At Total Women's Cycling, we ride plenty of bikes from many brands across all avenues of cycling. Short distances, long, cross-country and fire roads, we cover many miles and we've picked up some useful things along the way.
Bikes can be incredibly personal. It's not just because you work hard, save the pennies and invest in an 'object' to make you happy, you put faith and reliance in your two-wheeled machine to take you on adventures and wheel you out of your comfort zone to areas you never knew you could go. They are truly wonderful things.
So what do we do when we gush over something so special to us? We share it. Social media has enabled us to share (often over-share) moments, memories and thoughts as a snapshot insight into our lives. We're launching a new 'Bike in the Spotlight' feature on TWC because we want to see the bicycle(s) that makes you happy and feel alive. So to kick things off, here's my road bike...
Jessica's Trek Silque SLR7
My current road adventuring companion is the new Trek Silque SLR7, and I'm pretty smitten with it. We've entered sportives, trained hard and gotten through some pretty rubbish days pedalling negative thoughts away. I've come to view my Silque as an extension of me, an additional limb to help cycle me through life.
It was November last year when I first got my hands on the new Trek Silque, 3 months after I had first seen it at the Trek World launch. It was the centrepiece of the launch because the Silque is the only women's specific frame to come from Trek, and the boosted front and rear decoupler system promised their most comfortable road ride yet.
Of course, this meant that I had to have one for myself. So through the Project One customisation tool, I made my colour options for decals, frame and bar tape and waited for the months to tick by until it arrived at my door.
While I don't follow all the conventional road cycling rules like crispy perfect tan lines, I do like to colour coordinate my bike, kit and my 'bling'. The shimmering purple carbon frame is accentuated with cyan blue decals and bar tape, and it doesn't stop there...
With any new bike I get, I carry out a full m-check to ensure it's safe to ride and set-up correctly, then I twist on some of these silicone twirls of genius. British cycling component company, Fibrax, make these nifty silicone frame protectors that neatly wrap around your cables to prevent them rubbing against your frame. Why spend lots of money for a beautiful paint job to just get eaten away at by cables? These spiral twizzlers are a darn sight prettier than tabs of heli-tape too!
Fibrax Spiral Frame Protectors are available in three colours, sadly not blue, and can be bought here for £5.50, which gets you a pack of six.
Once my frame was protected, I focused my attention on hydration. I've always preferred the cage-less bottle mount from Fabric Cycling. The bottles are well made, the bolts are secure and its design appeals to my minimalist heart. Oh, and they do it in blue!
Water bottle preferences will vary from rider to rider, but I've always gotten on really well with these ones and contrary to what people may think, yes you can detach and reattach the bottle whilst cycling.
Up next was finding a suitable mount for my Garmin Edge 810. There are plenty out there to choose from and many will be made from CNC'd alloy, available in plenty of colours which can be fitted to the bars, stem or head cap.
I've chosen for a cheap and effective quarter turn mount which uses a mount and two strong bands to wrap around most areas of the cockpit. No bolts, no fuss and ideal if you want to remove them and pop it on another bike.
You can buy the mounts here for £6.50, but be sure to check you have a compatible device for the mount type.
Haveing a good set of bicycle lights is pretty important if you're planning to cycle on the roads. More and more cyclists are using them in the day-time too, just as cars now have automatic day-lights. These Knog lights really came in handy over the winter when I found myself trying to outrun the sunset.
These Knog lights really came in handy over the winter when I found myself trying to outrun the sunset. The Blinder Mini Niner pair from Knog weigh just 18g, has 9 LED's per light and packs a punch by emitting 20/11 lumens (depending on setting).
If I can strap my kit to my bike, I will. I hate having things rattling around in my cargo pockets, or feeling laden by weight. One of the best saddle bags I've used to date is produced by a small Scottish company called Wee Cog.
Some bags I've used get tacky, zips seize up and they can rattle under your bum which gets very annoying after the first 10 miles or so. Wee Cog make lovely saddle bags for both road and mountain bikes, and they're really durable too. They're a lot more spacious than they look, they're secure and they come in a variety of colours to suit. In my Wee Cog saddle bag, I carry a spare inner, multi-tool, tyre levers, chain lube and some jelly sweets.
Everyone should carry a pump or at least some CO2 canisters in case of a flat tyre. For me, I like this frame-mounted Topeak RaceRocket HP. It fits both Schrader and Presta valves with a 160 psi capacity, and what's even better is that it can be mounted to the frame without getting in the way of my pedal stroke.
Although, if I plan on going further afield for long-distance adventures, I pop the pump in my pocket and get another bottle on the frame instead.
So now I've shared my ride with you, I want you to share yours with us...
You can also send your photos to our Facebook page, and don't forget to add a short description of your bike and what your bike means to you.