Trek are one of the largest brands in the industry and their research into women's bikes and product offering is impressive.
The brand have been building bikes since 1976 where they started out in a Wisconsin barn, building steel touring frames for $200. Within a few short productive years, Trek Bikes was rapidly building itself a reputable brand, and generating sales of $2m a year.
The production of Trek Bikes has evolved over the years, they're constantly adopting cutting edge technology. Moving from the production of steel bike frames to aluminium and carbon was a turning point for Trek, with the first carbon fibre bike being unveiled in 1989: The Trek 5000.
Always keeping up with the times, and catering for the ever growing and evolving world of cycling, Trek delivered their first range of Women Specific Design (WSD) bikes and apparel in 1999. As well as making amendments to the contact points: handlebars and saddles, Trek also carried out extensive research into the way women's lower centre of gravity differs to man's when developing female specific frames. Now they're starting to develop frames in various 'fits' irrespective of gender, but more on that later.
With so much attention going into women's bikes, you'd be forgiven for assuming there might be some pretty strong female characters residing within the Trek business. And you'd be right. Up until recently, Chris Garrison was Trek's 'Marketing Maven' [PR manager!]. Known for her tenacity and desire to promote women's riding of all kinds, Garrison gave talks at a series of successful women's events, and spoke to retailers about the important changes they need to make to ensure their shops are welcoming places for women. A writer as well, outspoken Garrison also penned some great articles for TWC, around getting into cycling and the all important search for 'Saddle Nirvana'.
Trek's UK Marketing Manager is female, too. Helen Guesford has been with the company since 2007 and worked her way through the ranks. She now oversees all promotional activities in the UK - a pretty major undertaking.
Of course, there are many more incredible women working throughout the company in various positions. Trek offer lucrative scholarship programs to post-graduates as a means to nurture budding engineers, and with that has come a wave of female minds.
Trek and Bontrager
In 1995, Trek purchased the Bontrager brand, and all components and apparel on offer from Trek now sit under this name.
Bontrager was founded by ex-motorcycle racer and mountain bike designer Keith Bontrager. Described as an "engineer, designer, physicist, mechanic, rider, and natural-born do-it-yourselfer" he created quality parts, most notably mountain bike components capable of handling aggressive off-roading.
Known for his no-messing, no compromise approach, one of the most famous sayings in bike-reviewing came from Bontrager himself: “Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick two." Keith tended to pick strong and light, though Bontrager aren't bad on the value front either.
Now, the brand is integrated into Trek, and Bontrager are well known for crating great wheels, components, and apparel - including shoes and helmets. The women's range is extensive, stylish, and functional and always well presented thanks to Trek's hard work evangelising to dealers around the benefits of in store presentation when selling to women.