I went to Interbike last week, the North American bike industry expo held in Las Vegas, Nevada every September. It was a shit show. It looked like this, times 300,000 square feet. That number is not made up.
I was not at all prepared for the mess of 1,400 exhibitors and the sea of attendees. Neither was any tech gadget I brought with me. By Day 3 I got myself together but by then I had lost my voice and looked like something the cat dragged in but by god I got all my Instagram Stories posted.
En masse, I want to share with you the highlights of women’s cycling apparel and accessories that I came across. Believe me, I was hunting on your behalf…but there wasn’t much of any clothing, really. But the companies I did get to speak to were very excited to share with me their new designs and future plans for women’s kit in the US and beyond. And that means the trip was all right in the end.
Primal had a lot of new stuff to show off, most of it urban gear for the rider who blends well off the bike. They spoke about an increased focus on charity cycling clothing – pairing a Primal kit with a charity organization to raise money and brand awareness allowing portions of proceeds to aid the organization’s mission, kind of like Tom’s shoes. They really have been putting a lot of thought into the little details of their women’s line – reflective strips in the right places, a zippered rear pocket (which I think should be standard at this point), and a unique-to-Primal feature of a double hem on the rear pockets that don’t drag on the body of the jersey when the pockets are weighed down. They choose more of a club fit to be flattering to all shapes. They will, however, feature an aero fit kit soon. I can’t wait to try one!
This gem was from Panache Cyclewear. The story behind the design is that an artist intern created the graphics and creatively placed it on a women’s kit. I simply love it, and I kept walking back to look at it all three days of the show. Sadly it will not be available until 2017. I really liked hearing how Panache approaches the fit and styles of their women’s kit. The owner, Don Powell, works with a small panel of local riders and racers in Colorado to try out each style and provide feedback. I’m sure they get tons of differing opinions but they have a very successful women’s line. I hope to snag me one of this floral kit when it comes available to see what the buzz is all about for myself.
Giro was the busiest booth of the entire show but I managed to snap a few pics of the upcoming Chrono and Sport kit. I kinda liked the last Chrono design but I am not myself a fan of the paneled look of this new design. The color scheme is awesome in combination with the color fade. I was most impressed with the silky, comfortable feel of the bib shorts. Giro was not shy from being one of the first companies to offer a pee break short, but I was never sure I would be happy with a halter strap pulling on my neck. This one felt so soft I imagine not even remembering it was there while riding. If anyone has any experience with this kit, please comment below.
Tons of new accessories from Giro for women, too. TONS. I love that. Equality of choice.
I first spotted this new heathered jersey from La Classica during Eurobike, the European bike industry expo (that looks cooler and more fun that Interbike BTW). It looks even better in person. And it feels so comfortable, like a heavier weight favorite tee. They had a small booth, looking for North American distributors, but I would recommend trying this company by buying online.
Ale Cippolini brand is all-Italian in every way and these new kit designs are in line with that brazen Italian style.
GUYS, THIS IS BIG NEWS! Cadence, a line out of Los Angeles CA has sucked for women’s kit and accessories. Well, they agree to that and went straight to someone local to them who knew women’s kit well, Machines for Freedom. Now they will release a collab kit in November (I think). It looks gorgeous! My blurry photo didn’t do it justice. Wonder if it will be price point that matches Cadence or matches MFF, hmmm? WANT.
Some new stuff from Coeur Sports. Coeur began as a tri company but has naturally grown to be more inclusive of all women cyclists. A tribabe needs a training kit when she goes out for a ride, right? They have an interesting new take on the pee break bibs, with a zipper from one side of the thigh across the rear to the other side. Sorry I talked too much to remember to take a photo of it but below is a photo from their website:
SheBeest were printing socks on hand and although they didn’t have any new product to feature, they did give you a chance to see up close and personal the mesh bib shorts and short spin shorts they have been touting of late.
I’ll have another post up soon with more highlights you will definitely want to know about!