Where are all the Ladies? A Technical University Just for Women

Jul 28, 2015
by Rachelle Frazer Boobar  
SRAM Women s STU.

"Where are all the ladies?"

It was the one question that Sara Jarrell and Elayna Caldwell kept asking themselves. "We have these OE camps, and as I’m sitting in these meetings I’m like, 'Where are the women?'" says Caldwell, SRAM's Director of MTB Marketing. An OE Camp is an event where Original Equipment Manufacturers, or brands are invited to learn about and test future product. Sara Jarrell, an Engineering Tech, was wondering the same thing. "We host test rides and camps for dealers to attend and we give an open, 'Hey bring some people,' so they (the women) weren’t necessarily getting the invites from the places where they worked." Sara's job at SRAM is to educate dealers and OE's about SRAM product. Being a woman in the industry that works closely with product she was keenly interested to find a way to bring the women together and give them an opportunity to learn.

Jarrell took matters into her own hands.

"(I began) speaking to women in the industry, talking to them about how they choose to spec parts on their bikes. You know, trying to figure out how we could help that process, how to give them more information. I was like, 'How can we help you do your job? How can we help you choose the products how can we help you choose what you want to put on your bike, what makes the best sense for you?' And I was like, well, why don’t we have a STU? Because what I do is STU, teaching classes and educating people about our products."

STU stands for SRAM Technical University. It's a department of the company dedicated to educating brands, dealers and internal staff on product. Jarrell began asking various industry women - not just product managers - if they would be interested in coming to a women's only STU event. "They were definitely excited, when I brought up an idea where they could come, learn and ask questions, overwhelmingly the response was super positive. They were like 'when?'"

The next step was to get all of the different brands into one room. Usually in a situation like this brands work with SRAM one at a time to ensure that each company's future product plans are kept under wraps. "I was pretty clear from the get-go it wasn’t for them to talk to us about what they’re doing, but for us to talk to them about what we’re doing. And how they can apply that to their bikes and new designs on their own." Jarrell didn't leave any stone unturned, figuring out who to invite from each brand, making sure everyone had someone represented. She didn't only reach out to product managers, she reached out to women in the industry with other job titles too. "We have people from marketing backgrounds, we have people from product backgrounds, we have women who share both of those hats."

Of all of the brands that Jarrell reached out to, all of them sent someone.

Elayna Caldwell.
Elayna Caldwell, SRAM's MTB Brand Director, has spent much of her career supporting the development of women's mountain biking.
SRAM Women s STU 2015
Sara Jarrell has over ten years of mechanics experience and harbors a wealth of product knowledge.

Bringing the Brands Together

SRAM are somewhat seasoned at hosting brands for STU sessions and their facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is set up with a lecture room and workshop precisely for events such as this. Upon arrival it's clear that there's a lot of influence in attendance. Trek, Kona, Specialized, GT, Cannondale, Juliana, Giant and Surly are all represented, along with PeopleForBikes, World Bicycle Relief, and SRAMbassadors Lindsey Voreis, Katie Holden, Nicole Duke, Leigh Donovan, Rebecca Rusch and Tammy Donahugh. Not to mention what feels like every North American female SRAM employee.

The curriculum is tailored to cover the breadth of the job descriptions in the room. Boiled down it is essentially, to learn about feature benefits, product information and then to test ride.

SRAM Women s STU 2015

Product Sessions

Over three sessions we cover theory for brakes, wheels, drivetrain and suspension. These are in-depth classes that cover the basics through to the more complex details.

Road brake theory
Brake theory for road and mountain. Sara explains the different types of systems, where braking power comes from, different types of fade, how to properly bed in brakes and so forth.
SRAM Women s STU 2015 - Sara Jarrell
We also discuss the features of SRAM's latest brake lineup.

SRAM Women s STU 2015
Cassette comparisons, the 1X line-up and the new GX line were all up for discussion during the drivetrain session.

Specialized Ladies.
Sara's suspension presentation covers new product.
SRAM Women s STU 2015
Suspension set-up.

SRAM Women s STU 2015
How suspension internals work.
SRAM Women s STU 2015
And a fork servicing.

bigquotesI have already been able to apply some of what I know practically - when talking about spec details for bikes, etc. I've also already taken my fork apart just to try and remember how to put it back together. Knowledge is power, I think, so although it isn't always exactly translatable to my job day to day, this kind of knowledge makes you feel more confident in your job, conversations, etc... Stephanie Kaplan - Women's Road Line Product Manager, Specialized.

Andrea Turner is Santa Cruz s in-house demo coordinator she spends a lot of time working on bikes and can apply plenty of her new found knowledge in her job.
bigquotesThere was a lot of useful technical knowledge that I have already used working on my fleet of bikes. I also got a lot out of the suspension set up discussion. Getting a really solid foundation of understanding for the internals of the equipment gave me a bit more confidence to do more thorough fine-tuning. I'm excited to be able to pass that knowledge forward to my customers and ensure they get a really good experience on their demos. I also was really inspired by a lot of the women, their stories, and all they are doing in their communities.
Andrea Turner, Factory Demo Coordinator, Santa Cruz Bicycles

Speaker Series

This STU session isn't only designed for the attendees to learn about product, it's a chance for SRAM to present some of the other projects they are involved with such as World Bicycle Relief, the foundation started by SRAM that mobilizes and liberates people in third world countries by providing access to bicycles, and PeopleForBikes. PeopleForBike's VP of Business Jenn Dice covered the work that the organization undertakes, which is not insignificant. Her job is to build political clout and influence for the foundation which is the largest grant giver for bicycle initiatives in the USA. PeopleForBikes recently hired Dr Jennifer Boldry to perform a study to gauge just how many people actually ride bicycles in the USA.

Here are some quick and interesting facts that were uncovered during her research:

• A ten minute online survey was conducted with 16,000 respondents, 9,000 of which were kids. The margin for error is 1%.
• 34% of people ride bikes in the USA. That's 103.7 million people. This means they rode a bike at least 1 day in the last 12 months.
• 44% of these people are women.
• From the ages of 3-9 years male/female participation is the same.
• The participation of women in cycling drops as a teenager, while boys participation doesn’t drop until they reach driving age.

SRAM Women s STU 2015 - Jenn Dice
Jenn Dice.

Jennifer Boldry
Dr Jennifer Boldry.

Cait Dooley
bigquotesThe big takeaway for me was all the data Jenn Dice from PeopleForBikes and Dr. Jennifer Boldry from Breakaway Research Group presented on cycling in the USA. One of the most interesting things that they shared is that boys and girls ride at the same rates as children, but during adolescence, the gap between female and male riding participation starts to both widen and drop off. Keeping girls engaged as they become adults is something that I think is really important, and I hope that the work we all do helps close that gap. Cait Dooley - Product Manager, GT Bicycles

Test Riding

SRAM Women s STU 2015

After mornings laden with theory and product, we hit the local trails to put to test everything we learned. Everyone had brought their own bikes to the session and each day had the opportunity to try out the products we'd been discussing in class, the major ones being the Pike, RS1, Guide Ultimate Brakes, Roam Wheels and the GX drivetrain.

Not only is test riding a chance to feel out new product, but it's a chance to decompress. Opportunities to ride with other industry women - particularly a group as large as this is not a common occurrence. It's an experience that appears to be thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

SRAM Women s STU 2015

The Liv Ladies Janette Sherman and Abby Santurbane.
The Liv Ladies Janette Sherman and Abby Santurbane.
GT meets Surley meets Kona.
GT meets Surley meets Kona.

bigquotes I'm never here to tear down what another brand is doing, rather I love seeing brands offering product for women and taking different approaches to the need in the market. Options are what women want and what ultimately makes us all stronger and push ourselves harder and in the end, women win. It's rad. So I love forging friendships with other women at other brands. No I am not going to reveal exactly what I might be working on, but it is fun and helpful to share general challenges and successes we all experience. - Janette Shermann, Liv Global Marketing Communications Manager

SRAM Women s STU 2015
  Climbing up the Front Range of the Rockies was quite spectacular.

SRAM Women s STU 2015

bigquotesWhat is great about getting all the ladies together specifically for this class is that females are certainly a minority in the bike industry so we've got to stick together, encourage each other, learn from each other, and empower one another - real change is happening in the industry to recognize women as real contributors to the sport and it takes industry leaders like these women to make that happen. Get us all together and we become even stronger and more cohesive in our mission to get more ladies loving bikes.
Angi Weston, Kona Sales

SRAM Women s STU 2015 - Leigh Donovan
Leigh Donovan basking in the atmosphere.
SRAM Women s STU 2015
The test sessions were equal parts ride and chat time.

Another example of someone not having fun.
  No fun was had. Katie Zaffke of Juliana Bicycles.

bigquotesI loved that we all rallied to be there to make the future of riding and product better for women. I learned a ton...for example, I now have three solid points as to why 1x is better for women. And, I have anecdotal stories from the SRAMbassador coaches that verify these points. It was great to learn product, talk about real world examples from women who know, and then think about how to put this into practice with our offerings - from the product side of things and the marketing side of things. Katie Zaffke, Juliana Bicycles Brand Manager

These two SRAMbassadors Rebecca Rusch and Katie Holden work together quite often on Reba s Gold Rusch Clinics.
  These two SRAMbassadors Rebecca Rusch and Katie Holden work together quite often on Reba's Gold Rusch Clinics.

SRAM Women s STU 2015
The trails in Colorado Springs are known for their "kitty litter" which is a very dense layer of tiny pieces of decomposed granite.
SRAM Women s STU 2015
Katie Holden has her kitty litter surfing skills on lock.

SRAM Women s STU 2015
  Lindsey Voreis and Nicole Duke clearly hate riding bikes.

bigquotesI loved meeting other women in the industry who have the same passion for getting more women on bikes. I loved seeing how down to earth all of the women were and getting to see who works for what company. This industry is all about connections and relationships and it felt really good to get to know other women in the industry. It was a highlight just to be invited! Lindsey Vories Director of Inspiration, Liv Ladies All-Ride Clinics.

Yoga was available each day.
From yoga in the mornings...
To margarita's in the evenings. SRAM Technical University covered several extra-curricular educational subjects.

bigquotesWe're out there. There are a lot of women wrenching and working on products, not just women's specific products, that have been in the industry for a long time. In the chaos of a tradeshow or in a dude-heavy office setting it can be easy to feel like you're going it alone. It was incredibly beneficial connecting with other folks experiencing similar challenges and building a better network to bounce ideas off of and share perspective. Amy Kippley - Product Manager/Surly Bikes

bigquotesI think most of the women in there are surprised to see so many other women doing what they do or something similar and you know, kicking ass. Slowly we're growing our numbers in the industry, slowly we're becoming a powerful group, we're having a voice that's standing out and being presented. I am totally ok with being represented by the group of women in that room. - Sara Jarrell

SRAM Women s STU 2015

bigquotesWe wanted to see what would happen if we changed the tone and held a STU just for women in the bike industry. Would it make a difference? We think it did. After spending a week with this awesome group, we feel more educated and excited about the future of women's cycling. - Elayna Caldwell

SRAM Women s STU 2015

OE camps aren't uncommon, they're an important part of how the industry keeps moving forward. What is uncommon is putting a large group of industry women in this environment together. What started as an opportunity to learn about SRAM's products quickly turned into an event that struck a deeper chord with the attendees. To hear everyone mention time and time again how impactful it was to meet and learn with their peers indicates that women are still the minority, but the tide is turning. More women are steadily entering the industry and more women are taking interest in product. Last year over 800 women in the USA applied for the QBP Bike Mechanic Scholarship program. These numbers combined with initiatives such as SRAM's Women's STU show that the ladies are out there growing their presence. They also suggest that the term "minority" should soon be in the rear-view mirror.

Would Jarrell, Caldwell and SRAM do it all again? The answer is yes.

Photography by Anne Keller.
Additional photography by Rachelle Frazer.

MENTIONS: @SramMedia


  • 62 5
 This is in response to the notion that a particular activity is considered sexist just because there is more of 1 gender than the other. It doesn't always mean that 1 gender is inhibiting the other, otherwise we could say that females are intentionally preventing males from doing ballet. Some people just cannot believe that an activity happens to attract one gender more than the other without somebody to blame.
  • 23 4
  • 30 3
 way too much common sense being applied
  • 10 13
 Have you ever been to a ballet? You do realize there are nearly equal #'s of men and women there, don't you? Just because ballet isn't something you give a damn about doesn't mean all dudes feel the same. Moreover, men who come to ballet are welcomed and included because they are needed for the overall success and continuance of the form. They're not told: this is how we chicks do it, bros, so deal with it or move along and play your stupid football or something. However, it wasn't always that way, men were once thought to be just hold and support props for the women, and it took trailblazers nearly a century to bring the male ballet form to it's current nadir, and anchor the male place in ballet, to the point where the 3 most highly compensated ballet dancers of all time are all male. Nobody is looking to turn the clock back a century there, but in MTB, this is essentially what women hear from men all the time, your comment being a shining example, to paraphrase "hey, it's a dude sport, if you wanna come and check it out you gotta deal with that chicks, or go back to shopping or something". Assinine. Women have always been an integral part of MTB, as they arguably are with any other human pursuit, and this forum is just trying to make sure that new riders to the sport, both male and female, get that and that there is no stigma or regimentation put on how a what a "Mountain Biker" is, looks like, sounds like, or which discipline they pursue. What ill could possibly come of that?
  • 15 18
 if liberals get their way the genders will eventually merge and we'll become some sort of androgynous, unisex species that produces hatched offspring by rubbing bellies or something equally weird. progress, huh? there's nothing fundamentally wrong with equality and humanist based initiatives, but it often seems like we are trying to reinvent humanity so we cater for 16 different sexual derivatives, 90 different sexual orientations, and aim to meet the needs of every single self-interest group, which is not possible when we have created a gazillion such self interest groups. humanity fail, yet again. but then I am old and cynical and tired of all the mindless new age Satanic humanity-destroying mumbo jumbo that I keep reading
  • 8 6
 Ummmm, what? Talk about mumbo jumbo... We're not talking about a million different self interest groups here, just boys and girls, you know, differentiated by innies and outies. Both like to ride bikes off road. Seemed simple to me.
  • 8 5
 The dark overlord disapproves of your rambling nonsensical mumbo jumbo. Respect women, worship Satan, ride trails - the three tenets of a happy and successful life.
  • 4 4
 Ouch, negpropped in oblivion, who knew there were so many Mr NIMBY's on Pinkbike? I guess screenames like @rattpoison @gnarbar and @NWuntilIrest kind of speak for themselves, so i'll take it as a badge of honor. Hey, at least @Satanslittlehelper was down with the cause!
  • 2 0
 Whoah, whoah, catfish: you just crossed the line. I and many people never said anything sexist, and your assumptions about our chosen sn's(mine is the combination of 2 silly bands) is unnecessary(and an assumption). Your elaboration that men exist in ballet is not being denied , but it has little to do with my example of an activity in which there is more of 1 gender than the other. Unless you're saying it's EXACTLY 50/50, which is impossible.

I recognize that it is more intimidating when there is more of another group than your's. When I grew up, I was the only asian kid in the entire class and ethnic-based college clubs exist for a reason, just like SRAM's camp. But I can't get mad at Americans as a whole JUST because I'm part of a minority in a country foreign to where I was born.

However, let's be respectful to BOTH genders. Nobody in mountain biking is doing what you're saying. Tell me the last time a guy literally said:

1. "this is how we guys do it, why don't you move along to your whatever that girls do." As far as I'm concerned, there is NOT EVEN a male or female specific way to ride a bike. If anything most guys are happy to see women on the trails.
2. If you have heard this, you're hanging out with the wrong humans, male or female.
3. You can't recklessly condemn mountain biking's majority gender for the words/actions of a few bad apples. Just like I can't condemn women(like my mom and sister) for what you assume about us: that we're all bros and dislike women in mtb'ing. Peace.
  • 138 84
 "We want equal opportunities!"

"Lets have our own club where boys aren't allowed"
  • 19 31
flag chyu (Jul 28, 2015 at 2:15) (Below Threshold)
 that's sexist!
  • 30 43
flag angus-owen (Jul 28, 2015 at 2:46) (Below Threshold)
 grow up
  • 79 7
 I get what you're saying, but I think this is good thing. We all know that women are minority in MTB, part of this IMO is due to the intimidating idea that if a woman goes to an uplift day or goes out on some trails somewhere that she'll be the only woman out there surrounded by a bunch of men. I think having a women support other women in the sport is great thing.
  • 57 16
 The article isn't about equal opportunities.

Its about providing a platform for woman to learn & get further involved in the industry which is great.

Im pissed off that I see my country's flag next to such a ignorant comment - Unfortunately pinkbike is dominated by young people who do not quite understood how to voice their opinion without coming across as sexist or idiotic.

I recently defended the comments section on Reddit on a 'sexism within pinkibke' topic purely because I think young guys are always going to say stupid shit so moaning about sexism on pinkbike is a silly notion as it will always be there as its the internet

I still agree with my stance on reddit.... but you are 25... what is you excuse?
  • 15 4
 Uh it's a boys club already. And it is probably enjoyable for the women to bike with others of like mindset/skill level than always having to follow or bike with the agro dude bros around the mountain all day long. You know, the ones that are always enduroing, even in the parking lot?
  • 6 2
 I think the thing is, when there are the regular camps open to both sexes, brands send almost only males, so they wanted to have something to include women.
  • 6 15
flag jaurl (Jul 28, 2015 at 13:01) (Below Threshold)

I guess it wasn't enough for you to just cry on reddit about being offended by an opinion, you also had to cry about being offended on pinkbike also. Apparently you think you're making a strong argument by calling him sexist, but you sound like a sjw cuck to me.
  • 8 9
 I completely and 100% agree with equal opportunities for everyone. Women and men should have exactly the same opportunities in life no matter where they are in the world.

Sexism in my view is creating blockades for the other sex to not be involved or included in something. That's exactly what this Technical University is. But because it's by women and for women us men don't want to say anything or be branded a Anti-feminist.

If women want to be treated the same as men, in the day and age, don't go pointing out the fact your a minority in a male dominated sport. We know. I feel that if women keep bringing the sexism argument again and again we'll continue to have this idea in our heads that the two sexes aren't equal.
  • 4 3
 @speedyjonzalas btw that isn't your flag it's a british flag with some stars, get your own flag mate, we did it a long time ago!
  • 3 0
 LOL newsbreak: that isn't your flag either; it's a corporate flag with some stars - look up the british East India Company flag...
  • 1 0
 @dssdnt It is my flag - I just have my location set to where i currently live Smile
  • 3 0

'we'll continue to have this idea in our heads that the two sexes aren't equal'

It's not an idea, it's a fact. Scientifically verified. Try as I might, I can't seem to ovulate. Another way of putting it, where did all those people go that went on about 'men are from Mars, women are from Venus'? i remember that being championed a lot when I was growing up.
  • 58 10
 When I read the headline, I was about to post a comment full of hatred and why this is the worst possible way of emancipation. But in the end, it's just another sales event. So, who cares...
  • 6 3
 i couldn't agree more
  • 25 11
 We need more dogs in cycling. I am going to start a dog workshop training dogs how to ride with their owners.
  • 6 7
 Dogs shit on trails, enough said. NO DOGS. As for where are all of the ladies? IN THIS ARTICLE???
  • 28 2
 As a male rider and representative of my local mtb community, I have participated in women's focused events, notably a day-long cycling conference where I hosted a workshop on the place of women in mountain biking.

Let me share with you some of the results of my research:

- Mountain biking has always been in an awkward place between progressive and full-on sexist. Since the first UCI competitions, female athletes won equal prize money, yet their image was used in a whole different way. For instance, they were absent from most media and advertisement except when they wore bikinis - anybody remember Marzocchi's Bomber Girls? I do, and so do the women in the industry as well as current marketing professionals.

- The problem women often feel when riding with men is that they feel the skills gap between riders of any gender is adressed in a very wrong way: instead of taking the time to explain, scout lines, encourage and be supportive, higher-skilled riders often act as very poor trainers: « just grip the bars tight and let go of the brakes » « just go fast and it'll be smoother » « stop thinking so much and just ride » . Not to mention how little mechanical knowledge is usually passed from male to female riders.

- The male population here on pinkbike seems very eager to bash women-focused or women-specific events with simplistic remarks such as the first upvoted post in this comment section. However, deep hipocrisy resides in this attitude, as we simply do not see men organize women-friendly events where the social environment is built around solidarity and learning. From this vacuum, women have simply went ahead and done their own shit since men didn't seem to give a damn.

So in essence, you can feel those events and clubs are just logical responses to problems we have failed, as riders, to adress correctly. And we have to own up to our mistakes and realize that women are doing it correctly, and for all the marketing appeal those events have, at least it's money going in the right place: bringing more women into the sport, and lowering the skills gap.

Funny how sometimes the male riders' reaction is a word-by-word copy of anti-feminist one-liners from Reddit. Women didn't even need to bring up feminism to claim their rightfully-deserved place in our sport, and in doing so have not prevented a single man from riding. But oh, hey, pinkbike commenters have something to say about feminism, however unrelated, so we should listen to them first. Notice anything wrong?
  • 7 17
flag jaurl (Jul 28, 2015 at 13:05) (Below Threshold)
 You bring up a good point that I forgot since I'm such a misogynist. I forgot that the genders are equal but we need to coddle one more than the other, since that's not progressive hypocrisy
  • 3 0
 Marzocchi has more to do with Italy than biking, though.
  • 26 1
 "The participation of women in cycling drops as a teenager, while boys participation doesn’t drop until they reach driving age."
Always found this interesting. Majority (not all) female riders I know say the same thing, stopped riding as teenagers and then got back into it in their mid 20's. When I ask why they stopped most of the time the answer is " I dunno."

hope this changes in the future.
  • 6 0
 For boys, when they hit puberty, they tend to stay with their sports and pursuits, even the non-organized ones (i.e., stuff other than organized club sports and such - like mountain biking for example). That's how they get social time (which, according to researchers, is just as important to them as to girls that age). That pattern then tends to continue for grown men - activities is a way for men to connect.

Girls, on the other hand, tend to connect with other girls more in a "hanging out" mode at that age. I don't know if that's because of social/cultural norms, or something inherent. But for them to get their social time, there's less outside activity involved.

As a parent, I tried really hard to provide my girl opportunity to find connect time with her girls outside at that age. To some extent, that worked, and she's got the outdoor activity bug, but it's a harder sell than with boys for some reason.
  • 29 13
 So before myself there were 5 comments, 4 of which were either slightly sexist or negative. Does anyone now have an idea why not as many women ride? Just saying.
Also kudos to sram for doing this, I think they should just offer this to us mere mortals, be a great way to learn about the product and industry
  • 5 5
 It will be due to a myriad of reasons, might just be as simple as many females are just not as interested as males in mtb, like most outdoor activities which are considered extreme or dangerous. It's an environment dominated by young males, often sexist, deliberate or otherwise, got to have thick skin on this very site being a female in the comments section for example. Also how many non MTB riding females are actually introduced to our sport without the initial substantial investment in equipment, the average person isn't going to buy a bike to test the waters.
  • 3 2
 my question was rhetorical... good thoughts though
  • 13 3
 Not being sexist here honest, but in our house my son and I get up in the mornings and go riding before it gets too hot.
My wife and daugher, although they enjoy riding, refuse to get up early to do it and then complain about the heat later on in the day.
In the end, my son is progressing far more than my daugher simply because he rides more, and frankly this sport isn't much fun until you reach a certain skill level (which comes with practice).
  • 30 2
 My coworker can't believe I spent $2500 on a bicycle.
I can't believe she spent $2400 on a purse.
  • 7 1
 @abzillah 2500$ for a bike? you mean a frame right?
  • 2 1
 Comparing the technology, cost of materials, and workmanship in a purse to bike is bananas, even a $2500 one.
  • 1 0
 hum check "1001 Nights Diamond Purse"
  • 4 10
flag faul (Jul 28, 2015 at 15:22) (Below Threshold)
 I don't know why there is so many women on the trails. They should be in the kitchen or doing the laundry.
  • 2 0
 @yonibois why do you have to preface your post with "not being sexist"? Are you honestly scared of offending people for saying that your wife and daughter don't ride as much as your son?
  • 1 0
 @zede It was a used Demo 8. I learned my lesson not to buy a brand new bike when my brand new Santa Cruz Nomad lost 75% of its value in just one year.
  • 1 0
 @zede: my ht costed me 300€ total on sale, 270 with shop card discount. I upgraded it with some deore m596 brakes @ 70ish the pair, and more recently with a sid xxwc @ 270€, the most I've spent on it.
  • 1 0
 @abzillah @cmmx I was kidding guys... I was just referring to these guys always whining about how expensive bikes are in the comment section
  • 16 1
 As a women who loves riding, I think this type of this is actually pretty good. Yes, its marketing but its also putting the power to understand the bike into the hands of the riders. As far as mountain biking being a sausage fest full of testosterone laden adrenaline junkies, I couldn't disagree more. The guys I ride with and the men I have met at races and events are fun, supportive and polite. They are just good people having good fun.
  • 9 3
 That's probably because those kinds of people are too busy spouting off in comments rather than being out there riding Wink
  • 19 2
 We don't need this, what We need is A Technical University Just for bleeding Avid brakes
  • 1 1
nice name by the way, from Rosa Melcacho
  • 1 2
 Gracias majo, pero no fue cosa fácil. El cura de la parroquia, el ínclito Alberto Catetas, y su ayudante Macías Pajas no querían bautizarme (el muy cabrón todav´a me quiere excomulgar). Gracias a Dios y a la divina intermediación de mis padrinos Monica Galindo y Tomas Turbao todo se arregló.
Al día de hoy soy un tipo feliz.
  • 1 0
 Passos Dias Aguiar Mota. Passos Dias A. Boavida. Jacinto Leite Capelo Rego. Try to beat these, chicos...
  • 1 0
 Benito, muy bonito historia, la leo y palpito. cmmx, I tried reading those with no success, need to work on my Portuguese.
  • 1 0
 ja me alegro que palpites narro, just stupid things to have a good time, you know. the truth I entered here to see beutiful women, but these "guiris" are that philosophical and politically correct that they call you sexist, misogynist and worse for no reason.
También me interesaba ver cómo le metían caña al sueco (still not joined his gang of dedicated fans), un tipo que da mucho juego.
@cmmx sorry man, have no clue what you say, not fluent in Portuguese
  • 1 0
 no conozco la palabra guiris (honestly), hay que preguntarle al pelon que hacia guantes.
  • 1 0
 Passos Dias Aguiar Mota = paso los días guiando moto (passo os dias a guiar mota).
Passos Dias A. Boavida = paso los días a la buena vida (passo os dias à boa vida).
Jacinto Leite Capelo Rego = ya siento la leche acá por el riego (já sinto o leite cá pelo rego).
  • 1 0
 guiri is a common term, usually not derogatory, used here to refer to foreign people
  • 15 1
 The amount of sexism in these comments is appalling, but frankly unsurprising. Men on the trail love to tell my wife how steep or hard the next section of trail is when she's by herself and then refuse to get out of the way when she catches them on the descent. Women love to learn stuff from other women because it saves them from having to deal with the sexist assholes that permeate our sport.
  • 1 0
 I'm being a little tongue in cheek and Devils advocate here.. But in the name of equality, say the girl was to be seen and treated equally... Well I hate to say it but this sort of behaviour has been dealt out by men, to other men, for a long time... Does it not become the recipients responsibility to say 'whatever mate' then find a spot to do a cheeky overtake and get in front? Suck it up I say, men have been doing so for eternity.
  • 14 1
 As a woman who has been in the bike industry on and off for over 30 years and who also attended this event, I'd just like to say to all the negative and positive comments thank you...it means you read the story! After so many years of feeling like it's just a boys club, more women are being included, invited, and asked to help grow our amazing industry! Who doesn't want to see our sport be more accessible, be more balanced, and be a place that anyone feels welcome. SRAM invited us to Colorado Springs, sharing important knowledge on products while introducing us to each other. This event isn't about boys vs. girls, it's about empowering more women to look at the bike industry for their futures. I personally left the industry for 10 years because it was such a boys club...after spending those 10 years in a female dominated industry, I know women can definitely help us grow this amazing sport. If you've never been a women in the industry, you're lucky...but thankfully it's changing! Happy trails!!!
  • 4 0
 Attracting women to mountain biking just makes good business sense. If a woman can spend $2400 on a purse (see comment above), then that is money that isn't going into the pockets of MTB companies. Liv is a great example of a targeted product that is paying off financially. I think women are more savvy consumers who like to research and compare - they'll spot 'shrink it and pink it' in an instant.

The crazy thing is that I'm sure half these commenters who are bagging this event are the same ones that say "I wish I could find a girl that can ride like that!" when such a video is posted. Female mountain bikers don't just grow on trees.
  • 4 0
 Thanks @ichoosebikes (Leigh Donovan) for your perspective, you know we love having you part of our team and representing the brand!
  • 1 0
 Phew, good thing I used Liv as an example.
  • 19 5
 Fantastic event and a great write up. Well done SRAM.
  • 18 5
 I'm all for this but is it compulsory for women to do f**king yoga at every event possible?
  • 11 2
 Actually, yoga class was optional not compulsory Wink
  • 3 4
 Hey enough of that cheek! Bloody women! Wink
  • 17 9
 And that, is how we make a good image for the sport towards Ladies. Well done SRAM! Now brace for the sexual comments..
  • 5 0
 I don't know how my think will be understood but the problem is to reproduce and pass old ideas about people and social stuffs, just look at the girls and boys toys, here in Brazil things are starting to change now, the females are teaches since born to follow a pattern, they earn little kitchens, babies and "home" stuffs because society wants them to be a good mother, a good wife, a good etc, they can't play with cars, wear pants, band shirts, play soccer, ride bikes... Because they will be "ugly" they won't be feminine etc... Well sorry, I'm just pissed, I hate how most of people thinks and I'm glad my mom just broke that line and didn't reproduced these ideas to me...
  • 5 0
 Yes, there's a lot of cultural norming that happens with kids. But there are also innate differences between boys and girls. Example - when my daughter was a toddler, she had a little baby doll. She cradled it, cuddled it, and generally behaved like she was nurturing it, just like we were nurturing her. My son, at the same age, and well before he had ever absorbed any social norms or expectations, also had a baby doll. He used it as a hammer.

Not saying all girls and boys act in gender normative ways - but there's a tendency for the population of boys as a whole to act differently from the population of girls as a whole that can't all be explained by social norming (and I fully agree with you that social norming can be rather harmful to kids' self expression and development).
  • 5 0
 I love that you gave both your son and daughter a baby doll to play with and I laughed out loud when you said your son used it as a hammer. Fantastic.
  • 9 4
 this is what its come to "Where are all the Ladies? A Technical University Just for Women"

just for ladies
Just for men

keep them separated
i don t get it, girls want to be mountain bikees cool, girls want to be mech cool
girsl want to DH race ect... cool
put when you come up with this shit of Girls ONLY, its not helping the cause

"we are all mountain bikers girls and boyz"
why do we keep isolating your self from each other

thats the real problem
  • 9 0
 Do you ever go for a ride and/or a beer with just the guys? Enjoy that? Great. Why would women feel any differently? Just because SRAM puts on an even for women (one event, out of dozens) doesn't really take away from anything or anybody, does it?
  • 8 0
 trailstar, you're right, the ideal situation would be if women and men could be all together in these camps, but it was mentioned in the article that the brands send almost all men so this was just an attempt to give the women an opportunity. In the future it would be great if we could have good female representation without having to hold these special events!
  • 3 1
 g-42^ you are right, and i mean no judgment, i get frustrated to quick sometimes.
  • 8 1
 All BS aside, I wish STU would open its doors to regular riders (boys and girls) so maybe I could learn how to service my Pike without destroying it
  • 9 3
 The SRAM sales pitch during a camp, i understand. However, it worries me that, regardless of gender, product managers need to be taught how bike parts work.
  • 5 2
 Let the ladies have their day...

Quite frankly most of us could benefit from some of this "training", but what is weird to me is how many industry people need to learn simple technical procedures - this is your career right?
  • 5 0
 Surprisingly there are a lot of even-keeled comments today. People must be getting out riding.
  • 5 0
 I look forward to the day when "women's only" events aren't seen as a necessity anymore.
  • 11 7
 pure marketing to make more money - woman don't ride as much as men so untapped market
  • 9 8
 A number of comments above illustrate exactly the mindset that alienates women from the sport. So what if it was an all girl event? Better than another sausage fest. Besides, guys know all this stuff already right? ;-) From an industry perspective women are a large and potentially lucrative market but that doesn't mean that there isn't benefit to the women who participate as a result of the industry accessing that segment. Maybe the result will be growing numbers of women riders who will actually ride. Anyone who's been fortunate enough to have a woman who can not only hang with them on the trail but also make them work to keep up will tell you its pretty sick. Its entirely too rare though. Marketing aside, educating these women (or anyone for that matter) on the in's and out's of this stuff is a benefit to everyone.
  • 6 5
 At the end of the day. Women need to be a equal part of the MTB world in all aspects. This will help. We dont need to see more "womens" bikes. Designed by men. That was the 80's and 90's . And what a farce some of those bikes were.
Anything else is just excuses. GIRL POWER !!!
  • 3 4
 So a male is incapable of designing a bikes sizing to suit a females anthrometrics simply because they are a male? At least we get the pink or purple colours right...
  • 2 2
 @bright bulb photo, why?
Do men need to be an equal and integral part of the make up community, or the skirt wearing community? Perhaps the long hair community in most countries, or the shaved head community in Kenya? What is the obsession with getting girls on bikes? If they want to ride, they will. Just as if men want to wear skirts and eye make up, have long hair and learn how to compromise they are welcome to do so.
  • 3 2
 Well Trolls...The answer is Simple... Because I Can.
  • 4 0
 This is awesome, I got to go to the Specialized SBCU. Too bad Sram doesn't open it up to community leaders as well
  • 5 0
 Bring back the Missle.
  • 7 3
 Have bike? Get on bike. Ride bike.
  • 4 0
 Looks like a fun time! Thanks SRAM!
  • 1 0
 I knew this would be a hotbed for both feminist rhetoric and sound common sense. I wasn't disappointed. The top comment is very good indeed, hits the nail home without upsetting anyone.
  • 19 17
 Gil looking at Rockshox fork thinking: 15mm axle again... who told men that size doesn't matter... I take 20mm any time
  • 15 19
flag gavlaa (Jul 28, 2015 at 2:28) (Below Threshold)
 Really Waki? You have a vocabulary that would rival Shakepseare, an artistic ability that would make many an artist jealous- but obviously the sense of humour of a pre-pubescent idiot.
  • 7 5
 boys will be boys...
  • 7 6
 gavlaa - you feel so cuz you are a victim to the Holy Mary syndrome
  • 7 3
 I feel so because I used to think you were a bellend but then I started to think maybe you were actually quite funny and now I think you're both!
  • 5 4
 waki is a huge douchebag thats the truth, there is nothing different live your life
  • 3 0
 Nice jersey Angi!
  • 5 3
 No better than the old "men only" golf clubs IMHO.
  • 1 1
 Allegedly Golf got its name from Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden.
  • 1 0
 If they're down a seat on the shuttle bus at next years event, I'd nobly like to volunteer my face as a worthy substitute.
  • 17 18
 Is it legal to have an event just for women? I am against all forms of gender discrimination.
  • 5 2
 yes, there is legitimately a thing called positive discrimination, for example primary schools in the UK are trying to hire more males.
  • 23 7
 Male humans or males of any type? I know a couple of male seahorses who are looking for work, plus I have a couple of male audio connectors doing nothing in my toolbox.
  • 5 7
 I wish i was a girl! Im tired of my giant junk getting smashed by the seat. Its not easy being hung like a Russian grizzly. I say bring on the ladies and lets have a ball.
  • 2 3
 I'm hung like a bear too!! Unfortunately it's not a grizzly bear, more like a koala bear.
  • 1 1
 3" is HUNG right?
  • 1 0
 Captain Jacks!
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