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.
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…
Flare Clothing Co.
Flare clothing is well known on the trails for brightening up our rides with their bold and beautiful performance wear for women.
An unsung hero in her own right, founder of the women’s MTB brand is Hannah Myers, an avid rider and style fashionista. In 2013 she set made it her mission to design and manufacture gorgeous and functional mountain bike apparel for women.
The Flare women’s collection exceeds the needs and wants for women’s riding with their eye-catching colour-ways, technical features and ultimate comfort. Accommodating for the casual rider, the enduro junkie and the downhill divas, Flare really has everything the trail shredding woman could want.
Vancouver based clothing culture brand, Sombrio, has really worked hard in recent years to welcome the female rider to their already established brand name.
Sombrio has been in the game since the 80’s, producing everything from early Lycra mountain bike wear, to the baggy casual style that we know it to be now. With their growing brand name and evolution of product, Sombrio have expanded into the women’s industry in a big way.
Many items within the Sombrio women’s collection are designed with such a comfortable and casual vibe, that you would have to look twice to ensure it’s really riding apparel. Feminine colours, flattering cuts and clothes that are designed to shred, what more could a girl want?
The handywork of female mountain biker, Alex Feechan, FINDRA is a relatively new brand creating relxed and comfortable MTB kit.
The brand launched in 2014, and started stocking to the retailer Wiggle in 2015 – a fairly sure sign that the product was of good quality.
Describing her motivations behind creating the brand, Feechan explains: “I felt that the products available suffered form the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach. I found this patronising and felt truly inspired to create something that was specific to women and which allowed them to look good, feel good and perform to the best of their abilities whilst participating in outdoor sports.”
TWC’s ‘core’ team haven’t tried these yet, but our esteemed and trusted contributor Adele Mitchell has, and she was mighty impressed.
We’ve been really impressed with Fox Head this year for their efforts with women’s mountain bike kit and apparel. Whilst Fox have been producing women’s gear for a number of years, until recently it’s always been quite limited and dare we say “samey” year-on-year.
With rising superstar, Tahnée Seagrave acting as a brilliant Fox ambassador, it’s hard not to love their collection when we see it sailing through the air.
This year, the hugely popular demo downhill kit has been multiplying on the trails for its stunning colour combinations, signature print design and heavy duty fabric. Along with exemplary all-mountain and XC kit, we’re beginning to see a serious focus in the women’s department of Fox Head, and we like it.
It’s all about being fast and and having fun with Troy Lee Designs. With over 30 years of experience creating protective head-wear for motocross and mountain bikers everywhere, TLD has since released a wide variety of body armour and clothing to match.
Like Fox Head, TLD were early on the scene with their limited selection of women’s kit and since the explosion of female trail shredders, their collection has grown into a varied and stunning range for women everywhere.
With inspirational female riders, like elite downhiller, Manon Carpenter, Madison Clothing has been at the forefront of our riding wardrobes, especially in the winter months.
Offering a full range of wear from head to toe, Madison Clothing keep their designs simple while focusing their attention to fit, performance and function on the trails. Famed for their durable wind and waterproof jackets, Madison has transcended the single purpose use for ride wear, and ensured kit can be worn casually too.
Having a new female design team, and elite athletes extensively testing their products, Madison Clothing puts a lot of effort and pride in their women’s cycling collection.
Having great success in the surfing industry, ION ventured on land and into the tree line. Backed by a team of enthusiastic designers, riders and testers, ION Bikes have mastered the mountains and developed some serious cool kit for women.
Subtle feminine colour-ways keep their riding wear quite neutral, and their bold designs make them perfect for mixing n’ matching with your existing wardrobe.
Who better to know what a woman wants and needs from their riding kit, than a woman herself at the helm of the design team. It’s efforts like these that put these companies in the spotlight for producing quality and stylish kit that we love.
Fledging US brand, SHREDLY, made a small entrance into the mountain bike scene, but have had a big impact. Founded by keen rider and adventurer, Ashley Rankin, SHREDLY was founded with the outdoor woman in mind. The women who explore the world around them on two wheels, and who like to do it in style.
Having listened and understood the common woes of females looking for well fitting shorts, Ashley grew SHREDLY with the mission to provide a stylish and flattering solution, and we believe she’s done just that.
It isn’t just SHREDLY’s colourful and bold patterns though, it’s their care and attention to sizes and detail that has secured them their nomination. Being the only MTB brand to offer leg length options, you can ensure thigh gaps are a thing of the past. Not only this, but small incremental size options allows you to get a dialled in fit.
Of course, these are just the suggestions from Team TWC and our contributors. If you love the kit from a brand we’ve not mentioned – vote for them, and we’ll count them all up. Only the best will win!