Style

Bicycle as a trend object – the comfortable lady equipment in 2016

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“I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike” – loosely based on Freddy Mercury, that’s probably what many people think on a beautiful spring day. Because the first calendar season of the new year lets nature blossom and increasingly invites you to outdoor activities. The bike is quickly fetched from the cellar, brought for inspection and the route to work or the weekly Sunday walk are completed by two-wheeler. In recent years, the bicycle has mutated into a trend object: There are specially designed utensils, especially for the female population, which promise not only safety, but also a trendy look.

1. Cross-gender leisure activity: Independent cycling

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The use of the bicycle has not been regarded as a means of transport across all genders since it was invented, because it was not until around the end of the 19th century that cycling was also “en vogue” among women and was no longer viewed with too big a hawkish eye. In the meantime, cycling has both female and male connotations: There are special lady bikes and newer bicycle models have become trendsetters for every gender and every age group.

a) Modern cycling: trends and cycling fun for every woman

i.) The technical features of the lady bikes and optical variations

The so-called lady bikes, which are adapted to the female anatomy, have only established themselves over the years for various types of bicycles. While the lower frame (“women’s or trapezoidal frame”) has long been part of women’s models for easier climbing, manufacturers have meanwhile also geared other attachments to the bike specifically to meet the needs of women, so that comfort is increased and a safer feeling is created . Especially in the production of sporty models – for example the mountain bike – more and more changes are made by suppliers that modify the more common form in the “men’s version” with diamond frames (“men’s frames”). But other models such as the Dutch bike, the city bike, the trekking bike or the beach cruiser are also sold as special lady bikes.

Features of the lady bikes

• The frame is smaller and the central bar is often changed in shape (for example lowered / rounded).

• The distance between the steering wheel and the saddle is shorter than on a men’s bike.

• The handlebars are usually set higher than on men’s bikes.

⇨ For a more upright seat, which women often prefer to a straight seat.

• Attachments are designed for the female anatomy (shorter legs, arms and hands).

• Visually, they often have a special design or an individual color scheme compared to the men’s version of a model.

ii.) Cycling and integration: cycling courses for Muslim migrants

While the woman on the city or mountain bike is normal in this country, this image is very rare or not at all in some Muslim countries. In Afghanistan, however, a few years ago, with the help of the non-profit organization “Mountain2Mountain” and its sponsor Shannon Galpin, Muslim women joined forces and formed a women’s national team, which now wants to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. In 2009, Galpin became the first woman in Afghanistan to jump on a mountain bike, paving the way for the gender revolution on the bike. Their commitment to equality was even proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize in February. This article gives further background to the work of the team, about which a film “Afghan Cycle” was already made. The following video shows an excerpt:

In this country too, Muslim women are committed to cycling. There is no sports team yet, but there are still several small teams that come together at least for a short time to learn to ride a bike together. The prospective cyclists get help in voluntary associations in various cities, so that they can spend their free time cycling, doing shopping or doing sports – without restrictions. For women, cycling means above all freedom and independence.

Contents of the cycling courses:

The courses are mostly financed by donations and take place, among other things, on traffic training areas. At least the practical part, which follows the no less important theory. Because so that the women sit safely in the saddle and feel the same way in traffic, bicycle technology and traffic rules are explained to them before they step on the pedals for the first time.

b) The e-bike as a trendy bike: relaxed through mountains and valleys

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i.) The way from a senior citizen’s bike to a lifestyle vehicle

In the meantime, however, it is no longer just riding on the “normal” bike, which is set in motion by your own pedaling movement, on the cycle paths and cycling tours through nature, but increasingly also driving on electrically powered e-bikes. The advantages of the e-bike, which among other things makes driving easier – especially uphill – were initially appreciated by seniors who are still sporty on the road, but are happy not to use too much force when pedaling, especially on longer bike trips have to. A distinction is made in the motor-driven two-wheeler market between different e-bike variants and pedelecs. These have also become increasingly interesting for younger cyclists. The change in the class of buyers confirms the following NDR report after which the buyers are getting younger and younger and they are no longer mainly limited to the age group of over 50-year-olds. In Germany, around 2.3 million e-bikes are on the road and accompany their “riders” to work, shopping, through nature or during weekly training.

The e-bikes and pedelecs are also available in the lady version with a special frame geometry and the other features of the lady bikes (see “The technical features of the lady bikes and optical variations”). In the last few years, manufacturers have come up with innovations that support the e-bike as a lifestyle product, especially in the area of ​​optics and workmanship. The battery is becoming increasingly invisible, rechargeable batteries are becoming lighter and the design is becoming more colorful and trendy. Manufacturers offer pedelecs for the style and trend-conscious woman, which are available in more feminine colors – such as purple – with bright, prominent tires (e.g. beige) and with matching bicycle bags. The designs often pick up on well-known trends that can also be found in other sectors such as furnishing and fashion – for example the retro-look bicycle. Describes other innovations and developments that, in addition to a stylish look and trendy e-bikes, promote the image of the bicycle from being a pure means of transport to becoming a lifestyle vehicle following blog entry.

E-bike – the speed without pedaling

• Is considered a small “motor vehicle”.

• Is driven by an electric motor, which is switched on with a button or twist grip and works without pedaling.

• The e-bike can travel at speeds of up to 20 km / h with the aid of the motor thrust – the e-bike can travel at speeds of up to 45 km / h.

Pedelecs – support of the pedaling movement

• The term Pedelec is made up of Pedelec Electric Cycle.

• Are considered to be bicycles under traffic law (at a maximum speed of 25 km / h and a motor power of 250 watts).

• There are no helmet, insurance or driving license requirements

ii.) What to look out for when buying and before starting your journey

Anyone who opts for a hybrid-powered bike often has to invest more than for a “simple” city bike. The prices are on average around 2,000 euros. Inexperienced cyclists or those who feel unsafe on the bike may initially be overwhelmed with a pedelec. Sporty drivers, on the other hand, are not challenged when they can reach the maximum speed of 25 km / h without the help of the engine.

In order to feel safe on the pedelec, it should always fit your body size. When choosing, the frame height that fits your own body size – height between the center of the bottom bracket and the upper end of the seat tube – of the bike is often used. However, it is often only after a test drive at a specialist dealer that reliable information about the right model can be obtained, because in addition to the frame, the behavior of the steering – for example when cornering – and the braking behavior are decisive criteria for assessment. The total permissible weight is also decisive when buying a bike, which ranges from around 120 to 300 kilograms. The total weight is determined by the following factors:

• Body weight

• Weight of the bike

• Weight of luggage or other utensils such as basket and lock

In order to arrive safely and comfortably with the bike and the associated equipment, the brakes should of course also work well – hydraulic braking systems with rim or disc brakes are recommended so that the rider of the powered “lifestyle product” on two wheels does not get off the saddle so quickly throws.

2. All-round equipment for cyclists and cyclists: comfortable textiles and protection

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For a safe and comfortable ride on the pedelec, e-bike or city bike in a trendy retro look, securing the bike and the right cycling clothing are also decisive. Because this prevents the causes of accidents and theft and ensures comfortable driving pleasure.

a) Practical and effective equipment

i.) From shoes to helmets: what needs to be considered

Anyone who gets on their bike for the short way to the bakery or for a tour into the city does not necessarily need special cycling clothing, which is why in such cases sturdy shoes and comfortable everyday clothing are often used. The situation is different with clothing for the sporty or longer tour on the weekends. First of all, you should stand safely on the pedals. While the shoes should primarily provide lightness and stability when riding a racing bike, sturdy shoes that allow a powerful step are helpful for mountain biking.

Above all, breathable functional clothing should be used: T-shirts and pants made of synthetic fibers do not soak up sweat and ensure that no unpleasant heat accumulates between the body and the fabric. Sports equipment also includes a sports bra made of breathable material. In contrast to T-shirts or trousers, however, the wrong size is often chosen for a bra. Only around 20 percent of all women wear a suitable bra size, which can lead to impairments due to insufficient support not only in everyday life, but also during exercise. A suitable sports bra absorbs around 75 percent of the chest movements, a “normal” bra, on the other hand, only around 40 percent. When choosing the right model, special guides help you choose the bra based on your dress size, bra size and the intensity of the sport, so that the sensitive breast tissue is protected and the natural elasticity of the breast is maintained. Incorrect or insufficient support can quickly lead to pain. These are avoided by the strength of the material and the wide straps of the sports bra.

iii.) Armed against rain showers – what protects against moisture

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When the sun is shining, this is particularly inviting for a relaxed or more sporty bike tour. However, the weather can change quickly, so rainwear should not be missing from the bike equipment, because keeping an umbrella on the bike is rather difficult. Special all-round jackets are not only waterproof and wick away sweat through ventilation slots, they are also quickly crumpled up and disappeared in the business bag or shopper.

In addition to jackets, there are waterproof throws such as ponchos in a wide variety of colors and with a wide variety of patterns – from red, pink or magenta to designs with dots, stripes or floral details. The ponchos often have a detachable hood, a waistband that prevents them from being blown up, or an integrated storage pocket. And below, the well-known rain pants can now be replaced by a maxi skirt that does not have to be pulled over clothing, but is simply tied around like an apron. The skirt protects from rain and splashing water from the waist to the calves and can be adjusted to the height of the central bar by gathering it and, like the poncho, can be folded into a compact format.

v.) Women’s saddle – What to look for when choosing

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But not only your own body, but also your bike can be protected from rain. The fabric saddle in particular soaks up quickly with water and ensures a wet bottom or the ride while standing. This and the expensive leather saddle can be provided with a rain cover for the saddle, these are even available with dots to match ponchos and the like, in bright colors or with large flowers and graphic patterns.

An unsuitable saddle can cause discomfort and lead to pain in the buttocks or genital area even after short distances. Women do not necessarily have to rely on a “side saddle” for relief and a comfortable fit. When choosing the saddle, the distance between the ischial tuberosities – which is usually wider for women than for men – is decisive.

b) Well “protected” team

i.) A “safe protection” for the bike

Reliable securing is essential so that the stylish retro-look bike or the sporty mountain bike can be left out of sight without worries – for example for a tour through the city. There are a number of different locks on the market that are spiral, rigid, or easy to bend. To be on the safe side, you can pay attention to the quality seal of the General German Bicycle Club (“ADFC Recommended Quality”). To maintain the seal, U-locks, chain locks, folding locks or frame locks are subjected to tests that relate not only to security but also to usability. Further information on the different locks can be found at the website of the German Bicycle Club.

Tip:

The bike should not only be locked with the lock, but also connected to fence posts or lamp posts. If possible, it is best to park the bike in special bicycle parking garages.

ii.) Head Protection – Fit and Designs

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When choosing a helmet, it is essential to ensure that it is neither too big nor too small. In addition, it should be sufficiently padded on the inside and not press uncomfortably on the head, so that pain occurs when worn for a long time. In addition to the upholstery, ventilation slots are also important, which can be smaller for a recreational cyclist and leisurely tours, while the sporty cyclist should rely on large openings that ensure sufficient fresh air on the head when riding – this is not how it is under the helmet too warm quickly.

Although the helmet is known to ensure safety, it is often left in the bike shop due to the fact that it is not mandatory to wear a helmet and for aesthetic reasons. However, there are now some stylish models that are not only eye-catching but also don’t look like a helmet at first glance. Bicycle helmets are now covered with fabric, designed in a hat shape or “camouflaged” as a cap. The protective bike caps usually have a visor on the upper edge, which protects the make-up from getting lost in rainy weather and in which the ponytail can be pulled through a recess on the back of the head and thus kept in shape.

4. Cycling with a child and Bello

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Small and animal co-pilots who like to accompany you on a tour into the city or through the great outdoors should also be well protected. Appropriate equipment is necessary to ensure the safety of children and the family dog.

a) Safe seat for the kids

i.) Bicycle seat and bicycle trailer: differences and purchase instructions

If the youngest are not yet able to cycle independently or if longer tours are still too strenuous for them, they can be taken safely and comfortably as a passenger in a seat or trailer. In the bicycle seat, children up to the age of six can take a maximum of 22 kilograms in the front behind the steering wheel and up to 15 kilograms in the back. If the children are seated in front, conversations can take place while driving, while the little ones in the back are usually more sheltered from the wind. In every sitting position, however, it is important to ensure that the legs cannot get caught in the spokes.

Tip:

The belts should fit well and should be checked for their strength and proper closure every now and then. In addition, the little ones should be equipped with a suitable children’s helmet.

The kids are even more sheltered from the wind in a bicycle trailer. These usually offer one or two places and are designed for a weight of up to 70 kilograms. If only one child is traveling with you, they should sit in the middle of the trailer – this and the wide position of the wheels ensure more balance and prevent the trailer from tipping over.

b) The four-legged friend as copilot

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i.) Equipment for a safe dog run next to the bike

The bond between owner and dog should work well for walking on the bike, so basic obedience is one of the most important prerequisites for cycling with your four-legged friend. Because if the dog runs between the wheels or is easily distracted by other dogs or people, this can be dangerous. With an experienced cycling team, the dog can be led with a jogging leash, for example, which can be passed over the shoulder around the stomach or held in the hand. Special bicycle and jogging leashes use a rear shock absorber to soften the dog’s jerky movements.

A so-called jumper can be used to guide the dog more easily. The steel tube with suspension is attached to the frame of the bike. The jumper serves as a spacer and ensures that the dog cannot run between the wheels.

Tip:

Before going into city traffic, a test drive with the basket and dog should be undertaken, because the additional weight and movements of the dog can affect the driving behavior.

ii.) The ride in the dog basket – which functions the basket should have

For smaller dogs, there are also dog baskets that can be attached to the bike just like the child seat. These are available in different designs – from a basket made of fabric, which can be closed windproof with a zipper, to a basket made of willow with a lattice roof.

Dog basket:

• Protection against wind and moisture.

• Comfortable seat (basket can be laid out with your favorite blanket in addition to being upholstered).

• Large selection: models are available for different bike models.

In between, you should always take breaks so that the dog can stretch its legs and drink – especially during the warm season. For on the go there are foldable bowls and water dispensers that consist of a foldable bottle-bowl system.

5. Conclusion

The bicycle has increasingly advanced to become a lifestyle product, in which, among other things, lady bikes in colorful designs or e-bikes have played their part. When it comes to helmets, saddles and the like, in addition to safety, particular importance is attached to the design of the women’s versions. Before the start in early summer, it is important to bring your own bike up to date in terms of technology and style.

Pictures:

Figure 1: © vladstar – fotolia.com (# 69279050)

Figure 2: © vadymvdrobot – fotolia.com (# 112110032)

Figure 3: © Patrizia Tilly – fotolia.com (# 107520188)

Figure 4: © WavebreakMediaMicro – fotolia.com (# 108595674)

Figure 5: © Christian Müller – fotolia.com (# 91795061)

Figure 6: © Ingrid Hoffmann – fotolia.com (# 36148993)

Figure 7: © industrieblick – fotolia.com (# 95832560)

Figure 8: © JackF – fotolia.com (# 109524837)

Figure 9: © lilu13 – fotolia.com (# 65343018)