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The Specific Woman

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Who is the specific woman? We see a lot of “women’s specific” bikes out in the world, but we have yet to meet any specific women. In all the fittings and all the designs we have done, what is resoundingly clear is that women’s bodies are pretty non-specific. In fact, women’s bodies vary more than men’s do, in proportion, so it’s a hard task to design something that will fit most women, even of the same height, in any more than a cursory way. Making a man’s bike smaller doesn’t get at the half of it.

So we consider what makes women different than men. For example, women generally (but not always) have a wider pelvic arch than men, greater pelvic tilt also. These things affect saddle position and saddle height. Generally speaking (but not always) women have longer legs relative to their height than men do. Their weight is lower and farther back, which affects the center of gravity, handling and reach. Their shoulders are usually (but not always) narrower, and they have smaller hands (sometimes), all of which impacts front-end geometry and handling.

The generalized differences are informative, but really, when it comes right down to it, every rider, male or female, is an individual, with specific geometric needs, with a tubeset that matches their riding preferences, with their own aesthetic sense and ideas for their bike. That’s why we make rider-specific bikes.

As far as we can tell, there is no specific woman, but there might be a specific bike for every woman (or man), who wants one.

On Course at CX Nationals with Mo Bruno Roy

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

We finally got the chance to catch up with Mo Bruno Roy after her National Championship winning ride in the single-speed race last week in Austin. She got to Austin via the Resolution Cross Cup in Dallas, where she got on the podium one of the two days in the Women’s Elite category, so she was feeling good coming into Nationals.

She says, “Early in the week (Ed: before the course turned to a muddy bog and the racing was postponed), it was dry and fast, which doesn’t really suit my strengths, but there was an off-camber, twisty section and there were three run-ups, where I thought I could make some time.”

With nearly 40 women in the field, the single-speed race more than doubled in size from 2014, and the talent reflected that growth. Zilker Park in Austin was packed with racers from all over the country, and while things went a little awry later in the week, the single-speed races went off without a hitch on Wednesday.

Mo says, “The hardest part of the race was actually a block headwind of 20-30mph you had to fight through at the beginning of every lap. For the first three laps I had 10 seconds, and at that point one mistake can kill you. I don’t normally think about that, but the announcers are saying it over and over again, which isn’t all the way helpful. I mean, you hear them. They give you the gap, which is good information, but they can also plant the seed of doubt if you let them. So at that point, I just tried to focus on what I was doing. The ground was loose and slippery, so I couldn’t go fast through the off-camber section. I had to make my time on the run ups.”

CM1_4591In the end, she had 40 seconds on the nearest competition and was able to celebrate alone-in-photo. This was her ‘A’ race for the year, the goal she wrote down on paper before a single race had gone off, so winning validated her plan to shift focus to races that are more fun. It was a big departure from her previous World Cup campaigns.

She says, “I seem to enjoy single-speed events throughout, not just afterwards. World Cup racing is really stressful, and single-speed isn’t like that, so that’s been working for me. As defending champ, I felt pressure. I was supposed to win, so after this one I felt a little relief, a little happiness. Mostly I was glad not to have to ride into that headwind anymore.”

If it is possible to say how proud we are to work with Mo too many times, we hope we never get there. It’s hard to describe how good it is to see good people do good things on your bikes.

See more of Mo’s bike here, here, here and here. Connect with MM Racing here. Or watch a post-race interview with Mo here.

Photos by the talented Chris McIntosh.

 

Mo Bruno Roy – Single Speed CX National Champ AGAIN

Friday, January 9th, 2015

We don’t like it when a big win, say a National Championship, gets billed as a title “defense” just because the rider won last year, too. Defense has negative connotations for us, whereas, winning a bike race, especially on a technical, cyclocross course is about attacking every corner, every rise, about riding your own race, rather than playing defense.

Here’s a great interview with two-time Single-Speed Cyclocross National champion Mo Bruno Roy, done by Cyclocross Magazine, just after the finish where she explains how she did it.

Check back next week, when we’ll have some pictures and an exclusive interview with Mo about her exploits in Austin.

Mo Bruno Roy’s Mudhoney PRO

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Mo Bruno Roy has won a lot of races on our bikes, including this year’s Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship. She makes us look good, and for this we are enormously grateful. This season, in addition to standing on podiums, she also got her Mudhoney PRO (affectionately known as Mo Pro II) all kinds of cool coverage, some of which we share with you here:

There was a cool write up and photo gallery in Cyclocross Magazine.

Another gallery in Velo News that documented the design, build and race process for the bike.

And a DirtWire video in which Mo explains what’s so awesome about her “Wicked Pro” custom Seven.

 

Behind the Scenes with MM Racing

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

By now, you know Matt and Mo as two of our favorite sponsored-riders. We have written about their exploits recently here and here. What you might not know about Matt and Mo is that together, under the banner of MM Racing, they are two of the savviest riders/racers in the game.

Matt explains, “MM Racing is really about being our own title sponsor, our own sports marketing company. In 2008, when we teamed up with Seven Cycles and secured product sponsorship for bikes and clothing, we still found ourselves without a title sponsor. At that time, we realized that we were actually our own financial “sponsors” and created our own team name using our first initials. For the next two years, MM Racing served as a place holder or “Your Name Here” for potential title sponsors. In 2010, Bob’s Red Mill filled that spot for us. We remain our own team managers and organizers, now using the moniker MM Racing as more of our sports marketing vehicle via social media, website and e-newsletters.”

“As privateers, we do all of our own marketing,” he explains. “I think a lot of athletes at the elite level just want to focus on training and racing, and we get that, but if you’re not packaging and marketing what you do, it can be hard for sponsors to justify supporting an athlete. Historically, we pay attention to marketing trends and changing the way we approach potential sponsors year-to-year based on current trends and things like laying out ROI for our sponsors. We understand that sponsorship works on two levels. On the one hand, and most importantly, you have a relationship as people. You essentially become teammates with your sponsors, and then at the same time, it’s a professional business relationship, and both aspects have to work for the sponsorship to be successful.”

Mo says, “We have never approached companies for sponsorship we don’t personally appreciate in some way and believe in. The real benefit to our approach is that we get to develop genuine relationships that are part teammate, part professional business. Some athletes may be comfortable with anonymous sums of money from a sponsor, but that’s not what we’re about. We want to be part of a team and show off our teammates. Our approach is akin to our lifestyle. We don’t need a lot, we’re not interested in getting lots of “stuff” for free, we want to be connected to what our sponsors do and who they are on a personal level.”

Both Matt and Mo worked in pro-cycling, Mo as a soigneur  and Matt as a mechanic, before getting together, so they both knew what it took to run a tight ship, but all the work of running the team can be a big stress point in their relationship.