As a part of a new business strategy, Decathlon is offering women the same range of bikes and cycling accessories as their male clientele. This lead to the launch of a new line of MTB and road bikes, clothing and other products that make the cycling experience more enjoyable for women.
In a previous article we reported on the changes in product development strategy at the French sport retail giant. Each and every sport is now separated and assigned to a team of employees who are devoted to the given activity. The strategy was also adopted in developing products especially for women. Within cycling the road and the MTB branch was divided into two separate departments, and each were assigned to a dedicated team of men and women respectively. The allotment of tasks to devoted staff is aimed at offering higher level and more personalized sport products.
In the case of bikes and equipment, the female employees in the two teams can capitalize on their experience, thus designing products especially suited to the needs and expectations fellow women cyclists. We can finally say goodbye to the “shrink it and pink it” attitude, and welcome a new concept where women are treated as equal concerning all cycling-related equipment.
As a result, all bikes available at Decathlon will employ the same technology irrespective of gender. Bike frame geometry is the same all across the range, as recent research suggest that women in general do not require special frame construction, only the correct frame size. On the other hand, bike equipment and setup needs to be gender-specific, and customized for the rider irrespective of sex. Statistical data suggests that men and women of equal height have different body proportions: the legs tend to be longer, the upper body shorter and the shoulders narrower. This entails that a bike with the same frame size will be equipped with a shorter stem and a narrower handlebar to compensate for these differences. The brake levers will also have a shorter reach to support better handling and the essential women-specific saddles complete the concept. Finally, the frame size for all bikes in the new collection will range from XXS to M.
Even more striking are the newly designed cycling wear made especially for female riders. Compared to previous years, the women’s collection has not only more products on offer, but features new cut and design. Pair these to a space-age carbon bike and we can see the magnitude of the progress at Decathlon lately!
In the new women’s bike collection we see the same distinction of brands as with their male-oriented counterpart. Thus we find the Triban marque for the lower end of the range, and Van Rysel for the premium bikes, the latter catering for the more performance-oriented female riders. The clothing range will encompass three performance and price levels: the 100-series is the basic collection, the 500 is designed for advanced riders and finally the 900 will deliver the best performance the sport clothing industry can offer. This allows all types of riders to find the bike equipment best suited to their needs and budget.
To pick just one bike from the new Van Rysel road range, we recommend taking a closer look at the new women-specific Van Rysel Ultra CF. Unlike some specialist bike manufacturers, Decathlon offers this fine carbon road bike model in XXS frame size, catering to those who have previously struggled to find bikes matching their stature.
Women riding mountain bike can still be feminine! The Rockrider women’s collection does away with the macho image that characterizes this branch of cycling, providing the growing number of female MTB riders with clothing better reflecting their femininity.
We were glad to see the Rockrider 560 we reviewed last year made available in a the women-specific version. It’s a great bike offering excellent value, and now everybody has a chance to own one irrespective of gender!