Road Cycling

Cervélo: We do care about women, but it’s been badly communicated

The brand are working closely with Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling to develop their products

Premium bike brand Cervélo have said that they “do care about women” but admitted that they have “communicated this poorly” and are now working closely with female pro cyclists to better their products.

The brand don’t make female specific bikes, but equipped Cervélo Bigla Pro Cylcing with frames during 2015 before stepping in to become title sponsors this year. Representatives spent time with the team at their training camp in Mallorca, to gather feedback from the riders about the bikes which will help them develop current and future products.

Director of Marketing, Antoine Ballon, was at the camp, and said: “It’s simple, we do care about women. We always have but communicated this poorly.” During the camp, Cervelo’s engineers were able to explain the thought process’ behind the existing technologies, as well as giving the team a “hint of what is to come in the future.”

Ballon explained: “Because women also tend to be more thoughtful about the bikes, it also gives us the opportunity to really put the products to the test. After having been at the camp, we are now convinced more than ever that the feedback we will receive will be invaluable. It will definitively help us to continue to develop bikes performing at the highest possible level.”

He added: “The depth of knowledge and feedback from the riders was incredible. We definitively want them more involved in our testing phases.”

It’s not clear if Cervelo intend to continue supplying unisex frames only, with components such as handlebars, saddles, cranks and stems to suit the women, or if they’ll develop frames just for women. The good news is that they’re clearly using rider feedback, from the pros who really know their bikes, to decide upon the best course of action.

The women on the team are able to choose between the S3, S5, R5 and P5 models. For those not up on Cervelo’s naming process, Ballon explained the different uses for the models: “The P5 is for the TT, then a combination of our renowned aero road bikes, S5 and S3 for most of their road events, and occasionally the team will switch to R5 during pure climbing stages. Those are the exact same bikes as the ones Dimension Data are using. The girls get only the best from us. This is more than fair. It is time for people to realise how good these women are.”

Speaking of their commitment to the team, he said: “This wasn’t just about sponsoring a women’s team but THE women’s team. We have known Thomas [Campana – the team manager] for a long time, we know the experience he is bringing and he presented us his new communication plan headed by Xylon [van Eyck]. With that in mind we knew The Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team was the right one for us.”

He added: “We are increasing our support to the team, and that has to show beyond products. Like [General Manager] Thomas Campana used to say, we are a family and that has to translate into a real relationship. Their [the team’s] professional environment and dedication blew us away and I personally really appreciated the great interest they have shown during the product presentations.”

Want to read more about womens vs unisex bikes? 

Fitting a Female Body to a Unisex Bike

Do Women Need Female Specific Bikes? 

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