Women buy bikes based on colour and men let technology influence their wallets was one conclusion of a gathering of London’s cycling community this week.
Her Gear, the UK’s first cycle boutique for women hosted an evening to mark sustainable transport charity Sustrans’ campaign to get more women cycling. The new female-friendly website www.bikebelles.org.uk is a crucial part of that campaign.
Her Gear owner Steven Peters stocks everything the serious female cyclist could want, from top-of-the range bikes with a £2k price tag to gloves and accessories. The shocking pink shop façade stands out amongst the boutiques and high end restaurants of its leafy Kensington location and it seems women cyclists want to stand out too, when they're riding around town on their bikes.
Looking good was as important as feeling safe on the roads to the many women Sustrans spoke to at a recent women's health and beauty exhibition. The colour of their bikes was also very important, and didn't stray far from sterotype. As we know, journalist Dawn Porter rides a bright pink Brompton and the charity's competition prize of a Dutch bike (complete with flower-decorated lilac frame) was also a conversation starter at the event with the focus of attention much more to do with the size of the basket and colour than the number of gears it had.
As we reported earlier this week Topshop is about to start stocking a funky line of cycling accessories for women, called Cyclodelic, but is all this enough to persuade the 79% of women currently not cycling to get on their bikes?
Sustrans has brought together a group of Bike Belles pannelists on the new website to give their opinions. It all points clearly towards the theory that anyone working in cycle retail should think much more seriously about style, image and appearance if they want to lure in those female customers.
For more information on the Sustrans campaign visit www.bikebelles.org.uk