Female mountain bikers rejoice–apparel designed for our contingent of riders is finally improving. The clothing coming out next spring covers a wide range of styles, and is designed around practical fabrics, flattering fits and color combinations that have actually been thought-out instead of being an afterthought.
Look for henleys, flannels and packable wind breakers, tank tops, camouflage patterns and unique textures to show up in your local bike shop.
Here's a preview of some of the apparel exhibitors at the Interbike tradeshow have on display this week:
Dakine has embraced the camo trend wholeheartedly. The short-sleeve Xena jersey is made with 100 percent quick-dry polyester that uses anti-microbial technology. It costs $40 and will be available next February.
The updated Dakine Henley jersey uses a jacquard knit for a unique texture that won’t make you look like a bike geek if you have to run an errand after your ride. The Henley costs $45.
Dakine’s Cypress flannel is one of the best-looking pieces in the collection. For $75, it’s the perfect layer on the trail or at the bar post-ride.
Zoic is another brand to celebrate the camo pattern in its women’s line, even for pieces that are designed to remain covered, like this chamois…
…and the Navaeh short. The 11-inch inseam is designed to fall at knee length for pad-compatibility. Elastic and Velcro side adjusters help dial in fit. Price: $95.
Pearl Izumi hired a female designer and a color specialist to rework its line for 2015. The result is a deep selection of about 22 pieces focused on all-mountain and XC riding including this ‘Launch’ three-quarter-sleeve jersey.
The 6-inch inseam of this Pearl Izumi short might scare away some core riders, but Pearl is trying to attract new women to the sport with this piece. The running-inspired short includes a detachable chamois and runs $75 with the liner. It has an elastic waistband with a button and zipper closure.
Even though Giro hasn’t marketed its New Road collection specifically at mountain bikers, many of the pieces work really well on the trail, and the women’s line has a great aesthetic and fit. For next spring, the Windbomber joins the women’s line. It’s made with wind-blocking nylon, but the exterior incorporates a melange fabric that creates a really cool ‘crepe-like’ feel and look. A stretch-knit fabric on the collar and wrist should increase comfort and function. Price: $120.
Companies are continually trying to solve the dilemma of how to make a comfortable and practical women’s bib. Giro’s take is a halter-style, mesh top that covers the entire torso. Price: $150.
The Delice top is part of Club Ride’s Open Road collection, but it most definitely suits mountain biking as well. It features lightweight, breathable, quick-drying and wicking fabric, UPF 20 protection and a rear zippered storage pocket with media port. It also comes in a dark grey color option.
Sombrio also returned to Interbike with its new owner, Sugoi, and showed a full line of women’s gravity- and freeride-inspired shorts, jerseys and tanks. Read more here.
Another brand to watch for is Shredly, a one-women operation out of Carbondale, Colorado, that is selling unique, board-short-inspired bottoms and lightweight, versatile jerseys and tanks. We got a quick preview of the line here at the show, and will be following up with a full story soon on bikemag.com.