Meet Siobhan Dolan: The woman behind the “womenskit” Instagram account | Ella

I started this project with a goal to find myself some sweet-ass kit that *actually* fit me. I’ve ended up growing to 2K+ followers with lots of inspiration and community and support. And calls for more! Now I’m ready to stand behind it…or in front of it for the purposes of this interview 🙂

Instagram is a wonderful place to discover new things. You can follow your favourite racers and teams, see the hottest new bikes and gear, get inspired to ride in new places, and learn where you’ll be spending your next paycheck. One of my favourite cycling-related accounts to follow is womenskit. Whether I’m looking for a …

Source: Meet Siobhan Dolan: The woman behind the “womenskit” Instagram account | Ella

Sockturday: Sokhyte

sokhyte_logo_text_orange_1472867095__29069 12317516_898542893556850_680755880_aOh those Aussies, another brand coming out of that country and changing the style of cycling everywhere. Introducing Sokhyte from Melbourne, a brand of “tall” cycling sock influenced by their Dutch roots. This first collection, featured in this interview, is called The Business. But keep a close eye on their website and Instagram for the release of their new collection any day now, called The Hype. Looking forward to it myself!


What is your favorite Sokhyte sock/shoe combo?

Shimano make a road shoe (R171), this shoe is 1/2 black and 1/2 white. The sokhyte® shoe/sock combo works well with these, the rider can wear any color without crossing the line of a miss match.

Do you adhere to the height rules or answer demand instead?
All our sokhyte® socks are strictly 6″ in height, we use a double leg cuff allowing maximum height all day without compromise. We believe a 6″ (double leg cuff) height is perfect for cyclist and athletes alike – allowing our design to stand out. All our socks are pre-shrunk so the length is kept throughout the lifetime of the socks.
Do you make your own socks or do you use another company to manufacture your designs?
We use a maker in Melbourne. All our socks and packaging are made in Australia. Supporting local business is important to us and our branding.
blue-sky-on-black-sokhyte-the-business-white-background navy-on-neon-yellow-sokhyte-the-business-white-background
Why do you think socks are so much fun to wear and design?
Cycling has fast become fashion first, possibly performance second in terms of riding and racing. There are many events around Australia that focus on the journey and memory, rather than crossing the line first. Gran Fondo events have taken over a huge amount of local racing. This type of event has allowed the rider to become individual and wear what they see fit, rather than having to wear a sponsor, or club kit at a race. We offer many colors to help the rider find that mix in a race or Fondo type event, and offer custom request to suit clubs, teams etc.
purple-sea-on-black-sokhyte-the-business-white-background navy-on-neon-orange-sokhyte-the-business-white-background
Why do you not offer a women’s sock different from a men’s? Oftentimes, especially for smaller footed women the design is off when worn and fit can sometimes be not quite right.
We offer a sizing from 35-45+ EU, this covers every size, including juniors, women and large EU sizes of 45+. There is no difference with our womens/mens cut as we use a mixture of cotton, nylon and elastane. This is very important when constructing a performance based sock as the elastane component allows the sock to hold its shape for longer, compared with socks using less elastic. So if a person needs a size 35 EU pair of socks, they can be assured it will stay that size for the lifetime of the socks.
Do you consider mixed materials in your socks for specific purposes – warmer weather, cooler weather, wet weather, etc?
Do materials make a beneficial difference to athletes? We use cotton (60%), nylon (36%) and elastane (4%). This is the perfect mix of thread, it allows the foot to breath, extract sweat and keep the foot comfortable during any type weather. We will look at Merino Wool in the future as well as Bamboo, however we believe our construction, combined with the double leg cuff is perfect.
What is your design inspiration? The meaning behind your designs and patterns?
The first and foremost important part of our design and production is the construction of our socks. We offer a double 6″ leg cuff that we think is perfect for fit, comfort and performance. The reason for this is the socks will never sag or slide down the leg, in any form of event such as an Ironman, Marathon or Cycling event. Our designs are carefully thought out, we research as many brands as we can and try and find a design, or mixture of artwork that is different to the rest. We offer the riders a base color sock, with artwork/patterns added to them. We like to keep our sock designs clean and simple, rather than crossing the line of too many colors in one design.
**Anything new to look out for soon?
We will offer 4-6 color options per design in any given season, toward the end of the season we will promote a new design, and roll it out over the previous design. This will give the wearer a new option of design and color all year round. We will keep our offerings to around 6-10 as too many options can confuse a retailer when it comes to merchandising the shop space.

Interbike 2016


We’re off to Vegas baby Yeah! We’re heading to Interbike, the largest bike industry expo in North America, this week to preview new releases of apparel, bikes, innovative products and technology.

Check back often to see what we’re seeing, and if there’s something specific in mind that you’d like us to check out, leave your request in the comments below. We’ll be posting live on Instagram via pictures and stories so follow us there.

There’s no guarantee we’ll come out alive, or not sunburned to a crisp by the pool. I also may pass out from desert dehydration and miss an entire section of booths.

Please wish us luck, and good cell service.



MVP Pant from Machines for Freedom

Machines for Freedom released a new, innovative bib pant for cycling. Like a sport legging but cycling-specific and womens-specific. I am going to save my pennies and buy a pair to review soon!

Words by Jenn Hannon of Machines for Freedom

Images by Tracy Chandler

Up until this point Machines had only developed our Endurance Kit, intended for long sunny days and warm summer rides.  For this week-long adventure we would undoubtedly need to cover our arms and our legs, but with what?  Simple black arm and leg warmers were the obvious solution, but neither of us are huge fans of these accessories.  For me, leg warmers and cycling is the equivalent of the shy boy at school who is forced to wear a Speedo on his high school school swim team.  It’s a necessary evil; one that he copes with by sporting tear-away pants that can be ripped from his body moments before stepping on to the starting block.  The goal: to keep public displays to an absolute minimum.  My strategy was to minimize the amount of unknowns.  Work with what we already had.  Build upon our existing bib short design.  Use the same fabrics and chamois.  Add legs.  Add some ventilation in the back to keep us from overheating and negate the need for a “convertible” option like warmers.  The result: a pant that not only got us through that trip, but also became my go-to bib for transitional seasons back home.  And when you think about it, the hottest points of Summer and the coldest points of winter aren’t the norm, especially if you live outside of Southern California. The other 10 months out of the year are transitional.

Source: MVP // From The Beginning — Pretty Damned Fast

Sockturday: Versus

Versus is a sock you MUST have in your drawer. The guys are so fun and cool to chat with and their interview below shows it. It’s the right balance between technical and fun, much like you like your own cycling life. And best of all, they are the first to note the sizing difference between male and female feet! Keep your eyes peeled (no pun intended) and go bananas (pun intended) for new styles coming soon!
What is your favorite Versus sock/shoe combo?
Versus Jelly Bean socks and Specialized S-Works road shoes.
Do you adhere to the height rules or answer demand instead?
We try and keep the majority of cyclists happy. We have our longer socks (Premium Race and Premium Trail) and also our mid-length Race and Trail socks – that’s not too high and not too short.
Do you make your own socks or do you use another company to manufacture your designs?
We work with local South African manufacturers that help us to develop our socks, but we do all the designing ourselves.
Why do you think cycling socks are so much fun to wear and design?
Cycling socks are like spices to a chef. It gives that extra touch of flavour to a cycling kit.
Why do you not offer a women’s sock different from a men’s? Oftentimes, especially for smaller footed women the design is off when worn and fit can sometimes be not quite right.
Stay tuned it’s coming soon 😉
Do you consider mixed materials in your socks for specific purposes – warmer weather, cooler weather, wet weather, road versus CX, etc? 
We use polyester, nylon and cotton in our socks, with structured breathable panels at the right places for maximum breathability and comfort. Our Trail and Premium Trail socks are thicker in the foot area, which is mostly used by mountain bikers. Our Race and Premium Race socks are thinner in the foot area and preferred by road cyclists.
Do materials make a beneficial difference to athletes?
Yes it does, but it’s mostly personal preference.
What is your design inspiration? The meaning behind your designs and patterns?
We continuously create new designs and samples. If it looks cool, we ask the public for their feedback and if they like it as well, we set it into production 🙂
Anything new to look out for soon?
Yes definitely! Check our social media in October!

The Search for Plus Sized Cycling Clothing for Women…

“I just want nice cycling tops that can fit the women with boobs” – says Staffordshire ride leader.

HEARD THAT. It’s hard looking at all the ads of what women should look like on a bike. Be strong and be YOU. Those things aren’t mutually exclusive and it’s about time we see companies cater to all women.

Source: The Search for Plus Sized Cycling Clothing for Women…

The Domestique Critique: Velocio Ultralight Jersey


I’ve long been a fan of women’s pro racing. It’s not easy being a fan – hours spent combing the internet for race results, video highlights, an interview at least. I’ve followed the many team iterations of manager/owner Kristy Scrymgeour and even the late days of her own racing career.  She launched Velocio Sports both to support and sponsor her own pro team and to begin the debut of a new kit brand. She has since left pro cycling to devote herself full-time to Velocio.

I was sold from the beginning. Not specifically stated, Velocio was a women’s brand. I say that in the way that a women’s only ride will allow men to join but to not take the lead. It was high-end kit with classic style at a high-end price. I happily handed over my money for many pieces and try to acquire a new piece every season (looking at you, Poppy kit).

At the beginning of June I purchased Velocio’s Ultralight Jersey in Petrol. It’s not black. It’s an ink-y deep sea kind of blue-green. It’s gorgeous and no photo can do it justice. I shied away from the lighter color because I believe dark slims me, and we all need that security in lycra sometimes. It’s accentuated with a pop of lime green inside the collar.

I’m a 36″ chest with a 30″ waist and 38″ hips and wore a size Small. I wore a SMALL! I gambled with size but found their chart online to be accurate.


My first impression was softness. I couldn’t believe how silky the material felt. I was worried lightweight meant bare but when I put it on over my black sports bra and black bibs there was no issue of see-through. I did pair them with my older model Velocio Signature Bibshort but I will not review those because they are no longer available. Reminds me I need to upgrade to a new pair soon! You can see the pinholes in the material to allow breathability and temperature control.


Once I was riding with the jersey I didn’t feel a thing. Honest. It was like I had nothing on at all. The seams on the sleeve were barely noticeable and there was no itchy tag, no odd seam – the jersey moved with me so smoothly. I did notice the top of the zipper, though, and only once I unzipped it a little. On the inside, the top of the material that creates either side of the zipper (right where the collar meets the zipper) was scratchy and it was irritating. I kept it zipped because I couldn’t tuck the ends in.

The three pockets did lack a zipper compartment but that is a weight saver and I found the pockets to be deep enough and roomy enough for all my stuff. I rode a 50 mile hot mountain ride with this jersey as my test ride, with plenty of snacks, a camera, and a lightweight vest for the descent and had no issues with the fit once the pockets were stuffed. The weight in the pockets does cause the jersey to sag a bit but the excellent grip on the bottom hem didn’t move at all.



This jersey is well worth the price. The fit and feel is truly excellent and it’s a very high quality piece. Impressive to be so lightweight but concealing of anything worn underneath. Perfect for the hottest days or a long day in the saddle at peak hours. Perfectly paired with Velocio’s Lightweight vest for mountain days. I highly recommend this piece.


Learning to embrace lycra | Ella

We must be more kind to ourselves. And we must demand a change in media representation. We ARE strong and we ARE cyclists.

I’m an elite level racer and spend a lot of hours in the saddle. I’m healthy. I’m strong. And I’m confident on the bike. Yet every time I see a picture of myself in lycra (or spandex as we say in the US), I cringe. Even in a podium shot –hands in the air, a big …

Source: Learning to embrace lycra | Ella