Having spent more than my fair share of time in retail spaces of many kinds, I can confidently declare that none is more frustrating than the bike shop, both as consumer and employee. There are two ways in which, I believe, women are doing themselves a disservice when they step into a bike shop. The first is feeling guilty for making a choice based on aesthetics, and the other is feeling guilty for splurging on a quality item. I have succumbed to both, especially since I have a hard time resisting the allure of quality goods. Ladies, trust me, when it comes to enjoying your time on the bike, go for what you really want. I am here to say, it’s ok.
Recently I was talking to a co-worker who expressed his confusion about female customers in relaying to me a story of helping a female customer pick out her first bike. This man is an industry veteran, having been in the cycling universe almost his entire life, and as such fully understands the advantages of high-quality gear. He presented the customer with two bikes, one definitely better in terms of quality and components, but its color scheme was black and white and not that exciting. The other option had a much splashier and exciting color scheme, but was of significantly inferior technology. With the budget determined as not being an issue, my co-worker was confused as to why this choice was causing even a slight delay. Finally, once it was determined that the look of the bike was more important to the woman, they were able to focus their efforts on finding a bike with quality components and an attractive color scheme. The point is…it’s OK to want to be excited about the wheels you will be spending hours on. After all, if looking at your bike doesn’t boost your enthusiasm, you’ll be less likely to make time to ride it! You should not at all feel stupid or guilty for wanting to pick an item based on color or appearance. Men do this ALL the time! Check out this Bike Check on our blog, Patrick Brady, in particular. Be excited about your steed!
As women we hold ourselves to a strange standard, like feeling somewhat justified in spending a good sum of money on uncomfortable shoes that we don’t even want to walk in. You know those boots that you have been keeping your eye on at that local boutique… We are always shopping and love an excuse to wear those new boots we just splurged on. My question is; why don’t we roll over our splurges to cycling as well. Let’s look good while we ride! I, personally, am begging for an excuse to buy the Giro Empire ACC Road Shoes Silver Gloss and the new Pearl Izumi Women’s Limited Edition jersey we just got in. Plus, unlike daily wear apparel items, more expensive cycling gear is more comfortable and offers better performance.
So, be resolved in knowing that a splurge in cycling means great things for your look and performance out on the bike.