If you ask me, 2014 will be a year filled with more women’s cycling products than ever before. Both the Interbike outdoor demo and the indoor halls were filled with manufacturers, inventors, apparel designers and more with amazing gear to show. Everyone was happy to speak with us about their women’s lines and what’s to come for the new year.
Here’s a quick preview of some of the more interesting innovations found at this year’s expo-not all women’s specific, but all intelligently designed with features that caught my eye:
Top spot on the podium goes to the Omnium Trainer by SportsCrafters. Inc. This smartly designed portable trainer measures in at 22 by 7 by 6 inches and weighs just 13.5 pounds-super light and easy to use. The rear is a compact roller set that your rear wheel rides on, just like normal rollers only smaller. Your front wheel is removed, and the fork is secured on a stand-up platform that pulls out from under the roller and is fully adjustable to the height needed, thus you are riding a roller-like experience but without the fear of falling or using a large space. Of course, you could just learn to ride rollers, but the huge advantage here is for racing. Just think about it-a lightweight roller, no removing the rear wheel, fully adjustable and under 15 pounds. This is a game changer for the pre-race warm-up or spin classes at your local bike shop, even for bike fit. Fast, light, efficient, multi-functional and effective-all qualities we appreciate as cyclists. Coming in November for $449.
Spy Optic sunglasses put a whole new twist on getting rid of glare. Spy’s Happy sunglasses soothe the harmful rays and encourage the happy rays into your vision-sort of like looking at life through rose-colored glasses. Most styles are unisex, with a new women’s specific frame this year named Libra- super cool in the Mint Chop Fade Bronze frame.
Bushnell isn’t typically a name thought of when speaking of cycling; however, this year, Bushnell was at Interbike with a product that has so many uses in both road and mountain biking: the solar-powered cell phone/GPS/camera/MP3 charger. The PowerSync Solar WrapMini boasts 8 battery watt hours; ability to recharge via solar, AC or USB; fits in the palm of your hand; and even comes with a handy carabineer hole for attaching it to your Camelbak so you can charge it using solar energy while riding endless Moab trails or long wine-country tours. Simply brilliant! Retails for $60.
Rudy Project unveiled the Wingspan Black Diamond TT helmet and glasses that will make every girl defy the wind. Seeing this set, all a girl needs to say is, ‘I want it and I want it delivered now.’ Be prepared to dish out for the Swarovski elements-$509.99. But aero is everything, right?
Once again boutique clothing company Evaki Sportswear set up shop right outside the women’s lounge, where owner Al says he can best learn what women want-makes sense, and it definitely shows in a beautifully designed Dragonfly tri kit. Gorgeous attention to the art and the quality of this kit made it a show-stopper.
The Italian job-if there is one section of the show that can’t be missed, it would be the Italian pavilion that showcased a variety of Italian brands. Design elements by Pissei included sleeves that can be worn long or buttoned short as the day heats up, and the Lycra shorts rested only where needed (on the seat). Beautiful soft fabrics and neutral tones made these rest-day ride outfits glamorous and functional.
Nalini had so many fabulous fabrics, jerseys, bibs and even a hooded bolero that should be in every women’s cycling closet. This striking Nalini retro jersey can easily multifunction as a rest day ride jersey or after-ride wear. It’s so soft that you have to feel it to believe it!
Few bike companies know how to infuse a sense of fun into cycling more than Electra bikes, so for the lady who loves to ride in shorts or a dress, have fun and accessorize her ride, this bike meets all her needs. Electric bikes were all the rage at Interbike, too, and Electra has that covered as well with their Townie Go bikes.
Pivot takes the Goldilocks award for finding the sweet-spot ride for mountain biking women. The Les 27.5 had more rave reviews at the outdoor demo than one could imagine. The compact geometry, standover clearance, available sizes (XS?L), and shorter chainstays allow shorter riders to ride the larger wheel size in comfort.