We pestered the great and the good for their view
Is women’s kit still a pink version of the men’s? Or is it now a real, bona fide product? Rachel Jevons asks the question to various riders and bike industry bods.
By Rachel Jevons.
It’s no secret that more men ride MTB, than women. But with numbers increasing along with our purchasing power, is the market catching up? Are we still ‘pinking it and shrinking it’? Or is there a move to give women what they want – whatever that is, pesky creatures that we are?
From global manufacturer, to regular-Jo; we pestered the great and the good for their view.
Pink it and shrink it?
“It’s frustrating that the market has gone the other way – you can’t find much pink even if you want it! Women are reclaiming pink and saying ‘Hey I look good and feel good’. It’s time we realise it’s okay to feel like that” – Kelli Salone, Dame Racing
“A lot of brands are getting it right… Orange bikes offer an upgrade to women for free, on their bikes…” – Aaron Ponsford, The Riders’ Guild
“I think people are really starting to take notice. We need to be careful though… we don’t need women specific everything… just include us in the community” – Natalie Fraser, rider, product reviewer
“… the industry has tended to treat women as if we are a homogenous group.… we often have different motivation and…. experience. The number of women taking part is still relatively low compared to men so targeting small groups within an already small group makes marketing difficult and products expensive. Personally I wish we could drop the ‘women’s bike’ emphasis and instead have bikes for people, in a range of sizes and with different contact point options” – Adele Mitchell – writer, rider
“At Fox we don’t make assumptions about what women want. Our designers look at what is happening in the fashion industry and bring those concepts into our technical products. Our ranges are designed by women for women” – Stuart Swaby, Fox UK
“…there were lots of MTB brands making women’s specific kit but few retailers were selling it…. this still seems to be the case with ……. stores stocking a wide range of men’s kit; but look for something women’s specific and suddenly the choice is very limited” – Anita Hartley, Flow MTB Apparel
“Women have hips, why don’t women’s clothes fit curves?…. I basically look like a bloke at weekends” – Tess Kaykeebee, rider
Essentially we’re saying: Yes, we’ve moved on from pinking and shrinking, but there needs to be an inclusive rather than exclusive approach. Sizing remains an issue, with many women struggling to find kit that fits. And whilst choice for women is good online, there is lack of parity when it comes to bricks and mortar stores.