SECTOR GUIDE: Women's bikes and accessories

Worried your bike shop isn't stocking enough product tailored to your female customers? Here are 24 trade suppliers eager to help...
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Bern
The Lenox and Berkeley are Bern’s most popular women’s models. Both are durable urban style helmets that retailers are selling to the kind of woman that doesn’t feel right wearing traditional style vented helmets, Bern tells us. Why not buy a protective helmet as a style choice rather than just as an item of necessity? Why not indeed?

All helmets are upgradeable to a winter commuting helmet or a ski/snowboard helmet with the addition of a £35 liner upgrade and all helmets are designed for a low profile look.

The Lenox (£50-55, pictured) Thinshell EPS features a durable bombshell exterior with EPS foam interior, while the Berkeley (£65-£69) features a special ‘Zipmold’ high strength to weight in-mould material. Again, it’s built with less bulk for a low profile.
www.bernunlimited.com

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Bobbin Bicycles
Bobbin has a number of fashionable female bikes, not least the Brownie pale rose (£350). The high ten and chromoly looped frame sports a seven speed Shimano derailleur in a tasteful dusky pastel pink colour. The stylish commuter Hummingbird (£475) sports a mixte frame, double wall 700c wheels and Shimano Alivio eight speed gearing all in a nice metallic racing green paintwork with cream tyres. The signature Birdie models come in a head-turning ‘80s-inspired watermelon paint job, complemented by a white saddle and grips for £399. For the same RRP there’s the Birdie dip-dye – an egg yolk-coloured ombre fade for the classic three speed bike. Interested stockists should email info@bobbinbicycles.co.uk or call
020 3286 8580

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Buffera
The women's Slim Fit Buff is exactly like Original Buff in that it is knitted from the same high quality polyester microfibre and treated with Polygiene for odour management. It is, however, just 2cm narrower in diameter so it gives a better fit for ladies with a narrower head (50 - 55cm rather than 53 - 62cm). The prints and patterns (12 in total) are also more feminine and designed to appeal more to the ladies. Priced at £13 the women’s Slim Fit Buff has its own distinctive header card.
0844 8009716

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Chicken Cyclekit
Selle Italia has been making women-specific saddles for many years and one of the popular comfort models is the Lady Gel Flow. Whilst working with the new I.D Match system Selle Italia’s R&D department discovered there was a market for a smaller version saddle with all the same features, so the New Lady Gel Flow Small reduces the width from 160mm to 135mm and the weight comes down to 270g. Due to demand SI has also released a men’s version.

LAS Helmets, still made in Italy, the Squalo has been praised for comfort, weight and style. The Femme Fatale version has been visually tweaked with small graphics and optional diamantes and hearts, but with no change to the comfort and fitment.
01525 381347

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Coyote Sports
Coyote has four ladies models available in the new 2013 Coyote range, two in steel and two in alloy. Those are part of the wider range, which sports 19 new models, including twelve 26-inch MTBs (including the ladies versions), five 29ers and two jump style bikes.

The women-specific 18-speed Santa Fe steel comes in at £199.99 RRP, while the 21-speed Aspen hits the £209.99 spot. The alloy Caroline 21-speed costs £259.99 and the Venice Beach 21-speed (also alloy) hits £299.99. 0161 727 8508

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Cube
Cube’s WLS (Woman Like Series) has packed in the details where it counts. All the saddles and the grips are adapted for the ergonomics of women, Cube says, with adjustable brake levers for a better reach for smaller hands and shorter cranks with 170mm for small frame sizes. The geometry of the WLS bikes enable lower stand over height for improved safety too.

Generally, women are not as heavy as men so Cube has kept bike weight low through fitting lightweight Kevlar tires. Most of the WLS mountain bikes come with air suspension forks so they can be tuned easily to the female rider and in 2013 Cube is offering 29er bikes with specially designed geometry for women to improve the handling and more. 0031 103 403 500

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Dare2b
Dare 2b’s female range includes the Aspired Short, RRP £45.00. It offers a balance of comfort and performance, ideal for any type of riding and the shorts are lightweight and stretchy. The quick drying pair has been treated with a special anti-bacterial system to minimise odour and reduce the risk of irritation. Fitted with Dare 2b’s premium elite pad, the anatomically designed 3D moulded gel insert relieves pressure and controls temperature for optimum comfort. All seams have been flat locked to help stop the risk of chafing and elastic grippers around the leg offer support and prevent the shorts riding up mid flight. Reflective details will help keep the rider seen in low light conditions.
www.dare2b.com

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Endura
The majority of women still ride in non-bib shorts despite preferring bib versions because the available bib shorts offered don’t meet their specific needs. To solve that, Endura has developed the brand-new Wms FS260-Pro Bibshorts DS with a discrete and functional drop-seat (DS) zipped construction on thighs allows access for comfort breaks without having to fumble about with the bib straps. The zip is integrated into the seam line of the thighs that leads all the way around the back. This means you don’t see the zip, apart from the pullers, because it looks like a regular seam. During comfort breaks, the zip can be opened all the way around the lower back, without having to take off the bib straps, and without having to remove any clothing layers. RRP is £69.99. 01506 497749

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Fisher Outdoor Leisure
Santini’s GIL REA (£69.99) are tights for ladies in Superoubaix fabric, sporting an anatomical cut for top comfort on the saddle and now available in a wider range of sizes and improved packaging. Santini’s Ladies Clio Gel Pad bib shorts (£79.99) come with Gel Intech lady chamois padding and a ladies version of the GIT chamois with Twist Gel core. Fisher’s own U34 has the Fete Women’s Eco Coolmark tee (£39.99) which has a technical base layer qualities for cycling and features Invista’s patented four-way sweat dispersion fibre. U34 also stocks the Summer Elements Women’s Trousers – a lightweight and highly durable trouser for cycling (£99.99)
01727 798345

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Hope
Of course you don't have to have two X chromosomes to like pink, but Hope, er, hopes this limited edition pink range will have appeal across the gender divide. The Hope Pink range caters for cross-country, enduro and downhill orientated riders, with the range consisting of hubs, brakes, pedals and stems. The Tech Evo X2 brakes blend power, low weight and adjustability and have an externally adjustable Tech Evo lever – great for those with a slightly smaller reach. Fully CNC machined in Barnoldswick, there’s a choice of black or braided hose and fixed or floating 6 bolt pink centred rotors in: 140, 160, 183, or 203mm.The Hope Pro 2 Evo Hubs also come in the pink colouring as do the Hope F20 pedals. 01282 851200

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i-ride
The Eddy Merckx AFX-1 bike makes use of the brand’s FRG (Female Race Geometry) philosophy, made-to-measure for female physiology. Merckx’s ethos of reducing fatigue and providing excellent handling through a slightly slacker head tube angle with a little more height in the steerer tube have followed through into the FRG bikes such as the AFX-1.

Deuter has female-specific carry systems – on average, women’s backs are not quite as long as men's, so the SL system is slightly shorter than that of Deuter's standard rucksacks. Elsewhere the Prologo Kappa Evo DEA Saddle is fit for all types of riding and has a women’s specific design for perfect comfort.
01444 243000

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Madison
Madison’s vast portfolio includes many female-specific products, including the best selling Elite Jersey from Pearl Izumi, this year revamped with loud colour options to match the Symphony Cut Short. The Elite jersey features sweat-activate In-R-Cool technology to keep riders cool, dry and comfortable. It also makes use of the soft Elite Transfer fabric with In-R-Cool Icefil technology which provides optimal skin cooling and moisture management when riders perspire, as well as UPF 50 sun protection. Featuring a full length zip for venting with zip garage, there are three back pockets and one sweat-proof pocket. The elasticised gripper on the back keep the hem in place. SRP is £69.99.
0800 1300 598

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Met
The urban focused 20 Miles (£49.99) makes use of Met’s own In-Mould Intelligent Fusion construction, which fuses together the two parts of the helmet shell during the moulding process for better shock-absorbtion. The 20 Miles comes with a removable visor to fend of rare sun beams and less rare mud from bad weather.

Anti-allergenic interior pads improve comfort, and the anti-insect net stops insects entering the helmet.

The Estro (£89.99) is a more sporty offering aimed at women. Well-ventilated and extremely aerodynamic it features extended lateral lines. Like the 20 Miles, it sports reflective rear stickers and Kevlar straps. The Safe-T Smart retention system takes care of fit.
met-helmets.com

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Moore Large
Following the same philosophy as the gents’ models, Forme Bikes’ Feminine Ergo (FE) Longcliffe series are developed for anatomic and ergonomic requirements, with a compact frame with a shorter top tube and longer steering tube supplied with narrower handlebars and wider saddles to accept the wider female pelvic area. The Forme Longcliffe 1.0 features a high quality Campag Veloce groupset, a 4ZA Stratos factory-built sealed bearing wheelset and a smooth welded AL7005 kinesis triple butted frame with a tapered steerer make the ride responsive, fast and precise (£1099.99). Lake’s offering of ladies cycling shoes covers road, tri, MTB and touring, catering for sizes 36-42. New for 2013 is a women specific version of the 331, and the new TX212 Tri shoe. sales@moorelarge.co.uk.

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Oxford Products
Amongst Oxford Product’s growing cycle range are two comfort saddles pitched at the ladies market – the first being the Comfort Gel for £19.99. The ergonomic designed saddle is waterproof, comes with clamp and is of course gel filled. The Comfort MTB saddle has a super soft centre, is waterproof, also sports an ergonomic design and retails at £13.99.

More details are available at www.oxprod.com

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Raleigh
Raleigh’s women’s bikes fall into four categories – Classic Lifestyle, Urban Lifestyle, Off-Road and Road. The classic range is nostalgic and stylish, with an emphasis on the uncomplicated. The urban lifestyle range includes the Strada and Pioneer series, the former being a functional range that is lightweight and easily upgradeable. The Pioneer meanwhile are aimed at commuting or country lane cruising, providing traditional styling with a modern twist.

There’s also the red or dead range, of course, which has seen the likes of the Ruscia Rose bike sell out, while the Bikeland and Seaspray models have also been strong sellers, we hear.
01773 532600

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Rapha
Rapha’s SS13 women's range includes plenty of female-focused products, including the brand’s first-ever female-specific bib shorts, as well as a race-fit Souplesse Jersey. The lightweight summer riding bib shorts are created for everyday riding, retailing at £150. They’re made from a matt, Lyrca fabric that is breathable and has top notch moisture transfer, we’re told. Aside from product, Rapha is currently campaigning to get thousands of women around the world cycling 100km on July 7th. It’s all part of the Women’s 100 initiative, timed for the anniversary of the Tour de France. There’s more on that and the full product range at the site below.
www.rapha.cc

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Sawako Furuno
Since 2008 Sawako Furuno has been producing helmets designed for women. With a strong emphasis on fashion and style, the current line-up includes a leopard print (pictured) version. Throughout the range, aside from animal prints, the products have been inspired by traditional Japanese prints, BikeBiz is told. They’re all EN and CPSC tested, have an edjustable dial for fit and feature 11 vents each. The designer is an architect by trade and launched the company after she couldn’t find anything she wanted to wear while cycling around London.

Prices range between £68 and £84 and they’re available through Bouf.com, a network of bike shops in the UK, Europe and North America. Inquiries from bicycle retailers looking to stock are welcomed.
www.sawakofuruno.com

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SRAM
SRAM’s Reach Adjust allows every rider to custom set reach to both the brake and shift lever independently – perfect for smaller hands, female and male alike. The technology is available on SRAM’s road shifters – RED, Force, Rival and Apex. SRAM says you can establish as much as 10mm of separation between the brake and shift lever paddles.

Again aimed at riders with smaller hands, the Zipp Service Course CSL Bar has a new Super Short Reach bend making it easier to get to the control levels and an ovalised top section which forms a natural grip for the hand while neatly tucking in the cable housing. The drops have an ergonomic bend, which is angled outward by two degrees for better wrist comfort. There’s also a full range of Zipp bars with 40cm width. More details from Fisher: 01727 798345

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Tiger Cycles
Tiger Cycles has launched its biggest ever range of ladies cycles. The all new offering includes new alloy framed ATBs to complement the existing steel framed version of the Siren, an alloy framed Spirit 21 speed Hybrid, fully kitted out and with suspension forks. The popular Town and Country and Traditionals have been upgraded with new colours and leather saddles and grips and to top that the 50cm fixies have just arrived in Tiger’s eye-catching neon colours including a new Pink and White version. For details call 01683 220837 or
email info@tigercycles.com

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Velo
Senso Miles WI0 (VL-4214) features an O-Zone cutout lined with a slick, non-friction cover to avoid chafing. A light carbon fibre injection base and rail, high-density light foam cushioning and ArcTech suspension add comfort in feminine proportions. The Senso Miles I (VL-4170) has a firm but elastic component structure and light suspension in aerodynamic form. The Double Density base unites soft layers with superior shock absorption, underscoring road comfort with the micro-fibre saddle cover and O-Zone airflow ‘groove’.

The Senso Sport WHC (VL-4164) gives stability and comfort for strenuous competitions and long distance runs. It is another Velo offering that features nylon fibre injection technology and high-density, light foam cushioning.
Velo is distributed to the trade via Independent (www.independent100.com).
01299 400008

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Water Off a Duck’s Back
On the ladies front, WOADB’s spring launch has introduced a stylish slimline single-breasted coat called the Pamela, created in response to customer feedback. People wanted something that was closer fitting and less flared, BikeBiz learns. Whilst the brand is constrained by the fact that the coats need to accommodate leg movement when cycling the firm believes it has designed something that is sleek and chic.

In addition to the new coat there is the range stalwart Cassandra which continues to be the most popular selling of the coats. It is in a double breasted style, which is incredibly fashionable at the moment we hear.
Water Off a Duck’s Back is currently looking for new stockists in the UK. Get in touch at the email below:
Antonia@wateroffaducksback.co.uk

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Zyro
Abus’ Lane U Signal helmet (£59.99) features added 360 degree strong intensity reflectivity, while the brand’s Bordo Granit X-Plus lock (£99.99) is manufactured with tough 5.5mm hardened steel links. The Bordo 6000 folding lock is produced with 5mm steel bars that are coated to prevent scratching bike paintwork, retailing at
£69.99/£74.99. Zyro also stocks a wide range of Altura female goods, forged through extensive R&D and testing team feedback. Meanwhile the Bodyfit range has three women-specific designs and. CamelBak’s all-new women’s specific hydration system is the Spark 10 LR. Prologo has developed a range of women’s specific saddles for performance and leisure riders. More details from 01845 521700.

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