Commuting over the past 5 years, I’ve witnessed a noticeable increase in the female cycling demographic every year, but the explosion of women on bikes this spring is astounding – It’s awesome to see! Especially since many people consider women an “indicator species” regarding the bike-friendliness of a city :-)
Happily, it appears as though Calgary isn’t the only city experiencing this phenomenon and I’m not the only one taking note – Lululemon also seems to be betting on the future of women and cycling with their new cycling apparel.
Now, being neither female, nor regularly practicing yoga – I’m likely not Lululemon’s target demographic, but I can say that I vicariously appreciate the quality and style of their clothing through my wife, sister and almost every other female I know.
In addition to Lululemon significantly investing in cycling this past year through their sponsorship of the Specialized/Lululemon race team (featuring the likes of Clara Hughes, Evie Stevens, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg among others), it seems that Lulu is doubling up on their cycling wager through real world materials.
Obviously this is a man’s opinion in a women’s realm, but I think that generally speaking, women’s technical cycling apparel has lived in a difficult limbo – It must appeal to not only the female physique, but also a woman’s particular and varying sense of style. Unfortunately many companies lacklustre approach of simply offering of a “pink” jersey, or slapping some ridiculous flowery pattern on their items not only missed the mark, but offended many women cyclists. Most of the larger cycling-specific companies have slowly evolved through trial and error, and others (like Rapha) have made calculated late entries into the women’s market.
At first blush I see two benefits to the Lululemon cycling line:
- It definitely looks like it will instantly appeal to beginner and intermediate cyclists.
- The “Lulu style” may bring a few more women off the fence and into cycling. Let’s face it – Looking good matters, and having the support of a brand they already trust them may make the difference.
With that said, women that pound out the kilometers with a bit more regularity may be a bit more sceptical – Choosing to wait until things have been a little more proven.
I’d definitely be interested in hearing from any women’s opinions of the gear, or if anybody has bought/tried it I’d love to get some first impressions.