How Sports Companies Treat Women – An Update

Many people replied to my rant last week about how sports companies treat women, specifically in running and cycling, After some interesting conversations I thought it was probably time for an update, so here it is.

1. The Proliferation of Pink

Women’s Running section at Nike Store at Swindon Outlet Centre. Disappointing

I took the above photo at the Nike Store at the Outlet Centre in Swindon last week. This is their Women’s Running section. Black, white, pink. Disappointing, Nike. I tweeted them, but have yet to receive a reply.

@LucyLemonLife who blogs over at said “The disappointing one for me recently was the Hind range at Sweatshop. Great idea to have an affordable range but nothing that wasn’t black or pink in the winter range and now the summer range. Ugh.” Exactly, Lucy, exactly.

 2. Topless Bib Shorts

Remember how I was upset that @SportPursuit had on offer women’s bibshorts manufactured by Italian firm Giordano, and the photos used to show the shorts featured a topless (female) model? Well Sport Pursuit were obviously not impressed with my arguments about why they shouldn’t use such photographs, because they have another sale of Giordana cycling gear. The topless ladies are there again (sigh), and this time they are joined by topless men. If you want to take a look, here’s the link.

I’m sorry, but adding topless men doesn’t make it okay. However if you loved the film Zoolander you will see a fine array of ‘Blue Steel’ poses. And I’m still wondering how the female models are going to get a bike helmet on over that hairstyle.

3. Trek Bikes and the hidden ‘Best Friends Forever’ sticker

On to my Trek bike, with it’s unexpected frame decoration

This is what kicked off my Rant
This is what kicked off my Rant

Some of the replies I received from Twitter:-


And then, I had a reply from @TrekBikesUK:-

Trek's reply
Trek’s reply

They also replied:-

So basically I need to correct my blog about why we have women specific design of bikes. I also need to stress that I have nothing against Trek bikes themselves – I love my new Trek Lexa SL bike and my husband would have his Trek in the bedroom with us given the chance. (No chance!) I am more than happy to believe they spend a shed load of money on research and design.

I was even impressed with the online magazine they pointed me towards. You can see it here  It’s a great read all about  women cycling, pictures of women going down amazing trails on MTB bikes, stories of how the bikes are designed and so on. I was very happy that whoever looks after Trek UK’s Twitter account managed to turn my angry rant into a civilised and fun conversation.

BUT I am still not happy with the ‘Best Friends Forever’ sticker on my bike. I liked Alexa’s suggestion of using white elctrical tape to cover it up until I think of a new slogan. (Still thinking of a new slogan).

I am endebted to @Abradypus, who blogs at Abradypus for pointing me in the direction of this awesome blog post at Total Womens Cycling  Basically Sarah Connelly, the author, showcases the different approaches four companies making women’s cycling clothing have to how their products are advertised. They range from topless bib shorts again (another company, Assos) through to photos of women actually riding in the clothes, looking like they’re working hard, and out with other women having fun. It’s a good read and is basically echoing some of my rants (but written 9 months ago).

The only problem is I am now looking at a great site with fantastic women’s cycling gear, and I can feel my fingers reaching for my credit card …