Friday, July 25, 2014

Crave Heavy Metal as You Pedal? Snag Yourself a Skirtweight!

Skirtweight in Action
These days it seems that everyone in the bicycle industry is trying to make the cycling experience lighter. Lightweight frames, components, bags, even jerseys and shorts. But one New York-based manufacturer is keen to point out that some parts of the cycling experience need to be made heavier.

In particular, the skirt hem. As those of us who cycle in skirts know, it feels fantastic, especially on hot, muggy days. The fresh air circulating where we need it most, the cooling breeze, the surprising ease of pedaling compared to slacks, the sheer freedom of it! Less fantastic, however, is the tendency of some skirt hems to fly up, transforming their wearers into rolling "Marilyns." Sure, when executed on top of a subway grate the pose can be charming, in a coy "it's not sexual exhibitionism, because it's a kitsch movie reference" sort of way. But in the midst of moving traffic, maybe not so much. I mean, what if the skirt flies all the way up to your face and impedes visibility? Oh the sleepless nights I'm sure you've spent contemplating this!

Happily, such worries can now cease - thanks to Skirtweights, a new product from Tandem New York. As the name suggests, this gadget is a weight, for your skirt. You clip it onto your hem, and the heft keeps it from flying up. It's a fairly straightforward concept.

The tactic is not new to the fashion world. Hem weights have been used in wedding dresses and formal attire for ages. But the Skirtweight is cycling-specific, in the sense that it's designed to stay put quite tenaciously when the wearer is active (you just need to be sure to clip it on correctly - inserting the fabric all the way into the clip). Also, the Skirtweight sports a lovely engraving of a bicycle wheel.

Skirtweight in Action
But the crucial question: Does the Skirtweight work? I put the metal to the pedal and clipped the thing on to my billowiest of frocks, including this crepe lilac number which has caused many a blush-making moment. Rolling along in a stiff sea breeze, I marveled at how well the Skirtweight delivered on its promise. It weighed my skirt down with impeccable weightiness, and faithfully kept it from flying or riding up. As I cycled along my daily commute in a variety of billow-prone outfits, the Skirtweight kept the local farmers safe from the unexpected flash of underpant.

The downside? Well... the Skirtweight is heavy. I mean, I get that this is the whole point, and that's what makes it work. But I cannot quite get used to the asymmetrical pull of it when I pedal. Is the Skirtweight's efficiency enough to overlook this? And will it negate all the weight savings of your new titanium Dutch bike's carbon wheels? You can decide all that for yourself.

Skirtweights can be purchased in North America here, as well as here in the UK. And for readers within the EU: You are welcome to my sample Skirtweight shown here - simply post a comment saying that you want it, and your contact info (the correct info, and please check your email in the next few days if you enter!) before Monday, the 28th of July and I will pick the recipient at random.

Watch that skirt, and enjoy your weekend!

40 comments:

  1. I clipped my NOMONRO skirt clip to the center of my skirt, so it pulled straight down. My bike has a top tube, which it kept banging on, which felt a bit odd. But it kept my skirt down! I bought two, in two different designs, which means I can coordinate with different outfits! : )

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    1. Nice, I hadn't heard of NOMORNO before

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    1. It's a solved Rubix cube. Making each of the sides one colour is the ultimate point of the game. Then you scramble the cube again.

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  3. Cute, but not sure about the design. Why would you put weight on one side? Why is it designed to hold down one edge of the skirt? That would get so annoying, banging on one leg and being heavy, especially after a distance. tinlizzieridesagain did the right thing. Can this clip be used to clip both sides of skirt? I secure the front and back of hem of skirt between the legs with a safety pin or a bull clip depending on the fabric. It clanks on the top tube a bit, but with some fabric adjustment that can be sorted. I have been so fixated on having a lady frame bicycle, but now have several beautiful vintage straight top tube bicycles. I had forgotten you can still wear most skirts with a straight top tube. I did the clip trick for years when I commuted in cities to desk jobs. I have been racing around on my road bike with pinned dresses and skirts. Even men should try wearing dresses and cycling in the hot summer!
    And my goodness, what is that cute bicycle you are riding? Nice shoes!

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    1. You can't do that, female or male, if you have arthritis and can't jump onto a so-called men's frame. I might well cycle as well as you, but getting on is another matter.

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    2. Heather - It's a 1970s Viking mixte. It found me the day after I wrote about Viking bikes. Abandoned in perfectly ridable condition; even the tubes hold air.

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    3. I'm less interested in the clip than I am in the bike and why folks choose to keep or get rid of old bikes.

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  4. Get you some of them there miniature Vise-Grips, keep your skirts down till you need something to pry that nail out of your tire or open a bottle or whatever and then, VOILA! Right there when you need it. Hang you 8 or 9 of them here and there about your person and never lack for modesty or clamping power again.

    Glad I could help.

    Spindizzy

    Surprised you girls don't think of this stuff yourselves.

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  5. http://www.bikerumor.com/2014/07/02/video-penny-in-yo-pants-how-to-cycle-in-a-skirt/

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  6. Jennifer in ScotlandJuly 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    I love my NOMONRO skirt clips and I have 3 in different designs. In the UK they are sold by The Bicycle Man who provide a good service.

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  7. I am a mail so I don't know if this works http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/easy-tip-biking-skirt-all-you-need-penny-and-rubber-band.html but it appears to.

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  8. They should market it to gentlemen as a money clip.

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    1. I have used an actual money clip to hold my skirt down. Unfortunately it came off somewhere between home and work, never to be seen again!

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  9. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/07/02/penny_in_your_pants_the_bike_hack_for_biking_in_a_skirt_without_flashing.html

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  10. I saw this somewhere, some other blog, where the issue was solved with I think a nickel and a rubber band. Simple.

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    1. There are lots of DIY solutions, from scrunchies to clothes pins, to stick-on velcro, to tying the corner of a skirt in a knot. I think the coins thing must be a recent revival of an older tradition.

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    2. Perhaps, as are the weighted clips.

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    3. the tie and coin create terrible wrinkles. skirt weights just slip on

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  11. Hi:-) this looks like a genius invention. I have had quite my share of akward situations at the worst possible moments. I agree that it would seem strange to use the weight asymmetrically, maybe it would be better to use two? I would love to try it out if you could send it to Norway (technically not the EU but the postage rates are the same and Norway is in Europe....pretty please ;-) I can be contacted on chrichrimano [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    1. Norway is fine.

      Two would solve the asymmetry problem, but just think of the weight! : ) Plus it would take twice as long to attach them...

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    2. Hi... I'm Lani, the Owner at Tandem NY, the Skirtweight company :) You can purchase a Skirtweight on the UK-based bike website www.DaisyWheel.co.uk or on our website www.TandemNY.com We've found that it works best clipped to the front, middle of your skirt; not to the side... but wear it wherever you find it most comfortable! Enjoy!

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    3. Thanks for clarifying Lani. I'd like to note, though, that every publicity shot of the SkirtWeight I've seen (as well as the logo!) shows it being worn on the side. Could be misleading..

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  12. I'm sorry, it's a penny and a rubber band and it's called pennyinyourpants…..http://pennyinyourpants.co.uk

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  13. Or you could just put a "penny in yo pants" for free :) http://vimeo.com/98808131

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  14. As a regular reader I feel I must send a thank you, I always find lots of interesting things on your blog that I never knew existed. Skirt weights! I had no idea. The split fenders is still my favorite. Keep up the great job! :)

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  15. I'd love it! groovyakspace at yahoo, or hollyweik at gmail, thanks!

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  16. Hmmm, I'm intrigued so I'll put my name in the hat. rebecca19804@gmail.com

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  17. Mary (UK)July 26, 2014 at 5:43 AM
    Oh yes please! I wears skirts on my mixte most of the time and I have to say that the design of the skirt is crucial. The best ones have a plain back with kick pleats on the front but a gust of wind can still be a pain.

    My contact info: (please don't publish)

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  18. Huh, well that's neat. I've been using sock garters, clipping one end to my front hem and the other end to my back hem, converting my skirt into a sort of temporary skort. Works great on the road bike.

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  19. I suppose the alternative to skirtweights would be to adopt a ‘damn the torpedoes’ approach, let the wind do its fickle worst and invest in the most flamboyant, outrageous, ridiculously frilly knickers you can find. At least, that’s what I would do if I was a woman. I think. :)

    Then again, skirtweights would surely be an essential accoutrement for a Scottish cyclist in a kilt, although they may or may not have saved this Jock’s embarrassment... :)

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/risque/queen.asp

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  20. As a guy, I don't wear skirts or dresses while cycling, but couldn't you just super glue one of those small super magnets just above each knee and then a small paperclip to the skirt or dress to hold things in place?
    Emile

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  21. Woohoo! A solution to biking in a kilt!

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  22. What, exactly, is you're daily commute? I thought you lived on a farm and freelanced.

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    1. The most typical commute is about 14 miles round trip to nearest town, where I usually need to go for one reason or another, like errands or meetings. When not that, then cycling to some rural photo location, or train +bike to the big city.

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  23. Thanks for taking part everyone. I am waiting for the person I contacted to reply and claim the Skirtweight : )

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  24. Christopher FotosJuly 30, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    That's a beautiful little clip with the wheel logo. I wonder if the designer is a golfer, because this is basically an adaption of a ball-marker clip that attaches to the brim of your hat. Google "golf marker clip" and you'll see what I mean. In the U.S. at least these are widely available not only at pro shops (like at a golf course) but in big-box stores, not to mention a zillion online golf stores and Amazon and the like. Toss the ball marker that's magnetically attached to it and otherwise will fly off, and you're all set, if not as fashionable (which I do not mock--beauty matters). Don't know why this didn't occur to me when you were talking about this issue a while back.

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  25. I no longer bike in a kilt, so I didn't enter. ;)

    Congrats on the purple Viking mixte! It's a neat sort of color. How is the componentry?

    I help pick out a very nice vintage Nishiki Mixte for a friend's birthday present, and he felt it too nice to ride!
    (He ended up with my ROG Pony Yugoslav folding bike, which makes him deliriously happy and gives him near terminal bikey-face. Mission accomplished.)

    Herself is trying to see if she can make the numbers to get that Nishiki for herself. It is a very cool little bike.

    Pics here: 1982 Nishiki Olympic 12 Mixte

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  26. I usually just ride my bicycle one-handed and hold the skirt/dress down with the other hand! Some type of weight would be a good idea.. But I like to keep things simple.. So I will continue with the one-handed riding! I don't like to carry additional stuff with me, even if they're tiny like this skirtweight! ;-)

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  27. It's not hard to find a solution to this issues and there are many who can care less. How do you resolve it, or do you care?

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