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Silverback Ladies Design (SLD)

Ladies Specific bike - Splash 2 top-tube - Silverback bikes

Silverback Ladies Design (SLD)

Anatomy studies has shown that on average, men are about 10% larger than women. They usually have longer limbs, bigger hands and their shoulders are broader than that of a female. With our Silverback Ladies Design (SLD) range our design engineers take these amongst other differences into consideration when designing and choosing spec for a bike. The aim is to give female cyclists a comfortable bike that is ready to be ridden.

To create the SLD range, our product engineers continuously analyse the feedback from different female rider. Taking into consideration the type of riding that the ladies enjoy.

Some possible differences between women’s bikes and men’s bikes:

  • Smaller frame sizes
  • Shortened stem
  • Shorter crank arms
  • Narrower bars
  • Female-specific seat
  • Smaller break leavers
  • Lower standover height
  • Thinner diameter grips
  • Colour options
Silverback Ladies Design (SLD)

Should all women be riding ladies specific bicycles?

No, ladies can easily ride any bicycles.  Just because a bike is not an SLD bike, does not mean that you will be uncomfortable on it. However, it is important for you to be comfortable and ergonomic on your bike. Many women do prefer a ladies-specific bike because it requires fewer adjustments to get their perfect fit on the bike. 

How will I know what is the right size bike for me?

 Easy! You can use our online Find Your Fit tool or visit your local bicycle shop to help you.

View our full range of SLD bikes HERE

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Women’s nutrition

Silverback Fairtree, ABSA Cape Epic prologue


It is obvious that there are physiological differences between men and women. Have you ever thought about how this affects our nutrition when on the bike?

Here is a list of key differences between men and women and how to manage it:

  • A recent study has shown that women riders process 25% more carbs from a sports drink than a male rider.

Carry adequate fuel during your training sessions. Thus be sure to eat or drink a sports drink containing carbs every 30-45 min

  • Carbo-loading doesn’t work for women as it does for men. Our bodies don’t have the same ability to store glycogen, turning the carbs into fat rather than energy.

Eat a healthy meal before your ride. Something like: peanut butter and syrup sandwich, oats or a lean cut of meat and veg (be careful not to overeat, you will want to be able to move). 

Eating fewer calories than you burn, might be necessary to lose weight but counting calories often lead to low energy levels. It is essential that you eat enough to fuel yourself especially on longer rides.

Use a calorie counter app like FatSecret or My Fitness Pal to track your calorie intake.

Mariske Struass warming up for the ABSA Cape Epic
Mariske Strauss


Women athletes are prone to iron deficiencies, especially during their menstrual cycle. This can lead to impaired muscle function, reducing performance. 

Increase the amount of iron-rich foods you eat like red meat, spinach, legumes, etc. 

Calcium is essential for the proper functioning of our heart, muscles, and nerves. The female body is prone to having lower levels of calcium than men. So, ensure you are getting enough calcium in your daily diet. 

Have 3 – 4 servings of dairy or calcium-rich foods daily. Some examples: milk, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli.

Jennie Stenerhag warms up for Cape Epic
Jennie Stenerhag

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast

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Tiffany Keep: Balancing Success

Tiffany keep riding on the road


As a competitive cyclist, my life is never boring. Quite the contrary. It is a constant balancing act between staying focused and achieving my goals. In training and at races as well juggling the million curve balls which school seems to throw at you. It’s no easy feat; but here are ten points which I’ve drawn up along my journey. This maybe of some assistance to those in a similar situation to myself. Tiffany Keep

silverback volvo team rider tiffany keep
Silverback Volvo rider, Tiffany Keep training in Giba Gorge
  1. Always try to keep a level head; as much as cycling is a demanding sport, you also need to be realistic about school work and competing. It on time in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by it.
  2. Set realistic goals for yourself, both on the bike and for your academics at school.
  3. Keep your head above water; if you miss any school work because you’re away at a race or attending an event, make sure you make a concerted effort to catch up. All missed work before you get back to school.
  4. Procrastination is not your best friend; as much as cycling is fun, try to avoid getting too distracted by all the fascinating cycling-related media over the internet and social media.
  5. Self-discipline; allocate specific study/work times before or after a ride and stick to that plan, this way you’ll be more productive in the long run. 
  6. Learn about the importance of both academics and cycling; there’s a saying that goes, “Education is important, but cycling is more important.” For this reason, it’s vital to understand the doors which education and cycling can open for you and keeping this in mind while you try to keep that balance.
  7. Quality over quantity; while cyclists tend to have less time to devote to their academics than normal students, it’s necessary for us to utilize our limited time as much as possible in order to be as productive as possible.
  8. Bikes before books; in this case, I’m talking about the advantage of completing a ride before tackling work. Often an early morning ride can clear your mind, and so you can be more focused and productive once you do start your school work/studying.
  9. Life is not all about bicycles, and it’s essential for cyclists to have non-cycling friends who they can socialize with off the bike. This way, they will feel a little less reluctant to complete school work at school or attend school for that matter, knowing they have good friends there too.
  10. There are only 24 hours in a day; although we may feel like superheroes while sending a massive jump down a trail, we’re really not. Sometimes you will simply not have enough time to fit everything into one day, that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day.

Meet the rest of the team, Shaun-Nick Bester: Switching from road to mountain biking.

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Inspirational Women Of The Cycling World

Superspeed - Inspirational woman - Silverback Bikes


We celebrate every inspirational woman who picks up a bike and rides for the sheer joy it brings them.

Kristina Koscová, born in 1970 in Slovakia has always been active but was not very fond of riding a bike when she was little. Forty years later she blasted her way through the UCI MTB Master’s Championships, XCO in Stattegg, Austria, taking home 1st place in the Women’s Master category.

The women’s cycling industry is booming. More and more ladies are getting up and getting out on two wheels. We celebrate every woman who picks up a bike and rides for the sheer joy it brings them. There are a few inspirational women who stand out in the crowd, those women who inspire us to ride, take on challenges and even pursue a new career.

Kristina has a wealth of cycling experience in mountain biking and road cycling. As a child, she was afraid of riding a bicycle because she kept falling off. Racing locally for more than 7 years, Kristina has gone on to undertake some serious ultra-endurance races.

Silverback bikes inspirational woman of the cycling world article
Kristina receives gold

Podium Status.

You have always lived a healthy lifestyle and were very active from a young age, what do you currently do to keep fit?

“I enjoy being out in nature along the mountainside or countryside walking. I was raised in Slovakia and use to walk my dog all the time. My Spanish Galago was my best training partner off the bike.

As a child, you did not like biking and kept falling off. How did that change?

“I was afraid to ride a bike, I preferred hiking in the mountains. In my teen years, I started to bike with my friends, use the bike as a form of transportation and my friends were the reason I started to enter mountain bike races.”

Silverback bikes inspirational woman of the cycling world article
Kristina traveling the world with her Silverback Superspeed

Her favorites. The mountain and her Superspeed SBC.

Have you ever consumed alcohol or smoke?

“In my twenties and thirties, I hung out a lot with my friends and staying up all night partying. I did not smoke nor drink.”

Describe your typical breakfast.

“Boiled egg, one slice of whole-grain bread with real butter and ham, small banana and a  cup of coffee.”

Silverback bikes inspirational woman of the cycling world article
Kristina at Leaning Tower of Pisa

Off the bike adventures.

How do you keep a healthy lifestyle right now?

“Being busy and active is important. I do many activities like riding on and off-road, hiking on my off days, I also swim once a week and go to the gym twice a week to work on other body parts. In the off-season, I mainly go hiking and I love to go alpine skiing.

Healthwise, what have you learned in your 7-8 years of entering local races?

“I have learned, that I could eat just about anything. I believe it is important to eat your favorite food at the right time. 4-5 smaller portions a day. I have eggs, fruit, ham and grains for breakfast. Fish or poultry with grilled vegetables for lunch and a fresh salad with cheese or salmon for dinner. I also aim not to go with out food for more than 3 hours. Soo snacks like yogurt with oats or a smoothie and a protein bar works for me.”

European XCO Masters Championships, Stattegg, Austria. 

You are in your forties, what is your secret to living healthy?

“Regular activity is a key to a healthy life. Even short activity on a regular basis is much better than no activity at all! The consistency of being active all year round is the way to healthy and happy living.”

What is your favorite cheat meal?

“That is a hard question. Chocolate and ice-cream make me weak. I try to stick with dark chocolate instead of a sweet milk one. I like pancakes, but I stick with protein pancakes with peanut butter. Have a cheat day but do not overdo it.”

The Superspeed 1.0 race ready 29er carbon performance hardtail.

For women who struggle to be very active or eat healthy, what is your advice?

“Do not buy expensive fitness equipment for your home. Find a partner with the same goal and move out of your comfort zone, eat smaller portions and before every meal drink a glass of water.”

The bike industry is traditionally a very male dominated workforce. Do you think it is changing and why?

“I have been working in bicycle business for more than 20 years. From a shop assistant to a product manager. For woman to be successful, she must prove her knowledge is higher than average technician. More and more women own bike businesses and more young women are studying design of bicycles. In fact, women can be a better manager & they tend to communicate and multitask better.”

Quality time with her dogs.

Do you think more could be done to encourage women into the industry?

“Certainly. I see an opportunity in having more women bike riders or former racers helping to design and develop bicycle technical products, accessories and apparel for women. Women could be more successful in introducing bike riding to other girls as a healthy lifestyle and an escape from crowded streets and rushed working days.”

Silverback bikes inspirational woman of the cycling world article
Her favorite companion

Can you sum up your nutrition philosophy?

“I do not live to eat, I eat to be in shape.”

A superlight SUPERSPEED bike.

 There are so many inspirational women who work hard to develop women’s cycling, more who work behind the scenes, and there are those who are great representations of what cycling is all about.

Stay up to date with these inspirational women by following us on Facebook: @SilverbackBikes

#SilverbackBikes #BornToBeFast

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Event – She’s Silverback Morning Ride

Mariske Strauss getting ready to ride - Silverback Bikes


On the 7th August 2018, Silverback organized an event called PRETTY TOUGH at Trail n Tar Tokai in Cape Town, South Africa. In a largely residential suburb situated on the foothills of Constantiaberg.

She’s Silverback community came together for the first time to support a platform for Pretty Tough. This is for women to inspire, connect and empower in all their beauty and endurance. 

The primary objective of the event hosted by Trail & Tar Tokai in association with Jordan Wines Estate, VYE Cycling and Squirt Lube SA is to bring women together and network while chatting with Mariske Strauss about her daily life as a professional XCO MTB athlete.

silverback volvo mariske strauss mtb xco
Silverback’s first She’s Silverback Event

The event

We welcomed all levels of riding and questioned the ins and outs of Mariske Strauss’s industry. We also listened to Nicky Haywood who started a female cycling group called The Trail Angels in 2012 to inspire more women to ride.

While having coffee and croissants the ladies had the opportunity to have a Q & A session with Silverback OMX Rider and 15x Elite South African Champion, Mariske Strauss.

The ladies got a sneak peak of our 2019 SLD Bike Range (Silverback Ladies Design.) This was a great opportunity to find out what ladies prefer – color or geometry etc. This will be taking into consideration for our next SLD Range.

After the rain cleared up the ladies went out into the cold for a short 15km ride. The morning ended with some early wine tasting. Ladies had the opportunity to sip on a Merlot or Bordeaux Blend compliments of Jordan Wines.

We appreciate every one that donated money towards helping Silverback Volvo Rider, Tiffany Keep getting to the 2018 UCI MTB World Cup Championships in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Thank you so much for joining ladies. See You Soon!

ladies at a female event
Ladies came out in the cold to join the movement

#SheSilverback #SilverbackBikes