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womens_mtb_podcast2

In this episode I talk with Leah, my Singletracks co-founder (and wife,) about her mountain biking experiences over the last 15 years and some of the challenges women face in our sport. Plus, Leah shares her simple idea for getting even more women involved in mountain biking in the future.

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    • mudhunny

      what, its not women’s specific bike? ha! just kidding. 24inch fat bike sounds just about right for me, i want one!

    • PHRANQUY

      Seriously Mudhunny, I was really impressed. I hopped on the 17″ (the white one in the photos), which was indeed a little too small for me (I usually ride a L/19″) and couldn’t believe how well it rode. And at 26lbs w/ a Shimano SLX drivetrain and the HED aluminum rims I was even more impressed. I would just have a hard time going to a smaller tired bike when I’m already loving what I’m on.

      On another note, Erik was also saying if he can get enough commitment to bikes he’ll be investing in his own tires as well, just so he can get what he wants and follow the direction he is taking his brand.

  • mongwolf

    So how about a story of getting women out to ride in a foreign country where mountain biking is pretty much totally new? Well, it would be more accurate to say, attempting to get gals out riding. In our organization here in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, we have a small group of guys who love to ride together. There about eight of us (seven Mongolians and myself). Last year one of the Mongolian gals in the organization showed some strong interest in riding and went out and bought a bike. All the guys were so cool and really encouraged her and supported her. A couple of them even took her out and helped her buy the bike; she is too small to ride any of our bikes.

    We were all getting psyched about her first trail ride with us. But before that could happen, one day at meeting we were having in the countryside, she jumped on her bike after lunch and rode off from the little “camp” down a grassy hill on the open steppe. None of us knew she went out. When we started our meeting again after lunch, she was not present. Then moments later she came in the room holding arm. She had fallen on the downhill and dislocated her shoulder. A few of us went to help her and check her shoulder, but to our amazement she had already reset it herself trailside. I asked her how she knew how to reset her shoulder. She told us that she had already dislocated her other shoulder five times. We were all truly impressed. She is the smallest gal in the office and very much a lady, but tough and definitely not to be underestimated.

    After the incident, all the guys were a little worried that she would drop biking before ever getting started. But from day one, she has been undaunted in her desire to ride. She had to go through months of physical therapy to repair the damage in her shoulder. During a good portion of that time, she left her new bike at work. At lunch she would get other gals in the office out to ride it around the parking lot. She has just completed physical therapy and her shoulder is good to go again. So we are looking forward to the coming spring — after Mongolia recovers from its usually -40 to -50 F winter — hoping to have several gals out on the trails of Mongolia with us for the first time. To be continued.

    • mudhunny

      Wow! What a great story, thanks for sharing! I would love the opportunity to ride with someone as determined and this small but mighty gal! I hope her recovery was not too long or painful. Keep us posted on your Mongolian adventures 🙂

    • mongwolf

      All the guys are hoping that she has a great year on the bike in 2015 for her sake and that she would lead the way for other gals.

  • krow272

    Leah, my wife is also 5′ tall. Can I ask you which bike you ride or even have ridden? She’s on an older (too heavy) Specialized Safire 26″, and I’m trying to get her on a 27.5, but it’s the standover that’s the main number we look at—needs to be below 700mm. We’re debating the Liv Lust or the Specialized Rumor. It’s hard to find a complete carbon 27.5 bike that with top-end components for her size. I wish they’d at least just offer the frame-only option.

  • mudhunny

    hey krow! i hope your wife enjoys moving up to the 27.5, i totally feel her pain in finding a bike that has low standover and high end components! i really really REALLY like the bike im riding now, a pivot mach4 in xs:
    http://www.pivotcycles.com/bike/mach-4-carbon/#1

    Pivot has always catered to smaller riders and designed their x-small bikes with the lowest standover height in the industry! You definitely get a good value from giant and specialized, both the lust and rumor look like good options (though ive never tried either). since you’re about to throw down some big bucks, your wife is going to want to demo as many bikes as she can because it really is a very different ride with bigger wheels, lighter and more aggressive frame. hopefully you’ll have access to some demo tours or can rent a bike for a day from one your local shops. keep me posted with which bike she ends up with! happy riding!

    • krow272

      Thanks mudhunny, that’s a great tip. Never realized Pivot offered smaller sizing. We’ll check them out, there’s a shop with Demo bikes nearby.

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