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Flow Riders

Flow MTB women's MTB race team 2017

We’re very excited to be supporting a team of female riders from around the UK who’ll be racing at downhill and enduro events throughout the 2017 race season.

The women’s MTB race scene has always been friendly and welcoming and our vision for these riders is to encourage more women into mountain biking and promote female participation at MTB races; we see them as ambassadors for the sport and an inspiration to other female riders.

As well as Flow MTB providing team kit and entry to sponsored races we are thrilled to have additional sponsor support for our Flow Riders from MTB Instruction who will provide MTB skills coaching to the team and Corley Cycles who are providing parts and workshop support for race bikes.

We are really pleased to welcome Rebecca, Kate and Korinne to the Flow Rider team, and we and the team sponsors look forward to watching them go from strength to strength in the 2017 race season.

Rebecca Smith

I work full time in a busy professional office but in my spare time I travel around the UK and World having adventures! I race downhill mountain bikes, climb mountains, enjoy the outdoors and can’t wait to get involved in pretty much any kind of muddy adventure.

I have just completed my first full downhill mountain bike race season having done a few races over the last 5 years. I started riding bikes 7 years ago and during this time have made some amazing friends, been to some incredible places and had loads of fun.

I am passionate about increasing womens participation in riding and have helped out at a number of local womens events this year. Many women start riding at a more mature age and it is great to help them get started in local races. I’m keen to show people that you are never too old to start and you can race at the weekend around a full time job.

2016 Race Season

Pearce 2016 Series – 2nd Master female overall

  • Round 2 – 2nd
  • Round 3 – 1st
  • Round 4 – 2nd
  • Round 5 – 4th
  • Round 6 – 3rd

Mini Downhill winter series

  • Round 1 – 4th Over 30s female
  • Round 2 – 9th Over 30s female
  • Round 3 – 4th Over 30s female

Pedalabikeaway Twilight enduro 2016 – 5th Female
MIJ Summer series – 7th Female

Goals for 2017

In 2017 I plan to race the Pearce Downhill series, Mini Downhill series and some of the Racers Guild and Borderline series. I hope to ride a round or 2 of BDS if my season is going well and will also do some local XC type events.

Kate Gries

I’ve been cycling for about 7 years but only recently started to get the competitive bug, I used to just go on group rides and hit the road travelling around to find new trails and bike parks – Just me the bike and the van! And I love it, biking puts a smile on my face!

Biking is what makes me tick every day, my little community of bikers is growing and growing and I now have mountain bike buddies located all around the country. I’ve met some great people through biking and learnt a lot too!

I was lucky enough to take part in a small mountain bike film to inspire people to get out and ride which was a lot of fun! The film is now being edited and will be featured in Apps and Colleges to promote cycling so I’m looking forward to seeing the result.p North and mingle with as many fellow bikers as I can.

Highlights to date

I took part in the Redbull Foxhunt in 2016 and it was the best weekend of my year! So many great people in one place and my competitiveness came alive as soon as the race started, was chuffed to bits with my 54th place – I will defiantly be going again this year that’s for sure!

Goals for 2017

I’m taking part in the Hope PMBA Enduro, Ard Rock, NDH trail race at AE Forest and the 661 Mini Downhill series at the Forest of Dean. I’m looking to find more events to take part in in 2017 and I would love to shred some trails further up North and mingle with as many fellow bikers as I can.

Korinne Shaw

I’ve been riding for just under 1 year and have really been focusing on building my skills in preparation for the 2017 race season. I usually ride with my other half and his friends and try to push myself to keep up with them, or I’m out and about on my own trying to find some exciting new trails.

I’m very lucky to live in the Lakes and have all the mountains and awesome trails on my doorstep and through the summer I did a few hike-a-bike rides and spent a lot of time at Whinlatter and Hamsterley. I’m also fortunate to have some local woods that we’ve been carving trails through to practice certain skills and progress.

2016 Highlights

I competed in a ladies day enduro and came first against 18 amazing women and it was my first real experience of riding with a larger group of like minded females. I also took part in the Redbull Foxhunt and really enjoyed the weekend, although didn’t get to race due to a crash in practice. I also did the Hamsterley Beast which is a 20 or 40 mile charity ride for the North Air Ambulance.

Goals for 2017

I’m taking part in Ard Rock, the Fort William Enduro Downhill in July and the NDH events throughout the year, along with the 661 Mini Downhill series at the Forest of Dean.

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Flow MTB – One Year On

Flow MTB Women's MTB Clothing and Protection

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported us in our first year of business

Wow! What a fantastic year 2016 has been. When you start on a new venture, you never know how well it will be received, so to get so much positive feedback from female mountain bikers and from within the MTB industry, in such a short space of time, has been amazing. Not only have we been bringing you loads of awesome kit all in one place, we’ve been up to lots of other things too.

Flow MTB and MTB Instruction

To help encourage women in the sport we love, and improve their skills and confidence on the trails, we partnered with MTB Instruction throughout 2016 offering reduced cost courses for ladies along with Flow goodie bags. These courses have proved really popular for both new and seasoned riders, and we’ll be continuing this partnership into 2017, with more locations across the UK.

Event Sponsorship

During 2016 we supported downhill riders through the MIJ summer series with prizes for ladies on the podium. With the winter season now in full swing, you’ll find us at the 661 mini downhill, cheering on the ladies down the track and providing podium prizes.

The Female MTB Community

For me, the best part of 2016 has been meeting so many lovely ladies out on the trails and at races and events. The female MTB community is really supportive and welcoming, and that goes across all events; whether it’s a small event organised by a group of local riders, or a large scale event like the Fox Hunt; I’ve made so many amazing friends this year.

What We Learned

Of course there’s been a few things we’ve learnt along the way.  Why do MTB apparel brands think ladies over a size 14 don’t ride bikes? We’ve had more than one debate about this with our suppliers and hope to get larger sizes on board in the future. The inconsistency in sizing between brands is frustrating and next year we plan to list all the products on our website in real sizes rather than an ambiguous S, M, L.

2017 – An Exciting Year Ahead

So what does 2017 bring to Flow MTB?

Flow Riders

We’re really excited to be supporting a team of female riders through the 2017 race season with race kit, entry to sponsored races, coaching sessions, online discounts at Flow MTB and, in partnership with our local bike shop Phil Corley Cycles, parts and servicing for their bikes to keep them on the race circuit throughout the year.  We’ll be announcing our 2017 Flow Riders on our website and social media over the next few weeks.

If you’d like to find out more about our Flow Rider programme, please email hello@flowmtb.co.uk

More MTB Brands

We’ve got even more MTB brands coming to Flow MTB in 2017, so keep your eye on our website for new brands, products and promotions throughout the year.

So thanks again for supporting Flow MTB and if you see us on the trails or at an event, be sure to say hello!

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Ladies MTB Advanced Skills Course 3rd December 2016

MTB Instruction and Flow MTB advanced mountain bike skills course

Flow MTB are pleased to support an advanced ladies MTB skills course with MTB Instruction taking place on Saturday 3rd December 2016 in Woburn, Bedfordshire.

MTB Instruction’s advanced skills course covers:

  • confidence at speed; learn how to alter your perception of speed and ride faster
  • dealing with trail obstacles; how to get over, through and up things
  • cornering techniques; from switchbacks to flat corners and berms
  • drop offs
  • tables
  • gaps

Adding trail techniques into your ride like pumping, pre-jumping, drifting, manuals, gaps, table tops, drop offs, being loose on your bike, slow in – fast out will all enhance your ride portfolio.

The course runs from 9am to 3pm and costs £70 per person. Please email info@mtbinstruction.co.uk to book your place or find out more.

This course is being sponsored by Flow MTB so in addition to a great day’s coaching you’ll also get a free Flow goodie bag.

There’s lots of sensations and feel in mountain biking and when they’re all in sync with your skill set your flow is enhanced and your enjoyment on the trails is too.

Feeling fluid with flow = speed and “speed is your friend” after all!

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Enter our competition to WIN a pair of women’s Raceface Khyber MTB gloves

Win Womens MTB Raceface Khyber Gloves

We love the Raceface Khyber range and now we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to get their hands on a pair of women’s Raceface Khyber MTB gloves, prize includes:

This competition is now closed. Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on all our competitions.

The closing date for the competition is Monday 31st October, 2016. After this date no further entries will be permitted. One winner will be selected at random on Monday 31st October, 2016. The winner will be notified by email on Monday 31st October, 2016.

The competition is being run by Flow MTB Limited. No purchase is necessary to enter this competition.

By entering this competition you agree to Flow MTB Limited storing your name and email address for the purpose of the competition. You will also be added to the Flow MTB mailing list, at any point after the competition you can request for your details to be removed by emailing hello@flowmtb.co.uk

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Ladies Intro/Intermediate MTB Skills Course 23rd October 2016

MTB Instruction and Flow MTB intro / intermediate mountain bike skills course

MTB Instruction are now taking bookings for their intro/intermediate skills day taking place on the 23rd October 2016 in Woburn, Bedfordshire.

The course will cover:

  • body position and bike dynamics
  • brake modulation
  • confidence at speed; learn how to alter your perception of speed and ride faster
  • dealing with trail obstacles; how to get over, through and up things
  • cornering techniques; from switchbacks to flat corners and berms

The course runs from 9am to 3pm and costs £70 per person. Please email info@mtbinstruction.co.uk to book your place or find out more.

This course is being sponsored by Flow MTB so in addition to a great day’s coaching you’ll also get a free Flow goodie bag.

Looking for an advanced course? We’re sponsoring one of those too! Saturday 22nd October, find our more here

All the skills you learn in the morning will take you seamlessly into riding natural trail sections with some flow, putting the core skills into practice and building your confidence on the bike to push just that little bit harder and enjoy your ride. #findyourflow

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Ladies MTB Advanced Skills Course 22nd October 2016

MTB Instruction and Flow MTB advanced mountain bike skills course

Flow MTB are pleased to support an advanced ladies MTB skills course with MTB Instruction taking place on Saturday 22nd October 2016 in Woburn, Bedfordshire.

MTB Instruction’s advanced skills course covers:

  • confidence at speed; learn how to alter your perception of speed and ride faster
  • dealing with trail obstacles; how to get over, through and up things
  • cornering techniques; from switchbacks to flat corners and berms
  • drop offs
  • tables
  • gaps

Adding trail techniques into your ride like pumping, pre-jumping, drifting, manuals, gaps, table tops, drop offs, being loose on your bike, slow in – fast out will all enhance your ride portfolio.

The course runs from 9am to 3pm and costs £70 per person. Please email info@mtbinstruction.co.uk to book your place or find out more.

This course is being sponsored by Flow MTB so in addition to a great day’s coaching you’ll also get a free Flow goodie bag.

Looking for an intro course? We’re sponsoring one of those too! Sunday 23rd October, find our more here

There’s lots of sensations and feel in mountain biking and when they’re all in sync with your skill set your flow is enhanced and your enjoyment on the trails is too.

Feeling fluid with flow = speed and “speed is your friend” after all!

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Women’s Downhill Apparel

Flow MTB Womens Downhill Apparel

Sombrio V’al Shorts and Pedigree Jersey

The most feedback we’ve received from female riders since launching Flow is the lack of sizes for larger ladies so when we decided to do some downhill apparel testing we enlisted the help of Nikki, a downhill rider from Chatel, France. We’re not all the same and come in all shapes and sizes and at 5’8 Nikki is a UK 16/18.

Sombrio really addresses women’s sizing with their range of apparel going from XS to XL, and it’s a proper XL. When Nikki put on the Sombrio V’al shorts her response was “this is the first pair of women’s specific shorts I’ve ever worn” – typical of many female mountain bikers she’s usually kitted out in men’s MTB apparel.

The Sombrio V’al shorts are Sombrio’s best seller and come in black and lapis and the Pedigree jersey comes in plum and floral print.

Nikki wore XL Pedigree jersey and XL V’al shorts both worn over body armour.

It was really cool to ride in shorts that are bright and fun rather than my staple black. These shorts are a lovely turquoise colour and fitted nicely over my massively padded body armour shorts, even with my curvy hips which was a result. The fit meant I could easily move around in them and they didn’t move, flap or get in the way when I was shifting positions on my bike; I often get my usual (men’s) shorts caught on my seat. The Sombrio V’al shorts were long enough to reach my knees which is a refreshing change, being tall I struggle to find long shorts and there is enough room for the tops of my knee pads to sit unrestricted around my knees.

I often have trouble with my body armour under-vest riding up and find myself pulling it down all the time however, with the Sombrio shorts on I just tucked my body armour into the shorts and didn’t have to touch them again, they stayed put all day, which was awesome! They were cool on a hot day and held up really well on dry and dusty trails, with enough room in one of the two mesh pockets to slip an iPhone in. I would definitely buy AND recommend these shorts they’re super comfy, snug and fitted really well, so much so I used them for the next 2 days, for a 45km lift assisted trail ride and a bit of a play in the bike park in Chatel. A great piece of kit.

The Sombrio Pedigree jersey again came in a fun pink color, girly but not too girly! This is the first 3/4 sleeve jersey I’ve worn, usually sticking to full sleeves, and I really liked it, my sleeves kept out of the way much more and they fitted nicely rather than being loose and baggy.  I wore it over my body armour and was a nice length with a longer back to cover your bottom a bit more. Nicely breathable I didn’t get too hot whilst riding, and although I didn’t actually fall off to test its hard wearing abilities it looks like it would hold up pretty well to a bit of a bashing. It was great to wear a jersey made to fit a woman rather than a straight up and down men’s jersey, I loved it!

I’d never thought about buying women’s specific riding gear before, partly due to the fact that I expected the sizes not to be big enough and that I can’t be bothered with the let down of not finding something that fits AND I expected all the designs would be too cute and girly…. not anymore 🙂 thanks Sombrio!

Fox Demo Shorts and Long Sleeve Jersey

The Demo collection is Fox‘s first female-specific downhill collection with a long sleeve jersey and shorts and is designed to be breathable and purpose build for female riders. It comes in two colorways Neo Red and Miami Green.

Tracey is a UK 10/12 and wore the medium Demo shorts and large Demo jersey over body armour.

The Fox Demo long sleeve jersey fit really comfortably over my bulky body armour whilst retaining a feminine outline.  It is constructed from a breathable ‘waffle’ material with a fine mesh down each side of the jersey.  This type of fabric allows air to circulate around the body and meant that I stayed cool and dry on a scorching day in Pila.

The Fox Demo downhill shorts are manufactured from a durable, heavyweight material, fantastic for downhill riding and there are no rips, marks or scuffs on these shorts even after a few crashes.  Fully lined in a soft, comfortable mesh, they have a low rise and sat comfortably just above my hips. The inside of the waist band has a ‘grippy’ strip of material that keeps the shorts in place and they also have a really secure fastening that isn’t going to pop open during a crash!  I’m 5’6”/168cm and they finished just on the knee with plenty of room for knee pads.  A really comfortable, good looking and hard wearing pair of shorts.

I thought the Fox Demo shorts and jersey might have looked a bit too much worn together but they looked really great on!

Flare Roost Shorts and Long Sleeve Jersey

The Roost collection is Flare‘s downhill range and comes in two color ways; black and grey, and purple and yellow.

Anita is a UK 8/10 and wore the small (10) shorts and jersey, we recommend you go up one size if you want to wear body armour and protection shorts underneath.

The Roost shorts are made from a heavy duty fabric and are fully lined. There’s plenty of room to fit impact shorts and knee pads underneath and the leg length is long enough to keep the upper legs covered when riding; no annoying gap between the bottom of the shorts and the top of the knee pad, a definite advantage. The velcro waist adjuster makes it easy to adjust them when you’re wearing protection underneath for the perfect fit, the only comment would be the adjuster didn’t seem as sophisticated or sturdy as the Fox ratchet system.

The Roost long sleeve jersey is made from 100% Coolmax Polyester and I didn’t overheat even though it was a hot sunny day. The high quality fabric held up when I crashed on a berm with no rips, tears or abrasions! The cut of the jersey is really feminine but whilst the Roost jersey fitted nicely over my back protector I couldn’t wear elbow pads underneath as the sleeves are too slim fitting and I’d say sleeves loose enough for protection are essential on a jersey that’s aimed at downhill riding.

Even though Flare Clothing have been up and running for 3 years this is the first Flare outfit I’ve tried and despite the sleeve issue I really liked the Roost outfit, it felt comfy and cool and the purple and yellow combo certainly gets you noticed on the trails.

Pila Bike Park

Pila is in the Aosta Valley in the western Alps, Italy and has to be one of our favorite places to ride.  All the Freeride trails are good fun and riders of all abilities could easily spend a few days riding here, mixing the Downhill and the Freeride trails. The highlight of Pila is the Pila – Aosta Freeride, an 11km downhill combining steep, dusty singletrack with drops and jumps to form an awesome trail which takes you back down to the bottom of the valley to the lift station in Aosta. Connecting the Downhill or one of the Freeride trails from the top lift with this trail can give you a downhill run with a vertical descent of 2300m!

If you’re in the area it’s definitely worth a visit. We were based in Chatel, France but got a transfer to Pila from the friendly team at Magic Transfers

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Enter our competition to WIN some amazing ION protection

ION protection competition WIN knee pads, elbow pads and gloves

Could this be some of the best Mountain Biking terrain in a place known only for Surf? In Bali, Indonesia you can literally shred a volcano all the way down to the beach.

We’re giving one lucky winner the chance to win some amazing protection from leading brand ION.

ION Elbow Lite Olive

Light, breathable elbow pad with a very slim outline. Good impact protection by a combining thin SAS-TEC padding with a hidden hard cap (to distribute loads in case of a crash). The unique Snug_Loop construction keeps the pads in place, even on those super long tours.

ION Knee Lite Zip Olive

A light, breathable and pedal friendly kneepad with a very slim outline. Good impact protection by a combining thin SAS-TEC padding with a hidden hard cap to distribute loads in case of a crash. Extra wide silicone ribbons on top and bottom keeps the pads in place at any time. Now equipped with a zipper for getting into the knee protector nearly on-the-fly!

ION Gat Glove Olive

Light gloves with some additional ‘Overinjected Protection’ for your fingers. The palm is made from a single piece to avoid irritating seams and give you an excellent feel for the handlebars. The ‘Digital Tips’ feature makes it easy to use your GPS app or answer a call with your gloves on.

This competition is now closed.

Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on all our competitions.

The closing date for the competition is Friday 29th July, 2016. After this date no further entries will be permitted. One winner will be selected at random and the winner will be notified by email.

The competition is being run by Flow MTB Limited. No purchase is necessary to enter this competition.

By entering this competition you agree to Flow MTB Limited storing your name and email address for the purpose of the competition. You will also be added to the Flow MTB mailing list, at any point after the competition you can request for your details to be removed by emailing hello@flowmtb.co.uk

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Ladies Downhill at Forest of Dean

Flow MTB at Forest of Dean ladies downhill

I was invited along to “Ladies do FOD DH”. It’s an unofficial event organised by Amanda Tanfield with the aim of getting female downhill riders together to session the downhill trails, help each other out and generally have a laugh doing it. So on a sunny Saturday in June myself and 16 other female downhillers of all ages and abilities turned up at the Forest of Dean for the event.

The Forest of Dean is the perfect venue for this kind of event with downhill trails to suit all abilities and after complaining only a few days before that I was fed up of riding my local wet sloppy trails it was a welcome relief to find the forest trails reasonably dry. The morning started with a session on the Sheepskull track. Splitting the trail down into ride-able sections Amanda lead trail walks pointing out trail features and best lines to take depending on rider ability, we even got a perfectly timed demo from Katy Curd. Riders then sessioned the sections, pointed out new lines and encouraged others as we made our way down the trail.

Lunchtime came surprisingly quick and with hungry tummies fed and some delicious brownies from Emily we pushed back up to the top of Sheepskull and rode it all the way down one behind the other.

A push back up and this time the line of choice was GBU. As we were all more relaxed and confident on the bikes we decided not to do a track walk and just go for it. GBU has larger features than Sheepskull with 2 big drops but that didn’t deter the girls! Amanda demoed the slab drop which was her first time to a round of applause before we moved to the lower section of the course where a few more rad ladies sessioned the second drop, all captured on a video edit of the day by Kat.

I asked Amanda what inspired her to organise these days.

Why I do this is a long story but the basics come down to this… there are so few girls/ladies out there getting into downhill and those that are out there doing downhill don’t get to meet up so much. Hence I decided for my birthday not long ago to invite all the girls I had met briefly to go biking at the 417. This resulted in 2 more ladies days at the Forest of Dean. It is going so well and the girls/ladies want more. We have such a laugh. The sessioning of the trails has given the girls and myself so much confidence. The riding after just brings out huge smiles from all of us. It’s brilliant.

I chose to push up on these days with the girls as we get to chat, laugh and get to know each other. It is also cheap. It feels more casual. I’m no coach, just someone who would like to see more women out there. I’m proud that the girls and I are gaining so much confidence from learning together.

There are lots of events popping up around the UK to get women interested in all forms of mountain biking, it’s a fantastic way to meet new people, share experiences and ride together. For me it was a brilliant day spent with great people messing around on my bike; a perfect way to spend a Saturday! but don’t just take my word for it here’s what some of the other women had to say about the day.

“What a fantastic day never ridden downhill tracks before and it was less scary when they are broken down”

“Massive massive thank you Amanda you are awesome, today was fab, so nice to meet some new people and catch up with ladies I haven’t seen in a while. Cracking day, can’t wait for the next one”

“Thank you for today ladies it was a massive confidence giver and has given me lots to think about awesome day thanks Amanda for organising”

“Thanks Amanda for sorting another great day! Lovely to meet all you lovely ladies! Many thanks for your abundance of patience”

Big thanks to Amanda for organising, Emily for the brownies and Kat for the photos and video, I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Amanda is not a coach and those who need skills coaching should get coached by a professional, she learn’t her skills from Katy Curd. Flow MTB sponsor women’s MTB skills coaching with MTB Instruction including advanced downhill days, for more information please contact Mark by email info@mtbinstruction.co.uk

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Enter our competition to WIN some amazing Sombrio kit

Sombrio 2016 women's range available from Flow MTB

We love the 2016 Sombrio range and now we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to get their hands on some of the kit too. Prize includes:

This competition is now closed. Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on all our competitions.

The closing date for the competition is Thursday 30th June, 2016. After this date no further entries will be permitted. One winner will be selected at random on Friday 1st July 2016. The winner will be notified by email on Friday 1st July 2016.

The competition is being run by Flow MTB Limited. No purchase is necessary to enter this competition.

By entering this competition you agree to Flow MTB Limited storing your name and email address for the purpose of the competition. You will also be added to the Flow MTB mailing list, at any point after the competition you can request for your details to be removed by emailing hello@flowmtb.co.uk