22 March 2011

Serious about riding, but also serious about looking good?

Photo, above: designer Sheila Moon is passionate about both cycling and her brand, designed exclusively for women who love to ride and look good doing it.

Talk to Sheila Moon. A fashion designer by trade and bike racer for 17+ years, Moon creates all her cycling apparel with the technical properties you'd expect of a sports performance garment, paired with fashion-forward designs. "These are NOT cut-down men's jerseys," she emphasizes. "My customers are women who are fashion-conscious, strong and fit. Women who want to be strong and competent [on the bike], but still LOOK like a woman."

The first online retailer to carry and ship her products to a national market, BicyclingHub.com met up with Sheila Moon at Interbike last fall, where she showcased some of her favorite pieces and introduced new products making their debut in the Spring/Summer 2011 line. Building her company in the early days via word-of-mouth and grassroots promotion, Moon remains just as passionate about both riding and her brand designed exclusively by and for women cyclists. Currently enjoying an international market and increased brand recognition, Moon reflects back on both her personal and professional expansion. "I grew with my business, size-wise" she laughs. "I had to think of things from a different angle; how do I make this fit other women of every size?"

With a typical customer profile ranging from ages 35-65 and self-proclaimed cycling enthusiasts to suburban professional mothers, Moon wanted to offer workout apparel that was low-impact, easy on the body, and provided a great introduction to exercise. Remarking on her selection of plus-sized jerseys, she notes, "It feels good to be able to offer something fashionable that fits."

Two of our favorite carryover pieces are the long-legged Women's Athena Cycling Shorts and Women's Venus Cycling Knickers, both featuring her trademark yoga waistline. Why so popular? we asked. "I used to race in men's bibshorts," Moon recalled. "Most women don't wear bibs." [Pit stops can get tricky for women, especially if you're riding in a rural area or there are no public restrooms readily available.] "I can't stand elastic around the waistband and constricting the belly." In addition to removing the elastic around the mid-section in favor of a yoga-style waistline, Moon also eradicated the elastic grippers around the legs.

Photo, left: Grippers be gone! Don't want your cycling shorts to ride up your legs as you pedal, but can't stand the feeling of elastic cutting into your thighs? Moon has solved both problems with her elastic-free cycling shorts. Note the silicone gripper at the cuff.

When it comes to finding the right fit, you might find cycling shorts to be a matter of highly personal preference. "What many folks don't realize is that the rise between the crotch and the belly button varies a lot; [measurements between] hips, waist and crotch region provides a lot of variation between women."

Other factors that might decrease your discomfort (and increase your ride time enjoyment)?
  • choice of saddle
  • proper bike fit
  • a good chamois (and no movement of the pad while riding)
  • chamois creme
One final piece of advice from a pro? "Chamois time is NOT training time," Moon states. [Once you're done riding] get outta those cycling shorts!"

Photo, right: Sheila Moon's eye-catching cycling dress, paired with black knickers, prove that fashion and function can work and play well together.

No comments:

We are on a mission to spread meaningful content and give you awesome deals on cycling clothing. Like us on Facebook and see for yourself.