Photos by Justin Steiner and Emily Walley
Warm weather is here and that means it’s time to pack away the lined tights and sweaters and unpack skirts and dresses. For me, city riding in the spring brings a renewed sense of freedom; it feels amazing to hop on my bike in whatever I’m wearing for the day and pedal to my destination. While shorts are well suited to cycling I like having the option of wearing a skirt or dress. The scenario is seemingly perfect as I pedal my city bike to the farmers market in the sunshine, wearing a cute skirt. Then it happens; a gust of wind catches my skirt and I inadvertently expose myself to passing motorists and pedestrians.
While it’s not possible to control mother nature, it is possible to manage flowy fabric. Small, metal, discs are often sewn into the hemlines of formal dresses to keep the frock hanging straight and prevent it from catching in the breeze of a gusty gathering. Based on this idea, New York sisters Lani Tarozzi and Rosalyn Musker-Grant, teamed up to design a hem weight for cycling in a skirt. The Tandem NY Skirtweight is a hinged metal clip that you attach to a hemline. Simply open the clip, slide the skirt hem fabric past the hinge and close. The weight of the clip, about one ounce, forces the garment to fall between your legs while riding. While an ounce doesn’t seem like much weight, it’s enough to keep the skirt from getting out of control in the wind.
The Skirtweight is best suited to a bike with a sloping top tube to prevent a metal on metal clanging as you ride. Even with a sloping top tube the weight still hit every so often, but not enough to be bothersome. I found the weight to work well with short to mid-length a-line or gathered skirts and dresses. Anything too short and snug won’t be pulled down by the weight and, naturally, you’ll struggle to safely and neatly control garments that are long and flowy.
There are other less expensive solutions for keeping your skirt at bay, for instance, a penny in your skirt. However, this method involves tying up the fabric which may cause your skirt to be a wrinkled mess by the time you reach your destination.
For $18, the Skirtweight is a great solution for riding in a skirt. Tandem NY also suggests using the clip to keep wide pant legs out of the chain and control unruly scarves. tandemny.com