Inside SheBeest Clothing – A Woman’s World

As with all facets of the cycling world, the clothing market continues to evolve just as much as frames, wheels, and drivetrains. Shebeest is a women’s specific clothing brand that got its start in Southern California twenty years ago. It was on a recent group ride that we saw some women sporting some colorful, eye-catching kits with the Shebeest logo that got to thinking it was time to check with the brand to see what’s new.

We’ve known company Chief Beest Patricia Nilsen for years and she was happy to fill us in on some of the latest trends in women’s specific riding gear.

RBA: When was Shebeest founded?
Patti: That was back in 1997 and it’s had more lives than a tabby thru several acquisitions.  Most women fondly remember the 20 year old brand and are rediscovering it and the new, updated direction the brand is headed in.
RBA: What should women cyclists think about women’s specific clothing?
Patti: It’s funny, but I would give you the same answer that I would’ve given you 20 years ago: chamois that works for their under-chassis, the fabrics, and the fit. What has changed most is how much the available prints have evolved – I don’t own any black shorts anymore!  If there’s a simple F word I could use it would be “fashion” which to Shebeest means incorporating stretch features like reflective lace and laser-cut scalloped zippers.
RBA: What are some of the new trends in clothing?
Patti: Bib shorts. Women have discovered the comfort men have known for years. The Petunia halter style bib with Modona inspired mesh is lightweight, uber feminine and allows you to powder your nose without removing your jersey. I would also add accessories like coordinating socks, gloves, hats, headbands which not only bring a sense of style, but also fun. Versatility is also key with options like a removable pad in convertible styles for the gym and spin.
RBA: Is there a difference between the clothing designs used for mountain and road riding?
Patty: I’m glad you asked. Like any sport there is an inherent culture, vibe, and look that is often associated with it. Which to me raises the question about why we still see so much spandex on women out on the trail. To date there haven’t been options for riding hard on a mountain bike and still looking like a woman. Frequent problems of include shorts that catch on saddle, and are overbuilt, hot, heavy and look like dude clothing.  After years of riding in board shorts with chamois stuffed in them, we created the Skinny Americano and The Blend.We decided to work on redefining the “Baggie” and built one up with four way stretch woven material for abrasion. Tailored Skinny Americano Shorts coupled with the uber lightweight Glamour Panty, lingerie inspired undershort with Italian MTB pad. The Blend is patterned from a spandex road short but made from a 4 way stretch woven with a pad built-in.  Women are choosing these for road, trail and gravel and saying “thank you for finally designing a women’s mountain bike short that doesn’t make me look like a Disney mom.”

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