Saturday, May 6, 2017

10 Of The Best Bikes For Women in 2017

In response to RedBull's recent list of 2017's best womens-specific bikes, I'd like to present an ACTUAL list of great bikes for women in 2017 (not just a collection of budget-ass rigs thrown together by someone who doesn't think that equipment matters to female riders).

1: LITERALLY ANY FUCKING BIKE THAT FITS YOU CORRECTLY, REGARDLESS OF GENITALS.

The end.

No. But seriously. You don't need a 'women's specific bike'. You need a 'human specific bike'. After all, a bicycle built for an elephant will probably be too large and heavy and a bicycle built for a fish is superfluous because what need would a fish have for  bicycle?

I digress.

For me personally, here are a few bikes at different price points that I love because of their features. Try one on if you like it, dismiss my opinion entirely, or shout mean things at me while throwing slushies from the chairlift. You do you, love.

2: Anything from Transition
These folks are getting the first mention simply because of their new take on the 'specific' marketing inside of MTB, but they also happen to make damn fine mountain cycles. They're also rider-owned and run, they have kickass customer service, they truly give a damn about the MTB community and... Okay, I'll stop. But really. Go. Go now.


Transition Bikes: Human Specific Design from Transition Bikes on Vimeo.


3: Anything from Pivot Cycles.  

Now, this may come as a shock to most people here, but Pivot has been making 'womens-specific' bikes longer than anyone in the market. They've also been making 'men's specific' bikes forever because they make size-specific rigs. What a novel fucking concept. Their bikes range from XS to XL and, like the Mach 6 pictured below, are hard-charging as they come. Their bikes aren't designed for the wallflower, either: Pivot's athletes range from kickass XC racer Jen Hanks to World Cup rider Emilie Siegenthaler and they've supported female racers at every level since before it was en vogue to back up marketing lip service. Pivot has consistently support efforts to get more #girlsonbikes and to create actual parity within cycling by hiring women at their Phoenix HQ, sponsoring women across the spectrum, making great bikes that fit people of all sizes, and not skimping on the build specs. That's why they made my list.




4: 2017 GT Sanction: 

GT is getting my endorsement because not only do they make kickass bikes with killer geometry, but they make (comparatively) affordable bikes as well as sponsoring female riders and hiring some really smart and rad women. Tell me that isn't a company worth supporting.  






5: Anything From Kona Bikes

Kona did away with most of their 'womens specific' category a while back and instead, opted to expand the sizing range offered to fit a better section of riders who want a good rig from a good company. Kona also supports massive amounts of lady efforts from CycloCross to the new Kona Supremes, an all-female squad in the PNW. Like Pivot, Kona's bikes come in sizes ranging from XS to XL -- enough range to fit people from 4'11" to 6'4". While different companies will have different geometries to fit different people, the Process 143 below comes in at a seriously reasonable $2699 USD with components that don't skimp on efficacy.  






6. The Evils:

With lower standover height and high-end appeal, anything from Evil comes with the ability to rule entire underworlds. Whether it's the 27.5 Insurgent or the 29 Following, these bikes are made for major fun (the type that might get you arrested). Ranging from size S to XL, they have highly-capable handling for even the most discerning lady. Evil has also hired one of my favorite lady-shredders this year, Kathy Pruitt, as their most recent addition to the staff... Between badass bikes built for people and hiring based on radness, that's enough for me.  

Image result for Evil Insurgent



7 - 10: Anything not branded 'womens specific'.

Listen: there's a huge difference between a company claiming to be 'women's specific' and a company that, instead of marketing their way into female hearts, actually earns a spot in our stand.

There are plenty of companies out there willing to tell women what we want to hear but not as many who are actually walking the walk with what they're doing behind the scenes. The list above is in no way a comprehensive or complete rundown of what the industry has to offer. It's more of a sampling of the companies out there offering actual bikes for actual people.  

While 'women's specific' bikes might make us ladies feel as though we're finally being given our (over)due, being 'given' a pre-selected and carefully controlled place in the industry isn't equality. All of the shiny pink and purple paint in the world doesn't cover up the desperate need for parity and real equality within cycling, and buying into the notion that women deserve lesser components isn't going to help us get where we need to go. Our industry needs wider sizing range for people of all sizes. This industry needs actual diversity, not just advertising efforts that try to capture the female dollar. If you want a bike, please buy based on your needs as an individual.

That's the only way we'll ever get bikes that fit.










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