Quite a few bike manufactures are making women’s specific bikes these days and many of them are employing the tweener, 27.5 wheel size. Raleigh has joined the party with its 2014 Eva hardtail line which has switched to 27.5 wheels throughout. Last year’s Eva models were all 29ers and I had the opportunity to review the Eva 29 Comp (Dirt Rag Issue #172). I’m excited to get a chance to ride the 2014 model and compare the two.Tweet Print
If you have a serious bike obsession equal to mine, shopping for new bike products can break the bank. Thankfully, Nashbar is a competitively-priced company that carries a plethora of products, including bikes, like this offering, the $500 Bee’s Knees 650B Single Speed.
The Bee’s Knees is a simple, fully rigid singlespeed with working man’s components that, while on the entry-level side, will likely last a while. Notably, the Alex XD-Lite rims, Kenda Nevegal 27.5 tires and FSA Hammer headset all took a beating and remain ready to handle more.Tweet Print
By Trina Haynes
The $1,100 Eva Comp is one of three women specific 29ers from Raleigh for 2013. While it’s true that women don’t necessarily need a “women specific” bike, they do have a few known benefits: shorter top tubes, to accommodate a shorter torso and longer legs as well as a lower stand-over height than any of the men’s frames I’ve ridden. As someone who has knocked her pelvic bone off the top tube once… ok, maybe twice. I am pretty jazzed about the vag-drop.
With only a handful of rides on this lovely lady (zing!) I can already feel the difference and benefits in the geometry. First and foremost, a more comfortable, upright riding position takes pressure off my sometimes, delicate back while boosting confidence and control over the front of the bike. The wheelbase makes for decent rear response and frame feels pretty smooth when the ride gets a little craggy.
Having only ever ridden on mechanical brakes before I’m stoked to have the opportunity to play with the Tektro Draco Hydraulic Disc brakes. The brakes are one of the highlights over its two siblings, as well as the Rock Shox XC32 fork and SRAM X5 drivetrain.
Keep an eye out for my full review in Issue #172, due on newsstands and mailboxes in a few weeks.Tweet Print
By Trina Haynes. Photos by Emily Walley.
There were a record-breaking 203 women at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park’s Women’s Weekend in Milwaukee and a record 218 at the same event in Cleveland. I feel like I can say with confidence there is a growth of woman who are embracing the fun and challenging sport of mountain biking.
Ray’s level of dedication to encourage woman to ride is astounding. Friday is free to woman. Free! And the day includes coaching from some amazing women who want to help further the techniques and confidence of ladies, no matter the level of experience. You also get lunch, an amazing opportunity to win some prizes, and hours of riding, then end the day with a beer in hand. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Think about it: almost an entire day with no entry fee’s coming in for Ray’s. That’s a lot of revenue and shows serious support for encouraging women who ride or always wanted to. Here is what a few ladies had to say:
From our video interviews and chatting with ladies in the park, the percent of women who plan on taking their bikes out on trails this summer due to the weekend of learning and fun is substantial. With that in mind, Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Parks mission of encouraging woman to ride was accomplished.
If you can’t make it to Women’s Weekend, making a trip out to the park is worth the journey. It provides an opportunity to enhance your riding capabilities and hone in on skills.
I want to say a big “Thank you!” to Ray, the coaches and the staff at both parks, for your continuing dedication and support. Cheers to another year!
Let Ray’s Indoor MTB Park know how much you appreciate the opportunity and support by sending a letter, or card, photo, email to say thanks to Ray, the coaches and the staff. Or even better, stop by and tell them in person!
8365 N. 76th St.
Milwaukee, WI 15223
Walford Industrial park
9801 Walford Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44102
By Trina Haynes.
As a cyclist and a mom of two, I am quite familiar with Nashbar’s offerings. Over the years it’s been the cost effective outlet for my hubby and I to get new gear without breaking the bank.
This year Nashbar is breaking into the 650b market with the $500 Bee’s Knees single speed. This is not the first 650b I have played around on and I already enjoy this “tweener” size.
The first thing that caught my eye is the stock gearing, a 38 tooth ring matched with a 16 tooth cassette is a bit of a heavy gear for ascending mountains and seems more apt to commuting. A test of singlespeed uphill charging abilities are definitely ahead.
The bike comes stock with 620mm handlebars which I will likely swap out for something a bit wider for more leverage on climbs. A smaller chainring or bigger cog may be in my future as well. Time will tell.
I’ve only had a few decent weather days to get a good spin on the bike, and I have minimal complaints thus far. From our smooth rolling home trail to a weekend at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park, the Bee’s Knees has performed admirably.
This is my first time on a fully rigid setup and the low-speed technical control is great. The trade off, of course, is no high speed impact dampening. As a girl with a history of poor wrist circulation, a little cushion out front might not be a bad idea for an upgrade
I’m looking forward to many more rides on this budget-friendly single speed. Time will tell if it really is the Bee’s Knees. Look for my full review in an upcoming issue of Dirt Rag.
By Trina Haynes. Photos by Emily Walley.
From ultra-beginners to advanced riders, ladies traveled far and wide to enjoy a day of one-on-one coaching and a weekend of women dominating Ray’s Indoor bike park in Cleveland.
Struggling with the art of tackling skinny’s, how to ride a pump a track, or have you always wanted to launch into the foam pit? You could attain some new skills to help tackle these challenges by making it out Friday for the one on one coaching. Every woman has the ability to join a class at whichever level they feel they would like some coaching.
We want to send out a big thank you to all the coaches; Leigh Donovan. Rae Gandolf, Carley Young, Jeni Rosen, Angi West, Nadi Stenbrecher, Wendy Palmer, Suzanne Summer, Hillary Elgert, Tania Juillert, and the very pregnant Corey McGee!
Check out our quick video edit!
Join us at the Ray’s Indoor Milwaukee Women’s Weekend March 15-17. Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. will be open to women only and Saturday and Sunday will be half price for ladies.
By the Dirt Rag staff
This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.
That’s not how we roll. Instead, we asked each staffer to select two items that they had experience with and would wholeheartedly recommend to fellow a mountain biker. Real riders, honest recommendations, realistic prices—the way it should be.
Each day we’ve been sharing a different staffer’s choices for their favorite gear of the year. Today’s picks are from Advertising Sales Manager Trina Haynes.
Camelback Mini Mule – $50
My little ripper was very excited to carry his own water, snacks, and use the emergency whistle whenever possible. The backpack straps are mesh for some breathability and the chest strap is easy to adjust. My son, Odin, has used it for mountain biking, long distance rides while cruising in the trailer, hiking, and any other excursion he can convince me to let him take it. It comes in blue, pink, and red with flames.
‘Let’s Get Primitive: An Urban Girl’s Guides To Camping’, By Heather Menicucci – $15
An oldie but a goodie, this book is for any lady who prefers city life but is ready to embrace their inner mountain lady. It covers basic camping needs—from essential gear to making a fire, digging a cat hole, and how to overcome the mental battle of pooping in the woods. It also delves into how to transition from car camping to backpacking, campfire recipes, and then some.Tweet Print