After much anticipation - they're finally here! The Total Women's Cycling Awards for 2016 will take place at the Cycle Show in Birmingham's NEC Centre on Friday September 23.

The winners will be 100 per cent reader voted - and you need to submit your votes by Monday September 12 for the chance to see your nomination pick up a gong on the night.

After much anticipation – they’re finally here! The Total Women’s Cycling Awards for 2016 will take place at the Cycle Show in Birmingham’s NEC Centre on Friday September 23.

The winners will be 100 per cent reader voted – and you need to submit your votes by Monday 12 September for the chance to see your nomination pick up a gong on the night.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITES HERE, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of four £50 vouchers and some goodies from Wiggle

READ ABOUT ALL THE CATEGORIES HERE

Voting consists of a shortlist, made up of some of the brands the TWC team and our contributors think are doing a great job for women. However, there is also an 'other' box where you can fill in your own recommendations. Every vote will be counted - so you don't need to stick to the shortlist!

This said, we think the brands on it are mighty fine suggestions - here's who they are, and why they're there...

Specialized

Specialized TWC20 2016

The American brand have dedicated time, resources, and an awful lot of money into developing women's specific bikes and kit - where they think it's necessary. They remain open to change, too - speaking to in house bike fitting expert Scott Holz recently he told us: "We develop bikes using data from real life Retul facilitated Body Geometry bike fits. Where we see a difference in requirement between a male and female rider, we make a new model. When there aren't significant differences, we don't."

Specialized also focus a lot of research on contact points and how to make them more comfortable, employing doctors to analyse blood flow when creating Body Geometry FIT saddles, gloves, handlebars, and chamois pads.

Specialized sponsor Boels Dolmans Pro Cycling, home to Lizzie Armitstead, as well as having dedicated 'Specialized WMN' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, and a network of dedicated women's marketing managers - all of them passionate female cyclists keen to make a difference.

Liv

liv

Liv was initially a part of Giant Bikes, but they became a standalone women's only entity in 2010. Their aim has always been to encourage more women to ride, by creating bikes (road, mountain, commute), clothing and accessories that appeal to the majority of female customers.

We talked in detail with Liv about their women's bikes recently, and they send us reams of data and diagrams describing their research into female specific geometry. In terms of their overall attitude to gender in cycling, they like to make sure they're making quality bikes that are fit for women, not men's models altered very slightly. Global Product Marketing Specialist Erin Lamb told me: “Some brands take a man’s bike, make it smaller and paint it pink. But it’s never been our approach. We look at who is going to be riding it, we understand the consumer, her goals and what she wants, and we build a bike for her. We build it from the ground up for our consumer."

Liv also sponsor both Rabobank Liv and Liv Plantur, showing dedication to furthering the sport and gaining valuable feedback from riders.

Trek

Multiple US National Champion Heather Irmiger puts the Stache through it's paces

Another brands that create women's models in their road, MTB and commute ranges. Trek's trademark women's model is the Silque, and this year they've shovelled resources into developing it, adding a front IsoSpeed Decoupler to dampen out road buzz. Effectively a lightly adjustable suspension system for a road bike.

On the MTB side, their key model this year is the FUEL EX - available with women's contact points with top end components. The geometry is shared with men's/unisex models, since Trek say users of this bike are likely to have similar needs in terms of handling and reach.

Trek sponsored Drops Cycling Team this year - and the riders and manager certainly seem happy with their dedication!

Bianchi

Bianchi TWC20 2016

Unlike most of the brands on our list, Bianchi don't make female specific frames - but they're very honest in explaining why. They fit shorter stems and women's saddles to bikes they categorise as 'women's' and encourage good bike fit, but they don't think the differences in men's and women's bodies justify different models. And judging by the number of women we see riding these around the roads, we can certainly see that approach works for many.

In terms of marketing, we really liked the way they used a woman to advertise their latest unisex bike (none of this 'only use a woman if it's a women's product), and they've been busy organising women's ride outs across the country, assisted by one of their sponsored riders.

Bianchi do make mountain bikes, too - but they're really best known on the road side.

Juliana Bicycles

juliana-feature

The epitome of luxury and original Queen of the Mountains brand, Juliana Bicycles has a rich history of strong female mountain bikers who are driven to manufacture the best trail blazing steeds on the market.

Legendary rider, Juli Furtado founded the brand in collaboration with Santa Cruz Bicycles and together they produced the first ever women's specific mountain bike. Since their official launch in 2013, Juliana Bicycles have been going from strength to strength with their stunning soft colour-ways and incredibly specc'd out bikes.

With a refine and limited selection of mountain bikes, Juliana Bicycles have a global army of empowering women proudly riding and promoting to exciting work of dirt and trail

Cannondale

Cannondales Bad Habit 650b+ is new for 2016

Cannondale have been producing both road and mountain bikes since the early 1970's using innovative designs and ground breaking technology to keep ahead of the game.

Famed for their implementation of the lefty suspension fork, Cannondale defied critics with this highly tuned and supple suspension systems which fairs in equal performance to its double stanchion rivals.

They offer a range of stunning women's specific bikes across all disciplines, all built with care and consideration for the needs and demands of women's cycling. Earlier this year, the Cannondale Girls multi-discipline team was born. A UK based team of cycle loving women performing at the highest levels for fun and passion.

Canyon

EmilyMaye-CanyonSRAMRapha-6142-1-r-2048x1365

Canyon came onto our radar in terms of women's bikes when they sponsored Canyon//SRAM Pro Cycling for 2016. Following Rapha's lead (we imagine..) on the colour scheme, they created a bike with the best looking pain job in the peloton.

This year, the women are aboard the brand's unisex Canyon Ultimate CF SLX road bikes and Speedmax TT machines. They offer these with shorter stems, narrower handlebars, lower gearing and women's saddles for women to buy, too. However, they recently took on a women's brand manager Katrin Neumann and she has other ideas.

Naumann says Canyon's research suggests women DO benefit from a different geometry - and they're working on a female specific bike now. What we like is they're doing it based on data, and that they're being honest about the fact that their current offering can be (and will be) improved.

Other

Of course - don't just take our word for it! You can vote for any brand you like - and we'll count them all up to make sure the most well regarded bike brand claims the prize on the night.

After much anticipation – they’re finally here! The Total Women’s Cycling Awards for 2016 will take place at the Cycle Show in Birmingham’s NEC Centre on Friday September 23.

The winners will be 100 per cent reader voted – and you need to submit your votes by Monday 12 September for the chance to see your nomination pick up a gong on the night.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITES HERE, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of four £50 vouchers and some goodies from Wiggle

READ ABOUT ALL THE CATEGORIES HERE

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