The Stitch Bitch of Cycling

Stitch Bitch.
That’s what what one gal called me. We laughed.
Hmmm, umm, yeah, I own that.
It refers to my insistence that every garment made for women in cycling be comfortable against the skin. My venders should pay attention, here: this makes the simple overlock stitch a Clothing Technology Crime or CTC. Why?
Designers, of cycling clothing, gather ’round (in my best Tim Gunn voice). Women, in general, have softer skin; we also have less natural protection (hair) covering our bodies. That makes us more vulnerable to chaffing and skin irritation from a rubbing seam. The Flatlock stitch, along with good design solves these irritation problems.
Honestly, I can’t take rotten quality in stitching, and I simply don’t tolerate in my store. I must admit that I was not entirely pleased with quality control from some of the cycling brands I chose for my store. The more time I spend in the saddle, the more I realize that my sacred inner mantra was ignored, as I chose some items last year by emotion first, instead of quality. There’s only one brand that never wavered on quality, and that was Etxe Ondo. Everything was flawless, and all customers were happy. I delight in wearing it, myself (as you’ve probably guessed).
I’ll be switching up some of my brands, because the ONE thing I learned about women’s cycling retail, is that “Women Want Quality” (OOOMMM), Marc Jacobs is an easy sell, payless, not so much…

I’m going to add a private section to the “girl on bike” website, called The Stitch Bitch. This section will require a password to get in, but it will reveal why I’m dropping some brands, and picking up others, and what I REALLY thought about being behind the scenes in the Bike Industry. Yes I’ll say what companies shined this year, but I’m going to start talking (a bit) more publicly, where, exactly, some of the bike industry is truly fucking up in getting women on bikes, and how others are being more progressive and finally getting it; women “hold the balls” of the cycling business in three ways:
1. For MOST American households, women make the financial decisions.
2. Women make up a large part of “commuter cyclists”; it’s where we shine, because for many of us, we just like the freedom of being a girl on a bike, and see cycling as a way to multi-task travel, fun and exercise.
3. Now that women’s bikes, clothing, parts and tools have been totally dialed by some companies, women are flocking to the companies who got it right. Big frickin’ hint, guys, it’s not always pink. Conversely, women generally did not tolerate things that did not fit, or were not of the premium quality. They returned that which was sub-par.
So, this year I may seem like a harmless kitty at Interbike, but look out (grrr) here comes The Stitch Bitch!
Next week, I use my Super Powers for good, or evil…
Ya got dat?!!!

QUICK UPDATE: Just got back from Interbike; girls, let’s just say that we have LOTS to look forward to, if the buyers do their job right. Solid colors are more on trend, and can be matched to the Spring Haute Couture colors, and the prints are reminiscent of Pucci, Versace, and Miu Miu. Fabric technology, and garment construction is DEFINITELY improving. Will post pics as soon as I can.

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4 Responses to “The Stitch Bitch of Cycling”

  1. Annie Says:

    I am right there with you! Comfort is always important when I spend hours on the bike.

    And definitely enough with the pink! I like buying women-friendly things, but I’m not a girly girl peddling around with cute, pink anything. It is fine on other people, but I need a little choice in my purchasing.

    Thanks for emphasizing this issue!

  2. Chantalle Says:

    I love my pink! On my bike that is…

    Clothing wise I like to stick to blacks, whites, blues, reds…don’t like those girly girl shades.

    My brands of choice are De Marchi and Castelli, but I have noticed that Castelli has been doing a shoddy job with their stitching and finishing. Not happy about that! I should give Exte Ondo a try.

  3. cyclemaven Says:

    Hey Chantalle,
    LOTS of women feel that way; bike parts can be fun in pink, but in previous years, much of women’s cycling clothing has been in three main colors: black, pink, and “at least it’s not pink” blue, which is usually a baby blue nearing periwinkle.
    This year, as last, I will be bringing the SPRING 2009 color swatches, for Haute Couture, and using that to determine my color palette for the year, in my retail store.
    Demarchi will still be great this year, as will Etxe Ondo. Agree that Castelli’s stitch quality needs to come back up to their previous standard; I really hope so, because when they get it right, their clothes are gorgeous.

  4. seo blog Says:

    This is a really interesting blog post,I have added your blog to my favourites I really like it,keep up the good work!

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