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cycling for women: deconstructed

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a little bit about us > We strive to set the bar for women’s

PRODUCTS DESIGNED FOR WOMEN

ARE BEAUTIFUL

cycling products. We want to be the

Women are not just “small men,” and we don’t

We’ve come a long way since pioneering our first

brand of choice for all female riders,

approach product design that way. We start

bike specifically designed for women 10 years ago.

from first timers to pros. As women,

with women’s specific data, consider your ride

Since then, we’ve launched a full line of women’s

experience and design the perfect bicycle from

road, mountain and fitness/recreation products to

the ground up.

fit, encourage and empower all female riders.

BY WOMEN

We strive to deliver uncompromising products that

Women’s products are designed FOR women who

are technically advanced and built for women.

With a mission to get more women

ride, BY women who ride. We are also inspired by

feeling empowered — on the road and

female bike shop employees, professional athletes and everyday cyclists. We travel the globe to hear

and give you the confidence to challenge yourself

from other women cyclists about their needs and

Ride further than you ever have, try out a sprint

experiences, which can be found in every product

triathlon, tackle a technical piece of singletrack —

we create.

we want you to do it all. Every ride should inspire

we know that it’s as much about looking and feeling great as it’s about having a great product.

on the trails — we hope to inspire you and women everywhere to find more reasons to ride.

confidence. That’s why we carefully design bikes

THAT FIT GREAT

to offer low standover heights, stable handling and

Every woman has specific fit needs, and we

a wide range of sizes that are all custom tuned for

address those needs with each product we create.

the female rider.

There is no one “women’s geometry” that suits all female riders. For this reason, we have different geometries for each ride experience, so you get the best fit possible.

Whether you’re training for your next race or riding for the first time, we hope you’ll find this guide a helpful companion. Welcome to the Club! Specialized’s Women’s Team

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Why Ride?

10 Go by Bike

Reasons to

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Shape up that booty

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Arrive at work

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Put a big fat smile

4

Build legs of steel

5

Whiz past traffic jams

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Give a little love to the earth

feeling energized

on your face

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Log a little extra sweat

8

Act like a kid again

9

See things you wouldn’t

10

Feel the wind in your hair

for the day

notice in your car

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your Local Bike Shop What the LBD (little black dress) does for your wardrobe, your LBS (local bike shop) can do for your cycling experience: it’s a necessary staple. But, we know bike shops can also seem overly technical and intimidating, which can be a roadblock for many women who are considering getting into cycling. Our goal is to help break down those barriers by creating user-friendly experiences at our dealers, and making it easy to get started. Here are a couple of tips for making your first bike shop visit — and return visits — a success: • Bring a friend (cyclist or not) • Get comfortable (check out the women’s cycling apparel first) • Let a sales person know why you are there • Ask questions (don’t worry if you don’t know the lingo) • Go at your own pace (don’t feel pressure to buy) Making a connection with your LBS gives you access to people who are passionate about cycling and can also save you time searching for answers to cycling quandaries such as: • My back hurts when I ride more than a few miles, is that how it’s supposed to feel? (spoiler alert: No) • Can you show me how to fix a flat? • What maintenance do I need to do on my bike? • Are there any local group rides I can join in on? • What are the best cycling routes around here to avoid traffic? Having a connection to the cycling community can help you learn about

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the sport and you’ll probably make some friends along the way. Sounds more fun than trying to muddle through it yourself, doesn’t it?

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Body Geometry FIT What is Body Geometry Fit? BodyGeometry Fit is a step-by-step method based on 30 years of

Who can benefit from a bike fit? Anyone who

experience and bike fitting in conjunction with the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and Dr. Andy

rides a bike will benefit from a bike fit. What if

Pruitt. BodyGeometry Fit is designed to help cyclists of all levels ride faster, longer, more comfortably

your bike isn’t set up properly? Let’s say, you ride

and with reduced chance of injury, BodyGeometry FIT is available only through Specialized dealers.

your bike 40 kilometres… you will turn the pedals 7,500 times! Cycling is a sport of repetition. Poor fit + repetition = injury. Everybody can benefit from a bike fit to be more comfortable and efficient on their bike, and to protect from overuse injury.

Finally, why should you get a bike fit? You can spend a lot of money on a bike and if it hurts you, or isn’t fun to ride, it may just sit in your garage. A good bike fit will help you to feel comfortable and safe on your bike. And you never know, you may just become hooked! Also, your bike fitter is someone you can rely on to help guide you down the road. You now have someone you can trust to help you make decisions about future gear purchases and your next step as a cyclist. Cycling can be a lifelong passion, taking you to incredible places where you will meet wonderful people. You will experience life from a different vantage point and learn about yourself in ways you never thought possible. A bike fit will help you take that journey safely, comfortably and more efficiently.

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GETTING STARTED

It’s easy to walk into a bike shop and spend an infinite amount of money. Like shoes, you can never have too much bike stuff. But if you’re looking to get started, here’s the inside scoop on what you really need.

> “I want to get a workout on the local

> “I want to ride

dirt paths AND ride the road to get there”

my bike to work”

BLUE Starter Kit - $85

BLACK Starter Kit - $85

Sierra Helmet - $70 ariel STEP THROUGH - $775

Vita - $750

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Sierra Helmet - $70

Total $905

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> “I’ve decided I want to GET INTO road cycling and buy my first road bike”

bg comp short - $110

SOLAR VITA jersey - $140 spirita shoe - $160

bg gel gloves - $55

dolce sport EQUIPPED - $1475

ECHELON Helmet - $120

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saddle q&a

Q: I’m interested in riding a bike, but all of the saddles seem so uncomfortable. How can I be comfortable?

A: Getting a saddle that fits you correctly is the most important way to feel

> Riding a bike can be fun (or not!) based

comfortable on a bike. All Specialized saddles are designed and tested with our

on how your saddle feels. Julie Bates, a certified Body Geometry Fit Professor at Specialized, answers commonly asked questions about women’s saddle fit.

global team of BodyGeometry fitters. We’ve taken thousands of measurements to dial in the best fit. Our saddles are also medically tested. We use a process called pressure mapping to create saddle cutout shapes that remove pressure from sensitive soft tissue areas, making your ride more comfortable.

Q: I’m in the market for a new saddle; what should I look for?

OURA PRO SADDLE

A: My best advice is to visit a Specialized retailer and work with a

knowledgeable salesperson. He or she will measure your sit bones and ask questions about your riding position. No two riders are the same, and a good salesperson will help find what works for you.

Q: I already ride a bike, but when I’m riding I feel numb, sore or get chafing or saddle sores. What should I do?

A: Suffering from any of these problems is uncomfortable and unacceptable! You definitely want to get a BodyGeometry Fit and try another saddle. It’s

also important to consider the shorts you’re wearing for cycling. Be sure that they’re made by a good cycling brand. Also, never wear underwear with cycling shorts! We know this seems radical, but the chamois pad inside cycling shorts is typically anti-bacterial and your shorts are designed to move with you and BG COMFORT GEL SADDLE

pull sweat away from your body. The fabric and seams of underwear do not move with you, and the bunching can cause chafing, sores and discomfort.

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why cycling shoes?

Sneakers Accessibility?

Chances are, you already have them. If not, starts at ~$70.

Cycling Shoes Consider it the latest addition to your killer shoe collection! Available at bike shops everywhere, starting at ~$90.

Initial benefit?

Keeps you within your comfort zone.

Allows you to use pedals that you clip in to (ironically called “clipless”).

What about their sole?

It’s usually cushy and designed for the way your foot rolls as you walk/run.

The stiffer the sole the better. Your foot doesn’t need to flex at all on a bike pedal, so reducing that boosts efficiency and minimizes the risk of injury.

Arch Support?

Yes, but not ideal for cycling.

Yes, Specialized footbeds offer three different levels of support so you can get a customized fit.

Laces to Tie?

Almost definitely.

Not likely. Straps with ratchet closures, Velcro, or Specialized’s patented BOA dial system snugs things up in a jiffy.

Spin-class approved?

Great to start with.

Doubles your workout — works your hammies and quads by allowing you to pull up as well as push down on the pedals.

Special perk?

Admit it, you miss having Velcro on your shoes and don’t want to wait until you’re 90 to be able to pull it off again.

Less clumsy/noisy in the coffee shop, easier to maintain sassy walk off the bike.

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Helmet Fit Your helmet should have a snug fit and sit squarely on your head (not tilted too far back!). It also should not be on backwards (we’ve all seen it happen‌). The most important thing is to make sure the chin strap is as tight as it can be while still remaining comfortable. It may seem too tight at first, but it is the single biggest factor in keeping the helmet on your head in the event of a tumble!

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What Do I Wear? Before we get into specifics, why is most cycling apparel so tight? The short answer is it’s simply the most practical thing to do. It keeps you fast, using less energy and more importantly safe, so loose pant legs don’t

Fabric technology has been

get caught up in your chain. Not wearing it is like a swimmer wearing a

developed to offer UV ray

sweater in the pool. The good news is, the more miles you ride, the better

protection benefits up to SPF 50

it will look.

and can help you stay cooler even though you are more covered up. Check the tags on any apparel you

One of the best things

buy! (All Specialized apparel offers

to do while riding is

a minimum protection of SPF 30,

layering. Temperatures

so you can skip the tag check.)

can vary widely

SOLAR VITA JERSEY

throughout the day. Having arm and leg warmers are great and easy to stash. Jackets and vests that take the edge off the wind can be life savers as well.

DEFLECT HYBRID JACKET ARM WARMERS EX Bike shorts take some getting used

Beginner cyclists tend to put more pressure on their hands than is necessary, even with a good bike fit. The extra padding in cycling gloves can save you from any unpleasant sensations that come after relying on your hands too

really the only acceptable reason to go commando. However, once you that extra padding will keep you more comfortable.

gloves can save the day — at least where

bg RBX SHORT

your hands are concerned.

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strange on top of the fact they’re

start logging more and more miles,

much when riding. Also, in case of a spill,

LO DOWN GLOVE

to. Having padded shorts can feel

SL COMP GLOVE

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Pre-Ride Checklist > Keeping your trusty steed trusty Before you go out for a ride, there are a few things you should always check:

3

Tyres: Check to make sure there aren’t any small holes or cracks in your tyres. If there are, skip the ride and bring your bike to your local bike shop. You don’t want to get a flat on the ride or worse have your tyre blow out.

3

Tyre Pressure: Not having enough air in your tyres will make you work a lot harder and can also cause pinch flats. The tyre will get pinched going over bumps and cracks in the road and can put a little hole in the inner tube.

3

Chain: Have I taken care of my chain lately? Your bike’s chain needs to be cleaned and lubricated about once a week. Not sure what to use to clean or lube your chain? Your bike shop is a great resource and will be happy to show you what you need and give you some cleaning tips.

3

Flat Kit: Make sure your flat kit is always complete with a tube, tyre levers, patch kit and pump.

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Best Riding Advice In addition to our tips, we enlisted our Facebook community to see what was the best cycling advice they have been given.

> What is the best riding advice you have been given? • “Do not wear underwear under your padded shorts — learned this first-hand. Just trust me.” – Maria R. • “Take a swig of water every other kilometre, just to make sure you don’t get dehydrated!” – Lisa Marie J. • “Look where you want to ride.” – Laura V. • “Ride with all five senses.” – Mimi B. • “Always carry a spare tube, H20, a snack and tools!” – Tracey J. • “Just keep pedaling!” – Heather R. • “Get the ‘BodyGeometry Fit’ done so that the bike is just right for you!” – Lauren B. • “Get a women’s specific saddle!” – Diane N. • “Don’t go cheap on a bike chain and theft prevention.” – Jennifer M. • (regarding clipless pedals) “Some day you’re GOING TO fall over. Just laugh it off, because EVERYBODY does...” – Sheila C.

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Stay Motivated > Top Five Ways to Stay MotivateD You have all the gear, you know you’ll feel better if you just get out there, but you just can’t push yourself to get out on your bike. Here are some of our favourite ways to stay motivated!

1

Join in on a group ride at your local bike shop.

2

Pick somewhere close that you normally drive to, and see what it’s like to travel there via bike instead.

3

Go watch a race in any cycling discipline, even if you never plan to race yourself.

4

Find a charity ride close to your heart and do it! Most have multiple distance options to choose from. Start small for your first one and work your way up.

5

Tell family/friends about your cycling aspirations. You are more likely to push yourself to follow through if you know someone may ask you how it’s going later!

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Glossary > road bike anatomy

HANDLEBARS

Saddle

amira

Tops Stem

Drops

Hoods Brake Lever

Head Tube Seat Post

Shifters

Top Tube

Brake Caliper

Seat Stay Cassette

Fork

Seat Tube

Front Derailleur

Down Tube

Crank Rear Derailleur

Chainring Chain Stay

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Glossary > Mountain bike anatomy

HANDLEBARS

Grips

Myka FSR Saddle

Stem

Brakes

Shifters Head Tube

Top Tube Seat Post Rear Shock Rear Brake

Front Shock/Fork

Seat Stay

Cassette

Seat Tube Down Tube Front Derailleur

Crank Chainring Rear Derailleur

Front Brake

Chain Stay

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Key Terms Whether you’re talking with your local bike mechanic, chatting it up on a group ride or hoping to impress your date with your cycling expertise, here are some key terms to know.

Cassette

The stack of gears on the rear of the bike.

Clipless pedals

Pedals that you clip into on a bike. They engage

crankset

The combination of the front chainrings and the cranks.

with a cleat on a cycling shoe to attach the shoe

Derailleur

directly to the pedal.

Cleat

Hardware that you bolt onto your shoe in order

The mechanism that moves the chain from one gear to the next when you move your shifter.

drops

to connect with clipless pedals. Different brands have

The lower part of curved road handlebars. When your hands are here, you are “in the drops.”

different bolt patterns, so you need to make sure your shoes are compatible. Also, not all

stem

Part of the bike that keeps the handlebars on.

saddle

The bike-nerd term for the seat.

cleats will connect with all pedals, so you have to match those up as well. Road bikes and mountain bikes use different pedals and cleats. If you hear the term “SPD” in your spin class, this is a classic mountain bike pedal and cleat system.

Chainring

The toothed wheel/gear (aka sprocket) that is connected to the cranks.

cranks

chamois

Pronounced “shammy,” this is the padding part of bike shorts.

skewer

A skewer is a rod that threads through the wheels and attaches them to the bicycle. You can either have quick-release skewers that allow you to

The two straight arms that you attach the pedals to.

take your wheels off without tools, or you can have a version that requires tools and is a little more theft-resistant.

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NOTES:

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NOTES:

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specialized.com

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Cycling for Women: Deconstructed (NZ)  

We strive to set the bar for women’s cycling products. We want to be the brand of choice for all female riders, from first timers to pros. A...

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