RAMONA, CA (BRAIN)—Ellsworth Handcrafted Bikes has partnered with the Velo Bella women’s cyclocross team for the 2009-2010 season. Ellsworth has provided the team’s elite racers with its redesigned “Roots” cyclocross bikes.
Known for its support of women’s cancer research and cycling development, Ellsworth believes there is more to women’s cycling than gender-specific frame geometry.
“Cycling at its core is about fun and healthy living. The biggest impact we can make as a company is to encourage women’s participation in the sport and support grassroots programs like Velo Bella,” said founder and CEO Tony Ellsworth.
Many of the women who ride for Velo Bella juggle racing with full-time jobs, school and family. An extra commitment common to every member of the team, however, is to help develop women’s cycling. Velo Bella elite racers regularly lead Saturday or Sunday morning skills clinics for beginners and then pin on numbers to race against professionals in the afternoon.
The roster is made up of veterans and promising new riders: Kathy Sherwin (a frequent top 10 finisher in national races), Kari Studley (UCI podium place already in ’09), Devon Haskell (Division II collegiate national CX champion), Shannon Gibson (Master's 40-44 National CX champion in 2007), Jen Tilley, Brenna Lopez-Otero, Kelly Chang, Natasha Perry, Marian Jamison, and Beth Welliver.
Fittingly named for its place in Ellsworth lore, the “Roots” is a racing bike that has been routinely improved since its 1996 debut. The bike was built with the two specific needs of a cross racer: drop bar efficiency with off-road stability. The Roots features a geometrically tuned Rare Earth Carbon rear triangle, comfortable shouldering top tube ergonomics, and a cyclocross-specific Shaped, Swaged, and Tapered (SST) aluminum front end.
“They're the most beautiful frames I’ve seen. I love the detail and have spent a lot of time staring in wonder at the craftsmanship that went into the carbon rear triangles. The flat top tube for shouldering is also a very exciting feature for cyclocross,” said racer Kari Studley who drove her Roots to victory at the October 5th Starbucks GP in Sammamish, WA.
Ellsworth and Velo Bella hope to continue the successful partnership they initiated with this summer’s sponsorship of VB’s professional gravity racing team.