happy on the all day century, yet stiff enough for trying your hand at criteriums.

MSRP: $4,000
Details: Performance carbon frameset with a taller headtube and a little more relaxed geometry
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra 6770 Di2 with 6700 bits mixed in. A full Shimano groupset which is rare to find these days
Components: Handlebar, stem, seatpost and seat are all the Raleigh brand of Avenir. Not top level parts but competitive in durability and weight
Wheels: Weinman DP18 laced to Formula hubs
Full Spec on Raleigh USA

Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0

Continue reading →

Review: Banjo Brothers Frame Bag

4 Banjo Brothers Frame Bag

Above is a great example of what I normally carried in the frame bag. A random piece of fruit or a small, light-weight, rain jacket are missing from the photo.

Roughly a month ago I did a quick preview of the Banjo Brothers Frame Bag, which you can read over here. The bag has around 700 commuting miles and a couple accidental tumbles while gravel grinding.

Banjo Brothers Frame Bag $32.99-34.99

Size on test: Medium
Size and type of bike tested on: 56cm carbon cross bike, 55cm carbon road bike, 17″ mountain bike

Use and Abuse

Banjo Brothers Frame Bag

The main testing ground of this bag over the past few weeks was on my cross bike during my August commuter assault. 60 miles a day for 2-4 days a week during the month of August. Only once during this assault did  I not used the frame bag and used a backpack instead to see if my opinion of this frame bag could be swayed.

The bag looks pretty brand-new even with the daily use. The only thing showing wear is some mud on the bottom down tube strap. The velcro and straps aren’t fraying and they never scratched any of my frames due to a nice piece of padding between the velcro strap and frame.

The zippers have a nice weather resistant cover to them and in the handful of rainstorms I caught myself in, the fabric nor zippers let in water. This is also in part of the front “pocket” that you can pull the zippers into.

Features

There are a few things I really like about this bag.

  • Reflective piping around the rim of both sides make this bag a great extra piece of safety when riding at night.

Banjo Brothers Frame Bag

  • The smaller and larger pocket compartments are a nice touch. Allowing me to put smaller things like multi-tool, money and keys in one pocket and then food/jacket and tubes in the other pocket.
  • Double zippers allow you to access gear easily from either end of the bag. Pretty crucial in the dark when you are looking for your arm warmers that you buried thinking that you weren’t going to need them.
  • The padded piece between the velcro and frame are pretty killer.

Downfalls

Some of these downfalls will depend on your frame size and usage

Banjo Brothers Frame Bag Review

  • My front bottle was pretty hard to get out when using the frame bag. If you are using this frame bag for bike camping or long rides get in the habit of drinking out of your seat tube mounted bottle and then rotating when you empty that one. They do advertise you can run a 70oz hydration bladder in the bag.
  • Take care when trimming the velcro. If you plan on moving it between bikes it may be long on some frames and rub your leg. There is no way around this, but if you keep it on one bike you can trim the velcro straps perfect and never run into a problem.

Overall Thoughts and Review Conclusion

I used this mostly during the testing for review while bike commuting. This bag may not be ideal if you have to lock up outside or leave your bike parked somewhere that the bag could be lifted. If you are doing some longer rides, want to test out bike camping without breaking the bank or just want a different way to carry some essentials with ease – give this bag a try. You can’t beat the price, quality or company standing behind the product.

To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed using this bike, when we plan out some overnight bike camping this fall I plan on picking up another one for my gf’s cross bike. Pairing a Banjo Brothers Frame Bag with one of their Handlebar Bags and Waterproof Trunk Bags, I believe she’ll be set as I’ll be carrying the tent.

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no charge for review purposes

Preview: Giro LA DND Women’s Glove

6 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.

Favorite Cycling Shorts

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A follow up to my cycling short basic, here is a selection of my favorite cycling shorts and why.  Be prepared to hold your wallet, as these are on the higher end of shorts.

Giordana Giordana Body Clone $150

No elastic waist band, comfortable compression all around and cut to bend with your leg.  One of the more comfortable shorts I’ve used in awhile but after a season and a half they need replacement.

Continue reading →

A Sombering Reminder

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A local cyclist, and customer, was hit on her bike not but 300 yards from where I daily commute.  It is a reminder to always have a blinky light on the back, bright colors and to pick your roads carefully.

A Davidson bicyclist was seriously injured on Sunday, July 4, when she was struck by an SUV while riding on Faith Road in Mount Mourne, just north of Davidson. She was in intensive care at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte on Monday with a fractured spine and punctured lung, but was “hanging in there,” her husband says.Julie Zimmerman, an avid runner and cyclist who lives in the McConnell neighborhood, was on a solo ride around 1 p.m. Sunday when the incident occurred.

Trooper M. Childres of the N.C. Highway Patrol said she was eastbound on Faith Road, which runs between N.C. 115 and Shearers Road. A driver in a Toyota Land Cruiser that was also eastbound came up behind Ms. Zimmerman and struck her, the trooper said.

From DavidsonNews.net

Essentials Purchases for Your First Triathlon

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This week on Bike Shop Girl we are covering triathlons and the basics of getting started in this quickly growing sport.  We began the series with “Talk of Triathlons” and then moved on to “Basic Things to Know About Triathlons.”

Today we are covering the essential equipment or gear I feel with get you across the finish more comfortable and confident.  At the end I will also list things that aren’t essential but a good long term investment.

Continue reading →

Reflective Rims and Internally Geared Hubs

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Shimano Alfine and Velocity Halo Dyad

Shimano Alfine and Velocity Halo Dyad

A set of wheels are in for review and in the midst of getting installed on the famous Salsa Casseroll.   Utilizing a Shimano Alfine groupset I have been piecing together in the past 6 months, and the new Velocity Dyad Halo reflective rims.

The wheels and review are also based all around the Shimano Alfine groupset, as I’ve been interested in internally geared hubs (IGH) since trying the Civia Loring with SRAM i-Motion.  Combine the IGH and a Dynamo front hub for a motion powered front light.

Continue reading →

Puma Cargo Bike | Trend Setter or a Fashion Victim?

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We featured the new bikes from Puma over at Commute By Bike at the beginning of the summer and many people commented on the aesthetics of the bikes. Regardless of if you like them or hate them, they spurred enough of an opinion inside of you to comment. Due to this, their marketing and design team did their job very well.

Welcome the Puma Cargo Bike

From Puma’s Headquarters, Somwhere in Crayonland : PUMA Mopion is rock steady for the daily grind. It mixes city bike features, and cargo bike features, making it a sturdy companion. It comes with a super-size innovative front carrier for heavy duty transport of your groceries or other needs. Developed for city dwellers, Mopion features a light aluminum frame, making it a one-of-a-kind lightweight cargo bike weighing only 22 kilos. Continue reading →